Thanksgiving Feast

As most of you know Thanksgiving is a huge foodie holiday.  I am still learning something new every year. Here’s what was served at our Thanksgiving prepared by ME!

Appetizers: 
– Cheese Platter
– Cold Spinach Dip
– Roast Beef Rounds
– Sausge Crescent Rolls

Main Dishes:
– Turkey
– Lasagna
– Spiral Ham (made by my Mother in Law)

Sides:
– Creamy Mashed Potatoes
– Corn
– Green Beans
– Stuffing
– Biscuits
– Green Garden Salad (made by sister in law)

Dessert:
– New York Cheesecake
– Chocolate Pudding Pies ( made by sister in law)
– Brownies ( made by sister in law)

The Turkey:

I had wet brined the turkey this year. I combined 2 gallons of water, 3/4 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups of apple cider,3 tablespoons ground pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage, 6 garlic cloves, and 3 bay leaves. I brought all of the ingredients to a boil until the sugar and salt dissolved. I made an ice bath in my sink and placed the pot in the sink. Once the brine was completely cooled I poured it in the bag with the turkey breasts side down. I let the turkey brine for about 16 hours.

I then rinsed the turkey off and let the turkey take a cold bath for about 20 minutes in the sink to remove a lot of the salt.
image

After patting it dry with a towel I went under the skin and placed compound butter and slices of lemon. I sprinkled salt and pepper on the turkey. The turkey was stuffed with a lemon (halved), one onion, carrots and celery.

I let the turkey rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in a 350°f oven covered with tin foil.

While it was resting, I made clarified butter to baste the turkey with. I also had chicken broth warming up on the stove to use to baste as well. I placed herbs in both and kept them warm on the stove.

I roasted the 18lb turkey for 4 1/2 hours and let it rest covered for 1 hour.

image

The Cheesecake:

Normally, I make Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake. However, this time I wanted to try an easier recipe. BIG MISTAKE !

The cheesecake was great but not my best. Everyone was upset when I said I changed recipes. They found this cheesecake very dense and very filling.

From Food For a Hungry Soul
New York Cheesecake
(Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan.  This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie.  Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit. 

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. 

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.  Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan.  Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.  Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.  For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

image

My Cheesecake

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

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