Tag Archives: turkey

Thanksgiving Dinner: Grandma’s Turkey

1 Dec

The recipe below is for my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving turkey recipe.  I love this recipe because it’s simple, but produces the juiciest turkey that isn’t over-seasoned.  My Grandmother wrote this recipe in November 1960 and it’s still a crowd pleaser today.

Grandma’s Thanksgiving Turkey

Ingredients
1 9-12 lb. turkey
Stuffing (see Thanksgiving Dinner: Mom’s Stuffing post for recipe)
Salt & pepper
Poultry Seasoning
2 sticks unsalted butter

Other Items Needed
Cheese Cloth
Baster

Directions
1. Follow directions for thawing bird if frozen and be sure to allow enough time for this.  Then clean bird thoroughly and remove any traces of lining from inside around the bones.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Rub salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning along the inside cavities of the bird.
4. Stuff the bird according to directions on Thanksgiving Dinner: Mom’s Stuffing post.
5. Rub salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning along the outside of the bird.  Cover the breast of the turkey with cheese cloth (this will prevent the breast from burning or drying out).
6. Place turkey in a shallow pan.  It’s best to use not too deep of a pan as the turkey will brown better in a shallower one.
7. Melt 2 stick of butter and pour 3/4 of this over the turkey.  The remaining 1/4 you will use in your first basting of the turkey.
8.  Pop the turkey in the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes.  When it rings, open the oven and pour the remaining butter over the turkey.  Also, use your baster to take the juices from the bottom of the pan and cover the turkey.  Put the turkey back in the oven.
9. Set your timer for 20 minutes.  When it rings, open the oven and baste the turkey using the juices from the bottom of the pan.  Continue basting the turkey every 20 minutes until the meat thermometer has popped and the turkey is done.  This should take about 20 minutes per pound, or 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours for a 9-12 lb. turkey.  (Note: If you want the breast to be browner, remove the cheese cloth for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking.)
10. Remove turkey from oven and set on a carving board.  Cover with tinfoil and let sit 20 minutes before carving/serving.  Save the juices at the bottom of the pan as you will use these for the gravy (see Thanksgiving Dinner: Dad’s Turkey Gravy).

Before:

After:

Thanksgiving Dinner: Mom’s Stuffing

28 Nov

This recipe was passed down from my Great Grandmother on my Mom’s side.  I credit this recipe to my Mom because a few years ago, she made a key adaptation to a previously unchanged recipe that made it truly GREAT.  I was never a stuffing person growing up; I found it gummy, flavorless and, most of all, full of raisins (which I strongly dislike).  A few years back, my Mom switched out the raisins for craisins (dried cranberries) and I am now a huge fan of this dish.

Mom’s Stuffing
(For a 9-12 lb. turkey)

Ingredients
Pullman size loaf of bread (toasted – crusts removed) (Note: If you’re short on time, you can use one bread from of the Pepperidge Farm stuffing bags. No one will know the difference and this saves a ton of time.)
1/2 bag craisins (or 1-2 generous handfuls) (Note: if you prefer, substitute *plumped raisins for craisins)
1 large onion, chopped
4 large celery stalks, chopped
1/2 lb pork sausage (bulk-medium hot) (drained)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Poultry seasoning, to taste
Sage, to taste
Broth (strained)
1 egg, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter

Directions
*If you are using raisins, plump them before adding them to the mix.  To do this, pour boiling water over raisins until they are covered.  This should puff them right up.
1. Remove crusts from bread and toast lightly on both sides.  If you have stale or day old bread, it is better so buy this ingredient ahead of time if you can.
2. Chop onion and saute until golden brown in about 3 tbsp. of butter.  When onions are golden brown, add chopped celery and cook slightly.
3. In another skillet, break up the pork sausage and cook until almost done.  Start with a cold skillet and drain grease as it accumulated.  You don’t want to add the grease to the stuffing mix.
4. In a large bowl, break up the toasted bread into about six pieces per slice (you don’t want it too small as you don’t want mushy stuffing).  Pour the onion and celery mixture over this and then add the pork sausage, craisins (or raisins) and beaten egg.  Mix lightly.
5. Add small amount of broth to moisten (not too much as it will get juices from the turkey as it cooks).  Then add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sage, to taste.  Don’t forget the stuffing is going to cook inside your seasoned bird and will absorb many of the turkey’s flavors.  Go lighter rather than heavier on the seasoning and broth here.
6.  Stuff the neck of the bird and close it with a skewer.  Then flip the bird over and stuff the other side; cover with a thick slice of bread (you will discard this piece of bread, it is just to prevent the stuffing from burning or absorbing too much of the turkey baste).  Don’t overfill either opening as the stuffing will swell in baking.  If there is any extra stuffing, you can bake this separately at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, until brown and warm.
7. Cook turkey according to directions on Thanksgiving Dinner: Grandma’s Turkey recipe.  When turkey is removed from oven, remove stuffing and put in a serving dish.  Serve immediately.

Here is a close up of the final product:

Thanksgiving Dinner

26 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all had a nice holiday surrounded by family, close friends and great food!

Since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I wanted to share with you my family’s recipes from our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.  Over the course of the next week, I will post each of the recipes.

Grandma’s Turkey
Mom’s Stuffing
Dad’s Turkey Gravy
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans with Miso & Almonds
Pear Bellinis (aka Christmas in a Cup)
Cranberry Ginger Fizz

To round out our meal, we serve Sister Shubert’s Parker House Style rolls, canned cranberry sauce and Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe using Whole Foods canned pumpkin.  I think we will use most of these recipes at Christmas they were all so good!

Sunday Supper: Mom’s Meatloaf Two Ways

21 Aug

Growing up, the ultimate in comfort food for me was my mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  I always ask my mom to recreate it for me when I go home, but I also make it for myself often, normally adding a healthy spin to it.  By replacing the ground beef with lean, ground turkey, adding fresh veggies to the meatloaf, and replacing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower (it’s really yummy, trust me!), I cut out extra fat/cholesterol from the ground beef and add 2-3 extra servings of veggies.  The original recipe my mom created is adapted from a Lipton soup recipe.  She puts a delicious ketchup/Dijon mustard/brown sugar sauce on top of the meatloaf which gives it an awesome savory/sweet flavor that is a hallmark of Southern cooking.  I’ve included both recipes below so you can try out either depending on your mood.  Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Meatloaf is not a “pretty” looking dish.  This version tastes GREAT though!

Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower

Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower

Mom’s Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

Ingredients (Meatloaf)
2 lb. lean ground beef
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. ketchup

Ingredients (Sauce)
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Directions
1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatloaf.  Place in baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and put mixture on top of meatloaf.
4. Bake for 1 hour.

Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Cauliflower (aka the “healthy” version)

Serves 6

Ingredients (Meatloaf)
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. ketchup
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced mushrooms (I prefer button)

Ingredients (Sauce)
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Directions
1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatloaf.  Place in baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and put mixture on top of meatloaf.
4. Bake for 1 hour.

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients
2 heads cauliflower
Grated parmesan cheese
Butter or margarine, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Skim milk, to taste

Directions
1. Steam cauliflower to cook.  (Note: If you don’t have a steamer, you can cook it in the microwave as well.  Just put the cauliflower (stems removed), in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid and put just a little bit of water at the bottom.  Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until soft.)
2. Using a hand mixer or blender, blend cauliflower until smooth and creamy.
3. Add parmesan cheese, butter or margarine and salt & pepper, to taste.  The less cheese and butter you put in, the healthier this dish with be, so start slow!
4. If the mashed cauliflower is too thick, add some skim milk to the mixture to thin it out a bit and make it creamier.