Sunday, November 27, 2011

D&D | Thanksgiving


I am beyond happy and kind of shocked to report that this is my 100th post! And what better way to celebrate than Thanksgiving! I was thinking about sharing stories of past Thanksgivings... a group of nearly 30 family members and friends all gathered at someone's house (usually my parents). Snacking and drinking all morning in preparation to eat that special dinner you only get once a year. Once a year!? I have so many stories from yesteryear, but this year was my turn, and it felt like the right time to stay at home with friends and make my own memories... and recipes! With the stresses of my current life and the holidays approaching, I viewed Thanksgiving day as an opportunity to remember that I can slow down and enjoy myself in my own home with people I care about.

The recipes I'm featuring are from all over. The turkey was my creation (I forgot to take a photo of the final bird - SO mad at myself - but it was great!), the stuffing recipe came from a family friend, and the rest was a combination of Bon App├ętit and Epicurious finds.

CIDER-BRINED TURKEY WITH BUTTER & APPLE GLAZE

Brine
3 quarts apple cider, divided
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup whole allspice
8 bay leaves
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
16 whole black peppercorns
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 3”-4” cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
4 quarts cold water  
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into sixths
Melted unsalted butter (for basting)
1 14-16 pound turkey (neck and gizzard removed)

1  |  Bring 2 quarts cider, 1 1/2 cups salt, and the next 6 ingredients to a boil in a very large pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in 4 quarts cold water. Add turkey to brine and press down to submerge. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

2  |  Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels; discard brine. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a large heavy roasting pan and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

3  |  Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the remaining 1 cup of cider and 3 cups water in roasting pan. Scatter apples around. Brush turkey with butter. Flip breast side down.

4  |  Roast turkey, breast side down, basting occasionally, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, flip turkey. Roast, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 1 1/2 - 2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

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KALE & BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino

1  |  Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

2  |  Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

3  |  Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

4  |  Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.


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SPICED GLAZED CARROTS WITH SHERRY AND CITRUS

2 bunches of thin carrots (2 lb.), cut into 1" pieces (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
12 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh clementine juice or orange juice
2 tablespoons Sherry or sweet vermouth, divided
2 pinches ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated clementine zest or orange zest

1  |  Bring carrots, butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 7–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to a medium bowl.

2  |  Add clementine juice, 1 Tbsp. Sherry, and ground cloves to skillet and cook until glaze forms, 7–8 minutes. Stir in carrots and remaining 1 Tbsp. Sherry. Season carrots to taste with salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing, adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with tarragon and celementine zest.

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HERB-INFUSED MASHED POTATOES

4 pounds russet potatoes
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons kosher salt plus more to finish
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme or 1 sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment
Using a food mill keeps spuds light and airy. If you have a ricer, that will work, too.

1  |  Fill a large pot halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" pieces, adding to pot as they are cut. Add cold water to cover by 1" if needed. Stir in kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet. Let dry, 5–10 minutes.

2  |  Meanwhile, heat whole milk, heavy cream, peppercorns, thyme or rosemary, and bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture infuse for 20 minutes; strain. This will add herbal flavor without coloring the liquid.

3  |  Pass potatoes through the smallest disk of a food mill along with butter into a large bowl. Stir in the hot cream mixture. Season generously to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. To hold, press plastic wrap directly against the surface and set bowl over (not in) a large pot of simmering water for up to 2 hours.

- - -

CRISPY CAULIFLOWER WITH CAPERS, RAISINS & BREADCRUMBS

1 large head of cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into 2” florets
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry
3/4 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1  |  Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; season mixture with salt and pepper. Divide cauliflower mixture between 2 large rimmed baking sheets, spreading out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is golden and crispy, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Cauliflower can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Reheat before using.

2  |  Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, 5–6 minutes. Add capers and cook until they start to pop, about 3 minutes longer. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, 2–3 minutes; transfer breadcrumb mixture to a plate and set aside.

3  |  Add chicken broth and anchovy paste (if using) to same saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add golden raisins and white wine vinegar and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Do ahead: Breadcrumb and raisin mixtures can be made 2 hours ahead. Rewarm raisin mixture mixture before continuing.

4  |  Transfer warm cauliflower to a serving bowl. Scatter raisin mixture over, then toss to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cauliflower with breadcrumb mixture and parsley.



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CORN BREAD STUFFING WITH SAUSAGE, APPLES & HERBS

1 9x9 pan of corn bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 stalks celery, rough chopped
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 sweet apples peeled and diced
1 lb Italian sausage cooked
1/4 cup fresh sage chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups of stock (chicken or turkey)
2 shallots chopped
2 eggs beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

1  |  In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, apple, and peppers; saute until just soft. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until done.

2  |  Mix the veggies together with cornbread, sausage, and herbs. Add eggs and stock and give it a good mix with your hands. Pour mixture into a buttered pan and bake in a 350°F degree oven for 45 minutes.


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PEAR & APPLE CRISP

You can find the recipe for this dessert right here on Design & Dishes. I made it last week but it was such a hit that I felt it would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

All-in-all a fantastic meal spent with fantastic people.

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