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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-14-11 12:33 PM
Original message
Thanksgiving Tweeks and Tricks
Edited on Mon Nov-14-11 12:34 PM by The empressof all
Well it's that time of year again and next week most of us will be doing extra duty in the kitchen. I'm sure we all have our little tricks to make things run smoothly or little tweeks to the traditional and maybe not so traditional recipies.

Here are some of my tweeks

I layer sweet potatoes with apples and top with spicy/sweet pecans

I put sausage, apples and a full stick of butter in the stuffing :wow:

I brine the turkey with orange peel, maple syrup, onions and salt..

I make the standard green bean casserole with broccoli

I make mashed potatoes with a few parsnips added and I always serve them with sauteed leeks next to them. People can combine leeks as they prefer.
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. Shameless Kick for talking Turkey here!
Doesn't anybody else scoop their dressing into muffin tins for individual stuffin..muffins?
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Graybeard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I do that with left-over stuffing.
I use a mini-muffin tin and they make great snacks.

For the meal try perking up your carrots with a simple

glaze of butter, brown sugar and ginger.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. We stuff the bird with part of the dressing. When it comes out of the oven,
we mix the stuffing in the bird with the extra stuffing and bake it all together while the turkey rests. That way, all the dressing gets the flavor of the turkey juices and we're sure that all of it is cooked to the correct temperature. We've never done it in muffin cups. It's something to think about.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. That all sounds fantastic!
You'll have happy diners at your house this holiday! :hi:
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-19-11 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. My "tweeks":
I leave the the peels on the potatoes (while mashing, I use the two forks to tear apart the peels into manageable bits.)

I learned while trying to recreate a Thanksgiving feast in Italy that soy sauce can be substituted for Worcestershire Sauce in creamed onions (and that Chinese restaurant owners in Italy are generous even if they think you are a crazy woman with an overly-panicky need for salty brown sauce.)

I've been a vegetarian for over seven years, so I no longer cook a turkey, but my tricks used to be:

* a cup of water in the roasting pan at the start of cooking

* white wine (LOTS of it) in the gravy,cooking off (most of) the alcohol before serving, of course. My gravy was about a 25 minute process made right in the roasting pan on the stove top while the turkey rested... scrape drippings, use white wine to de-glaze, add broth made from turkey neck/innards that had simmered while bird cooked, more wine, add ground sage, thyme and rosemary, add a small mount of fine gravy flour at a time-- blending thoroughly before adding more, add splashes of white wine as you go, add salt and pepper-- add a splash of milk here and there, cook slowly to thicken. Make gravy that tastes a TINY bit too salty from the spoon and it will be perfect on the meat (and potatoes and stuffing.) Now that I made a mushroom gravy, sherry has taken the place of white wine as the boozy star of the show! ;)
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. roasting off some turkey wings the day before....for gravy drippings
But today at the market there were no wings. Huh? I asked the butchers. "We don't cut turkeys here" they said. "No wings."

Where do all the wings go from the zillions of turkey breasts that are sold both fresh and frozen?

Hot dogs? Cat food?

Turns out they did have some pre-packaged turkey wing "drumettes" but those were almost $6/pound. Phooey.

Other tips? Make two apples pies if you make one. The first one gets eaten the night before, in my family -- straight out of the oven.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Main tweak for us - using turkey sausage in the stuffing
(whole food makes a good one - bulk sausage, not links - so it works well - very little if any flavor diff).

And a big tweak for this year may be cooking the turkey on Wednesday - all four of us are participating in a T'giving day run/walk for charity - we won't get home until early afternoon.....so want to get the roasting done in advance.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'd love to try brining this turkey but there's no container
big enough even though it's only 14 lbs. Maybe next year.
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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. They sell brining bags
I have even used a plastic garbage bag in a large cooler it is cold enough here to keep it outside with some blue ice. I only brine over night
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Do you know, off hand, what temp the thawed bird has to be kept at?
It's been COLD here at night but I'm not sure if it's cold enough. I found a plastic laundry basket that would fit this bird in a bag of brine but I'd probably need a little help from Mother Nature over night.

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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Under 40 degrees I believe
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 02:59 PM by The empressof all
But don't quote me. :hide: That's why I use the cooler and blue ice
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. LOL! I went to the FDA and they don't have a clear answer
to my bonehead question. Some other site said 40 or below. Now, it's supposed to be mid-40s on Wednesday night so maybe with a bunch of blue ice packed around it, my bird would be safe.

Do you remember the turkey dinner in "The Accidental Tourist"? Where the sister has the oven too low and the OCD brothers call her bird "certain death" and tell all their guests to only eat the sides? That's my brother.

So, on top of keeping the bird cold, I also have to hide it while it's out of the frig. :rofl:

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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. Make a timeline so that there are no marital arguments
:D Seems to work at my house.

I make stuffing with chestnuts, apples and french bread.

Pumpkin cheesecake pie, and this year, maple pumpkin pie with walnuts on top.

My husband makes a cool cranberry dish with lots of grated cranberries and apples and ginger- very good.

Rub the CSA turkey with sage, olive oil, thyme and insert bayleaves and root veggies (that's pretty typical, I'd guess)
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