Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes!

Just incase you missed some of my Thanksgiving recipes, here’s a quick recap if you need some inspiration.

Appetizers

Side Dishes:

Drinks:

World Famous Cornbread Stuffing (Gluten Free)

 

So, I have been seriously slacking on blogging as of late. Things around here have been a bit crazy and something had to give. But now I’m back to share one of my favorite things in the whole world; my cornbread stuffing!

 

Stuffing is so easy to make, I really don’t know why people used the boxed stuff. I came up with this recipe many, many years ago, and it has become one of the few tried and true essentials of every Thanksgiving feast I make. It has been made at Thanksgivings in 4 countries and has been a hit in all of them, hence the ‘world famous’ title. I must note though, I found it very interesting that a lot of the non-Americans/Canadians that have tried this were not a fan of the dried cranberries because they were too sweet, but also thought the actual cranberry sauce was too tart.

 

Now, a quick comment on the cornbread, I’ve made it with gluten-free cornbread mix, Jiffy cornbread mix, and cornbread made from scratch. I always make the cornbread the same day I make the stuffing. I just wait until it cools enough to handle, and break it into pieces in a large bowl, let it cool completely and then start making the stuffing; turns out perfectly every time. Since this is a recipe I made up long, long ago, there aren’t really exact measurements, and it kinda, sorta slightly changes from year to year according to taste, but it is always delicious and it is always a big hit.

Cornbread Stuffing

  • 1 package of cornbread mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Dill
  • Garlic powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter + more for greasing.
  • Dried cranberries (I like Trader Joe’s Orange Flavored Dried Cranberries)
  • Low sodium vegetable broth
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  1. Make cornbread according to directions on the package. Let cool slightly until cool enough to handle and crumble into pieces in a very large bowl and allow to cool completely.
  2. When bread is cool, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. When hot add onions. When softened, about 5-7 minutes, add garlic powder and dill, stir to coat. Remove pan from heat and add onion mixture to cornbread.
  3. Heat oven to 350 and grease a large baking dish with remaining butter, make sure it’s really well greased.
  4. Add desired amount of dried cranberries to cornbread (I generally do a good handful). Then add a bit of broth to the cornbread (start with about 1/2 cup and work up) and a dash of white wine for extra flavor (I just use the same wine I’m using to baste the turkey). Mix the ingredients together until slightly damp.
  5. Place cornbread in the greased baking dish and bake 25-35 minutes, until the top starts to turn golden.

Dried Cherry-Cranberry Sauce

I’m a big fan of cranberry sauce. Freshly made cranberry sauce, none of that canned business. Even though my friend Lauren tried to persuade me of the merits of canned cranberry sauce, I just don’t get it. Fresh is where it’s at. I don’t really have a go to recipe for cranberry sauce, I like to try something different every year. This one piqued my interest when I first saw it in Cooking Light and it turned out to be delicious, tart and not too sweet, which is perfect in my book.

Dried Cherry-Cranberry Sauce (from Cooking Light, Nov. 2011, p149 or here)

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup port wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup cherry juice
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through cranberries); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat, and stir in orange rind.
  2. Combine dried cherries and cherry juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Add drained cherries to cranberry sauce. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus

I love asparagus and this is by far one of my favorite asparagus recipes. It combines two of my favorite things, asparagus and balsamic, so I knew right off the bat that it was going to be a keeper. It could not be simpler to make and it will be ready in less than 15 minutes. What’s not to love?

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus (adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • cooking spray
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake asparagus 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the baked asparagus to serve.

It’s Thanksgiving!

Now that silly birthday things are out of the way, it’s time to get down to some very serious business.

IT’S THANKSGIVING!

Well, almost, but it’s my favorite holiday of the year, so I take it very seriously. I am also more than a little peeved about the unnecessary encroachment of halloween and Christmas on T-giving’s turf. Back up off my favorite holiday, yo!

I have a habit of not being in America for great American holidays, but in no way does that put a damper on the celebration. I’m actually pretty excited to be in the States for this Thanksgiving, because the last few years, I’ve kind of been all over the place… This one year I was on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, then I was in Budapest, the next year I was in Italy, then the year after I was in London and cooking for 25 with 1 oven and a raging case of meningitis, and then I was back in Budapest again and I nearly burnt down a really important historic building owned by the US Government. True story.

My preliminary planning for Thanksgiving may or may not have begun in February of this year… Stop it right now! Don’t you dare judge me. It’s called enthusiasm!

Like every family, we have our own traditions and favorite dishes, but I always like to try out a couple new dishes every year as well. Regardless of where in the world I’ve been or who I’ve been cooking for, I have a couple steadfast rules and traditions on which I will not budge.

  • There will be cornbread stuffing and it will be awesome
  • There will be no canned cranberry sauce (unless Lauren is there and only then)
  • There will be no canned cream of something soup anywhere near my green beans
  • Turkey is not that big a deal
  • If you want pumpkin pie, you can make it yourself, pecan is where it’s at
  • And most importantly keep the g.d. celery away from the stuffing! (celery makes me want to punch things)
So, all that being said, let’s talk menu. There are some things that will always be on my menu, some things will come and go. Here’s a look at how this year’s menu is shaping up:
  • World Famous Cornbread Cranberry Stuffing
  • Dried Cherry Cranberry Sauce
  • Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole w Madeira Mushrooms
  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots
  • Some kind of turkey
  • Pecan Pie
This week, I’m going to share some other recipes that would also make for a great Thanksgiving.

Apple and Pear Crumble with Cheese

This is a recipe I stumbled across recently, but I’m already a big fan.

Initially, I was looking for a way to use up some pears and apples I had that were about to go off, which seems to be a pretty common thing for me lately. I was also intrigued by the cheese aspect of the topping. I love crumbles of any kind, mainly because of the oatmeal topping, but I would never have thought of adding cheese. The cheese didn’t really add any flavor to the crumble, but did provide a nice creaminess to the whole crumble, that you wouldn’t normally find.

When it comes to crumbles, I hate when the ratio of fruit to topping is off. The fruit is good, but so is the topping. You need to have a balance. With most crumbles I feel like you need to double the topping to get a good balance going, but this recipe brought the perfect ratio.

The recipe is from a British site and uses a British cheese, which is great if you are living in the UK. If you are living in California however, Wensleydale, is a bit more difficult to find in these parts. If only we had Waitrose! I struck out at both Trader Joe’s and a local fancy pants grocery store, so I headed to Whole Foods and had a very in depth conversation with the cheesemonger about the merits of wensleydale (ps. how do I become a cheesemonger?). The cheesemonger was quite apologetic about the lack of selection when it came to wensleydale, but in the end I totally lucked out. They only had one wensleydale in stock, but it was one with cranberries in it! I was pretty excited about adding both cheese and cranberries to the crumble. Like I said, the cheese provided a really nice creaminess to the whole crumble and the cranberries gave it a nice tart bite, which complemented the whole dessert perfectly.

Apple and Pear Crumble with Cheese (adapted from Good Food Channel)

For the topping

  • 50 g/scant 1/2 cup plain flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Mix)
  • 25 g/1/4 cup rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Rolled Oats)
  • 85 g/1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 50 g/1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 50 g/1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 50 g/2 ounces wensleydale cheese, crumbled

For the filling

  • 50 g/1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 25g/2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/gas 5.
  2. To make the topping, put the flour, oats, sugar and hazelnuts into a large bowl.
  3. Rub in the butter until the mixture has an even crumbly texture. Stir in the cheese.
  4. To make the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the apples and pears.
  5. Stir in the sugar and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and tender.
  6. Spoon the fruit into a pie dish.
  7. Sprinkle over the crumble topping and bake for 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Serve with custard, cream, or ice cream.

Chicken Picatta

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up. Every year on my birthday, I got to pick the meal for dinner and, vegetarian years excepted, the meal always rotated between chicken picatta and chicken parmesan. Always. Even as a kid I loved vinegary things like capers and tangy things like lemon and my love of the two has only grown over the years.

Traditionally, you are meant to butterfly the chicken breasts, which is fine and all if you want to go to the effort and dealing with sharp knives. I tend to cause myself great bodily harm when attempting to do something like that, so I like to pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. It also doubles as a great stress reliever.

This is a recipe I’ve made a million times, so the measurements are more rough suggestions than strict rules. I like a lot of capers, garlic, and lemon, but if you don’t just adjust to your tastes.

Chicken Picatta
Serves 2

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose Baking Mix)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (extra might be needed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (you could substitute stock if desired, but wine gives a better flavor)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-4 tablespoons capers
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter with olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
  3. Into the pan add the lemon juice, wine and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor (these are the best bits). Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. If pan is looking dry, add 1 tablespoon butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
  4. Serve and enjoy!


Mushroom Bourguignon (Gluten Free!)

