Friday, November 23, 2007

thanksgiving! (and lots of recipes)

I love Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a great day. Dana, Sarah and I cooked/baked Wed and Thurs, and the spread we came out with was amazing. No one could tell everything was gluten-free, and we made enough food to feed us all for a week.
Tuesday I did all my shopping and started cooking. I made the liquor pie, so the rum could soak through to the crust. I made a cranberry sauce with blueberries and rosemary (weird, but good! Recipe at the end.)
Wednesday Dana (sister) came. I worked in the morning, then as soon as I got home we set to work. I made a sweet potato pie, we brined the turkey, and we prepped everything for the stuffings. Sarah helped. We made an emergency run to the liquor/wine store for supplies, and came back with enough to get the neighborhood drunk.
Thanksgiving day we cooked all morning and then stuffed ourselves stupid. It was great.

It was fantastic.
The menu was:

  • oysters on the half-shell, with cocktail sauce and mignonette
  • chicken liver pate
  • assorted cheeses - brillat savarin (my favorite), Rosenborg blue, brie with homemade jalapeño jelly, and the cheese with cranberries in it that I forget what it's called.
  • Kate's gf wrap-bread, let to full rise so it was like focaccia
  • rice crackers, and regular gluten-bread in case people didn't like the other choices, which they did
  • delicious salad, which we ate while waiting for the turkey
  • wine, beer (Redbridge and regular), Woodchuck cider
Holiday Cocktail Sauce
3/4 c cranberry ketchup
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 T GF horseradish (I've found it around Jewish holidays made with cider vinegar)
a dash of hot sauce

Mix everything together.

1/2 c red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 T shallots, minced fine
2 t fresh ground pepper

Mix everything together, stir before serving.

Delicious Salad
Spinach salad with pomegranate and goat cheese with blood orange-shallot vinaigrette
seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 red onion, cut into small rounds
pepper/herbed goat cheese
Blood orange-shallot vinaigrette
1 clove garlic
3 pinches salt
juice from 1 blood orange
2 T lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
2/3 c oil, half olive/half vegetable

Mash the garlic with the salt, add in the citrus juices and shallot, whisk, then in a slow steady stream, add the oils.
Assemble the salad - mix the spinach and pom and onion in a bowl, then crumble in the goat cheese. Toss with salad dressing, and grind fresh pepper over the top.

The main course:
  • The turkey.

The turkey was brined overnight, in double garbage bags inside of a box from beer. I made up the brine, with salt, brown sugar, cloves, garlic, star anise, dried chilis, bay leaves, blood orange, lemon quarters, cranberries, peppercorns, thyme and rosemary. Thursday morning I took it out and patted it dry, rubbed it all over (inside and out, and under the skin) with Bell's seasoning (the best, ever) and butter, salt and pepper. I stuffed some lemon, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and orange inside the turkey, set it on a bed of onion, garlic, carrots and celery with about 1/2" chicken broth (made ahead of time, for gravy use) and stuck it in the oven, breast side DOWN, for about an hour and a half at 400. Then I (struggled) flipped the bird, and cooked it a few hours more. I decided it was done a few hours too early, but Alex came home and told me I was wrong and put it back in. It was the most delicious, tender, bird I've ever had that I can remember. And we have a whole breast still untouched, even though we've been making casseroles and eating leftovers nonstop. It was a damn big bird.

The sides:
  • Traditional stuffing (vegetarian)
  • Spicy cornbread and sausage stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top
  • Sarah's spicy green beans
  • Vegetarian gravy and turkey gravy
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • Dana's wild rice pilaf with cranberries
  • Alex's crispy fried tofu with soy broth

Traditional stuffing
2 loaves gf bread - we used 1 loaf Ener-G white rice bread and a loaf Wholefoods GF Bakehouse corn bread
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
6 ribs celery, diced
A good amount of mushrooms, sliced
3 T butter, or more
A hearty few shakes of Bell's seasoning
vegetable broth, store-bought or home-made, or milk

Toast the bread, then cut into small squares. Place in a large, oven-safe bowl (or, have a casserole handy to transfer to). Cook the vegetables in the butter until soft (use more vegetables, or different vegetables, as you see fit. Add more butter if you love butter like me). Pour into the bowl with the bread, generously sprinkle with Bell's, then pour liquid over. Start with a cup or two, then go from there. I like my stuffing moist. Season with salt and pepper, add more Bell's if necessary. Serve as is, or bake alongside turkey until center is hot and top has a nice crust. You can dot top with butter before putting in the oven, if you want.

