Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving on Halloween

I can't believe it's November 1! Yesterday was Halloween and we were looking forward to trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, we did not have as many as last year (which wasn't all that many). I don't know if it's because there are not many kids in the neighborhood or because we live on a pretty busy street and there are only 3 houses on our side of the street so no one bothers crossing over to our side, but despite leaving lots of lights on, we had only 2 kids, and an adult with a baby ring our doorbell. How disappointing. Especially because now we have lots of leftover candy. Chocolate candy is yummy but with all the upcoming food events in the next 2 months, I am not a fan of lots of leftover Halloween candy.

Anyway, we bought a small turkey breast on sale last week and decided to cook it yesterday. What goes with turkey? Stuffing. Throw in some green beans and roasted root vegetables and it was Thanksgiving on Halloween.There was a lot of prep work involved in this meal. Specifically, lots of chopping for me:Green beans, celery, onion, parsnips, carrots, and potatoes. I chopped and chopped and chopped and peeled and peeled and thought it would never end! To be fair, some of the chopping was for a soup we were making at the same time, but... it was a lot of chopping! While I was chopping, SP got the turkey ready.We seasoned it with olive oil, Dos Anclas salt, Penzey's Mural of Flavor, ground sage, and rosemary. Here it is, cooked to 170, and sliced:While the turkey was cooking, we made the stuffing. I love stuffing! Sausage stuffing! My mom uses (and my grandma used) sausage links browned and sliced. We used a roll sausage: a package of Jimmy Dean Sausage with Sage. We broke it up into little pieces as it browned. Once it was browned and crumbled, we added the vegetables.We added celery, onions, and mushrooms to the browned sausage. The mushrooms aren't in the vegetable photo at the beginning of this post, but I also sliced mushrooms.We used half an onion, 2 celery stalks, and an 8 ounce package of whole mushrooms. My grandma made amazing stuffing. No one could make stuffing as yummy as grandma's stuffing. When I was young, she always joked about her 'secret ingredient.' When I got older, she revealed to me that she always added some nutmeg to her stuffing. I don't know if it was really the nutmeg or that special grandma love & warmth, but just in case it's the nutmeg, I always add some.I think I was eyeing the Halloween candy when SP combined everything together in the baking dish. We used 1 bag of Cellone's stuffing cubes. I think they actually call them croutons, not bread cubes. As for the chicken broth... it's a guess. Too little and the stuffing is dry; too much and it turns out soggy & mushy. The finished stuffing:We also roasted a bunch of vegetables -- specifically, the CSA veggies that have been rolling around on our veggie bin! SP helped with the chopping of these vegetables. We cubed and roasted celeriac, squash, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, onion, and parsnips.The cubed vegetables were simply tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.And of course SP toasted the squash seeds:This was one of our tastier turkeys. I really liked the combination of seasonings that we rubbed on the turkey. The stuffing was, as usual, tasty. It was a bit moister than usual, but since we'll be reheating it throughout the week, that's OK. I am not a huge fan of root vegetables, so I didn't really enjoy the beets and turnips and squash mixture, but I did try it so SP was proud of me! I almost forgot the green beans! They weren't too exciting - they were simply steamed, but I really like steamed green beans. We don't add butter to our steamed vegetables.

Thanksgiving on Halloween -- and on 3 more days this week since we divided the leftovers from each part of the meal into 3 portions.

6 comments:

  1. Yum! You know how I feel about roasted root vegetables. That turkey is one fine looking bird. Your Thanksgiving dinner on Halloween sure beats the usual slimey pizza!

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  2. I'm so jealous. I've had an intense turkey-stuffing-mashed potatoes-cranberries craving for going on 3 wks now. Don't know if I can make it until T-giving!

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  3. Those roasted veggies look awesome, even with the inclusion of beets. What temperature to you roast them at?

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  4. 350 on convection bake for about 30 minutes, then reduced to 325 (still convection) when we put in the turkey breast - about 90 minutes total for the veggies.

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  5. Mike-When I roast them, I usually do it at 350 for an hour. I never use the convection setting, but Greg does, and since he was manning the oven on Sunday we used the convection. We rarely use the oven just for roasting veggies, so they never get roasted at higher temps like 400-425. Even when it's just the veggies, I do it at 350 for 1-1.5 hours.

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  6. I'll have to try the lower temperature roasting. I always go full wack (400+ degrees) when roasting, but I'm not sure why. It's just always seemed like the right thing to do. Your method/temperature seems to get the correct doneness (whereas I find myself with undercooked centers and charred outsides).

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