Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Thanksgiving menu staples

This is my classic Thanksgiving spread.

1 17 pound turkey, smoked on grill

Mashed Potatoes (adapted from a 2008 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 4  pounds  red potatoes (about 8), halved
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  cups  nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2  cup  skim milk
  • 4  tablespoons  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (more to taste)
  • Directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

  • Add the greek yogurt, milk, butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the potatoes and mash to the desired consistency. Sprinkle with the scallions.

  • Serves 8

Apple & Sausage Stuffing (adapted from a 2011 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 1 pound)
  • stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • medium onions, chopped
  • Gala apples
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh sage
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • large baguette (about 3/4 pound), cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 3  cups  smoked stock from turkey (only works if you smoke a turkey early. Otherwise use homemade chicken stock)
  • large eggs, beaten


Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch or some other shallow 3-quart baking dish. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.

To the drippings in the skillet, add the celery, onions, apples, sage, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 9 minutes.

Add the vegetable mixture, baguette, broth, and eggs to the sausage a
nd toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake the stuffing for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Serves 8

Orange-Cranberry Relish (adapted from a 2008 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 1  pound  cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1  cup  orange guice
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, and sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, 15 minutes. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Bourbon Gravy (adapted from a 2011 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 4  tablespoons  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • roasting pan and its contents, from the Smoked Turkey
  • 1/2  cup  bourbon 


  1. Make the gravy base: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until smooth and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 cups of the broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Discard the vegetables from the reserved roasting pan and strain the pan drippings into a large measuring cup or bowl. You should have about 1½ cups of liquid. Let stand for 5 minutes, then skim off and discard the fat. (Alternatively, use a fat separator.)
  3. Place the empty roasting pan across 2 burners. Add the bourbon and cook over medium-high heat, scraping up the bits stuck to the pan, for 1 minute. Add to the gravy base in the saucepan, along with the strained drippings, and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Strain, if desired, and adjust the consistency with additional broth if necessary before serving.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
2 tablespoons Bourbon
Whipped cream (optional)


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and bourbon

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving. 
Serves 8

Green Bean Casserole


1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 cans green beans, drained
1 1/3 cups Fried Onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms


Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.
bake at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot.
Stir and top with remaining 2/3 cup onions.
Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden.
Serves 6

Also serving: homemade rolls, apple pie, and assorted casseroles

Thanksgiving Pizza

This is quite possibly the best use of leftovers. It turned out and tasted better than I imagined.


Homemade pizza dough
cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
goat cheese


1. Heat oven to 450 and warm pizza stone
2. Roll out dough
3. Spread layer of cranberry sauce
4. Add layer of mashed potatoes
5. Add shredded turkey, small pieces of stuffing, and goat cheese
6. Bake 20ish minutes
7. Enjoy!

Note: Add whatever leftovers you want. I advise against gravy as a base. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soy-glazed sesame tofu

From the October Issue of All You Magazine


  • scallions, chopped
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12-oz. package extra firm tofu, drained, cut into 8 slices
  1. Directions
  2. 1. In a small bowl, stir scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and honey.
  1. 2. Warm vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Pat tofu dry and add to skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 8 minutes total.
  1. 3. Spoon sauce mixture over tofu, cover pan and turn off heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Transfer slices to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes
  • 1. Add brown rice with chopped cilantro and steamed snow peas as sides or a salad with sesame dressing.
  • 2. The cheapest place to find sesame oil is an Asian market. The cheapest place to find tofu is usually Trader Joe's.
  • 3. I think this will become a Meatless Monday staple in our house. 
  • 4. Also, you might want to cut the tofu into smaller slices for easier chopstick handling.