I’m writing down every recipe I’m attempting for my Thanksgiving feast ahead of time. So it’s easier for both of us. It’ll be the first time I’m attempting it, I mean, I’ve roasted turkeys before…but not for Thanksgiving. And not with all the fixings. Most of these recipes are adapted. I’m too chicken (or should I say…turkey) to attempt my own recipes yet. So the recipes will come first…then I’ll post pictures with steps as I proceed. So good luck (to me)!
Soupbelly’s Thanksgiving Menu (serves 8):
- Roasted Brined Turkey
- Pan Gravy
- Oyster Stuffing with Shiitake Mushrooms and Leeks
- Green Beans with Garlic
- Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Bits, Chives and Cheese
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
Even though this is enough food for 8 people, I’m only serving for 3. Is that enough food for 3 people?! I can’t tell. Maybe I should make more.
Note: These recipes don’t contain any milk, thanks to my lactose intolerance.
Roasted Brined Turkey (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Makes 8 servings
Prep: 45 min. / Roast: 2 3/4 Hours / Stand: 20 min.
Marinate: 8 – 12 hours / Oven: 325 degrees
- 8-12 lb. fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
Ingredients for Brine:
- 10 quart pot
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 5 bay leaves
- 45 black peppercorns (about 1 tsp.)
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt*
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 quarts hot water
*If you use table salt instead of kosher salt, reduce to 3/4 cup.
1) Combine all ingredients in pot for brine until salt is dissolved. Then add 3 quarts ice water, let stand until brine has cooled to at least colder than lukewarm.
2) Rinse turkey and pat dry; reserve neck and gizzards for Pan Gravy. Submerge turkey in cold brine. Press and weight down turkey with a clean plate or two. Refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
3) Heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey from brine, discard brine and drain turkey well. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
4) Place turkey, bone side down, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Tuck drumsticks under band of skin across the tail, or tie drumsticks to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Push meat thermometer into center of inside thigh muscle.
5) Roast turkey, uncovered, for 2 3/4 to 3 hours, or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees, cutting the band of skin or string holding drumsticks and rotating pan halfway through roasting. If necessary, tent turkey breast with foil during last 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning (covering whole turkey will slow down cooking).
6) Remove turkey from oven. Let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Makes 8 servings + leftovers.
Tips: Turkey is safe to eat when temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but most people prefer to let it heat until 180 degrees (overly cautious?) Also, use a pan with sides 2 inches or less for even cooking. The higher the sides of the pan, the more it keeps the heat away (and increases cooking time).
Pan Gravy (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
fresh thyme or sage (optional)
1) Chop reserved heart and gizzard. In a large saucepan melt butter; add giblets and cook 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the braising liquid until smooth. Add 3-3/4 cups more of the braising liquid and the bay leaf. (Refrigerate or freeze additional reserved stock for another use.) Cook and stir until gravy comes to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle fresh thyme and/or sage.
Oyster Stuffing with Shiitake Mushrooms and Leeks (adapted from Epicurious.com)
Makes 12 servings
- 1 pound sliced firm white sandwich bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 large celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
- 2 8-ounce jars shucked oysters, drained, 1/2 cup juices reserved, oysters cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Place bread on baking sheet. Bake until beginning to dry, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover bread and store at room temperature.)
2) Butter 2 baking dishes (I’ll be using a 3 quart pyrex dish, and another 2.2 quart pyrex dish for extras). Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until mushroom liquid evaporates and mushrooms are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. In same pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add leeks; cook until vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Add sautéed vegetables, parsley and dried herbs to mushrooms; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Add bread cubes and oysters to vegetables in bowl; stir to combine. Mix in reserved 1/2 cup oyster juices and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish(es); cover with foil and chill until ready to bake. Bake stuffing, covered, at 325°F, until heated through, about 45 minutes.
Green Beans with Garlic
Makes 8 servings (1/2 cup per person)
- 2 lbs. fresh green beans (washed, strings removed and ends trimmed)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 tablespoons chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- vegetable oil (for frying)
1) In a large pot of boiling water, blanch green beans until bright green and crisp/tender. Dump beans into a strainer and run through cold water, drain. Set aside.
2) Add 1-2 tbsp. oil into a wok on medium high heat. Add garlic, cook for 20-30 seconds. Add green beans, stir-fry for around 5 minutes.
3) In a cup, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar and sesame oil. Pour onto green beans and stir until coated with a thick sauce. Serve.
Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Bits, Chives and Cheese
Makes 8 servings
1) Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to come up 2 inches from the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until fork tender. Drain, and mash. Mix in the chicken broth (or milk) using a potato masher or an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the sour cream, season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon bits, cheese and chives, serve.
Pumpkin Cheesecake (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Makes 14 servings
2 15 oz. cans of pumpkin
1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (8 to 9 oz.)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
5 eggs, slightly beaten
whip cream for topping (optional)
1) Position two oven racks, one above the other, bottom rack in lowest position. On bottom rack place a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and pour in water to 1-in. depth. Heat oven to 350 degrees. To drain pumpkin, line a fine mesh sieve with 100% cotton cheesecloth or paper coffee filter; set over a bowl. Spoon in pumpkin; set aside while preparing crust.
2) For crust, in bowl stir together crushed gingersnaps, butter, and the 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and about 1 inch up sides of 9 x 3 spring-form pan. Bake 5 minutes or until firm. Cool completely on rack.
3) For filling, in large bowl beat cream cheese and the 1 1/4 cups brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in pumpkin (discard liquid), flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger until combined. Stir in eggs by hand.
4) Pour filling into crust-lined pan, spreading to sides of pan. Place spring-form pan on baking sheet, then place those on oven rack above water-filled pan. Bake 1 hour or until filling appears set when gently shaken. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes (top may crack as it cools).
5) Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. With small sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan; cool 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan, cool completely on rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Serve with whip cream (optional).