Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

On the Menu

Since we have Vegans, Vegetarians and Pescatarians (a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish) in the group, our meal is designed to accommodate everyone's needs. So our #ThanksgivingDinner is a mixture of  #Traditional and #NewAge.
Our guests supply the dessert and beverages.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce Perrin



Roast Turkey
  10 Servings

Turkey Serving Guideline:

The rule of thumb for buying turkey is:1 pound per person. This should be enough to cover  dinner and allow for leftovers to snack on throughout the evening.

I'm choosing a 12 pound turkey to feed 10 people allowing for bone and water weight. So trust me there is enough for left overs even when I'm feeding 4 people with hearty appetites.

1 – 12 lb turkey
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika

Note:  Turkey should be seasoned 1 day prior to cooking.  If turkey is frozen allow 1 day of thawing (in the refrigerator) for every 4 pounds.

Remove giblet bag from turkey and clean the turkey inside and outside thoroughly.  Pat it dry with paper towels then generously sprinkle the inside and outside with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and poultry seasoning. Wrap the bird loosely in Heavy Duty foil and let it sit over night.

 Poultry Seasoning 
Yield 1/3 cup

2 tablespoon sage, rubbed
1 tablespoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients.
Try and purchase all ingredients from a specialty store that sells herbs and spices in bulk.  This way you can purchase only the amount that is needed.

24 Hours Later

                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil with 1 tablespoon each of the following:  garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Drain turkey of any excess liquid that may have accumulated.
With a paper towel, wipe the foil dry and smooth it out place the turkey back on the foil.  Massage the oil mixture over the turkey making sure you coat it inside and out thoroughly.
Loosely wrap the oiled turkey again in foil, crimping the edges to seal in the heat but do not have the foil tightly wrapped around the turkey. Place the bird in a roasting pan and roast  undisturbed 10 minutes per pound (a 12 pound turkey will cook in 2 hours).
After the cooking time has elapsed, remove turkey from oven and let it sit  in  the unopened foil 1 hour before serving.
I know, you have to peek to make sure the turkey is brown/done,Okay so peek, take the temperature and re wrap. Place it back in the oven another 10 minutes to regain the heat you just released. Now let it sit 1 hour before serving!Note: Even after the turkey is removed from the oven it will continue to cook.  Just know, that if you followed the instructions your turkey will be done, juicy and golden brown.

Do not over crowd your oven.  The more food you have in it, the longer it will take your food to cook.

Polbano and Kielbasa Cornbread Stuffing

10 - 12 Servings


2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon granulated onion

1 teaspoon sage

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

3 large poblano chili peppers

¼ cup grapeseed oil

12 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced or diced

1 large onion, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 cups, chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven 350 degrees

Empty cornbread mix into a large bowl; add the granulated garlic, onion, sage and poultry seasoning then follow the instructions on the box.

Once cornbread is cool enough to handle, crumble it up in a large bowl and set it aside.

Charred Pepper

Working over a gas stove or under a boiler, char the poblano peppers on all sides.  Place peppers in a plastic bag and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Peel and discard the skin then chop.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add the sausage and cook until brown.  Transfer sausage to the bowl with the cornbread.

In the same pan add the remaining oil, poblanos, onions, celery and garlic. Saute until onions are soft and then add them to the cornbread mixture.

Pour the chicken broth over the cornbread mixture; add salt and pepper and poultry season to taste.

Transfer mixture to a 3 quart baking dish and bake until top is brown approximately 35 minutes.
Joyce's Vegetarian Dressing

¼ cup grape seed oil
1 jumbo onion, diced
2 large bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 can water chestnuts, drained, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon poultry season
1 – 2 teaspoons sage
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 ounce package black walnuts, finely chopped
1 – 14 ounce bag Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing
1 – 14 ounce bag Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan or wok over medium heat.  Add the vegetables and seasonings and sauté until onions wilt.
Add the walnuts, stuffing mixes and vegetable broth, mix thoroughly. If dressing is too dry, add more liquid, ½ cup at a time, then taste for flavor.  You may have to add more poultry seasoning and sage.  Transfer dressing to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven 30 minutes.
Dressing can be made a day ahead then baked the following day.

Peppercorn Crusted Salmon
8 Servings

8 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
1/2 cup whole peppercorns
1/2 cup Dijon mustard

To crush the peppercorns, put them in a plastic bag and smash them to bits with a rolling pin or mallet.  Then dump the cracked peppercorns on a plate.
Using a pastry brush (designated for seafood), paint both sides of the filet with mustard, and then roll it in the peppercorns until both sides are coated.
Heat grill, when grill is hot wipe the rack with oil to prevent sticking and place filets on grill.
Grill for 5 minutes on the first side, then turn and grill 5 – 6 minutes on the second side.

Note:  There's a delicate balance between perfectly cooked fish and overcooked fish.
First of all, remember the principle of residual heat: an item will hold heat when it's removed from the heat source, continuing to cook for several minutes.
For best results, cook fish until it's almost done, then remove it from the heat source and let it stand for a few minutes to finish cooking.

Orange Cranberry Relish

8 - 10 Servings


12 oz bag Cranberries                 

2 medium oranges + the zest of 1 orange          

1 cup water                                           

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar                

1 small stick cinnamon, whole                         

1½ cups sugar                                     

2 tablespoons raisins                              

¼ teaspoon ginger, ground 

¼ teaspoon garlic, minced, fine

⅛ teaspoon chili powder                        

¼ teaspoon cloves, ground

½ teaspoon salt                                     

Pinch cayenne pepper  


Sort through cranberries and remove stems or bad berries rinse, then set aside.  Wash oranges, zest 1 of the oranges then juice both.  Pour the orange juice, orange zest, water, vinegar and cinnamon stick in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium then add the sugar and stir until sugar dissolves.  Add all remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until all cranberries pop open and mixture reaches the thickness you desire approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.  .

Orange Honey Glazed Carrots

10 - 12 Servings
3 bunches carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the carrots diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices.  Place 1/2 cup water, the butter, honey, 2 teaspoon of salt, and the ginger in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover the pan, and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated. You may want to raise the heat for the last 5 minutes.

Add the orange zest and orange juice to the pan, tossing with the carrots. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until the carrots are al dente (tender but still resistant when you bite) and the sauce glazes the carrots. Add the pepper a salt, to taste.

  Green Beans with Sauteed Garlic
8 Servings

2 pounds green beans, trimmed, halved
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red peppers
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans; cook 5 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water; drain and discard bay leaf.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic and chili peppers and sauté 30 seconds. 
Add beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, tossing frequently

6 Servings


1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut ½” on the diagonal

1 ½ pounds crook neck [yellow] squash, cut ½” on the diagonal

1 ½ pounds zucchini, cut ½” on the diagonal

½ bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven 350 degrees

Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Slice squash again lengthwise then cut on the diagonal.

Wash then cut the crookneck (yellow) squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and cut on the diagonal.

Remove sage from the stems and rough chop.

Place the butternut squash in a bowl and mix in ½ sage, olive oil, salt and


Place on a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash is golden brown.  Approximately 45 minutes.

Combine the crookneck, zucchini squash and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Transfer to a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash are golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.

Turn once ½ through the cooking time.

Once both pans of squash are done, combine them.

Serve hot

Kale with Sundried Tomatoes
6 – 10 Servings
Chef Rosalind Francis –
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I like to use grapeseed oil)
1 bag of kale or 2-3 bunches of kale, tough stalks removed + discarded, leaves roughly chopped
12 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
1-2 teaspoons Spike seasoning (I use Cajun Seasoning)
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling as needed
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste
In a large pan add oil to heat. When oil is heated add the kale. Cook kale in batches, small amounts at a time, for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Once a kale batch is cooked, remove from pan and add another batch until all the kale is cooked.
When the last batch of kale is in the pan, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes and spike seasoning, then add all the cooked kale to pan.
Simmer for another couple of minutes or so, until the kale has wilted and the liquid reduced. Add salt to taste.

Macaroni and Cheese - for Holidays Only
10 - 12 Servings
1 pound box elbow macaroni
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon basil, ground
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups (1 lb.) pepper jack cheese
6 cups (1 1/2 lbs.) NY or WI  Xtra-Sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oven 350 degrees
Cook macaroni until it's al dente:  In a large pot, pour in 4 quarts of water, add salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion and bring to a boil.
Once water is boiling, add the macaroni, stir and bring the water back up to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the pot sit covered and undisturbed until the cooking time stated on the box is reached. Approximately 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the milk and butter heating just long enough to melt the butter.
Once the cooking time has elapsed on the macaroni, drain it and return it to the pot.

