Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Best-Ever Thanksgiving Recipes

My friend Martha asked me to send her my "traditional" recipes for Thanksgiving. In the spirit of giving, I thought I'd share them with you all.

Garlicky Cranberry Chutney
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's East/West Menus for Family & Friends (Harper & Row, 1987)

1-inch fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 TBS brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can cranberry sauce with berries or 1 qt homemade sauce (or however much you get from a bag of fresh cranberries)
approx 1/2 tsp salt
a few grinds of ground black pepper

Cut ginger into paper-thin slices, stack them together and cut into really thin slivers. Combine with garlic, vinegar, sugar and cayenne in a small pot. Simmer on medium heat about 15 minutes or until there are about 4 TBS liquid left.

Add cranberry sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Let cool, then serve. It will keep for several days--if you don't finish it ALL after the first taste!

Bella’s Garden Rice Stuffing
Cook 2 cups Arborio rice in 4 cups water.

Mix with:
1 lg onion, chopped
approx 1 cup toasted pecans, broken in pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 med. carrot, chopped
1 tsp allspice
at least 1 TBS dried oregano
5 large sage leaves, chopped fine
10 lemon balm leaves, chopped fine
leaves from approx 6 sprigs of thyme, chopped fine
40 grinds black pepper
1 tsp salt

When cool enough to handle, stuff in bird. Put remainder in ovenproof casserole and bake in oven 1 hour at 325° (along with turkey, if your oven's big enough)

Turkey with Roasted Garlic Butter
(Washington Post, 1997)

2 whole bulbs garlic
2 TBS olive oil
8 TBS (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
Uncooked turkey at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the garlic bulbs to expose each clove. Drizzle with oil and loosely wrap the bulbs, cut ends up, in aluminum foil. Bake until soft to the touch, 45-60 mins. Let cool until easy to handle.

Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins. Discard skins. Mix the garlic pulp with butter and salt. Reserve 2 TBS of the mixture. Rub the rest of it under the turkey skin (loosen with your fingers on the back and legs). Note: If turkey is too cold, the butter will congeal instead of spread easily under the skin.

Preheat oven to 325 °. Put turkey on rack in roasting pan. After stuffing it, rub the remaining 2 TBS of butter all over the skin.

Roast for about 45 mins, till golden brown. Tent with foil and continue roasting. After 2 more hours, baste with pan juices every 15 mins till bird is done (approx 3-1/2 hrs for 12-14 lb bird). Use juices to make the best gravy EVER.

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