Cornbread and sausage stuffing

two recipes cornbread, or store-bought cornbread
1 lb sausage, hot or mild
onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, other vegetables as you see fit
1-4 jalapeños
chicken or turkey stock, home-made or store-bought
salt and pepper
chili and cayenne and smoked paprika

Prepare the cornbread, and cut into rough cubes. Set aside. Cook sausage until browned, dump over cornbread, then cook the vegetables and jalapeño in the sausage grease. When vegetables are softened, pour over the sausage-cornbread mix, and season with salt and pepper, chili, cayenne, and smoked paprika, to taste. Add stock, toss, adding more as desired. Bake as traditional stuffing, above.

Cornbread for stuffing
1 1/4 c cornmeal
3/4 c rice flour mix
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 T sugar
3/4 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
3 T melted butter
1 c milk

Mix dry ingredients, then whisk in wet ingredients. Bake about 20 minutes in a greased 8x8 pan, at 425.

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
I'd never had these before, I knew I love mashed sweet potatoes from work (we have great maple sweet potatoes), and none of us had had that casserole with the marshmallows on top before. So I made it, and it might have been my favorite dish of the night. I've been thinking about it a lot since then. I based mine off Elise's recipe for holiday sweet potatoes.

About 6 sweet potatoes (yams, whatever, I know there's a difference. I used the orange ones)
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 stick butter
juice and zest of an orange
heavy pinches of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
salt and pepper
a splash of milk

Prick the potatoes all over and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes or longer, until fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool a minute or two. Cut in half and squeeze insides into a bowl. Add other ingredients, beat with a mixer until smooth. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary. Put in oven-proof dish and sprinkle with marshmallows, bake until top is brown.

  • Liquor Pie
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Liquor sauce and fresh (hand-)whipped cream
  • pumpkin puddings with meringues (recipe later, the magazine is downstairs)

Sweet potato pie
I'd never had this before, we sampled it at work, it smelled good, I decided to go for it.

Your favorite homemade or bought GF pie crust, glazed with an egg yolk and pre-baked
3 eggs, whisked
1 15oz can sweet potatoes
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t each cinnamon and ginger
1/2 t nutmeg and allspice
1/2 t salt

Mix everything together, pour into hot pie crust, then bake 40-45 mins at 375. Cool on rack. Serve with liquor sauce, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or as is.

Liquor sauce
2/3 stick butter
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c liquor (I used rum)
2 T water
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t salt
1 egg, beaten

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients except egg, cook until sugar is dissolved. Whisking quickly, pour hot sauce into egg slowly. Return to pan and cook over med heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve hot.

Blueberry Cranberry Sauce
1 c water
1 c sugar
3 c cranberries
1 c blueberries
2 sprigs rosemary (I'd recommend thyme instead)

Mix the water and sugar and cranberries in a saucepan, cook over medium heat, stirring, until cranberries pop. Add blueberries and rosemary, cook for about 1 minute until the berries soften, cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.


  1. I was reading an taking down notes of these amazing recipes !
    Actually in my country ( ARG) we don t have this kind of holidays ! But I traveled a lot and also have friends abroad and know by picts or letters how they holidays are !

    I ll let you now about the turkey and potatoe pie ...

  2. Wow!!! What a great recipe compilation! Blueberries in your cranberry sauce is genius! Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time!!

  3. babu - let me know how things turn out!

    carrie - the blueberry-cranberry sauce would have been WAY better if I hadn't been so overzealous about my rosemary plant and added some, I can't believe I didn't think about it before or that other people don't add blueberries to cranberry things!! They're perfect!

  4. Anonymous5:38 PM

    RE: your turkey-stuffing photo (2nd from the top)

    Wrestling raw poultry always reminds me of giving birth. That's exactly how.