Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are 2 recipes from our family Thanksgiving that were Yum-O!

Sausage, Cranberry and Pecan Stuffing
8 cups (1/2-inch) pieces firm white bread (3/4 lb)
1 1/2 lb fresh pork sausage meat, crumbled
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced 1/4inch thick
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (8 oz), toasted
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toast bread in a large shallow baking pan in middle of oven until dry and pale golden, about 20 minutes.

Cook sausage in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up large lumps, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add butter to fat remaining in skillet and cook onions, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add celery, apple, and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage and stir in bread, pecans, cranberries, sage, and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3- to 4-quart shallow baking dish and drizzle with broth. (Use 1 1/2 cups broth if you like a moist stuffing, 1 cup if you prefer it drier.) Cover with foil and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until bread is golden and stuffing is heated through, 20 to 25 minutes more.

Cooks' note:
• Stuffing can be assembled (but not baked), without nuts, 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Toss in pecans and bring to room temperature before baking.

Source: My Aunt Jackie and Gourmet Magazine

Green Bean Casserole
The GBC is one of my all time favorite Thanksgiving dishes, despite the utter grossness of the cream of mushroom soup and frozen green beans. My mom gave me this fresh recipe from Cooks Illustrated (Nov/Dec 2006) so I gave it a try. I will never make any other kind!

4 slices sandwich bread, each slice torn into quarters
2 TB softened butter
3 cups canned fried onions

Beans and Sauce
2 lbs. green beans, ends trimmed and halved
3 TB butter
1 lb. white button mushrooms
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
3 TB all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt & pepper

1. For the topping: pulse bread, butter, salt & pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl and toss with onions; set aside.

2. For the beans and sauce: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill large bowl with ice water. Bring 4 quarts water to boil, add beans and salt. Cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain beans in colander and plunge immediately into ice water to stop cooking. Spread beans on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

3. Add butter to now empty pot and melt over med-high heat until foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms relase moisture and liquid evaporates, about 6 mins. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Add cream, reduce heat to medium, and simmeruntil sauce is thickened and reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer in 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until topping is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes.

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