Category: Thanksgiving

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This is based  my Grandmother Francine’s recipe.  I always looked forward to it every year.

  • 3-4 yams peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of orange marmalade
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1 cup toasted pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 365, and put yams on parchment or Silpat  on a sheet pan.
  2. Salt and drizzle with olive oil, roast for 40 minutes or until somewhat tender and slightly brown on edges
  3. Meanwhile in a sauce pan heat butter, sugar, marmalade until sugar is dissolved over medium low heat.
  4. Place cinnamon stick and lemon juice into pan and turn heat to low until yams are done roasting.
  5. Place yams into baking dish and pour syrup over them.  (At this point you can refrigerate and do the next steps before service)
  6. Cover with foil
  7. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes longer or until fork tender.  Cooking times vary on this recipe so be vigilant
  8. Top with toasted pecans if using

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  • 1 recipe cornbread baked
  • 2-4 cups of other bread that you might have around kitchen
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 stick of butter (divided)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 celery stalks sliced
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey  stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F
  2. Tear up cornbread and bread and put into a 4-5 qt mixing bowl.
  3. Add the eggs to bread mixture
  4. Saute celery and onion in 6 tablespoons of butter until lightly translucent
  5. Add salt, pepper, and poultry season and saute 1 minute longer
  6. Add celery and onion to bread.
  7. Moisten bread with some of the stock mixing whole mixture well
  8. With remaining butter grease 9×13 Pyrex  and add mixture to it.
  9.  Add more stock if it seems dry
  10. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes last 10- 15 uncover to brown the top
  11. Dressing should be golden brown

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After college, I moved to Jackson ,Wyoming and my first Thanksgiving away from home I was asked to make mashed potatoes for the meal.   At this point in my life I was a proficient  cook and knew that the mashed potatoes would not be a problem.  I made a recipe below to rave reviews as some of the mix bag of friends from all over the country asked what box did they come from.  You can add what you want to mashed potatoes but sometimes simple is better.   This incident gave me the inspiration to cook more and entertain my friends with food.  The next year I was asked to cook more than just a side dish.

 

5 pounds potatoes (I prefer russets)
1/2 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup butter unsalted
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon seasoning salt

  1. In a large stock pot fill with water and bring to a boil and a pinch of salt.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, skin and quarter potatoes (depends on size) Put taters in the boiling water until mildly tender (time depends on lots of time and has never been the same, but start looking at them after 30 min) Use a potato ricer*** (works lots better and is the key of the recipe) or masher to compress the potatoes into a large serving bowl or bowl for your stand mixer.
  3. Add the butter, pepper and season salt.
  4. Use  mixer to blend ingredients and make taters smooth.
  5. Add cream to the point, while mixing, that the potatoes have a great consistency.  Continue to mix 1-2 minutes.
  6. You can add more pepper, garlic, salt to taste if wanted.
  7. I sometimes bake the potatoes about 20 minutes in the oven at 300°F after the fact to blend the flavors beautifully.

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Spatchcocking

A few years back, I started cooking poultry by taking out the back bone.  This process is called spatchcocking. Although vulgar sounding this process is highly effective and functional.  It makes your bird cook drastically faster.  It lays flat while brining and cooking so you can keep your space in your refrigerator(more cold white wine to keep your in laws content) and cooking other things in your oven as your turkey will not take up the whole oven.   You can cook a turkey in as little as 1 hour 20 minutes.

I know I can hear you now ”My Grandmother did not do it that way!”.  Well Lord knows your Grandma was not eating Lean Cuisine either. Change is okay.  Others might boast that they cannot stuff their turkey if it lays flat.  Well if you have not heard by now stuffing your bird is begging  to  get your whole family sick as the stuffing rarely gets to temp(165 degrees)  before your outside of your bird is black.

 

You can achieve this technique in a few short steps:

 

  1. Find yourself a good pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears.  Cut as close to the back bone as possible on both sides of thebackbone.  Save the backbone as you can make stock for your gravy. (Please tell me you did not buy gravy in a pouch)

  2. Open up the bird flat and press done on t

  3. he sternum of the bird as like you were giving CPR and press until  it lays pretty flat.  You will hear a crack or two.

  4. Tuck the wings under the bird.

  5. You can go ahead and brine your bird now yet many turkeys you buy at the store are already in a 10-20%  solution already.  More brining might affect how crispy you can get your skin.

 

 


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