It’s almost my birthday, so this week I’ll be sharing all of my favorite foods. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Mushroom Bourguignon! This is one of my favorite meals. It’s one of those easy meals that seems sort of fancy and like it took you hours and hours to make, but it really could not be simpler. The most difficult part of the meal, is all the chopping involved, but once that’s out of the way, you are good to go. I am really a fan of the sauce in this dish. I realized after the fact, that I accidentally added 2 cups of wine into the sauce instead of one. In the end it didn’t matter, it just took a little longer to boil down into a thick sauce.

Traditionally, bourguignon dishes are served with egg noodles, I like serving mine with mashed potatoes, mainly because I don’t like noodles, but potatoes are much handier for soaking up the delicious sauce. Instead of dolloping sour cream on top of the mushrooms, I mix it in with the potatoes with some chives. The creamy potatoes go so well with the mushrooms and really help make this meal truly delicious.

This meal could easily be made dairy-free and vegan by omitting the butter and using a little extra broth to make the roux that is added in at the end.

Mushroom Bourguignon (from Smitten Kitchen)
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 pounds mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
  • Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.
  2. Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
  3. Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.
  4. Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
  5. To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of noodles or potatoes, dollop with sour cream (optional) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onion & Chipotle Turkey Chili

This is a recipe I made up the other day. It was part out of ingredients I needed to use up and part out of just what I was in the mood for. I had an opened can of chipotles to use up. I also had to use up some ground turkey. And I was just in the mood for caramelized onions. I decided to try to combine them and see where it took me.

The good thing about made up recipes, is that you sometimes end up with something great. The bad thing is that I don’t really have exact measurements. But that’s really not a problem. You know your tastes. I know mine. Just use whatever you think is going to make you happy; regardless, it’s going be delicious.

This recipe is probably a little more labor intensive than most other slow cooker recipes, but I really think it’s worth it. I diced up two onions very finely and caramelized them. When they were nice and brown and caramelized, I threw half in the crockpot and left half in the pan. Then I added in the garlic and ground turkey to brown. The turkey and the caramelized onions got all nice and friendly in the pan and I think this really added to the flavor of the chili. While the chili was cooking away, I caramelized a third onion because I’m a bit crazy. When the third onion was almost done caramelizing, I added in some of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles. Oh my. I could have  eaten the entire pan of onions by themselves, right then and there. They were amazing and definitely made a great topping to the chili.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onion & Chipotle Turkey Chili

  • 3 large onions, 2 finely diced, 1 finely sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or a 1 can measure of frozen corn)
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1-14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1-3 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Garlic & Herb Powder
  • Shredded cheese (for serving)
  • Sour cream (for serving)
  • Chopped green onions (for serving)
  1. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, add two diced onions and caramelize. When onions are caramelized, put half of the onions in the crockpot, then add in garlic and turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink.
  2. While the onions and turkey are cooking, add the cans of tomatoes, beans, corn, chipotles and tomato sauce. When the turkey is browned add that to the crockpot. Take taco seasoning, chipotle powder and garlic powder and sprinkle up and down the length of the crockpot. Add in turkey.
  3. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  4. While chili is in crockpot, add third sliced onion to pan and caramelize. When onions are nearly done, add a couple spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from chipotles and finish caramelizing.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Sesame Encrusted Baked Turkey Tenders

I picked up some turkey tenders from Trader Joe’s and honestly I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Turkey tenders are about the size of a chicken breast, so it probably would have been easiest to cook them like a chicken breast, but I really wanted something a bit different.

I decided to cut down the turkey tenders a bit and try a chicken tender recipe. I probably should have cut the turkey a little smaller. While the turkey did turn out well, it certainly wasn’t the star of the meal. The coating, while nice and light, was definitely missing something. If I were to make it again, I would add garlic or onion powder to the sesame seeds, along with using something like sesame chili oil instead of regular sesame oil.

Sesame Encrusted Baked Turkey Tenders (adapted from SkinnyTaste.com)

  • 1 package of chicken or turkey tenders (cut turkey smaller if needed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce or low sodium tamari
  • 6 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon course salt
  • 4 tablespoons panko crumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko Style Crumbs)
  • olive oil spray
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl, and the sesame seeds, salt, garlic powder and panko in another.
  3. Place turkey or chicken tenders in the bowl with the oil and soy sauce, then into the sesame seed mixture to coat well. Place on the baking sheet; lightly spray the top of the chicken with oil spray and bake 8 – 15 minutes. Turn over and cook another 4 – 5 minutes longer or until cooked through. – NOTE: cooking time will vary if you are using turkey or chicken and depending on the size of the tenders.