I’m changing things up this year with My Thanksgiving Test Kitchen! I decided to create a Thanksgiving menu inspired by new recipes and old rituals. Since it’s our second year in our new home in Chatsworth and we’re starting to settle in here in the countryside of Los Angeles, it is time to introduce new recipes and keep around some of the old ones as well. As a food blogger I cook earlier in the month in order to get pictures and recipes out for the blog. I decide this year to make it a Test Kitchen for Thanksgiving dinner. That means new ways to cook and recipes to try. I hope you enjoy them!
Let’s get started with the star of the day, The Juiciest Turkey! Roasting a whole turkey presents the challenge of simultaneously cooking white and dark meats. I’ve heard the lean white meat is often dry by the time the dark meat is tender, and this is my first time attempting it. A wet brine helps to alleviate both issues, plumping the white meat with water, which gives it a head start against drying effect of roasting, and tenderizing the tougher dark meat. Because moisture from a wet brine impedes browning, let the turkey air dry in the refrigerator before roasting for a well-bronzed bird. Take advantage of the extra time by applying a flavorful rub of roasted garlic paste.
Brine and Turkey
The Juiciest Turkey
Thanksgiving ain’t Thanksgiving without stuffing and I usually make my cornbread oyster stuffing but since this year is the Thanksgiving Test Kitchen, I’m trying something new and delicious. This Southern Seafood Stuffing has a warm, savory flavor with a bit of crab and shrimp in each bite, it’s a delicious way to bring coastal flavors to the holiday table, or just a great dish to enjoy anytime!
Southern Seafood Stuffing
Keeping in line with our test kitchen for Thanksgiving, here’s a tasty and colorful, beautiful, and absolutely delicious Prosciutto Green Bean Bundles with Crispy Mushrooms. Though it may look complicated, this recipe is quite easy to prepare. To save prep time, look for bags of prewashed, pretrimmed beans in the produce section. If you can’t find the slender haricots verts, you can use regular green beans—they’ll just need to cook a few minutes longer in step 1. You can blanch the beans and prepare the dressing the day before, but wait to combine them; the acid will discolor the beans.
Prosciutto Green Bean Bundles with Crispy Mushrooms
This Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Apple Salad with Walnuts recipe will convince anyone to love Brussel sprouts. Because the dish is served at room temperature, it’s ideal for Thanksgiving or any time you’re entertaining. Sprouts are pan-roasted on the stovetop and the walnuts and apples give a crunchy, earthy flavor.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Apple Salad with Walnuts
Thanksgiving dinner always needs to have some type of yummy bread or rolls to accompany the feast. Any dinner roll will due but before I put them in the oven I add rosemary, lemon oil, salt and garlic flakes basically whatever you like and have on hand will do before they are put into the oven.
The smell of the apples cooking in the oven will drive your family and friends wild, let alone the taste of this Apple Pancake after it is baked. Sweets may be the Thanksgiving’s final act but they are usually the everyone’s favorite indulgence!
I hope you enjoyed My Thanksgiving Test Kitchen, a little different but just as yummy! I’m always here to try new recipes and then once approved send them with love to you.
It’s been a rough time here in California but it’s that time to stop and be thankful for all our blessings! Yes, the year has flown by so quickly that we could barely catch our breath; but it’s time to stop, catch our breath and exhale. Then inhale deeply, close your eyes and be thankful for your health, your family, your life, your ideas, your stamina, your existence and your peace of mind. Sometimes we have it all together and other times we don’t but for this Thanksgiving, visualize your ultimate existence and bask in the joy. Keep this feeling close to your heart and meditate on it whenever you need a reminder to be thankful for all your blessings.
Thank you all for supporting and being a part of my online family here at Ali in the Valley.
Have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving!
Ali in the Valley
Prosciutto Green Bean Bundles with Crispy Mushrooms
Though it may look complicated, this recipe is quite easy to prepare. To save prep time, look for bags of prewashed, pretrimmed beans in the produce section. If you can’t find the slender haricots verts, you can use regular green beans—they’ll just need to cook a few minutes longer in step 1. You can blanch the beans and prepare the dressing the day before, but wait to combine them; the acid will discolor the beans. Recipe adapted from Cooking Light!
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Author: Alison Ball
4 qt. water
3 8-oz. pkg. fresh haricots verts (French green beans)
3 1/2 cups stemmed and thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms about 4 oz.
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
divided 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
divided 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
divided 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 prosciutto slices about 2 oz. total, cut in half lengthwise
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add green beans, and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, and plunge into a large bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; lightly coat with cooking spray. Toss together mushrooms, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; arrange evenly on prepared baking sheet. Roast at 450°F until mushrooms are deep brown and crisped, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl; set baking sheet aside.
Whisk together lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup oil, remaining 5/8 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add beans; toss to coat. Gather beans into 10 bundles of about 20 beans each. Place 1 bundle at the end of 1 prosciutto piece; roll up lengthwise. Repeat with remaining 9 bundles and remaining 9 prosciutto pieces.
Arrange assembled bundles, seam side down, on reserved baking sheet. Bake at 450°F until beans are warmed and prosciutto begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer green bean bundles to a platter; sprinkle with roasted mushrooms.
Roasted Brussels Sprout and Apple Salad with Walnuts
This recipe convinces anyone to love Brussels sprouts. Because the dish is served at room temperature, it’s ideal for Thanksgiving or any time you’re entertaining.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time32 mins
Author: Alison Ball
For the sweet hot mustard:
1/4 cup 60 g Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
For the salad:
2 Tbs. Blackberry Farm smoked onion jam or caramelized
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
5 Tbs. 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb. 500 g brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 cup 125 g black walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 red apples such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced
To make the sweet hot mustard, in a bowl, whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar and hot sauce. Reserve 2 Tbs. mustard for the salad; refrigerate the rest for up to 4 weeks.
To make the salad, in a large bowl, whisk the smoked onion jam, vinegar, the 2 Tbs. sweet hot mustard, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are just tender and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the walnuts and apples and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve.