I want to say that I just love entertaining for family and friends. I mean, truly love it.
So much so that I can be a little much for my beautiful Baby to handle, because I want everything to be perfect and go exactly as I envisioned especially with how it all looks and tastes..
So for this past Thanksgiving holiday, here in the US, I most definitely was more then a little anxiety ridden. I say this because not only was I doing a decent amount of cooking myself, but it was also going to be one of the first Thanksgiving dinner in our new home in quite a while..
Well I have to say that things most assuredly did not go perfect (as far as my vision) but in the end were perfect despite me and my worry. (I can be more then a little silly)
You see, after waking early (after doing even more dessert and dinner preparation the night before) I got started on prepping my turkey for cooking—cleaning, buttering, seasoning and covering my bird with cheesecloth (I always use a cheesecloth, it traps the moisture in the breast meat and you're able to baste right through it till ready). Next I set the table with plates, bowls, napkins, utensils and decorations. (some chocolate turkeys at each place setting was a nice touch)
Finally after beginning the roasting and basting of the bird I brought out everything else I had pre-prepared all week, which included a delicious "Roasted Butternut Squash Soup" and
The house was so cozy, warm and smelling of all these incredible aromas; and as everyone began arriving I started serving up some starters while cooking, cooking and cooking some more..
It was such a great day, and I loved it so much having everyone over to enjoy the various dishes and desserts I had worked so hard on...
Everything tasted so good that I can't help but share at least a few of the recipes from that day with you, my followers (here and on Facebook & Instagram), which includes one of my new favorite side dishes as well as something wonderful to help you stretch out those incredible Thanksgiving leftovers we all enjoy so much...
The first dish is an oh so yummy "Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta" followed by my "Personal Turkey Recipe" and finally the delectable dish that is an incredible alternative to the turkey sammies, which we all love, and which I'll be calling my "Thanksgiving Leftover Soup"
It's so good and so simple; and just the thought of sausage stuffing matzoh balls in soup with carrots, corn and turkey—Mmm, I can't even, I may have to make a turkey and stuffing just to make this soup again sooner rather than later...
In the end everything looked beautiful, felt wonderful and tasted great. So why not try some of these for you and your family next year or any time; because they are, oh so, "Definitely Delish"
"Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta"
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick cut pancetta, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Pinch of fresh Thyme and Sage, finely minced (1/4 teaspoon)
1. Partially cook the Brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water, about 4 minutes... (Or you can lightly steam in the microwave until slightly cooked)
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes...
3. Add the garlic and sauté until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Then add the herbs and red pepper flakes, followed by the Brussels sprouts, to the same skillet and sauté until heated through and beginning to brown—about 5 minutes...
4. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Then add the broth and cook until the broth reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, about 3 minutes...
Serve and enjoy...
1 fresh turkey (weight will affect cooking time)
Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 tbs. Turkey Herb blend (see below)
1 bay leaf
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup Madeira wine
1. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit..
3. Remove the giblets and neck, if included, and reserve for making gravy, if desired.
4. 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.
5. Spread 2 Tbs. of the butter over the turkey breast and evenly coat the outside of the turkey with the remaining 2 Tbs. herbs.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Continue roasting, basting every 20 minutes, for 1 1/2 hours more.
9. 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 165 degrees F—total cooking time will vary by weight...
10. Baste and gently remove cheesecloth and then baste Turkey again for a final 20 minutes in the oven to nicely brown the skin on breasts.
11. Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
"Turkey Herb Blend"
1 tbs. dried sage
1 tbs. dried basil
1 tbs. dried marjoram
1 tbs. dried thyme
1 tsp. parsley flakes
Pinch of dried mint
1. Mix together evenly (double, triple or quadruple the amounts and save excess in a tin for future use)
"Thanksgiving Leftover Soup"
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 peeled Carrots, sliced
2 stalks Celery, sliced
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups leftover stuffing
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat, torn or shredded
1 cup leftover corn kernels
4-6 cups of low sodium Chicken Broth
1. In a small bowl; whisk the eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper together until smooth...
2. Add the stuffing and mix until well combined—cover and reserve in the refrigerator until needed...
3. Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes...
4. Add the sliced carrots and celery, thyme sprigs, and broth and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer...
5. Cook the vegetables until just soft, about 10 minutes...
6. Roll level tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into balls with wet hands (see note) and drop into the simmering soup; cook until dumplings float, approximately 4 to 5 minutes...
7. Gently stir in the turkey meat, corn, and season with salt and pepper (to taste), and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately and enjoy..
Note: Moistness of stuffing can vary; if the dumpling dough is too soft to roll, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is firm enough to hold its shape while rolling...