Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving wrap-up

This thanksgiving I finally got to do most of the cooking. We got a condo with Mr. L's parents. They brought the ham and turkey (and cake and sweet potato casserole), and I made everything else. It was wonderful! The only thing that turned out a little off were the pumpkin pie (the bottom crust didn't seem fully cooked). Here's the rundown:

Corn Pudding (from the Dollywood cookbook - Tennessee Mountain Cooking)

1 c corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs melted butter
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c pimento
1/4 c green pepper

Mix together all ingredients.
Pour into a baking dish.
Bake at 350 until set (about 25 minutes).

Green bean Casserole (LOVED this) (from Paula)

1/3 stick butter
1/2 c diced onions
1/2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
2 c sliced green beans
3 c chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 ounce) can french-fried onion rings
pinch house seasoning (4 parts salt, 1 part black pepper, 1 part garlic powder)
1 c grated cheddar

Preheat oven to 350.
Melt the butter in a large skillet.
saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter.
Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain.
Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and house seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture.
Stir well.
Pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
bake for 20 minutes, then top casserole with the cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and the cheese is melted.

Parker House Rolls (from the Gourmet Cookbook)

3 Tbs warm water
3 Tbs sugar
1 (1/4 ounce) package (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c whole milk
2 c bread flour (not whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 - 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

Stir together warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Melt 3/4 stick butter in a small saucepan.
Add milk and heat to lukewarm.
Stir together yeast mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, butter mixture, bread flour, and salt in a bowl with a wooden spoon until combined well, then stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a slightly sticky dough that forms a ball.

Butter a large bowl.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, kneading in more all-purpose flour if dough is too sticky, 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky.
Form into a ball and put in buttered bowl.
Turn to coat with butter, then let rise in bowl, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
Divide dough into 20 equal pieces and roll into balls.
Arrange evenly in 4 rows of 5 in pan and let rise, covered loosely, in a warm place 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk.
Make a deep crease down center of each row of rolls using length of a floured chopstick or side of a ruler.
Let rolls rise, covered loosely, 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cool slightly.
Brush tops of rolls with butter and bake in middle of oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let rolls cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.
Turn out onto rack and cool to warm.

Cooks' note:
You can make rolls 1 day ahead and keep, wrapped well in foil, at room temperature. Reheat in foil in a preheated 375°F oven 15 to 20 minutes. (This is what I did, and it worked perfectly!)

Macaroni and Cheese (slightly modified from Alton Brown's)

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
1 Tbs powdered mustard
3 c milk
1/2 c yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large egg
6 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
6 ounces cubed Velveeta
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh black pepper
3 Tbs butter
1 c panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.
Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.
Make sure it's free of lumps.
Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.
Simmer for ten minutes, and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg.
Stir in all of the Velveeta, and 1/2 of the cheddar.
Season with salt and pepper.
Fold in the macaroni and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.
Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Fresh Cranberry Relish (also from Tennessee Mountain Home Cooking)

16oz fresh cranberries
1 orange
1 c sugar
1/2 c nuts (I used walnuts)

In food processor or blender, chop cranberries into big pieces. (I used a blender, because our food processor is buried somewhere right now - I wished I had it. The blender was a bit of a hassle, because it only wanted to chop what was at the bottom, and didn't really move the berries around.)
Add nuts and chop.
Add orange and sugar and chop until desired consistency.

Note: Better if made a few hours before serving.

Cornbread and Sausage Dressing (from a local cookbook - Cooking on Hazel Creek: The Best of Southern Cooking)

1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
1/2 chopped onion
4 c coarsely crumbled cornbread (less than 1 box of Jiffy)
1 c coarsely crumbled day old bread
2 eggs
2 c turkey or chicken broth (or 1 small can)
1/4 c chopped parsley (thank goodness for my little herb garden!)
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp salt

Combine sausage and onion and cook until browned, stirring to crumble meat.
Drain off pan drippings.
Combine with remaining ingredients, and spoon the mixture into a greased 12x8 baking dish.
Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Remove cover and bake at 15 minutes longer.

Creamed Spinach (from Smitten Kitchen)


2 pounds baby spinach or 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, tough stems discarded
1 3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk, or a mix thereof
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Wash your spinach well but no need to spin or pat it dry.
Place spinach in a large pot over high heat.
Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes for baby spinach and 4 to 6 minutes for regular spinach.
Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth, putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible.
Coarsely chop the wrung-out spinach.
Wipe out large pot so you can use it again.

Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm.
Keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes.
Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes.
Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes.
Stir in nutmeg, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Do ahead: Creamed spinach can be made one day ahead and chilled, covered then reheated over moderately low heat until hot. However, it really tastes best eaten immediately. (I made it ahead, and wished I'd made it the day of. It's just not the same!)

I did make most of it ahead, and merely cooked it the day of. I did all of the prep work at home, and then wrapped it and labeled it all with the coking times and temperatures, ready to pop in the oven on thanksgiving day. It made it easier, having already figured out what could cook at the same time (same temperatures) and what needed to go in early or late because it had a higher or lower cooking temperature.

I also made Pumpkin Pie and Mashed Potatoes, but can't remember which recipes I used for those - more than likely, they were from someone on the Food Network. ;)