Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce

I like dipping sauce for turkeys--or chicken or whatever. This one is pretty tasty. I added extra sugar and syrup to make it a little less tart.

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce

1 pound frozen cranberries
2 cups orange juice
3 cups ginger ale
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 orange, zested

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.

Carefully puree with stick blender or blender until smooth. Check for seasoning and serve in small ramekins.

Alton Brown's Cranberry Dipping Sauce

'Cheesy' Scalloped Potatoes

I don't consider scalloped potatoes as a classic Thanksgiving potato dish, but that's okay. These are pretty good. They are vegan, but I imagine you could use real cream cheese as well. They don't get the nice brown top like you do in the oven, but it is convenient.

‘Cheesy’ Scalloped Potatoes

2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 potatoes, sliced
8 oz. vegan cream cheese, cubed

Lightly grease a crock pot. In a small bowl, combine the onion, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper.
 Layer 1/4 of the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the seasoning and top with 1/3 of the vegan cream cheese cubes. Repeat the layers, ending with the seasonings.

 Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender. During the last half hour of cooking, stir the potatoes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Crock Pot Herbed Zucchini

This is one of the many dishes that we had a Vegan Thanksgiving-- or Thankful Veghead as my sister calls it. I liked it. It wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving dish, but it was easy (a crockpot dish) and good. It is pictured in the top left of this crowded plate.

Crock Pot Herbed Zucchini

2 lbs. zucchini (unpeeled), sliced
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup tomato juice

Mix all ingredients together carefully in crockpot. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours. If thicker sauce is desired, remove cover during last hour.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Homemade Gravy

I have never made homemade gravy before. I have tried some made by family that had no flavor so I was satisfied with the jar stuff. This year, I decided to try it. I made some changes. We didn't have any Cognac so I just used extra white wine. We also smoked the turkey, so now drippings. The gravy was okay. I think it tasted like onion gravy. Way too much onions in it. Also, I cooked it a little too long. So don't follow the recipe exact if you think it is getting thick. So I will try gravy again, but not this one.

Homemade Gravy

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Defatted turkey drippings plus chicken stock to make 2 cups, heated
1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy
1 tablespoon white wine, optional
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Don't rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are well-cooked.

Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock mixture and Cognac, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add the wine and cream, if desired. Season, to taste, and serve

Ina Garten's Homemade Gravy

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta

I don't really like stuffing. Something about wet bread that I just don't like. I did try this and it had some really good flavors. Just didn't like the texture. Of course, I never eat stuffing for Thanksgiving. I don't have any preconceived ideas about what stuffing should taste like. Some people are very particular. So if you are willing to try new recipes, this has a really good flavor. And I didn't get any pictures of Thanksgiving. I promise to do better :)

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (7.4-ounce) jars roasted peeled whole chestnuts, coarsely broken
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 pound day-old ciabatta bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 15 by 10 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a large bowl. Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic. Saute until the onions are very tender, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the chestnuts and parsley. Transfer the onion mixture to the large bowl with the pancetta. Add the bread and Parmesan and toss to coat. Add enough broth to the stuffing mixture to moisten. Season the stuffing, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix in the eggs.

Transfer the stuffing to the prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer

Giada DeLaurentiis' Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta