Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

Jeff and I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and were able to spend some time with your loved ones today! Don't forget to take some time to rest and relax!

We made a few past favorites and added a couple new recipes to our menu this year. The new recipe titles are in bold throughout the post and you will find links to them at the bottom as always. Since we first tried these Roasted Garlic and Fresh Rosemary Cloverleaf Rolls a few years ago, Jeff always makes sure that these hit the table on Thanksgiving. Last year we varied the flavor with thyme and Asiago, but today I made them as I always did and now I remember why we love them so much! So hard to stop nibbling at 2, 3... or 4 of these tender golden brown rolls flecked with fresh minced rosemary!

We made the same Sausage, Apple, and Fennel Corn Bread Dressing as last year and again did them as muffins - the extras freeze well and I love I can do most of the work ahead of time.

Nothing fancy for the potatoes - just buttery Yukon Golds that we pressed through a potato ricer and stirred together with warmed milk and butter. Using the potato ricer makes the fluffiest mashed potatoes!

I made an All-Purpose Gravy yesterday so there was one less thing to do this morning - while we were going to end up with some drippings from the turkey, as you will see later on, they would have been too strongly flavored to use and make the gravy from. This was an excellent recipe - it uses a combination of beef broth and turkey stock to give you a wonderful depth to the gravy. I also liked how it calls for browning the vegetables and having you cook them with the liquids and strain them out later to get the best flavor possible. Of course, it is not quite the same as using drippings, but we both agreed it served its purpose and was a good stand-in.

This year we decided to go the turkey tenderloin route instead of a breast or full bird, but that doesn't mean we didn't prepare enough for a feast of leftovers tomorrow! I gave Jeff a few options and he chose this Turkey Roulade with Cranberries and Chipotle as it packed the most heat!

You can make the filling that stuffs these flattened turkey tenderloins a day ahead of time - it is a cooked down mixture of onions, dried cranberries, white wine, fresh oregano, garlic and a spicy dose of chipotle chiles in adobo. We used a full minced tablespoon worth of the chile and it was just hot enough to satisfy the heat level we like, yet not so much that you couldn't taste anything else. To back up the smoky flavor from the chiles, the tenderloins are seasoned on the inside with cumin and chipotle chile powder. The tenderloins are rolled up, secured with twine and given a sear on all sides in a hot skillet. Rather than trying to cook them completely on the stove, they are then slid into the oven to finish cooking. The smoky tenderloins were very tender as the filling let go of some of its moisture to help keep the inside juicy (and staining it lightly pink!). While the filling is hot, the spice is counteracted somewhat by the sweetness in the dried cranberries and softened onions.

Yes, we did make a dessert, but we'll have to save that for tomorrow as we are about to slice into it now! I'll give a clue - it is a pie and has pumpkin in it, but it is not very traditional!

Jeff made sure we at least took one picture of his first plate before it was quickly cleaned - can you tell he really liked the gravy??


  1. Really nice plate. I'd like to taste that roulade. Glad to see you enjoyed that Holiday.

  2. Love your dinner menu. Looks like your time in AZ influenced your cooking - very spicy! I'd like to try those rolls formed into breadsticks, brushed with garlic butter. Can you make them & send them to Kansas?


  3. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!


  4. Joe,

    That Thanksgiving plate is a carb lover's dream come true. Looks yummy. I'm going to try the stuffing muffins idea next year since I'm all for making things ahead of time if possible. Glad you and Jeff had a nice Thanksgiving, and I hope you are enjoying the leftovers, too.

  5. I made Prime Rib because I didnt want to deal with a turkey. But this recipe looks wonderful! T'm going to try this soon.

  6. Joe your plate is appetizing with the holiday food yet it does not make one feel that they are over-indulging. Quiet a feat you have accomplished here.

  7. Helene - Thanks!

    Martha - Well, I don't think they would be nearly as good as freshly made once you would get them!

    Courtney - Thanks! I hope you did as well!

    Mindy - We really love serving the dressing as muffins! Good for portion control too... hee hee!

    Megan - I might have to steal your idea too!

    Cynthia - Thank you!

    Jackie - What, the potatoes don't count? =*)