Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Meal

Clockwise from upper left corner: cranberry sauce, turkey, sausage quinoa stuffing, white bean cauliflower mash, oven roasted sweet potatoes, oven roasted brussels sprouts, oven roasted green beans, salad.

During the holidays we travel to our parents’ houses and stay with them, which means we’re never the hosts of the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals (although our parents do let us do a lot of cooking when we're up there, which is very fun!)  So we decided to make some of our favorite holiday dishes and eat this yummy meal with our long-time friends and fellow "foodies."  The measurements in most of the dishes are not very exact, so just trust yourself with whatever amounts of seasoning and vegetables you want to add!   Here’s what we made (everything is pictured on the plate above):


Clean and remove all unnecessary parts from a 14 lb. turkey.  Soften 1 stick of grass-fed butter (we used Kerrygold) and mix in salt, pepper, and chopped fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary (about 2 T of each).  Rub this mixture under the skin of the turkey, then sprinkle turkey with coarse salt and pepper.   Bake at 400 degrees on a rack in a roasting pan.   After about an hour, check the turkey and if the skin is browning a lot, make a tent over the turkey with foil and then put it back in the oven.  After 2 hours, begin to check the turkey about every 10 minutes to see if it is done.  When the turkey is done (either you've tested it with a thermometer or the timer in the turkey has "popped"), wrap it tightly with foil for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.  Then carve the turkey and serve! 

Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes

          Wash 4 lb. sweet potatoes (which will fill a 13x9 pan and cut into small cubes (a bit smaller than a die), leaving the skin on.  Microwave the sweet potatoes for about 2 ½ minutes.  We did this in batches because there were so many.  Place in 13x9 pan and toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper.  We didn’t really measure this, just gave them a good coat with the cumin, a bit less cinnamon, just a dusting of cayenne and a good amount of salt and pepper.  Sorry for the inaccurate measurements.  Just experiment and trust yourself! 

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Oven Roasted Green Beans

                We used 1 lb. of thin, already cut green beans from Sam’s Club for ease of preparation.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 or 425 would also be fine.  We cooked them at 400 because that’s what the oven was already at from the turkey).  Line baking sheet with foil and place green beans on sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss to coat.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they have some good color.

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffing

                In a large dutch oven, brown 2 lb. sausage.  We used ground pork from the ½ pig that we just bought!  (This is the first dish we made with our pork!)  When the meat is almost fully cooked, add 1 diced onion, some mushrooms (about 2 cups), 1 diced stalk of celery, and about 2 cups of diced baby carrots.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and add about 3 T chopped fresh rosemary.  Cook until all vegetables begin to soften.  Then add 2 cups dry quinoa and 3 cups chicken broth.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the quinoa absorbs most of the liquid. 

White Bean Cauliflower Mash

Cranberry Sauce

Salad with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, yellow peppers, cucumber, basil, walnuts, and hard boiled eggs.

This was such a satisfying meal.  Thanks to the many blogs I read for some of the wonderful recipes we used!  Thanks to Rem for making the meal with me, and thanks to our friends for making food and coming over to eat with us!  Stay tuned for my next post: the dessert we had after dinner!

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