Sweet Potatoes, Take 2

January 28, 2009 at 8:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Sweet Potatoes, Take 2

Just a few more recipes from Thanksgiving. This is actually a picture of the leftovers, and they were just as good as the original, just not as pretty. I love sweet potatoes, and have them year round.

Sweet Potatoes, Take 2
The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

4 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pecans, chopped (measure before they are chopped)
1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 stick butter

Directions

  1. Wash 4 medium sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven at 375 until they are fork tender, about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. After the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them open and put the flesh into a large bowl.
  4. Add sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt. With a potato masher mash them up until mixed but not smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl add brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and butter. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until combined.
  6. Spread sweet potato mixture into a baking dish, top with the crumb mixture. 
  7. Bake in a 400 oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Maybe I’m biased because I love sweet potatoes, but these were so good! I don’t know if my family has ever done nuts on top of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, but the topping was delish. Another keeper for years to come!

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Turkey

January 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Turkey

Ok, so I don’t have a picture of the uncarved turkey from our thanksgiving. I guess we were all to hungry!

I used the Turkey Perfect brine (I could not find the brine ingredients that I was looking for). I did half apple juice and half water, instead of just water. I followed their instructions for cooking the turkey and he turned out great! I hope to make my own brine next year (with more planning ahead) but I would use their mix again.

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Stuffing (Cornbread and Apple Bacon)

January 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Back to food blogging now… whew! I am pretty far behind! I am still working on Thanksgiving, and still working off those calories! Oye!

If you know me well, you know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. If you know me even better, you know that I have a weakness for stuffing. Nothing like a good stuffing. This year I made two, one was PW’s Cornbread Stuffing, the other was an Apple Bacon Stuffing.

PW’s Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread Stuffing

Apple Bacon Stuffing

Apple Bacon Stuffing

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed in PW’s cornbread stuffing, it didn’t have as much flavor as I had anticipated. It was still good, and maybe with a touch more of something it would be better. I may try it again, but I may look at a few more recipes to get some ideas of how to give it a bit more flavor.

The Apple Bacon Stuffing on the other hand was delicious. I will be keeping this recipe and doing it again.

Apple Bacon Stuffing
Cooks Illustrated, November 1998

Ingredients

1 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
4 medium ribs celery, diced medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2teaspoons dried sage or 4 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 cups dried 1/2-inch cubes from one 1-pound loaf French bread, potato, or challah. I used French bread.
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 large eggs , beaten lightly
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

Directions

  1. Dry the bread you choose by cutting 1/2 inch slices, laying them in a single layer on baking sheets or cooling racks, and leaving them out overnight. The next day, cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes and allow them to dry for another night. Note: I just cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and let it dry overnight.
  2. Be sure that the oven rack is in the center position (course this is assuming that all you are cooking is stuffing, and at Thanksgiving we all wish that we were blessed with four ovens). Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off all but 6 tablespoons of bacon fat from pan.
  5. Return skillet to heat, add onion, apples, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
  6. Stir in Sage, thyme, marjoram, parsley, and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Put onion mixture in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add bread cubes, bacon, chicken stock, eggs, and salt. Toss gently to evenly mix.
  9. Put mixture into a buttered 13 by 9 casserole dish, drizzle with melted butter and cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes (a bit longer for challah).
  11. Remove foil and bake until golden brown on top (about 15-20 minutes).
  12. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a keeper! Even better, we had leftovers.

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Green Bean Casserole

December 10, 2008 at 10:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is one of my faves on Thanksgiving. I’m trying to eat healthier, so I searched for a more homemade recipe this year. Not sure how healthy it is, but at least the green beans are fresh!

Green Bean Casserole
I forgot to bookmark it…

Ingredients

For the Beans
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (weighed prior to trimming)
4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 Tablespoon olive oil (omitted, I didn’t need it)
1/2 large Vidalia sweet onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2 by 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tablespoon minced shallots
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Roux
1/4 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (we used almost 3, it could have used 4)
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

For the topping
Can of French Fried onions
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch green beans.
  3. Remove to an ice bath until cool, drain and let dry.
  4. Lightly butter a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish.
  5. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, saute bacon until slightly crispy.
  6. Remove bacon from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  7. In remaining bacon fat, add onions and saute until just starting to caramelize.
  8. Add red bell peppers and saute 2 minutes.
  9. Add minced shallot and water chestnuts. Saute for 2 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set aside.
  10. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter.
  11. When the butter is melted, add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until well combined. Continue to stir for another minute.
  12. Add in milk, 1/2 cup at first. Stirring well to combine. Then add 1 cup more milk and stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Then add final 1/2 cup of milk and stir and simmer until thickened. We needed to add more milk (at least a cup).  Add salt and pepper.
  13. Combine with green bean mixture and pour into a prepared pan. Top with 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs, then reserved bacon, then remainder of panko crumbs.
  14. Cook at 350 for 35 minutes.
  15. Take green beans out of the oven and top with some french fired onions, evenly coating the casserole.
  16. Place back into the oven and cook for 5 more minutes.
  17. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  18. Serve and enjoy!

The secret to my green bean casserole is the yummy water chestnuts. It is not worth my time if it doesn’t have the crunch of a water chestnut in there. I don’t like mushrooms, but you could add them to yours when you add the shallots.

The roux still needs a bit more playing, I think I did something wrong. I would try it again, but keep a better watch on what I am doing with the roux.

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