We started off with a spread of snacks and nibbles.
Once everyone was here, we started on the salad while the bird was in the oven.
Shaved Root Vegetable Salad
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Serving Size: 4
Slice the red beets last and keep them separate until serving so their color won’t bleed onto the other vegetables.
4 tablespoons hazelnuts, divided
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons hazelnut oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red beet, peeled
1 medium golden beet, peeled
1 small turnip, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
2 radishes, trimmed
1/4 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
Crush 2 tablespoons hazelnuts; place in a small bowl. Whisk in orange and lemon juice, vegetable oil, and hazelnut oil. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice beets, turnip, carrot, and radishes using a mandoline or V-slicer. Place red beet slices in another small bowl and remaining vegetables and parsley in a medium bowl. Spoon 3 tablespoons vinaigrette over red beets; pour remaining vinaigrette over vegetables in medium bowl. Toss each to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange red beets on a platter; spoon over any vinaigrette from bowl. Top red beets with remaining vegetables. Drizzle salad with any remaining vinaigrette; garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons hazelnuts.
4 pounds tomatillos, chopped
1 pound onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 cups vegetable stock
1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
Ground cumin, to taste
Cilantro, chopped, to taste
Sour Cream, optional
Boil tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapenos, poblanos and vegetable stock until soft.
Puree till smooth and strain, then chill.
Puree raw cucumber then chill.
Combine chilled tomatillo puree with cucumber puree, then add a little ground cumin and chopped cilantro and blend till smooth.
The major vegetable side dish was a roasted squash:
Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette
Recipe By: Gourmet
Yield: Makes 4 servings
This late-season squash is roasted to coax out its subtle sugars before being mixed with citrus juice, chile, and cilantro.
2 (1 1/2 – to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.
While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Of course you can’t have thanksgiving dinner without potatoes. These where great, with the mix of white and sweet potatoes, the mix of flavors.
Mashed Potatoes with Cilantro and Roasted Chilies
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Yield: Serves 8
2 poblano chilies
3 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled, quartered
1 lb. sweet potatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled, bruised
1 cup warm half and half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Wrap in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed chilies; chop coarsely.
Cook potatoes and garlic in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 35 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes and garlic to bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. Gradually beat in half and half. Add butter and beat until melted. Stir in chilies and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
The stuffing is of paramount importance as well, and this one fit the meal perfectly.
Southwestern Corn Bread Stuffing
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Serving Size: 12
Chilies and corn—staples of the southwestern diet—are the hallmarks of this stuffing. Its intense corn flavor comes from a mixture of corn bread, corn chips, corn kernels and cream-style corn. It gets its zip from poblano and jalapeño chilies.
Buttermilk Corn Bread (see below)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
4 large poblano chilies, stemmed, seeded, chopped
3 large jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage or 4 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups crushed corn chips
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups (about) canned cream-style corn
Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut corn bread into 4 equal pieces. Crumble 3 pieces onto large baking sheet (reserve remaining piece for another use). Bake until slightly dry, about 20 minutes. Transfer to very large bowl.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, all chilies, sage and oregano and sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with corn bread. Mix in cilantro, corn chips and corn kernels. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Mix eggs into stuffing.
To bake stuffing in the turkey:
Fill main turkey cavity with stuffing. Mix enough cream-style corn into remaining stuffing to moisten (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cream-style corn, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Spoon remaining stuffing into buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered foil. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until top begins to brown, about 15 minutes.
To bake all stuffing in pan:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Mix in 1 1/4 cups cream-style corn into stuffing. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake until heated through, about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
Buttermilk Corn Bread
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Yield: Serves 12
Use to prepare Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing, or enjoy this on its own.
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil, sugar and eggs in large bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients, stirring just until blended.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.)
And of course the turkey, the required protein side dish (well, ok, some people consider it the centerpiece of the meal). Suzanne makes a mean turkey. This was no exception. She skillfully melded a couple different recipes to come up with this.
Achiote Butter-Basted Turkey with Ancho Chili Gravy
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Yield: Serves 14
Achiote paste is a combination of vinegar, spices and annatto seeds, which have a unique, earthy taste. Basting the turkey with butter and achiote yields a moist, richly flavored bird, and the slightly piquant sauce is a refreshing change of pace from traditional gravy. Offer your favorite mashed potatoes, and pour a Pinot Noir.
