Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Feast

Thanksgiving? Christmas?  Here are a few great recipes to help you make your feast perfect.

Cider-Brined and Glazed Turkey

4 quarts apple cider, divided
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup whole allspice
8 bay leaves
4 quarts cold water
1 20-pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved)
  1. Simmer 1 quart apple cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in 20-quart pot 5 minutes, stirring often. Cool completely. Add remaining 3 quarts cider and 4 quarts water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain turkey and rinse. Arrange on several layers of paper towels in roasting pan. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  1. Boil cider in saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter. Cool completely.
  2. Set rack at lowest position in oven; preheat to 350°F. Remove paper towels from roasting pan. Pat main and neck cavities of turkey dry; stuff loosely with stuffing. Place turkey in pan, tuck wings under, and tie legs together loosely.
  3. Roast turkey 1 hour. Brush with some of glaze. Roast until beginning to brown, about 1 hour. Cover with foil. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding up to 1 cup water to pan if drippings begin to burn, about 3 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes.
Green beans, Roasted Fennel and Shallots
makes 6-8 servings

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed
3/4 pound shallots, peeled, halved through root ends
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound slender green beans, trimmed
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut fennel bulbs lengthwise in half. Cut halves lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, with some core still attached to each.
  3. Combine fennel and shallots in large bowl and add 3 tablespoons oil; stir to coat and arrange fennel and shallots in single layer on prepared sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 35 minutes.
  4. Cook the green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Pat dry.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roasted vegetables and haricots verts; toss until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
Carmelized Onions
from Kathy Hill
makes 6-8 servings

5-6 medium sized yellow onions
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, melt 1/8 cup butter.
  2. Slice the onions into thin rings and place in pan with butter. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the onions are tender, adding butter if the onions begin to look dry.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12-oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Stir in zest, then cool.
French Apple Pie
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook

Crust: 9-pie pie crust or a pre-made pie crust

8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
a pinch of salt
  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. Mix all ingredients together except apples. Stir in apples.
  3. Roll out pastry and place in 8-9 in pie pan.
  4. Pour in apples.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup firm butter
  1. Mix flour all ingredients together and stir until crumbly.
  2. Sprinkle over top of apples.
  3. Cover during last 10 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

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