November 30, 2009

A Hotplate Vacation

Well, it was another successful Thanksgiving! Made all the more lovely by a use of a real, adult sized kitchen!  As much as I would have loved to make the meal in my “easy-bake kitchen”, it just really wasn’t going to cut it.  We may have only had 5 people at our table, but we still cooked for about 20.  Literally.  We had two full dinners and I’m still eating leftovers!

This year, I got my family to agree to my experimentation in the kitchen so I brought a little bit of the Hotplate Confidential way to the meal.  The stuffing was an adaptation of a couple of different recipes and there were of course the requisite Brussels Sprouts, as highlighted many times here.  But the real star was the turkey, and I have to say, my improvised rub must have had something to do with that!

Now that you’ve all eaten turkey until you’re blue, I’m sure you’re looking for a few uses for those leftovers.  My favorite is just a sliced turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich, and with the tart cranberry sauce we made this year, it’s something I won’t wait until next Thanksgiving to make again.  There’s always the turkey soup solution, but if you have leftover vegetables like string beans and carrots, why not turn it into a turkey pot pie?  Or, an even better use of leftovers, a turkey shepherd’s pie?  It’s a great way to use up those mashed potatoes.

Whatever you do, don’t let those leftovers go to waste.  They only come once a year, and I for one don’t want to be left yearning for a missed opportunity to have another slice of pumpkin pie.

Erin’s Fennel and Herb Stuffing

Serves 6-8 side portions

1 large loaf of good, crusty white bread (left out for 2 days)
1 fennel bulb, sliced into ½ inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 tbsp. butter
salt & pepper
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 c. chicken stock
½ c. boiling water

Roughly pull apart the bread into 1 inch pieces and add to a large bowl.  In a sauté pan, heat the butter and add the onions and celery.  Cook for about 3 minutes and add the fennel.  Cook until tender.  Add the herbs, salt & pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the vegetables to the bread and mix.  Add the chicken stock to combine.  Add the hot water if it is still too dry.  Stuff in a 12 lb turkey to cook, or in a separate casserole.

An Everyday Cranberry Sauce

½ c. sugar
1 c. water
1 12-ounce package Fresh Cranberries
½ c. dried cranberries
zest from one orange
juice from ½ an orange

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Once the cranberries start popping, reduce heat, add the dried cranberries, zest, and orange juice and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. 

Oh, and I'm sorry I don't have more pictures to share!  Sam and I forgot our camera in the burbs...

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of fennel and herb sausage, and the reference to your "easy bake" kitchen made me smile. : )


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