So, last time I talked about my table setting and decor for our festive holiday meal. This time I want to focus on the food. As I mentioned before I want the food to be simple yet special, seriously turkey is a must for Thanksgiving and I don't care if the Pilgrims didn't serve it at their meal.(They didn't have running water or proper sanitation facilities either, and I don't see anyone insisting we not shower and dig a latrine for the holiday.) All joking aside lets talk about what makes a simple meal special.
We usually stuff our turkey (the stuffing tends to flavor the bird from the inside out.) You do run the risk of the turkey drying out if you stuff it as it has to cook longer, we solve this problem in two ways. First I make some herb butter by mixing room temp unsalted butter with a combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices (remember what I said about something special ;).) This is then rubbed into the bird UNDER the skin. this will help with seasoning the meat, crisping the skin, and adding extra moisture to the meat. We also rub the skin with olive oil and season liberally with salt. Do not under season your bird folks! We then cover the turkey with foil until the last 30 - 60 minutes of cooking.
As I said we stuff our bird, and always make extra on the side. Our stuffing is actually my wife's grandmother's recipe and consists of stuffing bread, chicken stock, herbs, onions, green and red pepper, hamburger, and Chourico (Portuguese hot sausage pronounce Sher-eese). This hot and spicy stuffing is a family favorite and is very special.
Basic mashed potatoes are comfort food for me, so I tend not to mess with them. I'm not adverse to adding cheese, but beyond that LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!! What makes ours special is that we use my wife's stand mixer to whip the potatoes with butter and milk. Yum!!!!!
Okay, here is where I like to get a little fancy. Over the years I have tried various ways to make corn more exciting and this year I will be making creamy corn and spinach with Parmesan cheese. I've made this a few times and everyone seems to love it so, hey why not?
Candy them with butter, brown sugar, and mini-marshmallows. Do I need to say anything else about them? I didn't think so.
Green Bean Casserole
We don't make this ourselves, but my sister-in-law brings it every year, and it is delicious. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.
Broccoli and Cheese
My mother-in-law loves broccoli and cheese and well, why should I be the only one to get their favorite comfort food. This is one is for you Mom.
I can't believe I almost forgot this one. I'm in charge of making the turkey gravy every year, and yes, I make it from scratch and it is to die for.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my dinner menu. Hey let me know what your traditions are, I would love to hear them. Next time I'll be talking about appetizers.