Ah, Thanksgiving night. The food’s eaten; the dishes are done. The only big decision left is whether to have just one more piece of pecan pie!
We hosted Adventure Guy’s family today, which meant a total of nine adults and six kids. Our tradition is to alternate years with my family and with Adventure Guy’s family. While I miss my own family, I have to admit I’m happy not to travel this year. It’s been such a busy fall!
When we travel to Texas for Thanksgiving, I leave most of the cooking to my brother-in-law, the chef. My parents also always order a Greenberg turkey from near my hometown (also one of Oprah’s favorite things). That means I’m typically only responsible for baking a pie or two.
The last couple of years that we’ve stayed here in Suburbia, the festivities have been at our house rather than at my in-laws’, so I do more cooking. Here are some of the recipes I served today.
Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
14 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 lbs.)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potato in Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain. Combine cream and next four ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and potatoes are thoroughly heated.
Can be assembled and frozen up to two weeks prior to serving. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed. Serves 18.
Southern Cornbread Dressing
1 8 x 8 pan cornbread
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups soft white bread crumbs
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
Saute vegetables until tender in bacon grease or butter. Reserve half of the cornbread for another purpose. Cut remaining cornbread into cubes and process in food processor until crumbly. Combine 3 cups of cornbread crumbs with remaining ingredients and vegetables. Use just enough broth to hold mixture together but not make it too wet. Bake in greased 9 x 13 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
And, just in case you were wondering what all the fuss is about deep fried turkeys, here’s the method Adventure Guy uses for his. Very yummy! (P. S. They sell turkey-frying set ups at stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. We have one that uses propane and comes with a special hook for lowering the turkey into the oil–definitely the trickiest part).
1 stick butter
1 cup olive oil
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 pkg. Good seasons Italian dressing dry mix
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. red pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. gumbo file
1 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce
Combine all ingredients and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Inject glue into turkey with kitchen syringe.
Fully defrost a 12 pound turkey and shoot up with Voodoo Glue. Let marinate for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator. Allow turkey to sit out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Sprinkle iwth Cajun seasoning before cooking. Be sure to fry turkey outdoors! Heat enough oil to cover turkey in a large pot. Slowly immerse turkey in oil and fry for 3 1/2 minutes per pound (42 minutes for 12 lb. turkey). Let turkey cool, cut, and serve.
And, now, I’m off to contemplate a round of leftovers for dinner. But, I leave you with a shot of the turkey-frying master at work.