Alright, so I decided to switch this recipe up a bit and go for a raw, Asian-style salad... Something to offset all of the other food and a lighter twist. Super easy; super healthy; super simple.
2 bunches kale, shredded or julienned
1 1/2 cups shredded veggies (beets, carrots, cucumber)
1/2 c sprouts, I prefer pea shoots
Asian Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Additional Options: Toasted Nuts/Seeds, Dried Berries, Mandarin Oranges
Toss all of the ingredients together 3 hours before serving.
I will be serving this with my cheese platter and some yummy baguette, maybe grilled?! :)
Always remember when designing a cheese platter to do "something old, something new, something hard, (something creamy), something blue!" Atleast that's how I like to roll with my flavors. 5 cheeses is the way to go, or 3. On my table I will be showcasing an artisanal triple cream (like a brie), then an aged cheddar (also from Appleton Farms) and an herb rolled goat cheese. If I have time I may make an onion focaccia (recipe to follow) to accompany. Add the hot pepper jelly, grapes or apples (fun trick for apples: soak in white wine for 15 sec and they will never go brown - best trick ever), done! Simple, eye-appealing and delicious! Who doesn't love cheese?!!
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower
1 TBS curry powder
1 head cauliflower
1 lemon zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
s&p, generously seasoned
Optional: 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut up the cauliflower into florettes, toss in the remaining ingredients.
Place on a parchement-lined baking sheet; roast ~15-20 until beautifully browned.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
All purpose quick brine (<3 hours):
4 cups water
1 cup salt (kosher)
½ cup sugar
3 bay leaves
1 ½ TBS peppercorns
1 lemon, sliced
6 garlic cloves
Cook together until the pulp of the lemon breaks up, then dump over ice to make 8 cups total (2 QT). Place your meat in this for UP TO 3 hours.
For my turkey I will also add in 3 sprigs of rosemary.
I'm going to focus on the turkey for now, then come back to the turducken on Thanksgiving...
BRINE. I can not emphasize this enough. Make sure you remove the innards/gizzards of the bird (they should be in a bag in the cavity). Brine for 3 hours on the counter. Preheat your oven to 425-450 degrees F. Stuff lemon slices, lots of chopped garlic, salt, pepper and butter under the outer skin (the breast, as well as the thighs, legs). When the whole bird is ready to go place it in the hot oven; check it after 30 minutes to ensure that the skin isn't getting too browned (if so wrap aluminum foil over), let it go for 55 minutes, then reduce to 300 degrees. After 1 hour 20 minutes check the internal temp (breast) of the turkey with a meat thermometer, pull at 155-160. Allow to rest!!! Atleast, 15-20 minutes!
For my stuffing, I'm going for a non-bread, veggie-alternative: browned Italian sausage, sauteed celeriac, butternut squash, fennel, mushrooms, caramelized onions, dried cherries and sage, seasoned with some lemon, salt and pepper. I will prepare this on the side (pre-saute) and then stuff before roasting the bird.
We will talk gravy the day before...
This is my apple pie that's happening... I might be cohersed into a "gluten-rich" crust, which I will post, but here is my plan:
I'm kind of craving my Mom's pumpkin bars, so I may go there instead:
4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 qt heavy cream
1 dozen eggs
3 TBS vanilla
Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.
Plump the cranberries in 2 cups of orange juice over heat, simmering. Prepare a 9x13" casserole pan with butter. Scald the cream, vanilla and remaining orange juice. Break down the croissants into LARGE chunks. Place into the baking dish. Whisk together the sugar and the eggs, until "sunny yellow."
Temper the eggs with the cream mixture. Sprinkle the plumped cranberries over the croissants. Pour the custard (eggs and cream) over the cranberry, croissant mixture. Using your hand or a spoon, stir or evenly swirl the mixture throughout.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 1 hour 20 minutes. Done when a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!!!