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Monday, November 21, 2005

Return of the Monday Meal: It's A Thanksgiving FEAST!

Ok, so I used to do different recipes almost every Monday and called it the Monday Meal.

I figured I would go ahead and post an entire Thanksgiving feast for you to pick and choose recipes from. I should have done this last week so shopping wouldn't be so hurried, but these recipe's are guaranteed to delight! Especially my famous mashed potatoes! I've gotten rave reviews over them and they are SO EASY to make. So without any further delay...

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Recipe Smorgasborg!

The Appetizers

Cream Cheese Bacon Crescents
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 16 servings, 2 crescents each

1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
3 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix cream cheese spread and bacon in small bowl until well blended.
SEPARATE each can of dough into 8 triangles each. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise. Spread each dough triangle with 1 generous tsp. cream cheese mixture. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point. Place, point sides down, on ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Great Substitute
To make a sweet version, use PHILADELPHIA Strawberry Cream Cheese Spread and substitute slivered almonds for the bacon.

Mini Cheese Balls
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 2 hr 10 min
Makes: 18 servings, 3 cheese balls each

1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup toasted cashews, ground

MIX cream cheese spread and mozzarella cheese until well blended. Stir in chopped bacon and seasonings.
SHAPE mixture into 54 balls, 1 level tsp. each. Roll in walnuts. Cover with plastic wrap.
REFRIGERATE at least 2 hours.
Great Substitute
For a different flavor, substitute Shredded Cheddar Cheese for the mozzarella cheese and 2 Tbsp. each chopped fresh parsley, fresh basil and chives for the seasonings.
OR
Prepare as directed using 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened and 2 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion.

Easy Deviled Eggs & Ham
Recipe Rating:
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 6 servings

3 hard-cooked eggs, cooled, peeled
3 slices OSCAR MAYER Shaved Smoked Ham, finely chopped
1 CLAUSSEN Kosher Dill Mini Pickle, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. MIRACLE WHIP Light Dressing
1 tsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
Pepper, to taste

CUT eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in bowl and mash with fork.
ADD ham, pickles, dressing, mustard and pepper; mix well.
SPOON egg yolk mixture evenly into egg whites. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with paprika, if desired.

Variation - Easy Deviled Eggs & Bacon
Prepare as directed, substituting 2 tsp. OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits for the chopped ham.
Special Extra
Stir desired amount of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley or thyme, into the egg yolk mixture before spooning into whites.

Side Dishes

Ok, I am giving you my secret mashed potato recipe. It is extremely easy to make, but I have never failed to have someone ask for the recipe wherever I have brought it. The secret is in the taste. I personally no longer really measure, it is all by taste to me, but when I started out, I used this recipe. I originally got it from Martha Stewart and modified it to my tastes. (Mine tastes better!) This is NOT for the faint of heart as it is very generous with the calories. It also doesn't taste as good with anything less than what is here.

4 large peeled Russet baking potatoes
1 1/2 sticks salted butter - almost room temperature (BUTTER - NOT the fake Oleo or Margarine crap)
1/2 cup HEAVY whipping cream (regular will suffice for a sub if you can't find the heavy kind)
Salt and (Fine Ground Black)Pepper to taste (sometimes I add a little garlic powder to make "hint of garlic" mashed potatoes but I am not using that in today's recipe)

Cube potatoes and put in large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and add some salt to the water. Not much, maybe 1 tbsp. This will hellp the potatoes absorb flavor during the cooking process.

When potatoes are fork tender (meaning you can pierce them easily with a fork), drain completely. Take an electric mixer with the paddle attachment if you have it (regualr attachment will work ok if you don't have a paddle attachment)and mix until most of the potatoes are mashed with only a few lumps left. You won't get all the lumps out in this step.

Add the butter and mix completely into the potatoes. Your potatoes should start to have a creamy consistency already and the lumps should be mostly out by now.

Next heat the HEAVY whipping cream until it is HOT - this is best in a pyrex measuring cup. Start by pouring in 1/4 cup of the cream and mixing completely. Taste the potatoes. If you feel like they are not creamy enough, add more of the cream and mix thoroughly again. Taste again and add more butter and/or cream if you want to.

Last, add salt and fine ground black pepper for taste.

Makes approx 6 servings.

This is an extremely easy mashed potato recipe, but the steps must be followed in order. I've found that for some reason it tastes different if you add everything together at the same time instead of in steps. These are suposed to be THICK, heavy and rich potatoes. Not whimpy, thin and tasteless. These potatoes are the staple of my meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, steaks, BBQ chicken, chicken friend steak, etc. You can never go wrong with these. I hope you enjoy them. Please let me know if you try them and what you thought.

Red Potatoes with Bacon
Potatoes accommodate many flavors, none more readily than that of bacon. When bacon is the smoky seasoning as well as a major ingredient, only the best will do, so try to purchase it from a good butcher. Apple wood-smoked bacon is sweetly flavorful; choose a thick-sliced one that won’t shrivel away during cooking.

3 lb. small red-skinned potatoes
8 thick-cut bacon slices
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly, cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a shallow baking pan and let cool to room temperature.

