Here’s to a nice meal for those who are celebrating Thanksgiving. My family will be all be together and I am so looking forward to just that. I am sharing a few nice recipes with you, beginning with making a turkey. Everyone should also remember the less fortunate this time of year, and for that matter, really whenever you shop. Pick up some cans of food that are on sale or other non-perishables. Drop them in food donation baskets in shul lobbies, at the markets, or at food banks. All donations are most welcome. Wishing all my fellow readers a happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time off!
Also, refer to the pumpkin bread recipe a few weeks back.
Preparing a turkey
Turkeys are just about the easiest things to make if you follow a few steps. First, one must take the frozen turkey out of the freezer at least 3 days before use, allowing to defrost in the refrigerator. I usually buy a turkey in the 15 to 18 pound range because they are a more manageable size. You can always buy a separate turkey breast or a package of turkey wings if you do not think you have enough.
The night before cooking, I thoroughly clean the turkey. It is a good idea to have another pair of hands assisting you if you can. I also take all the skin off the turkey and run the cold water over the turkey, through the inside, really getting a good clean bird. Do not forget to remove the parts inside the cavity. I do not use them but some people use them for soup. I rub the cleaned turkey with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by sprinkling seasoned salt and garlic powder. I am an advocate of using the turkey bags to cook in. There is NO mess and the turkey is steamed.
Follow the directions on the box. You have to sprinkle some flour to coat the bottom of the turkey bag. With someone helping you, or if not, carefully put the oiled and seasoned turkey into the bag. I cut up about 3 onions and throw them in as well – even add a few in the cavity. Sometimes I pour sweet and sour sauce over the turkey – it gives it a delicious taste. I put the raw turkey in the bag on a large plate in the refrigerator. I do not seal the bag tightly. The day you need to cook the turkey, add slits in the turkey bag as the directions say, and place the turkey in a large pan. Do not forget to put the cooking thermometer in the turkey’s breast and check the temperature every hour or so. It takes about 3 hours to cook at 350 degrees. The turkey has to sit for about an hour before carving. Cut open the top of the bag but be careful not to cut too far to let the gravy escape.
Carve the turkey and save the natural turkey gravy/juice for a gravy boat to moisten the turkey when serving.
Festive Cranberry Pineapple Salad
1 can crushed pineapple, not drained
2 pkg. raspberry-flavored gelatin (I use sugar-free)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 medium apples, chop one well-save the other one to slice for garnish at end
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Drain pineapple, saving the liquid in a 1-quart measuring cup. Save 1 Tbsp. of pineapple for the garnish at the end. Add cold water to saved pineapple juice to measure 3 cups. Pour into a large saucepan. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Add gelatin, stirring for 2 minutes until it is all dissolved. Add cranberry sauce and stir until blended (the gelatin will not be smooth because of the cranberries). Pour into large bowl and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours until slightly thickened. Stir in the remaining pineapple, add the apple and walnuts, and stir until blended. Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate 4 hours. Garnish with crushed pineapple and some sliced apples.
Makes 14 Â½-cup servings.
Sugar-free sweet potato balls
Sugar free pancake syrup
Bake enough sweet potatoes to feed your crowd or buy the canned with no sugar or syrup added. Mash sweet potatoes with margarine. Add cinnamon to taste.
add a little sugar free pancake syrup to taste to give it a maple flavor. Crush corn flakes and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Roll sweet potatoes into 2-1/2 to 3 inch balls and then roll in the crushed corn flake mixture. Place on a well drained pineapple ring (canned) on a baking sheet. You can also buy the pineapple chunks, drain well, and put one inside the middle of each of the balls before coating in crushed corn flakes. Put a cherry on top and bake at 350 just until top is browned. Very festive and delicious.
Green beans with sesame and soy
1 lb. fresh green beans, washed, ends trimmed
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
Juice from Â½ lemon
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
Blanch the beans in a large pot of salted, rapidly boiling water. Drain and cool under cold running water. In a large skillet, warm the oil. Add the beans and toss. Add the soy sauce and the lemon juice and cook, tossing constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat. Season and sprinkle with sesame seeds and served.
Makes six servings.
Marinated roasted peppers and broccoli
2 lbs. broccoli
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 7-ounce jar roasted sweet peppers or whole pimento, drained and cut into bite-size pieces
Wash broccoli; trim off tough ends. Cut broccoli into spears. Cook, covered, in a small amount of boiling salt water for 8 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain. Cover and chill. For marinade, combine vinegar, oil, sugar, tarragon, thyme, dry mustard, and salt. Stir in red sweet peppers. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. To serve, arrange broccoli on a lettuce-lined platter. Spoon the marinated red peppers atop.
Makes 8-10 servings.
1 can creamed corn
1-2 Tbs. flour
1/3 cup non-dairy creamer
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. melted margarine
Combine all ingredients except margarine.Bake in greased pan at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Drizzle melted margarine over top. Continue baking for another 1/2 hour until top is brown.
Serves 4. Note: I triple the recipe and bake in 9 x 13 inch pan.
Baked Corn Pudding
1 can creamed corn
1 can yellow corn
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 box corn muffin mix
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/4 -1/2 stick margarine
Combine all ingredients. Bake in greased pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Double the recipe and bake in 9 x 13 inch pan. Serves 8 – 10.
1 3/4 cups pumpkin (one small can)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinammon
1/ 4 tsp. of each – ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
1/ 2 tsp. salt
1 cup water
3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Mix the flour and cornstarch and set aside. Combine all other ingredients and then add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40-minutes.