THANKSGIVING DINNER (Nov. 26, 2009)
Shrimp with remoulade sauce (Eaton Street Fish Market)
Smoken salmon tidbits (Eaton Street Fish Market)
Butternut squash soup
Roast brined turkey
Stuffing, with fruit and nuts
Mashed potatoes (Laurent)
Sweet potato casserole (Judy)
String bean casserole
Creamed spinach (Annie)
Apple brown betty
Pumpkin bundt cake (Ann)
Butternut Squash Soup
for 24 people
8 lbs. butternut squash
3 large sweet onions, chopped
3 bunches scallions, white parts coarsely chopped
about 15 cups of low-salt chicken broth (3 45 oz. cans = 18 cups)
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
the onions, scallions, and squash (with salt and pepper to taste) in
the broth until squash is soft, about 30 minutes. Let it cool enough to
In a food processor, puree the mixture by batches. This
is the most tedious part of the whole process. You have to do many
batches. When each batch is pureed, pour it into a Rubbermaid-type
pitcher for storage in refrigerator until you're ready to serve. If
you're ready immediately, transfer into another large pot.
When ready to serve, heat the soup up again, gently, and add 2 cups of cream. Taste for seasoning and correct.
Roast Brined TURKEY
Ingredients: 1 turkey, about 20 pounds
Brine time: 12-24 hoursBrine:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2-1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
5 whole allspice berries, crushed (opt.)Roasting:
2 tablespoons softened butter + butter for basting
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock, or more as needed
Remove giblet bag from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers.
Rinse well under cold tap water.
sugar, salt and 3-4 quarts of water in a large bowl. Stir until sugar
and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients except for 1 1/2 gallons water. Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented
trash bags (not made of recycled materials), then put them in an ice
chest that is large enough to hold the turkey.
Place turkey in
bags, pour in brine and remaining 1 1/2 gallons water -- there should
be enough liquid to completely cover the bird.
Press out air in
bags; tightly close each bag separately. Keep turkey cold with bags of
ice, which will also help keep it submerged.
Brine for 12-24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°.
(Turkeys 16 lb. and smaller should be roasted at a higher heat, 400.)
Remove turkey from brine, rinse and dry well. Spread 2 tablespoons
softened butter over skin. Sprinkle pepper over skin and in cavity.
Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped
rack in a roasting pan. Cover the bird tightly with foil for the
first half of the cooking
time, then remove the foil and baste with stock and pan drippings every
30 or 40 minutes for the remainder of the time. A 22-pound bird should
be done in about 5 hours. Some people say you shouldn't stuff a large
bird, but you can, and in fact I think it keeps it from cooking too
assure that the bird cooks evenly,
rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes while turkey is roasting, if
possible. With a big bird, rotating may be a lot of trouble and not
worth the effort and possible burns. Let
bird rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving.
Serves 23, with leftovers
Adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle (Nov. 16, 2005)Gravy
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (one stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pan drippings to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
8 cups low-salt canned chicken broth or homemade turkey broth/stock
Pepper to taste
roux (this is what thickens the gravy): Melt the butter in a skillet.
Add flour all at once, whisking
until incorporated. Cook, whisking occasionally, for 4 or 5 minutes,
until it begins to look grainy. The flour has to be cooked enough
for the roux to work, and yet it shouldn't be cooked so much it
liquifies. This is, in my opinion, the trickiest part of gravy making.
The broth and drippings: When
turkey is done, pour pan drippings into a bowl. Deglaze roasting pan
with the wine by boiling and scraping pan with a wooden spoon, adding a
little water as needed to incorporate browned bits. Add to drippings in
bowl. Let sit and cool until fat separates and floats on top. Skim off fat with a spoon.
The amount of pan drippings will vary,
depending on the size of the turkey, how much water or stock you use to
baste it, and how much liquid evaporates during cooking. However,
because the bird has been brined, you won't need to season the gravy as
You can streamline the gravy-making process: make the roux ahead of
time, transfer it to a bowl, cool, then cover and refrigerate.
the bird is cooked and you're ready to put the gravy together, bring
broth to a simmer in a covered saucepan. Put cold roux in a saucepan,
over medium heat. Bring back to un-cold consistency. Slowly add 6
cups of the simmering broth to the roux,
whisking constantly. Add more or less depending on desired consistency
of gravy. This takes judgment and nerve. It's hard to change once
you've done it. Finally, add reserved drippings slowly, starting with a
tablespoons; taste, then whisk in more, a little at a time, until gravy
tastes right to you. But you may add cupsful. It all depends on how
concentrated it is. Season with pepper and additional salt if needed.