In a large, heavy fry pan, arrange the bacon slices without overlapping. Cook over medium-high heat, turning several times, until almost crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the bacon drippings from the pan and set the pan aside. When the bacon is cool, chop it fairly fine.

Place the fry pan over medium-high heat and add the butter to the drippings. When it has melted, add the potatoes and cook, stirring and rolling the potatoes in the pan, until they begin to crisp and brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bacon, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the bacon is hot and the potatoes are very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the 1/4 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper and toss well. Add the parsley and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Serves 8 to 10.

Honey Glazed Carrots
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 25 min
Makes: 4 servings

4 cups sliced carrots (1 lb.)
1/4 cup KRAFT Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
2 Tbsp. honey

BRING carrots, dressing and honey to boil in saucepan.
REDUCE heat to medium-low; cover. Simmer 15 min. or until tender.
Great Substitute
This sweet honey glaze would be great with green beans as well.

Apple-Citrus Salad with Avocado and Bacon
A wonderful beginning to an autumn meal, this salty-sweet salad is sure to enliven the palate.

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 heads Bibb lettuce, rinsed well and torn into
2-inch pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-
inch dice
2 ruby red grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 bunch green onions, green portion only,
chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 ripe avocados
6 thick-cut bacon slices, fried until crispy and
chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and whisk until smooth and blended.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, apples, grapefruits, oranges, green onions, salt, pepper and half of the vinaigrette and toss to mix.

To slice the avocados, using a chef's knife, cut into an avocado lengthwise until you hit the pit in the center. Carefully cut around the fruit through the skin and the pulp, without cutting through the pit. Holding the avocado in both hands, twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Using a large tablespoon, scoop out the pit and then scoop the pulp out of the skin. Slice the avocado as desired. Repeat with the remaining avocados.

Divide the salad among chilled salad plates. Garnish with the avocado slices and bacon. Drizzle a little of the remaining vinaigrette over each salad and serve immediately. Serves 12.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes
People are sometimes confused by sweet potatoes and yams, which look very much alike. Both have fairly thin skin, with flesh ranging from pale yellow to bright orange. Typically, sweet potatoes have less moisture than yams. Feel free to use whichever you prefer in this recipe.

5 lb. sweet potatoes or yams
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. water
1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

With the tines of a fork, prick each potato a few times and arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, water, ginger, the 1 tsp. salt and pepper and stir to mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid thickens, about 2 minutes. Keep warm.

If the potatoes were roasted, let them cool slightly, then remove the skins. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and put them in a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the potatoes on medium-high speed until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter mixture and beat until just blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a warmed serving bowl and garnish with the green onions. Serve immediately. Serves 12.

Potato Gratin
Because russets have a lower moisture and higher starch content than most other potatoes, they’re ideal for baking and are excellent in gratins. A mandoline will ensure uniformly sliced potatoes—the key to making a perfect, tender gratin.

2 cups heavy cream
2 eggs
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut
crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices
4 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a shallow 2-quart ceramic baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk until just blended. Add the potatoes and toss gently until evenly mixed. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Using your fingertips, spread the potatoes in an even layer, pressing them lightly so they absorb the liquid. Sprinkle the cheese and then the parsley evenly over the top.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden, the gratin is bubbling and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash
Maple syrup isn’t just for breakfast anymore. In New England and across the country, it is used in both sweet and savory recipes. Here, maple syrup is combined with butter and crystallized ginger, creating a delicious glaze for this simple side dish. For the best flavor, use pure Grade A Vermont maple syrup.

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
6 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 Tbs. finely minced crystallized ginger
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 large acorn squash

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush it lightly with oil.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, maple syrup, crystallized ginger, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and blended, 4 to 5 minutes.

Cut each squash into quarters and scoop out the seeds and strings. Arrange the squash, cut sides up, on the prepared baking sheet, and season the squash with salt and pepper. Bake, brushing generously with the glaze every 15 minutes, until the edges of the squash are caramelized and the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Serves 10 to 12.

Classic Green Bean Casserole
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes: 10 servings, 1/2 cup each

3 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen French cut green beans, thawed, drained
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup CHEEZ WHIZ Cheese Dip
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can (2.8 oz.) French fried onions, divided

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except half can of the onions in 1-1/2-quart casserole.
BAKE 30 minutes. Top with remaining onions. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
Make-Ahead
Prepare as directed except for baking; cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until heated through, topping with remaining onions during last 5 minutes of baking time.

The Bread
TEXAS ROADHOUSE BUTTERY DINNER ROLLS (The BEST rolls on the planet!)

3 C. all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 oz.) pkg. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
1/4 C. nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 C. warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 large egg slightly beaten
8 T. butter melted
2 T. butter flavored vegetable shortening

Place 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine water and egg and stir to blend. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour water mixture into the well. Mix by hand, beating 150 strokes and frequently scraping bottom and sides of bowl. Add 1/2 of the melted butter and beat to incorporate. Add remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating to incorporate each addition. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set dough in a warm, draft free place such as oven with a pan of the hottest tap water on the rack below.

Allow batter to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Coat cups, bottoms and sides of 12 cup muffin pan (or two small round pans) with shortening. Punch down batter (batter will be extremely soft and sticky). Drop by hand or spoonful into prepared muffin cups to make 12 rolls (or in pan touching the next). Brush dough with 1/2 remaining melted butter. Let rise uncovered in a warm draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. In preheated 400 degree oven, bake rolls on middle rack for 16-18 minutes. Brush tops of baked rolls with remaining melted butter.

Cinnamon Butter for rolls

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter
2 oz. granulated sugar
2 oz. brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon

Beat all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.

Sally Lunn Herbed Rolls
The French soleil, lune, "sun, moon," provides the name for this old English recipe because the top of each roll bakes up as golden as the sun, while the bottom is said to be as pale as a harvest moon.

5 tsp. (2 packages) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)
4 eggs
2 tsp. salt
4 cups bread flour
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. milk
18 fresh flat-leaf parsley or sage leaves

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and milk. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the eggs and salt until fluffy and pale lemon yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the yeast mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the melted butter and beginning and ending with the flour. Then beat in the chopped herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 18 standard muffin cups.

Punch down the dough with a wooden spoon. Scoop out and divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Lightly butter a sheet of plastic wrap and place, buttered side down, over the rolls. Let rise again until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Uncover the rolls and lightly brush the tops with the egg-milk mixture. Lay 1 whole herb leaf on the center of each roll. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a roll comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn the rolls out of the pan onto the rack and let cool completely before serving. Makes 18 rolls.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
These tips will help you turn out great biscuits. Keeping the fats cold gives the biscuits flakiness. Handling the dough as little as possible ensures the biscuits will be tender. Some recipes call for gathering and rerolling scraps, which can lead to tough biscuits; cutting rectangular biscuits is a clever way to avoid this, as rectangles leave no scraps. Cutting the biscuits with a straight-down motion produces an even shape, and baking them at high heat results in biscuits that rise high and brown handsomely.

1 sweet potato
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
5 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into
small pieces
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into
small pieces

For the honey butter:
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
temperature
1/3 cup honey

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Prick the sweet potato several times with a fork. Place it directly on the oven rack and bake until very tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool completely.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and increase the temperature to 450°F.

Peel the sweet potato and force it through the medium disk of a food mill or a large-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the buttermilk and whisk until smooth.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the shortening and butter and, using a pastry blender, cut them into the dry ingredients until the pieces of fat resemble corn kernels. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times, until it just holds together.

Roll out and pat the dough into a rectangle 6 by 12 inches. Using a knife or cookie cutter, cut the dough into 12 rectangular biscuits. Transfer the biscuits to an ungreased insulated baking sheet or doubled regular baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits have risen and their edges and bottoms are lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the honey butter. In a small bowl, stir together the butter and honey until light and fluffy. Serve the biscuits hot, accompanied with the honey butter. Makes 12 biscuits.

Make-Ahead Tip: The sweet potato can be baked 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature. The dry and wet mixtures can be prepared several hours in advance, but do not combine them until you are ready to bake. The honey butter can be prepared several days ahead and refrigerated.

Old-Fashioned Biscuits
Soft winter-wheat flour produces exceptionally light baked goods, especially biscuits and cakes. Sometimes this type of flour is self-rising. If so, adjust the recipe according to the package instructions.

2 cups soft winter-wheat flour, such as
White Lily flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter,
cut into small pieces
1/2 cup half-and-half

Preheat an oven to 500°F.

Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and sift again. Put the flour mixture in a large bowl and add the butter. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, mix the flour and butter together until the mixture resembles small, coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and, using a fork, stir to form large, moist clumps.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, press the dough together to form a large ball. Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness, dusting with more flour as needed. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the dough and transfer the rounds to an ungreased baking sheet; gather the scraps and repeat.

Bake, rotating the pan once halfway through baking, until the biscuits are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits.


The Relish
JELL-O® Cranberry Relish
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 2 hr 40 min
Makes: 6 servings, about 1/2 cup each

2-1/2 cups orange juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand Cranberry Flavor Gelatin
1 cup finely chopped mixed dried fruit (apricots, raisins, dates)
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp. grated orange or lemon peel (optional)

MIX juice, cinnamon and cloves in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add to dry gelatin in large bowl; stir at least 2 min. until gelatin is completely dissolved. Refrigerate about 1-1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves a definite impression.)
STIR in fruit, almonds and orange peel. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled.
SPOON fruit mixture into 1-quart serving bowl. Serve with cooked chicken, turkey or pork. Or, serve as a dessert sauce spooned over ice cream or pound cake slices.


Cranberry Relish with Ginger
The lively, clean flavor of fresh ginger is compatible with most fruits. In the market, look for ginger that is hard and heavy, with an unbroken peel that is thin, light colored, smooth and shiny. To prepare ginger, peel it with a vegetable peeler or paring knife before using as directed in a recipe.

1 orange, unpeeled and preferably
organic, scrubbed
2 bags (12 oz. each) fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

Cut the orange (with its peel on) into 16 chunks and discard any seeds. Working in batches, combine the orange chunks, cranberries, sugar and ginger in a food processor. Pulse to chop finely and evenly, stopping once or twice with each batch to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.

Transfer to a storage container, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours to develop the flavors. Bring to room temperature and stir well before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

Make-Ahead Tip: This relish improves when made in advance, since the flavors have more time to marry. Prepare it up to 3 days before serving.

Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce has always been part of the traditional Thanksgiving menu. In the 1960s, an uncooked sauce of coarsely ground cranberries and oranges became a national favorite. But since then, the original quickly cooked cranberry sauce has regained its popularity, with many variations such as this one with apple, orange and a hint of spice.

1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or
McIntosh
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Squeeze the juice from the orange and set the juice aside. Remove and discard the membrane from inside the orange rind and cut the rind into small dice. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sauceboat and pass at the table. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups.

Cranberry Chutney
A refreshing version of the traditional cranberry sauce, this chutney has sweet, spiced flavors brightened with fresh mint.

1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
6 fresh mint leaves

Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange juice, cider, cinnamon and mint and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the juices have reduced and are thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 hour.

Let the chutney cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the chutney to a sauceboat or serving bowl and serve. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

The Stuffing
Sausage, Corn Bread and Chestnut Dressing
Our dressing recipe is designed for advance preparation. You can chop the vegetables the day before and refrigerate them in sealable plastic bags. The bread cubes can also be toasted in advance, then stored in airtight containers at room temperature. You can use store-bought corn bread or bake your own. (Personally, I think Jiffy brand cornbread that you make is the best)

8 cups cubed day-old corn bread (1-inch cubes)
2 cups cubed day-old country-style white bread,
crusts removed (1-inch cubes)
1 1/2 lb. mild Italian pork sausage, casings
removed
1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil, if needed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup French chestnuts, quartered
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as
sage, rosemary and thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow gratin pan.

Spread the corn bread and white bread out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage, stirring and crumbling with a fork, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil to the accumulated fat in the pan, if needed. Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the corn bread and white bread, the chestnuts, herbs and stock. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared gratin pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and crispy, 35 to 40 minutes more. Serves 10 to 12.

Corn Bread Dressing with Chestnuts
This recipe calls for baking the dressing separately from the turkey, which allows for faster roasting and more accurate timing of the bird. Be sure to toast the corn bread before combining it with the other ingredients. Fresh untoasted bread would absorb too much liquid, producing a soggy dressing.

8 cups corn bread,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 cup dried cherries
1 Tbs. olive oil
8 bacon slices, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 jar (14.8 oz.) French chestnuts
3 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Spread the corn bread out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 20 minutes. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the stock. Remove the pan from the heat and add the dried cherries. Let cool.

In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the corn bread, bacon, onion mixture, chestnuts, sage and parsley. Whisk the egg into the stock mixture and add to the corn bread mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to mix.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish and bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Serves 10 to 12.

Note: If desired, you can pack the dressing loosely in the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Secure the neck flap with kitchen string or pin it to the back with toothpicks or trussing pins. Tying the legs together will help hold the stuffing in the body cavity. For turkeys weighing 16 lb. or less, add 30 minutes to the total roasting time. For turkeys weighing more than 16 lb., add 1 hour to the total roasting time.

Corn Bread-Apricot Dressing with Rosemary
Whether to call the starch dish dressing or stuffing is a perennial debate at Thanksgiving tables. The term stuffing is usually used when it is cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is typically cooked in a baking pan. But the name also varies depending on what part of the United States you are from. People who hail from the East and South are more likely to call it dressing. Whatever term you use, the dish is a favorite on Thanksgiving tables from coast to coast.

1 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup water
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp. minced fresh sage
8 cups crumbled dried corn bread
(see related recipe at right)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups turkey or chicken stock, warmed

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Butter a large, shallow baking dish.

In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the apricots and water and bring just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let the apricots stand until softened, about 10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is hot, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and sage and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the apricots and their liquid, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has nearly evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the corn bread, the onion mixture, the parsley, salt and pepper and stir gently to mix. Add the warmed stock and stir to blend. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish and bake until the top is browned and crispy, about 1 1/4 hours. Serves 12.

Note: If desired, you can pack the dressing loosely in the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Secure the neck flap with kitchen string or pin it to the back with toothpicks or trussing pins. Tying the legs together will help hold the stuffing in the body cavity. For turkeys weighing 16 lb. or less, add 30 minutes to the total roasting time. For turkeys weighing more than 16 lb., add 1 hour to the total roasting time.

Apple, Shallot and Herb Dressing
Whether to call the starch dish dressing or stuffing is a perennial debate at Thanksgiving tables. The term stuffing is usually used when it is cooked inside the turkey, while dressing is typically cooked in a baking dish. But the name also varies depending on what part of the United States you are from. People who hail from the East and South are more likely to call it dressing. Whatever term you use, the dish is a favorite on Thanksgiving menus from coast to coast.

1-lb. loaf French bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
10 shallots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick
slices
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 Fuji or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut
into 1/4-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. finely ground coriander
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1 cup golden raisins
3 to 4 cups milk

Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and let dry overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

In a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the fennel, celery root, walnuts and apples and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the bread and the shallot mixture. Add the coriander, thyme, sage, raisins and the 3 cups milk and stir gently to mix. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed, about 30 minutes. If the dressing seems dry, add more milk as needed. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish and bake until browned and crispy, about 1 hour. Serves 10 to 12.

