This year for the first time ever Bob and I will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house. We're only having a small gathering but we decided it would be in everyone's best interest to do a trial run to make sure that a) I could properly cook a turkey, and b) that we approved of the menu. Good news, Practice Thanksgiving was a HUGE success! Now we can prepare for the real deal.
I'm pretty sure that Practice Thanksgiving will now be an annual event because really, why not? It was awesome and I feel like a Thanksgiving pro now. To wet your whistle, and get you in the turkey-eating spirit I've collected our foods so you can decide if you too want to dine like we did.
We enjoyed: savory crock pot turkey, spicy crock pot turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, cornmeal stuffing muffins and a nice heirloom tomato salad. We ended up having a small party of 5 and I managed to not super over cook! Amazing! I cooked everything except dessert. Our awesome friend Staci brought Paula Dean's pumpkin cake, it was really really good.
Okay so here's how I did it:
Turkey! (Savory and Spicy)
What you'll need:
1 turkey breast
1 packet of onion soup mix
1 turkey breast
lemon/herb/pepper spice mixture
We bought two turkey breasts (because that's the best part in our opinion) and decided to cook them in the crock pot so that I could still use the oven for other things. Each turkey breast (bone in) was about 2.5 lbs. Each turkey breast was prepared roughly the same way, slap some butter on the sides of our crock pot, put about a half an inch of chicken broth in the bottom of the pot. Rub the onion soup mix, or habanero spice mix on the turkey great. Rub it in real good, and under the skin for extra flavorful awesomeness. Place the turkey breast in the crock pot and toss your chopped onions of the top. Place the lid on your crock pot and cook for 1 hour on high, and then 7 more hours on low. I ended up cooking our turkey breast for about 10 hours and the meat pretty much fell right off the bones.
Sweet potato casserole:
Green bean casserole:
Again, not my recipe, I used the Campbell's Green Bean Casserole recipe. It's a golden standard as far as I'm concerned and goes with just about everything. I tried using the recipe on the back of French's Fried Onions once, and it wasn't the same, the soy sauce makes all the difference.
Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins:
I read about how you could make stuffing muffins in an issue of the Rachel Ray magazine and figured I could that, and I did. Her original recipe has you making everything from scratch and I was not up for that. I like cheating. To make cornmeal stuffing muffins you'll need:
1 box of cornmeal stuffing (I bought Mrs. Cubbison's)
4 stalks of celery diced
Half and onion chopped finely
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 cups -ish vegetable broth
In a gigantic skillet sauté the onions, garlic, and celery. Add the cornmeal stuffing, and slowly poor in the vegetable broth to mush it together. Let cool a little bit, roll in balls and put in a muffin tin. Bake them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and then stuff them in your face with or with out gravy. It's up to you.
Heirloom Tomato Salad:
Spinach leaves (1 cup per person)
Heirloom tomato (about 1/4 per person-ish)
Avocado (1/4 per person)
Toss everything in a bowl and serve! Add some pepper for a little kick.
Serve your meal with your favorite wines and then enjoy the fruits of your labor. I high recommend making the casseroles in advance, it makes things sooo much easier. And whatever you do, don't forget to set your table, this is a classy affair!