2 fresh poblano chilies
3 dried ancho chilies, stemmed, halved, seeded
1 22- to 24-pound turkey, giblets discarded
1 large white onion, quartered
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons achiote paste
3 1/2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup Masa Harina (corn tortilla mix)
1 1/3 cups kosher salt
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 cinnamon sticks
6 ancho chilis, rinsed
In a large pot, dissolve salt and sugar in 1 qt. water. Remove from heat and add 5 qts. cold water, the garlic, cinnamon, and chilis. Let cool to room temperature.
2 tbsp. ground dried ancho chilis
2 tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
Prepare brine and soak turkey in it. Chill, covered, 12 hours.
Char poblano chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose chilies in paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes to steam. Peel and seed chilies.
Toast ancho chilies in heavy large skillet over high heat until color darkens slightly and chilies are fragrant, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer ancho chilies to medium bowl. Add enough hot water to bowl to cover chilies. Let stand until chilies soften, about 20 minutes.
Puree 4 ancho chili halves with 1/2 cup soaking liquid in blender. Add roasted poblano chilies; puree. Season with salt and pepper. Drain remaining 2 chili halves; chill. (Puree and soaked chilies can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse turkey inside and out. Pat turkey dry. Sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper. Cut remaining 2 ancho chili halves into strips. Place chili strips and onion in turkey cavity.
Mix butter and achiote paste in small bowl to blend. Run fingers between turkey breast skin and meat to loosen. Rub half of achiote butter over turkey breast under skin. Rub butter over outside of turkey. Place turkey in large roasting pan. Tuck wings under turkey. Tie legs together to hold shape. Pour 1 1/2 cups broth into pan. Rub turkey with olive oil and rub with oregano and ground chili.
Roast turkey 45 minutes. Tent turkey loosely with foil. Continue roasting until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices, about 3 1/2 hours. Transfer to platter. Tent with foil.
Pour turkey pan juices into measuring cup. Spoon off fat from pan juices, reserving 1/4 cup fat. Add enough remaining broth to pan juices to measure 3 cups. Return 1/4 cup fat to roasting pan. Place pan over 2 burners set at medium heat. Add Masa Harina; whisk until mixture resembles paste, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in pan juices. Add chili puree; simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with gravy.
What’s turkey without cranberry sauce. This was perfectly on theme, and so yummy.
Chipotle Cranberry Sauce
Recipe By: Bon Appétit
Yield: Makes about 2 cups
This relish has a smoky, savory
quality, thanks to the chiles and
garlic. Unlike most cranberry
sauces, this one doesnt require
any added liquid.
2 dried chipotle chiles
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cumin
Place chiles in medium saucepan filled with water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chiles are tender, adding more water if needed to keep chiles submerged, 1 to 11/2 hours, depending on dryness of chiles. Drain.
Combine softened chipotles, cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in heavy medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until cranberries begin to pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cinnamon, and cumin. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly and flavors meld, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Cool.
Remove chipotles. Stem and seed. Mince chiles and return to cranberry sauce; stir to distribute. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.
Ingredient tip: Dried chipotle chiles can vary by brand, with some being more supple than others. Look for chiles that give slightly when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Chiles that are hard may not soften sufficiently when simmered in water.
Chad brought this amazingly good pumpkin cheesecake.
Snappy Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe by tasteofhome.com
Service Size: 12
I won first place in a pumpkin baking contest with this snappy dessert. The judges gave high marks to its gingersnap-pecan crust and creamy marbled filling. If you wish, substitute cinnamon graham crackers for the gingersnaps. —Lisa Morman, Minot, North Dakota
1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 30 cookies)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Whipped topping, optional
Additional gingersnap cookies, cut into wedges, optional
Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and pecans; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
Place 1 cup filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling and set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling into the crust; top with plain filling. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over top; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
Place pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with whipped topping and cookie wedges if desired.
And I made this creme brûlée.
Chocolate-Ancho Crème Brûlée
Recipe By: Epicurious.com
Serving Size: 8
In this intriguing twist on a delicious and popular dessert, the ancho chilies add a touch of earthy heat.
3 cups whipping cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried ancho chili with seeds, stemmed, chopped
Pinch of ground cumin
1/3 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/3 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Strain custard to remove any lumps as well as the chilies and cinnamon. Reserve the chilies to mince for garnish.
Divide custard among eight 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Place cups in heavy large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake custards until almost set in center, about 35 minutes. Remove cups from water and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat broiler. Mix remaining 6 teaspoons sugar and ground cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over custards. Broil until sugar melts and caramelizes, watching carefully and turning often, about 2 minutes. Use a brûlée torch is you have one, instead. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate.) Transfer to plates and serve.
Everyone had a great meal and a great time.