Note: If desired, you can pack the dressing loosely in the body and neck cavities of the turkey. Secure the neck flap with kitchen string or pin it to the back with toothpicks or trussing pins. Tying the legs together will help hold the stuffing in the body cavity. For turkeys weighing 16 lb. or less, add 30 minutes to the total roasting time. For turkeys weighing more than 16 lb., add 1 hour to the total roasting time.

Cranberry and Toasted Walnut Stuffing
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 10 min
Makes: 8 servings

1-1/3 cups water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup PLANTERS Walnut Pieces, toasted

BRING water, cranberries and margarine to boil in saucepan.
STIR in stuffing mix; cover. Remove from heat; let stand 5 min.
FLUFF with fork. Stir in walnuts.
Great Substitute
Substitute dried cherries or raisins for the dried cranberries.

The Gravy
Turkey Gravy
Turkey gravy, the perfect complement to roast turkey, is especially delicious when made from the pan juices, enhanced with turkey or chicken stock.

Pan drippings from roasted turkey
3/4 cup water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock, lightly salted
2 Tbs. dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Skim and discard any fat from the turkey drippings in the roasting pan. Add the water to the pan and set over medium heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. Transfer to a bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When it bubbles, add the flour and stir rapidly for a few seconds to cook the flour. Rapidly whisk in the reserved pan drippings and the stock. Cook until the gravy is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the sherry and season with salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a warmed sauceboat or wide-mouthed pitcher for serving. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

Bourbon Gravy
Included here is a simple recipe for turkey stock, yielding about 4 cups. To produce a more flavorful stock, heat a little vegetable or olive oil in the saucepan and brown the giblets and neck before adding the herbs, vegetables and water. The gravy recipe requires only 2 cups of stock, but you can refrigerate the rest to use for other Thanksgiving recipes, such as the savory dressing.

For the stock:
Giblets (except liver) and neck from a
fresh turkey
1 bay leaf
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
5 cups cold water

For the gravy:
Pan drippings from roasted turkey
1 Vidalia onion, diced
2 Tbs. bourbon
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage

To make the stock, in a saucepan, combine the giblets and neck, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, onion, carrot, celery and water. Set the pan over high heat, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, skimming the surface to remove any foam, until the stock is flavorful, about 2 hours.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heatproof bowl. Let the stock cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the gravy, set the roasting pan with the turkey drippings over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the browned bits have been loosened and the liquid has nearly evaporated, after 3 to 5 minutes, pour off and discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring constantly, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bourbon and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the stock and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the sage and cook for 1 minute more. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes about 2 cups.

Creamy Giblet Gravy
Included here is a simple recipe for turkey stock, yielding about 4 cups. To produce a more flavorful stock, heat a little vegetable or olive oil in the saucepan and brown the giblets and neck before adding the herbs, vegetables and water. The gravy recipe requires only 2 cups of stock, but you can refrigerate the rest to use for other Thanksgiving recipes, such as the savory dressing.

For the stock:
Giblets (except liver) and neck from a
fresh turkey
1 bay leaf
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
5 cups cold water

For the gravy:
Pan drippings from roasted turkey
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 cups unsalted turkey or chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make the stock, in a saucepan, combine the giblets and neck, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, onion, carrot, celery and water. Set the pan over high heat, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, skimming the surface to remove any foam, until the stock is flavorful, about 2 hours.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heatproof bowl; reserve the giblets and discard the neck. Let the stock cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. When the giblets are cool enough to handle, chop them finely and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the gravy, set the roasting pan with the turkey drippings over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the browned bits have been loosened and the liquid has nearly evaporated, after 3 to 5 minutes, pour off and discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat. Whisk in the flour until smooth and blended, then cook for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and cream and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stir in the reserved giblets and cook, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes about 2 cups.

The Turkey (or ham)
Herb-Roasted Turkey
The special blend of Mediterranean herbs—sage, thyme and marjoram—adds distinctive flavor to this roast turkey. The breast is covered with cheesecloth and basted during roasting to help the bird stay moist and juicy.

1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb.
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 Tbs. of blended sage, thyme and marjoram herbs
1 bay leaf
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room
temperature
3/4 cup turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup Madeira wine

Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325ºF.

Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard excess fat. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper, and place 2 Tbs. of the herbs and the bay leaf inside the body cavity. If desired, truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Spread 2 Tbs. of the butter over the turkey breast and evenly coat the outside of the turkey with the remaining 2 Tbs. herbs.

Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Fold a 3-foot square piece of cheesecloth into quarters, dampen with water and drape it over the breast, leaving the drumsticks exposed. Transfer to the oven.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 6 Tbs. butter with the stock and Madeira. After 30 minutes of roasting, begin basting the turkey with the butter mixture through the cheesecloth. Continue roasting, basting every 20 minutes, for 1 1/2 hours more. Then baste every 30 minutes with the butter mixture and the pan juices until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165ºF, and inserted into the thigh registers 175ºF, about 1 1/2 hours more. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be about 3 1/2 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Serves 12.

