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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are a few recipe ideas to add to your holiday celebrations

1. Shitake Mushroom Gravy
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry Sherry
3 tbs butter
12 ounces fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 cups dried sliced Shitake mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water for 30 minutes (available in Asian markets)
1 tbs + 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
2 cups whipping cream
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 cup white wine

Mix flour and Sherry in a small bowl until smooth. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and rosemary and sauté until mushrooms soften, about 3 min. Add flour paste and cook for at least 1 minute, stirring so as not to burn. Add whipping cream, thyme and tarragon and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Boil until thickens to a light gravy and add white wine. Cook on medium until thickens.

Can be made in advance.


2. Southwestern Turkey with Garlic-Ancho Chili Paste

(from Bon Appétit, November 1994, by request of some cousins)

3 heads garlic, roasted
3-4 large dried ancho chilies, dry roasted, soaked, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup honey

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until a smooth paste. Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Corn Bread Stuffing
A. Buttermilk Corn Bread
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
6 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter bottom of 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Mix first 6 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns until mixture is a coarse meal. Can be done by hand with pastry whisk. Beat buttermilk and eggs in a large bowl to blend. Add cornmeal mixture to egg mixture and blend. Transfer to buttered pan.

Bake until cornbread is light golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean when testing, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Can be prepared 1 day in advance.

B. Southwestern Corn Bread Stuffing

Buttermilk Corn Bread

6 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
4 large poblano chillies, stemmed, seeded and chopped
3 large jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage or 4 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
1 1/2 cups crushed corn chips or corn nachos
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
3 large eggs, beaen to blend
1 1/4 ~ cups canned cream-style corn

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Cut corn bread into 4 equal pieces. Crumble 3 piecs onto large baking sheet. Bake until slightly dry for about 20 minutes Transfer to very large bowl.

Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, all chilies, sage and oregano and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the corn bread. Mix in cilantro, corn chis and corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper. Mix eggs into stuffing.


To bake inside turkey, first line the cavity with some ancho chili paste and mix in enough cream corn to moisten stuffing. Fill cavities with stuffing. Any remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered dish for about 40 minutes. Uncover to brown for about 15 minutes.

Cover turkey with the remainder of the ancho chili paste. Add celery, tomatoes and allspice to roasting pan. Roast turkey at 350ºF for 20 minutes/lb or until juices are clear and leg joints are loose. Use 1-3 cups chicken broth for basting. If turkey is stuffed, tent with foil and add up to 1 - 1/2 hours, depending on size of turkey..

Allow turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This is very important as if the turkey is not allowed to rest, the juices will run out and will result in a very dry turkey.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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