Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes

I have a few Thanksgiving recipes that I have either made for Thanksgiving or would like to keep so that I can try making them in the future.  This list of recipes includes one for a sweet potato casserole from the Food Network Magazine by Ellie Krieger, a cranberry gravy recipe from All*You Magazine, and the Best Ever Green Bean Casserole from Alton Brown.  I doubled this recipe and made it into a "prettier" version of Alton's recipe. It went over pretty well.

The picture I am including with this post is of a sweet potato cheesecake that one of my Thanksgiving guests so kindly made for the occasion.  He does not have a recipe. He told me that he used his head and instincts.  It turned out very well.  There was not even one slice left after the dinner was over.  To me, that is a successful dessert. It was also a beautiful cheesecake, as you can see.

Best Ever Green Bean Casserole
Makes 4 to 6 Servings


2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Nonstick cooking spray

For Beans and Sauce:

2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.  Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan.  Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.  Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking.  Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.

While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan.  Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, occasionally until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute.  Decrease the  heat to medium-low and add the half and half.  Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans.  Top with the remaining onions.  Place into the oven and bake, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Cranberry Gravy

12 ounces fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sugar
4 cups low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and pepper

In a saucepan over low heat, cook cranberries and sugar, stirring until sugar has dissolved and berries have burst, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole
Serves: 8


cooking spray
3-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 finely chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place.  Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly.  Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth.  Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.

Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl, sprinkle over the potatoes.  Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per serving:  Calories 160; Fat 4 g (Saturated 1 g); Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Protein 3 g


The Creative Cook