Thanksgiving is the most traditional of all the holidays. But even tradition needs a little variety sometimes. So for all of the cooks out there who are looking for tradition with a twist, here's what recipe researcher Sheila Kern found in the Shop Cheap kitchen.
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy
Bon Appetit | November 2003
Yield: makes 10 servings
8 quarts cold water
2 cups coarse kosher salt
8 large fresh or dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons whole allspice
1 16- to 17-pound turkey; giblets removed, neck reserved
Herb butter and gravy
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
3 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or other brandy
2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored
2 large onions, quartered
1 cup apple cider
To brine the turkey:
Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags; mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Wrap turkey neck and refrigerate. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air; tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.
Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well; discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
For herb butter and gravy:
Mix parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup herb mixture to small bowl; mix in 1/2 cup butter.
Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, Calvados, and remaining herb mixture. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. (Gravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
To roast the turkey:
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan. Add reserved turkey neck to pan.
Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).
Discard apples, onions, and turkey neck from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat from surface. Pour degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.
Note: Brining the turkey in the refrigerator for two days ensures an incredibly moist result. We do not recommend stuffing brined turkeys because the brine can make the stuffing too salty. A do-ahead gravy base eliminates last-minute stirring and thickening. Look for fresh bay leaves in the produce section.
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
2008, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved
Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: Thanksgiving Countdown
Yield: 6 servings
1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.
Savory Cornbread Stuffing
By Martha Rose Shulman
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic stone ground
1/2 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet, a heavy 2-quart baking dish or a heavy 9-inch square baking pan in the oven while you prepare the batter.
2. Place the cornmeal in a bowl, and sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the mixture with a spoon or whisk to amalgamate. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt (or buttermilk), milk and honey. Whisk the cornmeal mixture into the liquid mixture. Do not overwork the batter.
3. Remove the pan from the oven, and add the butter to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the butter melts quickly before it gets too brown, then quickly whisk the butter into the batter. Brush the sides of the pan with any butter remaining in the pan.
4. Quickly scrape all of the batter into the hot pan, and place in the oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It will be quite brown on the edges. Allow the bread to cool in the pan, or serve warm.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings. This is easily doubled for a larger quantity of stuffing. Bake it in a 3-quart baking dish (it will take about 45 to 50 minutes) or in two 9-inch pans.
Variation: Sage Cornbread
Stir 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage into the batter before turning into the pan.
Cornbread and Sage Stuffing
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or 1 tablespoon each olive oil and unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
4 stalks celery, cut in small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons rubbed sage, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper
A double batch of cornbread (see above), crumbled (you can do this in a food processor fitted with the steel blade)
1/2 cup milk, or as necessary, for moistening
4 tablespoons unsalted butter if baking separately
1. Heat the olive oil (or oil and butter) over medium heat in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about three minutes, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the celery. Cook together for another few minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, and stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Taste and adjust salt. Moisten as desired with milk.
2. Stuff the cavity of the turkey, or transfer to a buttered or oiled 2-quart baking dish. Dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil, and heat through in a 325-degree oven for 30 minutes.
Yield: Makes enough stuffing to fill an 18-pound turkey.
Advance preparation: You can make the cornbread several days ahead and the stuffing a day ahead.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Yield: 5 servings
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 can (14 1/2 fluid ounces) chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fluid ounces) NESTLE CARNATION Evaporated Milk
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sugar; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add broth, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Serve warm.
Honey-and-Spice Cranberry Sauce
Bon Appetit | November 1998
Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 12-ounce bag cranberries
1 3/4 cups apple cider or juice
3/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaf. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Recipe by Crescent Dragonwagon
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, halved
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, cut into slivers
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop Brussels sprouts in the boiling water and cook them 2 minutes. Drain, rinsing with cold water.
2. Whisk together soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Set aide.
3. Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet. Add onion and red bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts. Sauté 4 minutes.
4. Add glaze. Cook until vegetables are coated and glaze thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Roasted Carrots with Parsley and Thyme
By Martha Rose Shulman
Yield: Serves 6
2 pounds carrots, peeled quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise (depending on the size), then into 2-inch lengths
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a sheet pan or a baking dish large enough to fit all of the carrots in a single layer. Place the carrots in a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano.
2. Spread in an even layer in the prepared pan or baking dish. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, and if the carrots are not yet tender, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes until tender. Add the parsley, stir gently, and taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Advance preparation: These will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 4 servings
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot and mash over low heat with the butter, cream and 2 teaspoons salt.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Fall 2004, The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook (2005)
Yield: 10 servings, about 1/2 cup each Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, (3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup low-fat milk
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
Bake the casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Green Beans with Pecans and Clementine Dressing
1 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Zest and juice of 3 Clementines
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
In a blender, combine shallot, mustard, salt and Clementine juice and blend until smooth. Set aside. Steam beans on a steamer rack set over simmering water until bright green and barely tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with citrus dressing. Sprinkle with pecans and Clementine zest to taste and serve.
Come back next Thursday for Before and After: Thanksgiving salad and dessert recipes.