What Happened To Tradition? Three Recipes I’m Thankful For

We are one day away from feasting and I’m sitting cool because I don’t have to cook a smidge this year. Family chose the easy way out and decided on a restaurant. That leaves a lot less arguing over turkey temperature and which desserts to serve when, but being that cooking is a therapeutic necessity to me, I’m deeply saddened. I feel as though I am that bird which nobody has chosen out of the thaw freezer.

I originally intended to create this post as a huge sad emoticon face, but thought that was acting a little too much on my own selfishness. That would make me seem like those girls that clog 5th Avenue with their Chanel make-up and icy hearts.

I don’t think by stuffing my face with food that is manufactured by someone other than moi will cure my woes by any means. Nonetheless, I have done some research and these are on my fantasy “If I were cooking” wishlist. Perhaps another soul hosting Thanksgiving will find solace in the following recipes:

1) Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey: (courtesy of eatingwell.com)

12 servings, 3 ounces each, plus plenty of leftovers

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

* 1 10- to 12-pound turkey
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus 3 sprigs
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 3 sprigs
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus 3 sprigs
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise, divided
* 1 tart green apple, quartered
* 3 cups water, plus more as needed

Preparation:

1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F.
2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for making Turkey Giblet Stock. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels.
3. Combine oil, chopped parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place herb sprigs, 6 shallot halves and apple in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water to the pan.
4. Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. If using a remote digital thermometer, insert it into the deepest part of the thigh, close to the joint. Cover just the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to fit. Scatter the remaining shallots in the pan around the turkey. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting until the thermometer (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone) registers 165°F, 1 to 1 3/4 hours more. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water.
5. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter (reserve pan juices and shallots) and tent with foil. Make Cider Gravy (recipe follows). Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Remove the string and carve.

Nutritional Info: Per serving: 155 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 63 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 0 g fiber; 115 mg sodium; 258 mg potassium.

2) Rustic Mashed Potatoes- Serves 4 (courtesy of bethenny.com)

* 4 medium russet potatoes, well washed
* One 12-ounce can white beans, drained
* ½ cup warm plain soymilk
* 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
* ¼ cup butter
* 1 tablespoon salt
* Dash of pepper

Preparation

1. Cube the potatoes but leave the skins on. Put them in a pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring the potatoes to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes or until very tender.
2. Meanwhile puree the white beans in a food processor until smooth. Drain the potatoes. Put them back in the pot, add the bean puree, and add the remaining ingredients. Mash everything together. Heat through and serve hot.

3. Chocolate Bar Pie (courtesy of chocolatecoveredkatie.com)

Servings depend on how much of a chocolate lover you are: (6-10 pieces estimated)

(It’s gluten-free!)

* 1 (12.3-oz) package silken or firm tofu (such as Mori-Nu)
* 1 tsp cocoa powder
* 2 1/2 chocolate bars, in the flavor of your choice (3-oz bars) (or 1 and 1/3c chocolate chips)
* 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
* 2 T nondairy milk
* scant 1/8 tsp salt
* 2-3 T agave or other sweetener (I omitted)

Break up the chocolate bars, and melt (either on the stove or in the microwave). Then throw everything into a food processor and blend until super-smooth. Pour into a pie crust if desired. (I hate pie crust and therefore usually keep it crustless.) Fridge until chilled. This gets firmer and firmer, the longer it sits. (It’s firmer if you use firm tofu and more like mousse pie if you use silken.)

Nutritional Info: 143 calories, .6 grams fat, 2.5 grams protein

Peace, love, and tradition!

~C.C.D.

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