Just thinking about Thanksgiving makes one hungry for their family’s tried-and-true favorites. As we were planning the upcoming Thanksgiving offer we thought we would share our favorite family recipes with you! So try out some of these delicious offerings from our family to yours.
Try Mary’s Nebraska styled smoked turkey, Joelle’s New England oyster stuffing, Kristen’s southern twist on sweet potatoes, and Jamie’s Californian cranberry sauce!
Share your favorite family recipes with us and we will post them on our blog! (Either comment on this post or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mary’s Smoked Turkey, Nebraska style
Some pointers for smoking a turkey:
- Turkey breasts, drumsticks, wings and whole turkeys are all suited for smoking.
- If you have a turkey that weighs over 12 pounds, detach the leg and thigh portions from the breast and smoke the turkey parts separately (to ensure thorough cooking).
- Don’t stuff the turkey. Smoked stuffing is not the most desirable flavor and it takes too long for the the stuffing to reach the required temperature.
- Enhance flavor by adding chunks or chips of water-soaked hardwood or fruitwood. DO NOT use softwood (pine, fir, cedar or spruce). It gives the food a turpentine flavor and coats it with a black pitch or resin.
Charcoal smokers have two pans - one for charcoal and one for liquid. Fill the pan for liquid with water, Cuvaison wine, apple juice or the liquid you desire. Fill the charcoal pan with of course charcoal. Light the charcoal and place the cover on the smoker. When the smoker has reached an internal temperature of 250° F to 300° F, place the turkey on the smoker rack and replace the cover. Replenish charcoal and/or liquid, as necessary, to maintain 250° F to 300° F.
Smoking time depends on many factors: the size and shape of the turkey, the distance from the heat, temperature of the coals and the outside air temperature. Estimate 20 to 30 minutes per pound if using a smoker. Always use a food thermometer. The whole turkey is done when the food thermometer, placed in the inner thigh, reaches 180° F. The breast is done when the internal temperature reaches 170° F.
Joelle’s New England Oyster Stuffing
(Serves 8 – 10)
- 11 cups 1⁄2" cubed white French bread (about 14 oz.)
- 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1⁄4" strips
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 6 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
- 40 medium oysters, such as bluepoints, shucked (about 1 lb.), with 1 cup of the liquor reserved
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1⁄4 cup Espiritu Dessert Wine
- 1⁄3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp. chopped thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp. chopped sage leaves
- 1⁄2 tsp. Tabasco
- 1⁄4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 250˚. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring occasionally, until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Put bacon into a 12" skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp and its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Add 4 tbsp. of the butter and heat. Add shallots and celery; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add oyster liquor, stock, wine, parsley, thyme, sage, Tabasco, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the bread cubes and oysters. Set aside to allow the flavors to come together for 10 minutes.
- Raise the oven temperature to 400˚. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. oval baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue baking until golden brown and crusty, about 30 minutes more. Serve immediately.
Kristen’s Sweet Potato and Two-Cheese Gratin
- 5 Large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 1/8-inch slices
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded Fontina cheese
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Garnish: fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Place a layer of sweet potatoes in a shingled fashion in baking dish. Season sweet potato layer with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle potatoes with 1 tablespoon Fontina cheese, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and ¼ cup cream. Repeat layers 3 times. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle remaining cheeses over sweet potatoes. Then bake, uncovered, until cheese is golden brown, approximately 15 min. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
Jamie's Cranberry Sauce with Cherries, Marsala, and Rosemary
- 2 cups dry Marsala (or substitute 1 cup for Cuvaison red wine)
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries
- 12 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries (about 2 2/3 cups), halved
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
Combine Marsala and dried cherries in deep saucepan. Boil until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup, about 8 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and simmer until cranberries burst and mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.)