Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope everyone is taking a little time to enjoy the day today! We spent most of the morning finishing up and are done cooking for the day - hooray! We kept the menu fairly low-key as it is just Jeff and I.

Here's what ended up on our menu today - Roasted Turkey breast, Sausage, Apple and Fennel Corn Bread Dressing Muffins, Roasted Garlic Golden-Smashed Potatoes, Make-Ahead Gravy, Roasted Garlic and Asiago Cloverleaf Rolls and something sweet for dessert. You'll find the recipes for the titles in bold down below.

We did a simple mixture of butter, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to flavor the turkey breast. We then used a high-heat roasting recipe from Epicurious to cook the turkey breast and were pleasantly surprised with just how moist the meat came out. The bird took just about an hour and 10 minutes at 450 degrees - we will definitely be using this method again!

I ended up making the corn bread for the dressing a couple days ago and then just assembled and baked this afternoon. We took a cue from the stuffing hit last year and just made these in muffin tins instead of a big casserole - perfect for an individual portion size! I used chipotle smoked turkey sausage, but I imagine you could use the sausage of your choice. The corn bread was not sweet like some with sugar, but I liked that as it seemed to meld in with the rest of the flavors better. The mild anise flavor that the fennel brought was a refreshing addition to the crunchy topped muffins. The apples added a cool tartness to offset the spice in the sausage and kept the interior pretty moist. Using a couple eggs in the dressing made sure that they did not fall apart when they slipped out of the muffin tins.

The rolls were pretty much the same as last year execpt for a few changes - I used half bread flour, dried thyme instead of rosemary and added 2 ounces of fresh grated Asiago cheese during the last couple minutes of kneading. These were excellent - soft, tender and the roasted garlic flavor went well with the sharp Asiago.

We started the gravy yesterday by first making a Roasted Turkey Stock from turkey wings and the classic aromatics. Easy, made quite a bit of stock for the freezer and brought a rich fresh flavor to the gravy. When it was time to make the gravy, we first reduced a bit of the stock, added a few cups more and then whisked some of the hot liquid into a mixture of butter and flour. Back to the stove it went to heat back up. This ended up a little thinner than we would have liked, but the amount of flavor the gravy had was so good.

As you can see... the pups and Miss Kitty made sure they were close by just in case something happened to fall while we were getting our plates ready!

Here's a quick snap of Jeff's plate before we went to sit down.

No, we didn't forget dessert - here is a sneak peak at what I made, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what it was!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Joe!

  2. I'm glad your Thanksgiving was good.
    Your roasted turkey breast sounds very much like what we had today. I used softened butter, fresh sage, poultry seasoning but forgot the salt and pepper. Quite yummy.
    I'll anxiously await your dessert unveiling tomorrow!
    Did the animals find a scrap? Hope you "accidentally" dropped something for them..LOL!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Joe and Jeff!!!
    Everything looks yummy, and is that some pumpkin cake I see, looking good too!!

  4. I hope that you both had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It looks like you guys were not alone after all, since there were so many fuzzy friends in attendance.

    I can't wait to check out your dessert. This year, I made two desserts, a pear gingersnap crisp and a toasted coconut chocolate chunk pecan pie. Both were wonderful, but deadly. My mother in law made the tradtional pumpkin pie, which is always fantastic.

  5. Looks like you all had a very nice Thanksgiving. I can totally relate to the picture of the dogs and Miss Kitty waiting patiently for any food to hit the floor.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Everything looks delicious as usual, especially the Asiago Rolls and the Muffins.

    Can't wait to see what you had for dessert.

  7. What a great idea those stuffing "muffins" are! I'm going to try that...

  8. Thanks everyone! Yes, the pets had their fill of treats as well - too hard to resist the "stare" they do! Hee hee!

  9. I always love to read about what you are cooking....I really like your style! Of course, the 3 wise animals waiting for a morsel is precious!
    Best wishes you two!