Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Classic and an Update.......

I was thumbing through my cookbook to make sure I have everything I need for our Thanksgiving Feast, which we're sharing at Melinda's house this year. I guess YOU could guess that I watch alot of food shows, right? Well, one of my favorites is America's Test Kitchen on the PBS channel.
Well, I watched one show this weekend about their "flip" on Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.....which is a MUST HAVE at our Thanksgiving table. Typically, you roast your head of garlic in the oven, right? And you boil your potatoes, right? Well, this completely cuts out those two steps AND adds tons more flavor....here's the concept:
1. You mince 12 cloves of fresh garlic and saute on medium low in 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon sugar until they just start to turn the color of straw.
2. Then add 1.2 cup water and 1 1/2 cups milk.
3. Then add 3 pounds of russet potatoes which have been sliced into 1.4 inch slices.
4. Turn down heat to low and let cook for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until soft.
5. Once they're cooked, mash them right in the pot, add 12 tablespoons (I know!!!) of butter and an additional 1/2 cup of milk and VOILA!!!
The concept is to not lose the flavor of the potatoes by boiling them in the water AND intensify the garlic flavor in the potatoes by cooking them with the garlic. I just love this idea.....and I'm changing how I make my garlic mashed potatoes this year....I'll come back and add photos later!
Note: You can find the basics to the recipe here and the full recipe by signing up there. And here's a picture of their potatoes (only because I hate blogs with no pictures and I don't have any yet...again, I'll add them later.

One thing I'm NOT changing is my dressing/stuffing. I can't count how many times I've thought about adding sausage, nuts, apples, etc., but once I smell that turkey cooking, I can't imagine eating it without my classic stuffing/dressing recipe. Here's the recipe straight from my own cookbook.....it's just like my Mom's, except that I DID add leeks (I love them!):
1 pounds dense country white bread (these days I get my freshly made bread cubes already baked at Farm Fresh....in the bakery department!!
6 tablespoons butter (plus additional for greasing baking dish) (I also think I up this every year for flavor....can't resist!)
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups celery diced
2 to 3 teaspoons dried sage (more if you're using fresh)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or marjarom (or use 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning)
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
3 eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the bread cubes on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, stirring until lightly browned and crisp, stirring once or twice. Transfer them to a large bowl and set aside. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a skillet and lightly saute the celery, onions and leeks...about 7 minutes. Then add the herbs, mix well and add to the bread cubes. Add the stock 1 cup at a time until the bread is moist, but not soupy.
Note: At this point you can cover and refrigerate until time to bake for your dinner.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the eggs, pour over the prepared mixture, then pour into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.
Note: I usually make an extra large batch of this because I HAVE to have some stuffing in my turkey. Until I can add pictures of this process, here is a copy of last year's turkey!
Check back in a couple of days for this pictures of the making of this stuffing....

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