Thanksgiving Dinner Menu to Impress:
Maple Spiced Turkey Breast, Drunken Cranberry Sauce(!!!), Bacon-Cheddar Stuffing, Browned Butter Sweet Potato Mash, and Homemade Green Bean Casserole
I’ve realized one thing about myself and blogging: I don’t really change my life because I blog. Which means, sometimes I post about pumpkin carving on Halloween, and I share tips to creating Christmas morning excitement the day after Christmas. I figure, maybe you’ll bookmark it, or you’ll plant a little idea-seed that’ll blossom come next year.
Lucky for you, I ended up having a Thanksgiving-themed deadline for another brand due last week. We re-crafted Thanksgiving leftovers into an amazing meal. I can’t wait to share them with you. But that meant… I had to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner weeks before Thanksgiving. And, you know what’s funny? It didn’t even occur to me to share my recipes with y’all until…
Until I pulled the turkey out of the oven and it was really darn good. So, although you’ll have to wait a few days for my reinvention of Thanksgiving leftovers, I thought I could share my Thanksgiving dinner recipes with you in time to actually make them for this Thanksgiving.
Maple Spiced Turkey Breast:
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds turkey breasts, divided in half
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients and spread over turkey breasts. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Transfer turkey to a roasting pan coated in cooking spray and discard marinade. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of the turkey registers 145 degrees, approximately 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 15 minutes, then slice.
Drunken Cranberry Sauce (a new family favorite):
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 orange juice, 1/4 white wine, and 1/4 water. Stir to combine and add the zest of one lemon, a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until cranberries plump back up and sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour mixture into food processor and puree until you get a “jellied” consistency.
Bacon-Cheddar Dressing (or stuffing, if that’s what you prefer to call it):
Dice six slices of bacon and brown in heavy skillet. Add one chopped onion and piece of celery, chopped. Once veggies are softened and bacon is browned, add one tablespoon of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add 8 oz. seasoned stuffing cubes and one cup of veggie broth. Stir until warm and moist. Transfer to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and broil in oven until you get a golden-cheddar crust.
Browned Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
Pierce 3 sweet potatoes with a fork; microwave 8 minutes. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, then mash. Brown 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet, then add 8 sage leaves and fry until crisp; transfer to a plate. Cook 4 chopped scallions with salt and pepper in the browned butter. Drizzle over the sweet potatoes; top with the sage.
Made-from-Scratch Green Bean Casserole
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, and blanched
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound sliced white mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons flour
1½ cups mushroom broth
1½ cups heavy cream
Topping: one cup of stuffing cubes, pulsed in food processor combined with one tablespoon of melted butter OR one cup of canned fried onions.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees . Add butter to a large pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook until mushrooms release moisture and begin to brown. 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 simmer until sauce is thickened, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add green beans to sauce and stir until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer in 3-quart (or 9×13-inch) baking dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes.