Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving on the Fly

Well, I was trying to post this first thing this morning, but my computer got infected with a virus and it took the IT guy all day to get me back up and working. I'm so glad to have my computer running normally again.

We're heading to New Orleans Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with family. This is our first time back for Thanksgiving since we moved to Tennessee. We are looking forward to seeing everyone, but it's hard for me not to cook. Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been at our house. I had to make a little Thanksgiving meal so we could at least honor one of our traditions. After grace and before we eat we all take turns saying what we are thankful for.

I have to apologize that I do not have photos of all of the finished dishes. It got a little hectic and people were swarming and hovering wanting to eat. I forgot to to take pictures of everything, but trust me, this was a great Thanksgiving meal for four and it doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to enjoy.

Berry Popovers - Let's start with dessert!

Place on 16 ounce package of frozen berry melody (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) in a pot, add 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of grape juice.

Heat for about 15 minutes until liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool, then place in refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes to chill. This will allow the cornstarch to do it's job and thicken the liquid.

Roll out a sheet of thawed puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface.

Cut the dough in a criss-cross pattern as shown to make 4 triangles. Separate and carefully move each triangle to a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg. This will help the dough adhere to itself and seal. Spoon two tablespoons of fruit in the middle of the dough trying to drain as much liquid as you can. Fold dough over and seal edges by pressing together. Brush the top of each popover with the beaten egg mixture so it will brown evenly.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. I had a little to much liquid in my popovers so they didn't come out quite a pretty as I would have liked.

Cornbread Dressing/Stuffing -

We usually have oyster dressing for Thanksgiving and this my first attempt at making cornbread dressing. This recipe of very loosely taken from one I saw Tyler Florence make.

Slice two leeks and place in a large bowl filled with water. Gently agitate with your hands to wash away the dirt that is in between the layers of the leaves. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Grab the leeks one handful at a time, gently shake off excess water and place in skillet to saute until soft. Discard dirty water. While leeks are sauteing, season with coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. The leeks have a very gentle onion flavor. Their flavor does not overpower this dish. Once the leeks are tender, remove skillet from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes in the skillet.

You'll need about 4 cups of crumbled cornbread. I made two packages of Jiffy cornbread and crumbled and placed in a large bowl.

Place the leeks in the bowl with the cornbread, season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of chicken stock to moisten stuffing to desired consistency.

Place in a buttered casserole dish, Dot with butter and bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

It's golden brown, moist and tasty!

Now let's make some Turkey Gravy!

In a large pot over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute for 5 to 7 minutes 1 smoked turkey drumstick or wing, 1 head of garlic cut in half at the equator, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 2 carrots peeled and chopped, 1 medium onion peeled and quartered, about eight parsley stems.

Ok, there's that smoked turkey drumstick! After sauteing for 5 to 7 minutes, remove to an oven safe pan and add 1-1/2 cups of chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning. Place pan in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

See at how rich the broth/drippings look!

Really look close. Use a baster and get as much liquid out of the pan as you can and toss the veggies and the turkey drumstick.

I don't have a picture of the finished gravy, but melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a high sided, medium pot, add 1-1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to the melted butter and stir continuously to make a light roux. Stir for about 7 to 9 minutes, slowly add stick, 1/2 cup at a time until all of the stock has been used. Thin out with a little warm water as necessary. Season with salt and pepper - great over steamy rice or creamy mashed potatoes.


Reeni said...

Katherine, I don't know where to start! The popovers look really delicious. I love cornbread stuffing, I bet yours was fantasitc. And the smoky gravy, yum! Enjoy your Thanksgiving, your family and being back in New Orleans. Your always welcome at my house for pancakes!

gigi said...

You are a girl after my own heart, starting with dessert first! That's where I always start!

These all look wonderful and I know yall enjoyed them too.

Yall have a safe and blessed trip back home to New Orleans. Enjoy your friends and family. And Happy Thanksgiving!

Pam said...

All of these recipes look and sound delicious but those popovers are calling my name. Have a fun and safe trip.

Marjie said...

Looks luscious! Especially the turnovers! I love tangy/sweet fruit confections. Glad you're going to see your family; I'm sure the trip will be bittersweet - and, I hope, mostly sweet. One thing I'm thankful for: you visiting me, and sharing your delightful recipes with all of us!

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you have a nice time in New Orleans. And the cranberry popovers--yum yum yum!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those popovers must be delicious and the stuffing looks really tasty!

Have fun,


Aggie said...

I would love one of those popovers right now! Yum!!

Just got back from your part of the is beautiful up there!!! We had great food and a great time...despite the cold!! :)

Hope you and the family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!