Tag Archives: sides

5 Must-Have Thanksgiving Items

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Have you planned the perfect menu? If you are a little intimidated by the task of creating the perfect Thanksgiving Day dinner, here are five must-have items that will leave your guests wowed and wanting more.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without the prize-winning bird. Nailing the perfect balance of both fully cooked and still tender and succulent is no easy task, but will come with practice. One of my favorite recipes is this one by its basic and straight forward. Follow it exactly and your bird will be everyone’s favorite.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan.  Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

This is a family recipe that we have used for years. It’s kinda simple but I think that is what makes it so delicious.

Sweet Potatoes

These are a must. I was raised with the pour it from a can, cover it in brown sugar and marshmallows and call it done. But over the years I have refined the recipe into my own creation. Just a reminder to use Sweet Potato peeler, the skin of sweet potatoes is rougher and a bit harder to peel, so give yourself plenty of time for the extra effort.

This recipe makes two servings.

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato (12 to 14 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons chopped, pecans (optional)
  1. Peel and cube sweet potato.  Bring water to boil.  Cook sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain.
  2. Return to pot and mash sweet potato with remaining ingredients. Top with pecans or even brown sugar.

Cranberry Relish

Please, whatever you do, don’t open that nasty can of gelatin mess. The recipe below is simple and one I have used for years. Don’t save the sassy side dish just for Thanksgiving, you can whip it out year along for a tangy garnish to both chicken and pork.

1 un-pealed orange, ends cut off, cut into eighths, and deseeded
1 12 oz package of cranberries
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar to taste. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 3 cups.

I honestly have no opinion on the great pie debate. To me, Thanksgiving is both Pumpkin and Pecan or it simply isn’t Thanksgiving. For the first time holiday chef, a pumpkin pie made with canned pumpkin can be a quick and easy dessert.

In my family, we had three holiday treats that were essential to every Thanksgiving. Giblet Gravy, Oyster Dressing, and my favorite Pretzel Salad. I was in high school and we had a progressive dinner and one of the parents made Pretzel Salad and we have had it as a family tradition ever since. This recipe is easy to follow. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Naan Recipe

A flatbread is a bread made with flour, water and salt, and then rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened—made without yeast—although some are slightly leavened, such as pita bread and naan.

Naan, nan or khamiri is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in the cuisines of West, Central and South Asia.
Flatbread was already known in Ancient Egypt, the Sumerians discovered that edible grains could be mashed into a paste and then baked/hardened into a flatbread.

Jewish matza is an unleavened bread (such as matzoh which is not prepared with leavening agents) are usually flatbreads and hold special religious significance to adherents of Judaism and Christianity.

 

Naan
Yields 6
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Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
241 calories
35 g
11 g
9 g
5 g
3 g
63 g
432 g
3 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
63g
Yields
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 11mg
4%
Sodium 432mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 35g
12%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (not instant active dry yeast or rapid-rise yeast)
  2. 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
  3. 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife, plus more for rolling
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. Heaping 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)
  6. 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  7. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  8. 2 tablespoons melted salted butter, for brushing on finished naans
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100°F). Let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, flour, salt and anise seeds (if using). Set aside.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and olive oil to it and whisk to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix the dough together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, dust your hand with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Lightly oil or spray a clean bowl with nonstick cooking spray (the bowl should be large enough to allow the dough to double in size). Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for 1.5-3 hours, or until about doubled in size (hint: the warmer the spot, the faster the dough will rise).
  4. Fill a small bowl with about 1/2 cup flour. Dust a work surface with some of the flour and dump the dough on top. Sprinkle some of the flour on top of the dough and on your hands. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and cut into 6 equal portions, dusting with more flour as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. Roll each portion of dough in the bowl of flour to keep them from sticking.
  5. Warm a large cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into an oval shape about 1/8-inch thick (it should be about 9 inches x 4 inches). Pick up the dough and flip-flop it back and forth between your hands to release any excess flour; then gently lay the dough in the dry skillet and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom is golden and blackened in spots, a few minutes. Flip the naan and cook about 1-2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots. Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, adjusting the heat lower if necessary as you go. Serve warm.
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
beta
calories
241
fat
9g
protein
5g
carbs
35g
more
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef
Preston Cooks For You http://prestoncooks.com/