Roast Turkey
In the kitchen at Wheatleigh, the chefs soak the turkeys in a salt-water brine before slowly roasting them for the hotel's Thanksgiving dinner. The roast turkey is served with a creamy giblet gravy and a savory pear, chestnut and sage dressing.

1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb.
1 lb. (about 2 1/2 cups) kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water.
In a large pot or 5-gallon bucket, combine the salt and 1 gallon of cold water and stir to mix. Carefully set the turkey in the water and add more cold water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Refrigerate or place the container in a very cool place (32° to 40°F) for 8 to 12 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, parsley and half of the butter and toss to mix. Pack the body and neck cavities loosely with the vegetables. With kitchen twine, truss the legs together loosely and secure the neck flap to the back with a couple of trussing pins or sturdy toothpicks. Rub the turkey with half of the remaining butter.

Place the turkey on its side on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the turkey on its other side and roast for 15 minutes more. Reduce the heat to 325°F. Soak a double-thick piece of cheesecloth, 2 feet square, in the remaining butter. Turn the turkey, breast side up, and place the cheesecloth over the breast. Add about 1/2 cup water to the pan. Continue roasting, basting with the pan juices every 15 to 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, away from the bone, registers 165°F, and inserted into the thigh registers 175°F. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be about 3 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Serves 12.

Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey
After World War II, roasting the turkey unstuffed and well seasoned became popular among chefs and working women. This method eliminates the time it takes to stuff and truss, and also trims 30 to 40 minutes off the roasting time. Many people prefer the flavor of dressing baked separately from the turkey.

1 fresh turkey, about 16 lb.
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 or 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 Tbs. herbes de Provence (recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 425°F.

Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard excess fat. Place the onion, celery, parsley, bay leaf and 1 Tbs. of the herbes de Provence in the body and neck cavities, then season with salt and pepper. If desired, truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Brush the turkey with half of the butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.

Place the turkey, breast side down, on a rack in a large roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes, basting with some of the remaining butter after 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F and turn the turkey, breast side up. Continue roasting, basting with the remaining butter and pan juices every 15 to 20 minutes. After about 2 1/2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F and the thigh, 175°F. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. Total roasting time should be 3 to 3 3/4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Serves 12.

Herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon summer savory
1/2 teaspoon lavender
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon oregano or basil
1/4 teaspoon sage

Herbs de provence is best made with dried herbs as fresh herbs lose
their flavour if the cooking is longer than about 20 minutes. Mix with 1/4 lb butter for a real treat.

Mango Glazed Ham
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 3 hr 30 min
Makes: 32 servings

2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup pureed mangoes
1/2 cup GREY POUPON Honey Mustard
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 fully cooked boneless ham (6 lb.)
Whole cloves

COOK and stir onion in oil in medium saucepan 2 to 3 min. or until tender. Stir in brown sugar; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally. Add mango and mustard; stir until well blended. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in cilantro.
SCORE ham by making shallow cuts across the surface; insert cloves into corners of scores. Place ham in roasting pan. Add 3 Tbsp. water to pan. Bake as directed on ham package, brushing with 1/2 cup of the glaze during last 20 min. of the baking time.
COOK remaining glaze in saucepan over medium heat, thinning glaze to desired sauce consistency with water. Serve as a sauce with the sliced ham.

You will need 2 or 3 pitted peeled medium mangos to get 3/4 cup pureed mango.
Great Substitute
Substitute chopped fresh parsley for the cilantro.

Glazed Ham with Dijon-Pineapple Sauce
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 2 hr 20 min
Makes: 24 servings

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/4 cup GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1 whole fully cooked boneless ham (5 lb.)
Whole cloves
12 maraschino cherries, halved
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, syrup and mustard until well blended; set aside. Score ham with sharp knife; insert cloves into ham as desired. Arrange cherries, cut-sides down, on surface of ham. Place ham on rack in shallow baking pan.
BAKE 2 hours or until ham reaches internal temperature of 140°F when tested in center with meat thermometer, brushing occasionally with 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture after 1-1/2 hours.
MIX remaining syrup mixture with cornstarch and pineapple with its liquid in saucepan; cook on medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Serve with the sliced ham.

Ntoe: If ham begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

Great Substitute
Prepare as directed, using GREY POUPON Country Dijon Mustard.

The Desserts!
I am a rhubarb purist and would actually make the first dessert dish with just rhubarb instead of mixing it with strawberries, however, most people tend to prefer the strawberry/rhubarb mix.

Any vanilla ice cream mentioned, I prefer either the home made kind you make yourself or Blue Bell's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 40 min
Makes: 7 servings

2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 cups halved strawberries
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. flour, divided
2 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter or margarine
3 cups POST HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS With Almonds Cereal, lightly crushed

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Toss rhubarb with strawberries, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp. of the flour in large bowl. Place in ungreased 9-inch square baking dish.
MIX remaining 2 Tbsp. flour and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar in a separate large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cereal; stir until well blended. Sprinkle over fruit mixture.
BAKE 30 min. or until topping is lightly browned and rhubarb is tender.

Apple-Cheddar Pie
Apple pie served with a slice of cheddar cheese is a traditional combination. In this delicious twist on the classic recipe, white cheddar cheese is blended into the piecrust.

