Wednesday, November 16, 2016

An EZ Thanksgiving of Your Own

This country's biggest cooking & eating day is coming. It might NOT be the year to go “home” to biological family for this holiday. Perhaps the thought of going to a friends “Experimental” dinner of Turkey Sushi or Sriracha Sweet Potatoes has your stomach feeling weary. What we have here is an easy to fix meal with traditional tastes. However you will find it a bit lighter on both your emotions and your gut! Plan on 2½ hours to fix.

We can still have turkey, dressing, cranberries & sweet potatoes, even the better taste out of Aunt Hoochie's Heavy Green Bean casserole without the gray gloop!
Organize, pull it together, and let an old slave show you how You can do this yourself.

Roasted Turkey
Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms

A boneless 3 lbs turkey
(These are in the frozen section with other turkeys. They contain both white & dark meat but no bones, so the approx $9.00 cost is really not so bad. They also include a nice gravy packet for easy to fix fool proof gravy. Just be sure to thaw) NOTE the sodium is HIGH! Do not salt.
Dressing check the previous recipe for slider stuffing.

Sweet Potatoes
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 small can tropical fruit salad
4 tbs light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup Triple sec orange liqueur

1 can WHOLE BERRY cranberry sauce. (look for the upside down can)

Green Beans
12 oz fresh green beans
8 oz fresh mushrooms (or a small can)
1 large yellow onion
2 tbs olive oil

1 tube of bread that you bake yourself,. Either croissants, dinner rolls, Italian bread, whatever you like, they all cook about the same time & temps.350 for ½ hour.

Before pre heating oven to 350 check to make sure your pans will fit the way you want them.

Read the covering of the turkey! It gives directions on thawing and how to open the package.

Fixing the dressing the night before and keeping tightly covered (plastic wrap) in refrigerator will same time and frustrations. You do have plenty of time to fix it if you wait until the turkey is just put in oven.

You can also set up the sweet potatoes, refrigerated, wrapped in plastic the night before – just don't cook either of these in the wrap!

The meat is held together with a cotton netting. Careful with that. It stays on while cooking but remember to cut it off before serving! This is not a self flossing bird. The gravy packet is kept until needed. Since this is a flat 3 lbs there is no guessing or trying to estimate times in the oven. However you must still use a thermometer to check before serving.(165) Nobody is thankful for raw turkey food poisoning. It will probably say roast for 2 hours at 350 degrees, but check at the 1.5 hour mark. Read the package! Place in foil lined baking pan on a rack if possible, if no rack will fit that small of a pan, cut large rings of onions and place turkey on that. On the spur of the moment, slave decided to cut a strip of bacon in half and drape over the bird: skin side up by the way.

That first hour and a half gives you time to set up the vegetables which go in for the last half hour. Fix them up and cover with plastic wrap until time to cook. It is SO much easier.

Line a baking tray with foil & spray. Rinse mushrooms and green beans. While they dry, chop up the onion.
Mix the beans, onions and mushrooms on the tray and drizzle with olive oil, set aside.

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, Sit them in a bowl covered with a damp paper towel as you work because they can develop spots. 

  Spray a small microwave safe casserole. Carefully slice the potatoes with a mandolin type slicer for less than a ¼ inch slices. USE THE HANDLE while slicing. Stack the slices into the casserole on their sides. pour in the triple sec all over. Drain the fruit salad and fit the pieces around the slices. Spoon about ¼ cup of the whole cranberry sauce around. 
Yes the cans of cranberry sauce can be confused with the jellied kind. So they make it easier on you by labeling the whole cranberry stuff with the cans upside down! Look for the bottom on top and you get the right one.

Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover and sit in refrigerator. Spoon the rest of the sauce into a small serving bowl to have along side the meal. While it is just fine right out of the can, you may wish to doctor it up with a bit of cinnamon.

Line another tray with foil. Open the tube of bread and arrange for oven. However do NOT make my mistake of using a foil tray on the bottom shelf – bread will burn. To be safe: put metal pans on bottom rack and foil trays on top rack.

Now with everything ready it is just a matter of when to slide it in the oven.
With half an hour to go: Since the turkey is small there should be room on lower rack to slide the dressing pan in along side. These will not burn like the foil trays will. On the upper shelf goes the green beans and bread.. Watch the times.

The turkey must rest for 10 minutes before serving and slicing. That will give time to make the ez gravy. Dump in pan and stir until it boils! The last to get cooked are the sweet potatoes which only take about 6 - 8 minutes on high. Don't over fill dish and watch for spillovers.

          Remember the temperatures! 
            Not just of the turkey (165).
While the food gets hot – you take time to chill out!
Don't forget to sing while cooking! As you cook, think about things you are grateful for. FOCUS on happiness and the food will taste better.

So happy to be serving as a slave to my Master Indy


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


Dan White


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