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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Thanksgiving Recipes & Top Wine Picks

Holiday Roasted TurkeyPreparation Time: 50 minutes Roast Time: 4 hours Serves 15, plus leftovers You’ll love the crisp skin and tender drumsticks of this big, juicy bird. Ingredients 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 1/4 cups sliced mushrooms 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 teaspoon dried savory 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 cups chopped cooked broccoli 1 (14-ounce) package herb stuffing mix 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth 1 cup cooked wild rice 1 (14- to 16-pound) turkey, packets removed 1. Preheat the oven to 325F. 2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, savory and nutmeg and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the broccoli, stuffing mix, broth and wild rice and mix well. 3. Fill the cavities of the turkey loosely with the stuffing, reserving the remaining stuffing. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. 4. Spoon the reserved stuffing into an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Chill, covered, until time to bake. 5. Roast the turkey, basting occasionally with pan drippings, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh and in the stuffing registers 180F, about 4 hours. Place the uncovered reserved stuffing in the oven during the last 40 minutes of turkey baking time, until browned on the top and heated through. Sweet Potato SurprisePreparation Time: 25 minutes Bake Time: 25 minutes Serves 12 The addition of crunchy pecans and slightly chewy dried apricots is the surprise in this special holiday side dish. Ingredients 12 medium sweet potatoes 3 cups (about 1 1/3 pounds) firmly packed light brown sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons grated orange zest 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 2 cups apricot nectar 2 (15 1/4-ounce) cans sliced apricots, drained 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 1 cup chopped pecans Orange zest strips, optional for garnish 1. Combine the sweet potatoes with enough water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 20 minutes; drain well. Cool until easily handled. 2. Preheat the oven to 375F. 3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange in two 2-quart round baking dishes. 4. Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, grated orange zest and cinnamon in a large saucepan and mix well. Stir in the apricot nectar. Cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until thickened. Stir in the apricots. Pour over the sweet potatoes in the baking dishes. 5. Dot the potatoes with the butter and sprinkle with pecans. Place the two baking dishes in the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Garnish with orange zest strips, if desired. Tip: Smaller Batch If you’re not serving a crowd, simply halve the amounts of the ingredients and bake the potatoes in one baking dish. Green Bean Casserole Preparation Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 25 minutes Serves 10 to 12 This flavorful casserole has been a favorite for more than half a century! Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without it. Ingredients 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup 1 cup milk 2 (4-ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained 2 (3-ounce) cans French-fried onions 1/4 cup pimientos 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 4 (9-ounce) packages frozen French-cut green beans, thawed 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 2. Combine the soup, milk, mushrooms, half the fried onions, the pimientos and black pepper in a large bowl and mix well. 3. Combine the green beans and half the soup mixture in a separate large bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture between two 1 1/2-quart baking dishes. Top with remaining soup mixture. 4. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining fried onions on the tops. Bake until browned, about 5 minutes. Tip: Smaller Batch If you’re not serving a crowd, simply halve the amounts of the ingredients and bake the casserole in one baking dish. Nutty Pumpkin Bread Preparation Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 55 to 60 minutes Makes 2 large loaves Serve this moist spiced bread with sweet butter at Thanksgiving, or spread with cream cheese and serve with tea or coffee for a special breakfast. Ingredients 1 3/4 cups sugar 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature 4 eggs 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 3/4 cup milk 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat two 4 1/4 by 8 3/4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin puree and milk. 3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, walnuts, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until the flour is moistened. 4. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pans. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely. Tip If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Maple Spice Cake Preparation Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes Serves 15 It’s always nice to offer a not-too-sweet alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Leftovers make a delicious after-school snack. Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for garnish 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or shortening, softened 3 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup half-and-half 1/4 cup maple syrup Whipped cream, for serving 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch cake pan. 2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture alternately with the half-and-half and maple syrup, beating well after each addition. 3. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. 4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. 5. Cut the cake into squares. Top each serving with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Tip: Separating Eggs To easily separate eggs, crack an egg into your very clean hand held over a clean bowl. Let the egg white run through your fingers into the bowl, leaving the yolk in your hand. Praline Pumpkin Pie Preparation Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 55 to 70 minutes Serves 8 Partially baking the crust before adding the filling helps to keep the bottom of this pie from becoming soggy. Ingredients 1 refrigerated piecrust 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon cold butter 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree 1 cup half-and-half 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Fit the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Flute the edges, pressing the pastry to the side of the plate. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. 2. To make the praline mixture, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and the flour in a small bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the pecans. Set aside. 3. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Add the half-and-half and eggs and beat until smooth. 4. Pour the filling into the prepared piecrust. Sprinkle the praline mixture around the edge of the pie. Bake until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Tip If the piecrust becomes too dark during baking, cover the edge with strips of foil. Four Great Wines To Go With Your Dinner Reds 1. Benson Ferry Old Vine Zifandel 2006 $11 2. Lamborghini Trescone 2004 from Umbria $16 Whites 3. Cameron Hughes | Lot 58 2006 Chardonnay 4. Yering Station 2004 Chardonnay We hope you enjoy our Thanksgiving recipes and wine selections and we wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.