Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

I hope that as you read this that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yourself.  We had a nice day as well.  Below is everything I made with the recipes.  Hope you enjoy!

Our turkey has come from Auburnlea Farms in Gladys, Virginia.  The turkey is pasture raised and all natural.  The turkey is 17-1/2 pounds.

This year I decided to brine my turkey.  I borrowed a recipe from a friend.

Turkey Brine
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Place all ingredients into a pan and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir until the sugar and salt dissolves.  Place brine into a large bowl and add 2 quarts of ice cold water.  Let it cool.  Once cool, place turkey (that has been rinsed off and gizzard bag from inside removed)  into brining bag, add brine and place in refrigerator 4 to 6 hours or overnight.  I left mine in the brine overnight.  Once brined and ready to be cooked.  Remove turkey from brine and bag, rinse off and pat dry.

Roast Turkey
3 carrots (rinsed and top end cut off), cut into large chunks
1 large onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
Small bunch of fresh parsley
Small bunch of fresh tarragon
Small bunch of fresh sage
Butter, softened
Place some of the onion, carrots and some fresh herbs into the cavity of the bird.  Pull the skin away from the breasts by taking a dull butter knife and carefully separate the skin from the breast.  Be careful not to poke the knife through.  Place some of the fresh herbs into this part of the turkey as well as some butter.  Place turkey into a large roasting pan.  Add some onions and carrots to the roasting pan around the turkey.  Rub the turkey with butter, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.  Add about 1 cup of water around the pan (don't pour the water over the turkey).  Place turkey into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.   To reach the internal temperature of 165 degree Fahrenheit it took about 3-1/2 hours to cook.  I basted this turkey about every hour or so.  I added to the basting liquid 1 full bottle of chardonnay during the basting time.  Remove turkey from oven, place on large cutting board or platter, cover with foil and let rest.  Cut up turkey when you are ready.

While the turkey is cooking, take gizzards and add them to a saucepan add water and let simmer on the back of the stove.  Add more water as needed.  Once the turkey comes out of the oven, strain the carrots and onions from the juices from the pan and then add them back to the roasting pan.  Place roaster onto the stove top and bring liquid to a boil.  I added a quart of chicken broth (that I had in the freezer). To thicken it I use Arrowroot.

Corn Pudding
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
6 cups frozen corn (I am using the corn that we froze during the summer)

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together eggs, cream and butter.  Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn.  Pour into a lightly greased oblong baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Stick a knife blade into the middle and it will be done when it comes out pretty clean.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pecan Pie
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup pecans
1 - 8 inch unbaked pie shell
Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Add molasses, flour, vanilla, and salt.  Stir in water and pecans.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes; then at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts 
This is a Jamie Deen Recipe that I got off the Food Network
1 strip of bacon, sliced into thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
6 ounces Brussels sprouts (2 big handfuls)
Pinch brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.  While the bacon is cooking, cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts.  Then chop the Brussels sprouts in half.  Lay them cut-side-down and finely chop until they are all shredded.  Add the garlic and shallots to the skillet and saute until fragrant and the shallots are soft, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the Brussels sprouts and saute until tender crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add a pinch of brown sugar.  Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice.  Saute for 1 minute more.  Toss with the chopped parsley and bacon.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
2 Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons butter
Coconut milk
Place chunks of sweet potatoes into a pan, add water and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender.  Drain, add cooked sweet potatoes back to the pan and place back on stove, add butter and mash.  Add a small amount of coconut milk until you reach the correct consistency. Add a little bit of salt and pepper.

The finished dish.

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