Wednesday, November 19, 2008


With Thanksgiving about a week away I have been humming and hawing as to weather or not I would actually make dinner. It's just the three of us and it seems like a lot of work for just three people. This morning I was watching Rachael Ray waiting for R to get up for the morning and she had a Thanksgiving special on and I thought, it’s worth it! If nothing else then for the practice for the year I do host it for family or cook with my mom again. I thought I’d share what I am making and doing for you all so that if you needed a place to start you have it. I think this will be fairly easy and I will make the Onion Gratian a day early and cheat by buying the canned cranberry sauce(I actually like that stuff, especially on my sandwich the days following the feast) a bagged salad (A and I don’t like the same dressings so no point making a big fancy one) and buying a good looking pie (last year I made three pies with only me eating them. This year I will just buy one, or a cake) oh and A doesn’t like home made mashed potatoes so I’ll use the box this time. So here is what I am making. (I need to get my mom’s stuffing recipe, basically you leave bread out for two days to air out in pieces and then sauté up some finely chopped onion-I use a cheese grater to get it perfect- and then stir it all together and shove it on in the turkey!)

Brined Turkey
Onion Gratain
Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Pie (of some sort)

10 cups salt
10 cups sugar
8 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
freshly ground black pepper
red wine
2 packages Chicken broth
2 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
2 ounce(s) prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh sage
1/4 cup(s) toasted pine nuts
1 lemon
3 pound(s) Yukon Gold potatoes
2 loaves white bread, left out to dry
1/2 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves
2 cans cranberry sauce
1 good looking pie
Salad bag
Poultry thermometer

Turkey Brine
5 gallons water
10 cups salt
10 cups sugar
Fill a cooler with water, salt and sugar so it tastes like sweet seawater. Put turkey into cooler and leave in a cool location (garage for example) and let sit for 24 hours. Roast as usual, please note though it should take 15-20 minutes off the roast time. Let sit after roasting before carving.
To Roast
On Thanksgiving morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drain the turkey, scraping off the spices, then transfer it to a large roasting pan and let it return to room temperature. Discard the brine. 4. Add the quartered onion, the garlic and 1 cup of the water to the pan and roast the turkey for 1 1/2 hours. Add the remaining 1 cup of water to the pan and roast for about 1 1/2 hours longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into an inner thigh registers 165 degrees F. Cover the breast loosely with foil during the last hour of roasting to prevent it from browning too quickly. 5. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board.
Red Wine Onion Gravy
Pan drippings, plus butter as needed to make 4 tablespoons fat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup red wine
3 cups broth (turkey, beef or chicken)
Take the roasting pan and add in medium onion chopped/diced and some chopped garlic to the pan. Stir around. Add a few tablespoons flour, stirring to mix it into the drippings season with salt and peper. Add the red wine to deglaze pan (scrape everything off the bottom). Lastly add broth and let sit until thickened up.
Sizzled Green Beans with Crispy Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
2 pound(s) green beans, trimmed
2 1/2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounce(s) prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
4 clove(s) garlic, minced
2 teaspoon(s) minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup(s) toasted pine nuts
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to a boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Wipe out the pan; heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic, sage, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are browned in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and the prosciutto. Season with lemon juice, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper
Golden Potato and Onion Gratin
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
6 medium (2 pounds) onions, each cut in half and sliced
1 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
3 pound(s) Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
3 slice(s) firm white bread, coarsely grated into crumbs
1/2 cup(s) (loosely packed) fresh parsley leaves, chopped
In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook 1 hour or until tender and deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and cook 1 minute, stirring. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate onions until ready to use.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, toss potato slices with salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Transfer potato mixture to shallow 3 1/2-quart casserole or 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Cover casserole and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Meanwhile, in same skillet, heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat; stir in parsley. To serve, uncover gratin and sprinkle with bread-crumb mixture.

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