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
6 oz. white cheddar cheese, finely grated
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
2 lb. Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and cut
into slices 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored
and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. heavy cream

To make the dough, in a bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and cheese, breaking apart any large clumps of cheese. Put the butter in a separate bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the flour mixture until the ingredients are combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 15 to 20 pulses. Add 1/3 cup of the ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, remove 1 of the dough disks from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Brush off the excess flour. Transfer to a pie dish and press the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Pour the apples into a sieve set over a small saucepan, then transfer the apples to a large bowl. Set the saucepan with the juices over medium-high heat, add the butter and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the apples and toss to combine, then stir in the reduced juices. Transfer the apples to the pie shell.

Roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Drape the dough over the apples and press gently to eliminate any air pockets. Trim the dough flush with the rim of the dish. Fold the bottom crust over the top crust and crimp to form a decorative edge. Cut 4 slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape. Brush the top of the crust with the cream.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cover the edges and top with aluminum foil if they begin to get too dark. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until the apples are easily pierced with a knife, 65 to 70 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8 to 12.

Cranberry-Apple-Orange Tart
Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg add a warm spiciness to this tart crust. A lattice top, easily prepared using our lattice cutter, shows off the colorful fruit filling underneath.

For the dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
6 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
2 3/4 cups sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 vanilla bean
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and
cut into slices 1/4 inch thick and tossed
with 3 Tbs. sugar

Vanilla ice cream for serving

To make the dough, in a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Put the butter in a separate bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 10 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the flour mixture until blended, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 15 to 20 pulses. Add 1/3 cup of the ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, in a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, add the bean and stir to combine. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the cranberries have popped, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the foam subsides, add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Add the apples to the cranberry mixture and stir to combine.

Remove 1 of the pastry disks from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 14-inch round. Brush off the excess flour. Transfer to an 11 3/4-inch tart pan and press the dough into the pan. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the top edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round. Using a lattice cutter according to the manufacturer's instructions, cut out a lattice top. Keep the dough on the lattice cutter and freeze for 5 minutes.

Transfer the filling to the tart shell. Remove the lattice from the freezer and carefully invert it onto the filling. Crimp the edges slightly.

Place the tart on the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they begin to get too dark. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Accompany each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 10 to 12.

Lattice-Topped Apple Pie
Apples fall roughly into three categories, based on how they can best be used. Sauce apples (such as Cortlands) melt tenderly into custardy morsels, turning into applesauce with little more than a brief simmer. Baking apples (such as Rome Beauties and Golden Delicious) hold their shape after up to an hour in the oven. The latter two could be used in this pie, but try an all-purpose apple instead. With a texture when cooked that falls between tender and al dente, the ever-popular Granny Smith is ideal for apple pie.

For the pastry:
3 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen vegetable shortening, cut
into 1/2-inch pieces
About 12 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut
into 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 tsp. granulated sugar
Cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream for
serving (optional)

To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size bits. Add the water a little at a time through the feed tube, pulsing once after each addition, adding just enough to make a moist but crumbly dough; it will not hold together on its own but only when gathered into a ball with your hands.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each piece into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Remove both disks of dough from the refrigerator. If the dough is very cold and hard, let it stand, still wrapped, at room temperature for 15 minutes.

To make the pie shell, unwrap one disk of dough and place on a floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. With a rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a rough round. Begin rolling out the dough, always rolling straight away from you and giving the round a quarter turn every 2 or 3 rolls. If the dough sticks to the work surface, release it with a spatula and lightly flour beneath it. Lightly flour the top of the dough if it begins sticking to your rolling pin. When the dough round is about 1⁄4 inch thick and about 2 inches wider than your pie dish, roll it up around the rolling pin, then unroll it into the dish, centering it. Ease the dough into the dish without stretching it. Trim the edges, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Let the other dough disk stand at room temperature while you make the filling.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice and vanilla. Let stand, stirring once or twice, for 20 minutes. Spoon the apples and all the juices from the bowl into the pie shell, mounding the fruit slightly. Dot the apples with the butter.

To make the lattice top, place the lattice crust insert in the base of the mold. Be sure that the fine cutting edge of the diamond pattern, which is slightly narrower than the reverse side, faces down. Roll out the dough as instructed above and lay the dough on top of the lattice crust mold, making sure to cover the entire mold. Using a rolling pin, press the dough into the mold, causing the diamond cutouts to fall through. If any cutouts are still attached, push them through with your fingers. Lift out the insert and carefully invert the lattice onto the filled pie shell. Fold the overhang from the bottom crust on top of the overhanging portion of the lattice and press together to make a decorative edge.

Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the lattice. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature, topped with a slice of cheddar cheese or accompanied with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.

Classic Pecan Tart
The pecan tree grows wild in many areas of the temperate South. On chilly autumn mornings, you’ll find kids and grown-ups alike scurrying in their yards, bucket in hand, trying to beat the squirrels to this prized nut. Bourbon and orange zest add subtle flavor to this cherished Southern dessert.