Add the paprika and basil and mix thoroughly.
Add the warm milk and mix thoroughly.  Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
The cheese does not necessarily have to be melted, just make sure it is well distributed
throughout the dish. Mixture should be moderately moist, if needed add more milk.
Taste for flavor and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and then cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the
foil and plastic wrap and bake uncovered another 15 minutes or until the casserole is slightly
browned on the top and all of the milk is absorbed.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4 - 6 Servings
2 pounds organic red skin potatoes
Water to cover
1 bay leaf
3 large garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon mustard powder

½ teaspoon sea salt ½ cup vegan mayonnaise ¼ cup of the liquid potatoes were cooked in
Wash/scrub potatoes and cut them into equal size.
Cover with cold water then add bay leaf and garlic cloves, bring to a boil.
Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Drain potatoes and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Place the potatoes, mustard powder, sea salt, vegan mayonnaise in a mixing bowl with a paddle. Mix just long enough for potatoes to reach a creamy consistency. Add cooking liquid ¼ cup at a time if needed.   If you process too long potatoes will become sticky and gooey rather than light and fluffy. You can also use a potato masher to cream the potatoes.  Just be careful not to over mix the potatoes, you want them to be light and fluffy.

   Puerto Rico's Rice with Pigeon Peas
Arroz Con Gandules
8 – 10 Servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Sofrito
·         2 tomatoes, diced
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         1 large red pepper, diced
·         1 large jalapeno peppers, diced
·         4 large cloves garlic, minced
·         ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
·         ¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons salt free Sazon seasoning
1 cup tomato sauce
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons stuffed olives
1+ tablespoons salt free adobo seasoning or to taste
1- 15 ounce can pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups parboiled rice

Heat a Dutch oven on medium heat, add the olive oil and sofrito ingredients, and sauté for 5 minutes.
Next add the sazon, tomato sauce and continue to sauté another minute or two.
Add the water, salt, Italian seasoning, cilantro, bay leaves and olives.
Allow the liquid to come up to a boil taste it for salt and add more salt if needed.  Add in 1 tablespoon of the adobo season taste and add more if needed until it’s well seasoned.  You want the liquid to be highly seasoned, as it will determine the final taste of the rice.
Add in the pigeon peas then bring the mixture back up to a boil.  Once the mixture is boiling, add the rice.
Stir the rice to get and gently mix until the pigeon peas are distributed throughout the rice.
Cook rice uncovered until all surface liquid is absorbed. Once most of the visible surface liquid is absorbed, stir and cover the rice.
Lower the flame to the lowest setting and allow it to cook for 20 minutes.
It’s done when all the liquid is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and fully cooked.
Remove bay leaves before serving.
Field Greens Salad
6 – 8 servings
1 ½ pounds salad greens
1 cup mandarin oranges
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecans halves
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, oranges, blue cheese and pecans.
Just prior to serving, add the dressing and toss until thoroughly mixed.   Do not saturate greens with dressing ¼ cup is sufficient to moisten and flavor the salad.

 Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup
6 Servings
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium sugar pumpkin
4 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 clove garlic, smashed
1 ½ quarts vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a blender or coffee grinder, grind coriander, cumin, oregano, fennel, red pepper and peppercorns into a coarse powder.
Place ½ of the seasoning blend in a small container with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix until it’s a paste.
Wash pumpkin, cut it in half and remove the seeds.
Wash sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise.
Smear the inside of pumpkin and potatoes with the spice paste and place them in a baking dish.
Roast pumpkin and potatoes in the preheated oven 40 minutes or until they are tender.   
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, onions, celery and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add vegetable broth, salt and remaining spices, simmer uncovered on low.
Once pumpkin and potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop them out of the skin.
Mix pulp in with the vegetable broth and using a food processor or immersion blender, puree soup until it's smooth and creamy.
Or you can remove pot from the heat mash the pulp with a potato masher and whisk until it's smooth.
Cook an additional 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.