To adjust consistency, add more broth or simmer for a few minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Leftover gravy freezes well in plastic
containers or bags. Thaw in refrigerator or over low heat. Whisk in a
little water if it appears curdled or too thick.
To vary quantities, the rule is 1 tablespoon fat and 1 tablespoon flour in the
roux for each cup of stock.
Some people have a knack for making gravy. Rely on their help!
Pepperidge Farm corn meal stuffing (one package)
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 onions (about 1 pound) coarsely chopped
1 head of celery, coarsely chopped
4 large apples, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cups chicken stock
1 bunch scallions, white parts chopped
chopped fresh parsleyt
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
butter in a large skillet or sauce pan. Saute onion about 5 minutes,
then add nuts and cook another 3 minutes. Add package of bread crumbs
(stuffing) and mix well. Take off heat. Add the other ingredients.
with salt and pepper, then put into turkey or into large Pyrex dish for
cooking seperately (before) the turkey. Stuffing
may be made ahead and frozen for a week or two. Or it may be
refrigerated for two days. When the bird is cooked, you can add
drippings or gravy or another that was inside the bird (onions?) and
the stuffing will taste better and better. Make sure it is moist enough
as you go. You can always add broth or even some olive oil or more
butter to taste.
One package Ocean Spray fresh cranberries
One cup water
One cup sugar
Bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir til the sugar
dissolves. Add the cranberries, washed. Return to a boil and lower
the heat. Stir occasionally. Simmer ten minutes, then cool. Store and
serve in Mason jars if you have them for an old-timey touch.
What's fun is watching the berries burst and ooze.
String Bean Casserole
3 large bags of frozen French-cut string beans, defrosted
2 cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup or Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic
1 1/2 cups milk
Durkee's or French's canned French-fried onions, 2 large (6 oz.) cans
the soup with the milk. Puyt string beans into large Pyrex casserole
and cover with the cream of mushroom soup mix. Add and mix in most of
the French-fried onion rings, leaving some to put on top, as a crust.
Heat in 350 degree oven for half an hour.
An American classic, disgusting but irresistible.
2 9" pies. Might as well make 2 as one. It's no harder and everyone
loves pecan pie. Anyway, it keeps. Each pie serves 8. You can't really
cut it into smaller pieces because the pieces of pecan are too big. But
each pie will actually serve more than 8 because it's so rich, and many
people just want a taste.
Pastry for 2 9-inch
pie shells. I use a Betty-Crocker-style mix, which requires you just to
add water and stir. Follow package directions for No Roll crust. Or
roll it, if you happen to have a rolling pin, a disappearing object for
6 large eggs
2 cups light corn syrup (one whole small Karo jar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt
4 cups pecan halves
a pie pan with the pastry and crimp the edges. I would investr in a
glass pie plate or 2. You can get them at sypermarkets for under $5,
and they last forever and make serving the pie much more pleasureable.
Refrigerate the pastry shell while preparing the filling. Preheat oven
to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl beat the eggs until blended but not frothy. Stir in the corn syrup and the vanilla.
the brown and granulated sugars together in a small bowl, making sure
there are no lumps. Stir the sugars, the melted butter and the salt
into the egg mixture.
Spread the pecans over the bottom of the pastry shell. Pour the filling mixture over the pecans.
the pie 55 to 60 minutes, until the filling is slightly puffed and a
knife inserted in the filling off-center, about 2 1/2 inches from the
edge, comes out clean.
Allow the pie to cool to room temperature. From The New York Times, originally by FLORENCE FABRICANT, November 25, 1992.Apple Brown Betty
Serves 24, with other desserts
12 tart (Granny Smith) apples
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
Peel and cut apples into quarters or eights. Place in bowl with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and mix to cover apples.
Place in buttered smallish baking dish. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup walmuts, chopped, and some raisins.
make topping, cream 12 TB butter (1 1/2 sticks) with 1 cup sugar and 1
1/2 cup flour. At the end, use fingers to bring to a crumbly
consistency. Cover the apples with this mixture.
Bake in 350 oven until browned on top. About 45 minutes to an hour.
Tuesday: Make cranberry sauce and soup (without the cream).
Wednesday: Make pecan pies and apple brown betty. They don't have to be refrigerated.
Brine the turkey. Perhaps make the stuffing. Make the roux for the gravy and put it in the fridge.
Start the turkey 6-7 hours before serving. It takes 5 hours to
cook. Keep it covered with foil while you make the gravy and do