For the pastry dough:
1 1/4 cups soft winter-wheat flour, such as
White Lily brand, or cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut
into small cubes
3 to 6 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. bourbon (optional)
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pecan halves, plus 1/3 cup coarsely
chopped pecans

To make the pastry, in a bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry blender, 2 knives or your fingers until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the butter and cut in until it forms tiny pea-size balls. Add the ice water a little at a time, stirring and tossing with the pastry blender or a fork until the mixture holds together. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the round into quarters and place in a 9 1/2-inch nonstick or traditional tart pan with a removable bottom. Unfold, then press gently into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the overhang even with the pan rim. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F.

To make the filling, in a bowl, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, eggs, bourbon, orange zest, vanilla, salt, pecan halves and chopped pecans. Pour into the chilled pastry shell and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake until the center is slightly soft to the touch, the edges are set and the crust is golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes, then remove the pan sides and slide the tart off the pan bottom onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Laying a slice of cheddar cheese atop a wedge of warm apple pie is an American tradition. Today a scoop of vanilla ice cream is generally preferred.

For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter,
cut into pieces
10 Tbs. cold vegetable shortening, cut into
pieces
7 Tbs. ice water
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar

For the filling:
2 1/2 lb. baking apples, peeled, cored,
quartered and cut lengthwise into slices 1/2
inch thick
1/2 cup sugar, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. heavy cream

To make the pastry, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center, add the butter and shortening and, using your fingertips, rub them into the flour mixture until small, flat pieces form. In a cup or small bowl, combine the water and vinegar. Using a fork, gently mix just enough of the liquid into the flour mixture so it comes together in a rough ball; do not overwork. Discard the remaining liquid. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

To make the filling, in a bowl, toss together the apples, the 1/2 cup sugar (adding more to taste if the apples are tart), cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough (leave the other half refrigerated) into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and then into quarters and transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and gently press into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim the edges even with the rim. Roll out the remaining dough into a 10-inch round about 1/8 inch thick.

Turn the apples into the pastry-lined pan, mounding them slightly in the center. Dot evenly with the butter. Brush the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough round into quarters and unfold over the apples. Press together the top and bottom crusts to seal, then trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and crimp to form an attractive edge. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and cream and brush over the pastry. Make a few slits near the center to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until the apples are tender (insert a knife blade through a slit) and the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie with Poached Cranberries
To serve, place slices of pie on individual dessert plates, spoon poached cranberries with their liquid around each slice, and top the pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

For the poached cranberries:
3/4 lb. fresh cranberries
1 cup ruby port
1/2 cup sugar

For the pie shell:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
7 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch
cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
2 to 3 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:
16 oz. fresh or canned pumpkin puree (see
related tip at right)
3 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground mace
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Whipped cream for serving

To poach the cranberries, in a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cranberries, port and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until they begin to pop, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a baking sheet; reserve the liquid. Cool the cranberries and liquid separately, then combine them in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the pie shell, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse once to blend. Scatter the butter and shortening over the flour and process in short pulses until pea-size crumbs form, 20 to 25 seconds. While pulsing, gradually add the water until large, moist crumbs form.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press together to form a flat disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish and fit the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and flute the edge decoratively with your thumb. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before baking.

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Line the pie shell with lightly oiled aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Place the pie shell in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and beans, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake until the shell is golden and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes more. Transfer the pie shell to a wire rack and let cool.

To make the filling, in a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs. In another bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice, cloves and sugar and stir to blend. Whisk into the pumpkin mixture, then whisk in the half-and-half and evaporated milk. Gently stir in the cream. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan and cook the filling, stirring constantly, until very warm (not hot) to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes.

Transfer the filling to the pie shell and bake until the filling is just set in the center, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon some of the cranberries and liquid around each slice and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.

Pumpkin Pie with Orange Marmalade
The key to making a flaky, all-butter crust is to handle the ingredients as little as possible. Cut the butter into the flour just until it forms pea-size crumbs; this means that small bits of butter will still be visible. A common misconception when making pie dough is that the butter holds the flour together. The ice water actually performs this function, so avoid overblending the butter.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. plus 1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small
pieces
2 to 3 Tbs. ice water
1 2/3 cups pumpkin puree (see related tip
at right)
2 Tbs. orange marmalade
3 Tbs. molasses
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
Whipped cream for serving

In a food processor, combine the flour, the 1/4 tsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. of the salt and pulse once to blend. Add the butter and process in short pulses until pea-size crumbs form, 20 to 25 seconds. While pulsing, gradually add the water until large, moist crumbs form, about 10 seconds more.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a 5-inch disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 425°F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish and fit the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Line the pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer the pie shell to a wire rack and let cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, marmalade, molasses, the 1 cup sugar, the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the eggs and cream and stir until smooth. Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth the top.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool. Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.

2 comments:

greatwhitebear said...

WOW!

Have a happy thanksgiving!

Epiphany said...

I find that mixing about half a cup of shredded white chedder into the pie crust gives it an even more buttery flavor than a normal crust. Most people think it is disgusting, but once you try it, you will never make a pie again without it.

BTW my mouth is watering, after reading through all of those recipes.

On a final note, I'm sorry I haven't been around in a while, but I finally have gotten through the busy season here, and I think I will have some time to read through blogs on regular basis again...here's to hoping. :)