October 11, 2014 • 10:00 am
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend my loves!!!! I hope you all get to GOBBLE down on some yummy food and enjoy some laugh's with your friends and family...that's what Thanksgiving's all about... full bellies and full hearts...RIGHT!?!?! I wanted to share with all of you MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE recipes that I tend to cook year after year...THAT'S HOW GOOD THEY ARE!!
The Perfect Bird:
The perfect bird is honestly all about keeping it simple. In my opinion, you should get a fresh, free run turkey because that guarantees a plump juicy bird. Some people brine their birds, but I just can’t be bothered!
Here are a few of my tips…
- If you’re thawing a turkey, please research the proper thawing method and be patient!
- For a crisp skin, make sure your bird is COLD when you put it in the oven.
- For a fresh turkey plan on cooking your turkey about 15-20 minutes per pound.
I simply stuffed my bird with my famous stuffing (see below), rubbed the bad boy with a handful of butter, salt, pepper & FRESH poultry seasoning herbs.
I started the bird without a lid at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, and then reduced the heat to 325 for the remainder of the cooking time.
Make sure and baste your turkey about 3-6 times during the cooking period. Use a meat thermometer and test in the crease of the thigh when you have timed your turkey correctly. When your turkey has about 15 minutes left give the skin one last good crisp without the lid if it needs it. Let the turkey rest 15-20 before carving…Enjoy!
My Famous Stuffing:
This one is the same as I made last year, but I think that says something… it’s DELICIOUS!
½ loaf of whole wheat bread, cubed
1 ½ loaves white bread, cubed
½ lb. salted butter, melted (this is the secret you do not speak of to your guests)
1 lb. diced turkey sausage
1 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped celery
1 ½ c. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
¼ c. dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 ½ tsp. fresh chopped sage
1 ½ tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
½ tsp. fresh chopped thyme
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt & 1 ½ tsp. pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until evenly toasted. Put toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
2. In a large frying pan, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring until evenly browned.
3. Add butter, onion, celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
4. Add wine.
5. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, mushrooms and parsley. Mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.
Pear and Pancetta Crisper:
I LOVE this salad! The butter lettuce crisps so nicely in your mouth it’s like a juicy explosion! I like to use local BC pears, but whatever you have available will do!
1 head of live butter lettuce (roots cut off and rinsed)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
2 Bosc Pears, sliced thinly
1/2 c. of drained crumbled feta
1/2 c. pancetta
Tori's Famous Dressing:
1 tbs. of dijon mustard
1-2 tbs. of sugar
3 tbs. of red wine vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed (2 if they are small)
juice of one lemon or lime
2/3 c. of canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange pancetta and bake until golden brown - about 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
2. Make the dressing and set aside.
3. Tear/chop lettuce into bite size pieces. Toss with pear, feta, and walnuts and top with pancetta and dressing!
BC Apple & Beet Salad:
1 BC Ambrosia apple - local is alwasy best!!
6-8 large beets
1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
2-3 teaspoons chopped parsley (I like more... I would say 4 teaspoons!)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil or steam beets for about 25-30 min
2. Let beets cool for a few minutes
3. Peel beets and cube into bite sized cubes
4. Cut apple into slices
5. Transfer beets and apples to a bowl
6. Toss beets and apple slices with dressing, coat well.
7. Top with cheese and parsley
Parmesan Fennel Bake:
I'm always so tired of the same old Thanksgiving side dishes, so this dish is SO great because it can be prepped ahead of time! Who doesn’t love that?!
2 fennel bulbs
1/2 large yellow onion
1/2 c. of freshly grated parmesan
1/2 c. of whipping cream
2 tbs. of butter
1/4 c. of chopped walnuts
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 250C
2. Trim the fennel tops, then cut into wedges.
3. Boil for about 5 minutes, then drain well.
4. Arrange in an ovenproof dish with sliced onion. Sprinkle nutmeg, salt pepper, garlic, and butter over fennel and onion.
5. Top with cream and parmesan. You can set aside for a whole day now if you want to! - Refrigerated.
6. When you’re ready, bake until golden - about 20-30 minutes. When golden... top with walnuts and serve!
Ricotta Mashed Potatoes:
4-6 Yukon gold peeled potatoes, cut into approximated 3 inch chunks
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of whipping cream
1 cup of Ricotta
1 handful of fresh or dried chives
1 teaspoon of ground kosher salt
1. Boil potatoes until soft when poked with a fork
2. Add butter, whipped cream, ricotta, chives, and salt
3. Mash & serve!
The recipe I have for you guys today is a super simple one with very few ingredients. It does sound strange but the flavor is so incredible you will keep going back for these little suckers until the casserole dish is dry.
Frozen (or fresh) bread dough (thawed)
24-26 Beet leaves
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp dill
1 clove garlic
1. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a towel and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled
2. Clean your beet leaves while the dough is rising
3. Cut stalks from leaves
4. Pinch off small pieces of dough (about the size of a walnut) and place a piece of dough in the center of one end of a leaf
5. Roll the beet leaf loosely around the dough
6. Place in a lightly greased baking dish and line up rolls in a single (or double layer) in the dish
7. Cover and place in a warm area until the dough rises again
8. Cover the dish and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until rolls are puffy and slightly golden.
9. Melt butter in a saucepan
10. Add the cream, dill and garlic
11. Bring to a low boil & then reduce until ready to serve
12. Ladle the sauce over the rolls and then place in oven for another 5 minutes
I know it’s a little unique but I promise this dish won’t disappoint!
Grilled Peach and Apple Cobbler:
I’m wrapping up my round up of Thanksgiving recipes with my famous sweet treat that’s always a hit at Thanksgiving dinner. Added bonus about this one is your family will think you’re so creative (or a little crazy) making your cobbler on the BBQ!
2 granny smith apples, sliced & cored
2 ripe peaches, halved, sliced & pitted (important that the peaches are ripe)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 stick salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granola (whatever kind you prefer) OR 1cup of rolled oats
1. Turn on BBQ on high heat for 15 minutes
2. Toss the cut peaches and apples with half the butter, sugar, and cinnamon
3. Add mixture to baking dish
4. Toss the rolled oats or granola with the remaining butter, sugar, and cinnamon and top mixture to baking dish
5. Turn BBQ off and place cobbler on BBQ for 7-10 minutes
6. Turn BBQ back on low and leave cobbler on until it’s golden- the cobbler will cook in about 15 minutes
I also like to make my own whipped cream with this cobbler. Just whip heavy cream in a cold bowl and add vanilla bean. For the vanilla bean you just cut it in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream.
And VOILA.. Thanksgivng Dinner is SERVED!!!!
Now you can all go and prep your own meals and ENJOY your Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and families!!!