Thanksgiving Menu for Spend-a-Buck Farm

by Michelle on November 23, 2009

Since my blog is on hiatus until after Thanksgiving, I thought I would post my proposed menu. I can’t make too many changes or else Mr. Tastebud’s gets upset! Poor guy is still recovering from when I brined the turkey in a trash can last year so I can’t push it too much. The brined turkey turned out gorgeous but Mr. Tastebuds was very nervous.

Of course I’m serving turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy, but I thought I’d try a few new things and tweak some of the old.

Mr. Tastebud’s picked up the dill today on the way home from work. And he also picked up huge portobella mushrooms on sale 2@$1. Here’s the recipe for the Stuffed Mushrooms.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Sausage
Recipe adapted from Southern Food

20 large fresh mushrooms (I’m using 6 HUGE mushrooms)
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 TBL + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
2 TBL finely chopped parsley
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c water

Wash mushrooms well. Remove stems and chop finely. Remove outer casing from sausage and put in skillet with chopped mushroom stems, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cook, breaking up sausage, until browned. Add 1 teaspoon of oil, parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Fill mushrooms with sausage mixture and put in shallow baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup water and remaining tablespoon of oil into bottom of the pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes.
Serves 4.

I thought this year I would try the Pre-salting Method with the turkey. It’s a very easy process and all you need is salt and big garbage bag. I do the the pre-salt all the time for roasted chicken but have never tried it with turkey.

Salt Brined Turkey
Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times

Note: This is more a technique than a recipe. It makes a bird that has concentrated turkey flavor and fine, firm flesh and that is delicious as it is. But you can add other flavors as you wish. Minced rosemary would be a nice finishing addition. Or brush the bird lightly with butter before roasting.

1 (12- to 16-pound) turkey

Kosher salt

1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15-pound turkey, you’d have 3 tablespoons).

2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You’ll probably use a little more than a tablespoon. It should look liberally seasoned, but not over-salted.

3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.

4. Place the turkey in a 2 1/2-gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, turning it onto its breast for the last day.

5. Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet. Place the turkey breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.

6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

7. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up (it’s easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts).

8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees, about 2 3/4 hours total roasting.

9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.

I have such a hard time getting the mashed potatoes on the table while they’re still hot. So when I found the recipe for Oven Baked Mashed Potatoes on My Slice of Heaven I knew I had to try it.

Oven Mashed Potatoes
Recipe adapted from Sioux City cookbook “Cornsilk” published 1985

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (I use red potatoes)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese softened (I use 2 oz cream cheese)
1 cup half and half
1 stick of butter, melted (4 TBL butter)
1 tsp. minced dry onions (fresh chives)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. seasoned salt (skip)
Paprika

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Cook potatoes until tender but firm, about 15 minutes; drain. In large bowl, mash potatoes with half of the melted butter and the half and half. With hand mixer, beat in softened cream cheese and seasonings. Beat until very fluffy. Pile in large casserole dish. Add rest of butter on top and a dash of paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Potatoes should be slightly browned on top when done. These can be made the night before and reheated the next day.

For our salad I make my sister’s recipe, Broccoli and Dried Cranberry Salad with Cashews, which I make every year and we love it and it looks so pretty on the table. This year I am using Orange-flavored Cranberries.

Broccoli and Dried Cranberry Salad with Cashews
Recipe adapted from my sister, Sherry

DRESSING:

1 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. Sugar
1 TBL Vinegar

SALAD:

2 Bunches Fresh Broccoli cut into florets (I use a about 1/2 bag of florets cut in half)
1/2 lb cooked, crumbled bacon
3-4 Green Onions including tops, cut up into small pieces
1 c. cashews or more if you like (I like more)
About 3/4 c. Dried Cranberries or you can sub dried cherries

Combine all ingredients for salad and then toss with dressing.

Instead of Candied Yams I decided to try a totally different recipe. And I’m not sure if it will be accepted or not.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

4 lb sweet potatoes (8; preferably long)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cover potatoes with cold salted water in a large pot, then bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly resistant in center when pierced with a sharp small knife, 25 to 30 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain well. When c
ool enough to handle, peel potatoes with a sharp small knife and quarter lengthwise.

Prepare grill for cooking.

Whisk together lime juice, salt, and pepper and add oil in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in cilantro.

When fire is hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds), grill potatoes in 2 or 3 batches on lightly oiled grill rack (over coals if using a charcoal grill), uncovered, turning, until grill marks appear and potatoes are just tender, 3 to 6 minutes total.

Serve potatoes warm or at room temperature, drizzled with vinaigrette.

One of the vegetables I want to try is super easy!

Quick Steamed Baby Carrots with Dill
Recipe adapted from @kittykim on twitter

20 or so baby carrots
2 TBL butter
1 TBL minced fresh dill

Steam the carrots until just barely soft. Remove to bowl and add the butter and let it melt and toss. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with minced fresh Dill.

