Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Bean and Turkey Chili--Cathy

Thanksgiving was wonderful; full of family and friends and so much great food!  We made two huge turkeys  (dry-brined of course! It really does work so well!)--one in the oven and one lightly smoked out on the grill.  I love to have tons of turkey and all of the fixings so that we can have plenty of food to include last-minute extra guests, and lots and lots of leftovers to send everyone home with some.  What's Thanksgiving without leftovers?  I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner just as they are, or in many various guises.  

One of our favorite ways to use leftover turkey was given to me many, many years ago by our friend and a wonderful cook,  Cindy Taylor Voss who used to make it by the gigantic potful for hordes of us.  It is purported to be the recipe for the famous Turkey Chili at the Deer Valley Ski Resort, though who knows if it really is or not.  If you Google it, the recipe comes up in almost identical forms from many sources with only slight variations, though even these have changed over the years.  Even more interestingly (well, to me anyway because I'm the food nerdly-type who finds this kind of stuff fascinating) I found pretty much the identical recipe years after Cindy gave it to me in a cookbook from a wonderful place in Colorado, The Daily Bread in Glenwood Springs. I have only slightly adapted it myself, to increase the seasonings because we like it that way, so feel free to adjust to your liking.

Anyway, who knows what the actual source of this recipe is?  Whatever it is, it's a fabulously delicious recipe for a thick, hearty and unusual chili and a great way to use up some of your turkey day bounty. My theoretical hat is off to the creative person behind this deliciousness.

One year ago: Mashed Rutabaga Gratin, Thanksgiving Turkey
Two years ago: Pecan "Crack" Pie, Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish, Holiday Green Beans
Three years ago: Crab and Brie Soup, Orange and Herbs Turkey Brine, Tomato, Sausage and Eggplant Soup 
Fours years ago: Our first post! Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Southern Skillet Cornbread - Caity

My mom has many opinions on "Southern Cornbread" vs. "Yankee Cornbread". Since she lived in Georgia for many years as a child, I highly respect her opinion and will summarize it here: "Yankee Cornbread" is wrong. All wrong. It has sugar in it which is completely unacceptable. Especially if you're using it to make stuffing. If someone feels this strongly about cornbread, I think you ought to listen to them! 

Tutu (my mom's mom) always made Southern Cornbread for Thanksgiving Stuffing when my mom  was growing up. The problem is that she made it without a recipe which is extremely hard to replicate. The only Cathy approved recipe for cornbread (besides Tutu's) comes from the Pioneer Woman's recipe "Skillet Cornbread". The bread comes out nice and crispy on the bottom and tastes fantastic. If you're using it for stuffing, you can make it up to a month before hand and freeze until you're ready to use which is what I have done this year in preparation for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving! 

One year ago: Mashed Rutabega Gratin
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Sauce with Candied Orange Peels - Cathy

This recipe is really just the basic Ocean Spray back of the bag recipe, but it's the one my mom always used, and it's the one I like the best.  Over the years I've tried lots of fancy variations (in addition to this one that I'm posting today, and this one of course, not instead of!), with various spices, fruit, nuts, liqueurs, differing amounts of sugar, etc. but I always decide that I just like this basic back of the bag recipe the best.  Something about tradition, I guess...  So really, my only variation to the recipe is that I add chopped up candied orange peel (recipe here) that I started making when the kids were little.  I had some leftover candied peel and Erin asked me to add some into the cranberry sauce and a tradition was born!

One of the best advantages though of having this favorite recipe printed up somewhere is that sometimes I buy cranberries from say, Costco in a giant bag that doesn't have a recipe on the back.  Then I have to go hunt down the recipe, and even then the amount is in ounces instead of cups!  Or another brand may have a recipe with more sugar than I like and it ends up being way too sweet for me.  So anyway, it's nice to have the good old Ocean Spray recipe written down where it's easily accessible.  

Thanks for being there all my life, Ocean Spray to provide lots of good, delicious memories!

One year ago: Thanksgiving Turkey
Two years ago: Pecan "Crack" Pie
Three years ago: Crab and Brie Soup
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Citrus and Peppercorn Dry Turkey Brine - Caity

Any holiday that revolves around eating is an excellent one in my book!  Brendan's family will be driving up to spend the holiday with us which we are very excited about! Since we will be having a much larger dinner this year compared to last year, we are starting our preparations early. Brendan reserved the turkey yesterday from New Seasons and I am trying to make as many things beforehand as I can like cranberry sauce (recipe coming soon from my mom, Cathy!) and freezing it. I am also going to make our turkey brine during the "quiet" days before Thanksgiving so I don't have to worry about it last minute. Which leads me to my next point...

Traditionally brining your turkey is a really great way to make sure you have delicious moist and flavorful meat. The only downside is what a big production the whole thing can be; getting a big enough bag to fit all the brine, mixing the brine, disposing of the brine when you're done etc. I was happy to see this recipe for a dry brine published in Bon Appetit last year and am happy to report it tasted great! The dry brine is like a concentrated rub. Massage it onto the skin and let it sit for 6-24 hour prior to oven time. The result will be moist and flavorful meat with less mess! 

For tips on roasting your turkey click here and for other Thanksgiving recipes click here

Creates enough dry brine for a 12-14 lb turkey

One year ago: Thanksgiving Turkey
Three years ago: Chex Mix, Crab and Brie Soup
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing