What’s For Dinner?

November 21, 2007 at 7:33 pm 7 comments

The biggest rite of passage of my (less and less) young life is tomorrow, which will be the first Thanksgiving I ever host, and Cousin Jen & T. Russell (and their little one) will be attending with Uncle Dick.  I thought I’d share the recipes I plan to use (though I reserve the right to make game-day decisions, Jen and Tim):http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/233148 

4 quarts apple cider, divided
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup whole allspice
8 bay leaves
4 quarts cold water
1 20-pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved)
Sage Broth
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/2 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh sage leaves
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

8 cups Apple, Sausage, and Parsnip Stuffing with Fresh Sage

3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup applejack brandy or Calvados
1/4 cup whipping cream 
  • For brine: Simmer 1 quart apple cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in 20-quart pot 5 minutes, stirring often. Cool completely. Add remaining 3 quarts cider and 4 quarts water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.Drain turkey and rinse. Arrange on several layers of paper towels in roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
  • For broth:Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan 30 minutes. Strain sage broth into bowl.
  • For glaze:Boil cider in saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter. Cool completely.Set rack at lowest position in oven; preheat to 350°F. Remove paper towels from roasting pan. Pat main and neck cavities of turkey dry; stuff loosely with stuffing. Place turkey in pan, tuck wings under, and tie legs together loosely.Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush with some of glaze. Roast until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Cover with foil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding up to 1 cup water to pan if drippings begin to burn, about 3 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.
  • For gravy:Pour pan juices into large measuring cup. Spoon off fat. Reserve 3 tablespoons fat and degreased juices. Pour sage broth into roasting pan. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Combine flour, sage leaves, and reserved 3 tablespoons fat in heavy large saucepan; stir over medium heat 1 minute. Whisk in broth from roasting pan and reserved pan juices. Add applejack and cream and boil until gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain into sauceboat. Serve turkey with gravy.  

Mashed Sour Cream and Scallion Potatoes

10 large Idaho potatoes (7 pounds), peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
7 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced 

Place the potatoes and garlic in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and garlic and return to the pot. Add the sour cream, milk, and butter and mash with a potato masher. Add scallions and stir gently to combine well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Green Beans with Honey-mustard Glaze

2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/3 cup rice vinegar 

To make it…Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in the green beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Drain. (Can be made ahead to this point. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Place in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate.) Dry the saucepan and return it to the stove. Toast the mustard seeds over low heat just until they pop, about 1 minute, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the honey, brown sugar and vinegar and cook until the sauce boils and becomes syrupy. Add the green beans and toss.

Honey Glaze for Baked Ham (because I want both meats)
10 to 12 lb. fully cooked bone in ham
Whole cloves
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. orange juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in thickest part. Bake, uncovered, 2 hours.
With sharp knife, remove skin, if any; then score fat into 1 inch diamonds; stud each with a clove.
Combine honey, sugar, mustard and orange juice in 1 quart saucepan. Over medium heat bring to a boil while stirring.
Brush half of honey glaze over ham; bake 30 minutes. Brush with rest of glaze; bake 30 minutes until golden and thermometer reads 130 degrees. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Makes 18 to 20 servings.  
Cranberry Sauce
1 pound fresh cranberries
grated peel from one orange
2 cups white sugar
1/4 c orange juice
1 cup water
In a microwave safe bowl, mix together cranberries, peel, sugar, juice, and water. Cover the mixture with wax paper and microwave on high power, stirring once in awhile, until the cranberries pop (about 7 minutes). Chill. This will keep a week or so, covered well, in the fridge.

 Sweet Potatoes for Two


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg


  1. Slice sweet potatoes into an 8-in. pie plate; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, water and salt; bring to a boil. Pour hot syrup over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, basting occasionally, or until syrup thickens and potatoes are glazed. Sprinkle with nutmeg or mace.




Entry filed under: Fine Food, LeMare's Posts.

Miller Monday – The Universal Cure The Hoff rides again!

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jj  |  November 21, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    I can hardly wait for tomorrow. I am super glad that sweet potatoes are on the menu – they are fantastic.


  • 2. merathon  |  November 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    maret– sounds YUMMY. good luck hosting. i hosted my first thanksgiving dinner last year and needless to say, i am NOT hosting this year. i definitely needed a year off cuz it wore me out!

    have you tried those mashed potatoes before? just wondering, cuz i may try them tomorrow too! (i’m in charge of bringing potatoes and brussel sprouts)

  • 3. lemare  |  November 22, 2007 at 5:04 am

    I have not tried the potatoes, but they sound delicious, and they aren’t as heavy in butter and whipping cream as some recipes I’ve seen. good luck tomorrow.

  • 4. liz stanley  |  November 23, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    sounds delish! how did it turn out?

  • 5. lemare  |  November 23, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Dinner, all in all, was a success for a first-timer. Jen and Tim can chime in on it, but the brine and glaze made the turkey just perfect. And, as I told T.Russell, I was kind of having a bit of a love affair with the ham. I LOVED these green beans.

  • 6. TRussell  |  November 27, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Yes, LeMare was a perfect hostess. I even got to fall asleep during “The Game” and she didn’t find it rude at all. She is a terrific cook as well.

    I give the event 5 stars!

  • 7. merathon  |  November 30, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    i didn’t end up trying your recipe for the mashed potatoes but they were still a hit, along with the brussel sprouts! glad to hear it went well for you TOO!


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