And to throw just one more change into the mix, I am making biscuits instead of rolls and I found the recipe on Kim’s blog Stirring the Pot. I’m pretty sure this will not be a problem but who knows……

Grandmother Walters’s Biscuits
Recipe adapted from My New Orleans

2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, preferable European style, diced (Definitely use salted butter**)
1 cup whole milk (I will use Buttermilk)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal. Add the milk, stirring until the dough just comes together to form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently pat the dough down with your hands and fold it over on itself. Pat the dough down and fold it over once or twice more. Loosely cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for a half hour or so.

Being careful not to overwork the dough, roll it out until it is 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut dough into biscuits using whatever cutter you like. Grandmother used an inverted juice glass, which was really an old preserves jar. For more biscuits, use a smaller glass.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until uniformly golden brown, 10-14 minutes.

Now for dessert, I have to make my Mom’s Pumpkin Pie. I love it and I’ve not found a better recipe yet.

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie
Recipe adapted from my Mom

2 eggs
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. cream

Combine all ingredients and mix. My Mom always tasted it and then adjusted cinnamon by adding a shake. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes.

And it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Cheesecake and this recipe is the best!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe from the back of a Libbys Canned Pumpkin label

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. sour cream
1 TBL cornstarch
2 eggs, room temperature
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 TBL Dark Rum

Crust:
1 box of Zwieback Toast
4 TBL sugar
4 TBL melted butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.

Crust: In the food processor put about 1/2 the box of Zwieback Toast. Pulse until finely crushed but we careful it does not turn to mush. Place crumbs in small bowl and add sugar and cinnamon and then drizzle in melted butter.

Rub the sides and bottom of a 9″ spring form pan with butter or Crisco. Press crumb mixture up against sides and bottom about 1/16″ thick. Set aside.

Cake: With an electric mixer cream sugar and cream cheese. Add sour cream, eggs, cornstarch, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla and rum and mix until thoroughly blended.

Pour cream cheese mix into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and thoroughly cool before removing the cake from the pan. This cake is best if refrigerated over night and served cold.

Have a great Thanksgiving filled with good friends, family and fabulous food. See you on Friday!

All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Comments

  • YankeeQuilter November 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Have a great Thanksgiving. I finally tried the 5-minute bread and am loving it!

  • Catherine November 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Great menu! I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

  • Lori E November 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    It all sounds delicious Michelle.
    I have brined chickens but never turkey. It must be just as good.
    Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

  • The Quintessential Magpie November 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I am absolutely STEALING your sweet potato recipe! OH, that sounds good, Michelle, and so does the rest.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen November 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful menu! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Michelle!

  • Amanda November 24, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Michelle!!

    You cracked me up about the turkey brined in the garbage can LMAO I am brining this year for the first time. i pick up my turkey from the farmer tomorrow afternoon, can’t wait! If you decide to go with one from him next year let me know, we can have lunch and make a fun day of it :)

    Going to be baking a little tomorrow then traveling on Wednesday. Your menu sounds awesome and I know it will all be wonderful. Hope you have a fabulous one! :)

  • Barbara Bakes November 24, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Sounds like a fabulous meal! I’m too chicken to try brining this year. But soon! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Manuela November 24, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I can’t wait to see it all on the table. Your menu sounds fantastic!

  • knittykim November 24, 2009 at 3:01 am

    sounds so good! any holiday with potatoes and pie is a good holiday.

  • Danielle November 24, 2009 at 5:20 am

    looks like you’re having one fantastic thanksgiving meal. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  • Judy November 24, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I’m using the LA Times recipe this year as well. I have a turkey breast ‘brining’ right now using the rosemary-lemon zest salt. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • girlichef November 24, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Oh my gosh…well now I wish it was Thursday!! Everything sounds wonderful!!! Happy Thanksgiving :)

  • Joanne November 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I loved reading your menu. It’s always so much fun to see what other people are cooking.

    I wish I could get my parents to brine our turkey. But I think they would just look at me as if I had two heads.

  • Kim November 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Sounds like a great menu Michelle! I’m very interested to hear about your turkey. Love the sound of your broccoli salad with cashews and cranberries. I really hope you enjoy the biscuits!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  • diva November 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    everything sounds so good! i want pumpkin pie pls 😉 no candied yams? 😀
    cheers for the comments on the SB u’re a sweetie. happy thanksgiving in advance and can’t wait to see all the pics when u’re back frm the hiatus! xx

  • Sweet and Savory November 24, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I love your menu. All my favorite foods but I admit, the mashed potatoes, not an exotic dish, is my favorite. Comfort foods usually win unless there is chocolate.

  • SKM November 25, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

  • Cristie November 25, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Your menu sounds perfect, you’ll be laying a wonderful table. I hope you have a fabulous holiday!

  • Tara November 25, 2009 at 3:57 am

    I hope you have a lovely weekend with friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  • Fresh Local and Best November 25, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I hope you have a great Thanksgiving day!

  • My Carolina Kitchen November 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    What a fantastic sounding meal. I especially loved the oven mashed potatoes. My mother always whipped her potatoes with a hand mixer. You’ve brought back some fond memories.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.
    Sam

  • My Slice of Heaven November 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I hope the potatoes turned out hot and delicious! Anita

  • Sheila Mitchell November 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    OMG!, I make a broccoli salad very similar to that one-but I use shredded cheddar cheese & peanuts instead of cashews. But I will definetely be trying it that way soon! Yummy!

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