Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Favorites: Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
7 Tbsp butter, divided
1/3 cup chives, minced
Salt & Pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, divided

Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sour cream and cream cheese until smooth.  Add in hot, drained potatoes and beat until potatoes are fully incorporated.  Add 4 Tbsp of butter, chives and salt & pepper to taste.

Rub the inside of a 9x13 baking dish with the 2 Tbsp of butter and sprinkle bottom of pan with ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, tilting the pan to coat the sides with the cheese, as well.  Pour potatoes into the dish and dot with additional Tbsp of butter, and sprinkle remaining ½ cup of Parmesan evenly over the top.

At this point you can proceed with baking (preheat oven to 350 degrees F), or cover with foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to baking to allow pan to come up to room temperature.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Makes 8 generous servings.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Green Bean Casserole with Herbed Breadcrumbs

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Green Bean Casserole with Herbed Breadcrumbs
No soup from a can or Franken-onions in this version!

2 lbs green beans, trimmed & cut in half
3 lg shallots
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups, coarse ground bread crumbs (panko works great or a larger ground)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
½ tsp Kosher salt, divided
½ tsp ground black pepper, divided
2 cups reduced fat milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
Pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil green beans in salted water over high heat, uncovered, for 6 minutes until bright green and slightly tender.  Drain well and transfer to a 3-quart baking dish.

While green beans are boiling, dice 1.5 shallots and then thinly slice the remaining 1.5.  Set aside the sliced shallots.  In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add chopped shallots and cook for 4 to 7 minutes until slightly browned.  Pour in breadcrumbs, thyme, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp ground black pepper, stir to fully incorporate.  Cook an additional 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Set aside in a separate bowl.

Heat milk in a saucepan just enough to warm it, but not to boil it.  In the same sauté pan you used for the breadcrumbs, melt butter over medium heat.  Add sliced shallots and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown.  Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Then slowly add milk, and whisk continually to avoid any clumps.  Bring to a boil and continue stirring for about 2 minutes.  Sauce should thicken to the consistency of heavy cream.  Whisk in nutmeg, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.  Pour sauce over green beans.  Then evenly top with bread crumbs, and bake for 30 minutes until topping is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
1 ½ cups heavy cream, warmed
8 Tbsp unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper, optional

Place the potatoes and in a large sauce pan. Cover with 1 to 2 inches cold water and season generously with salt.  If the water is under seasoned at this point it will be hard to have a well seasoned end product. Bring the pot of water to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
Meanwhile, sauté the minced garlic in a little bit of olive oil for about 1-2 minutes, just until the garlic is fragrant, and take care to not burn it.  Cooking the garlic first will get rid of any bitey or bitter taste that’s found in raw garlic.
Drain the potatoes well and stir in the cooked garlic.  Bring the heavy cream and butter to a boil in a small saucepan, and once it has begun to simmer and butter is fully melted into the cream, remove from heat.
Pour 1/3 of the cream and butter mixture over the hot potatoes, and using a hand mixer, beat until the cream and butter are incorporated.  Repeat with remaining 2/3 of the cream mixture until potatoes are perfectly smooth and creamy.

Season with salt and pepper (optional), to taste.  Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in a low temperature oven.

Thanksgiving Favorites: 2 Hour Turkey

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

2 Hour Turkey
For roasting pans with a V-shaped rack only!


1 (10 lb) whole turkey (if frozen, fully thawed)
1 -2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Remove and discard truss that holds turkey legs together. Pull or trim off and discard any excess fat in neck or body cavity. Remove giblets and neck.  Rinse turkey inside and out with warm water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Place the adjustable V-shaped rack in a 13 x 16 x 3-inch roasting pan (set rack sides so the bird is a minimum of 2 inches from pan bottom).
Rub turkey skin generously all over with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set bird breast-side-up on rack. Pull wings away from body, then firmly twist them to push the wing tips under the bird.
Using aluminum foil, form caps over the tips of the end of each drumstick. If any parts of the turkey extend beyond pan rim, fashion a foil collar underneath to make sure drippings flow back into pan. Do NOT tie legs together, add stuffing, or close body cavity.
Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer near the center of the breast through thickest part until the tip touches bone, which is most accurate spot to check doneness.  Verify oven temperature and set pan on the lowest rack in a 475° oven. Roast according to time chart:.
10-13 lb. 50min to 1 1/4 hrs.
13-16 lb., 1 1/4 hrs to 1 hr 50 mins.
16-19 lb., 1 1/4 hrs to 2 hrs.
19-22 lb., 1 1/2 hrs to 2 hrs.
22-24 lb., 1 1/2 hrs to 2 1/2 hrs.
Continue to check during cooking, until thermometer reaches 160° (halfway through roasting time, rotate pan in oven to assure even cooking and browning ). If areas on turkey breast start to get browner than you like, lay a piece of foil over the dark areas.
Remove pan from oven, set in a warm spot, and loosely cover pan with foil to keep it warm. Rearrange oven racks to accommodate potatoes and dressing. Decrease oven temperature to 400º. Let turkey rest 30 to 60 minutes. The resting period will allow the internal temperature to reach 165°, the USDA safe cooking temperature for poultry.
Drain juices from body cavity (often plentiful in unstuffed birds) into roasting pan. Transfer turkey to a platter or rimmed cutting board. Set aside juices for gravy.
Cut off turkey legs at thigh joint . If joint is red or pink, return legs to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes (at 300° to 475°) or heat in a microwave oven for 3 to 4 minutes.
Carve the rest of the turkey. Carving juices may be clear to pink or rosy; both are fine. Save juices to pour into gravy if desired.
Time Saving Tip: If you have a frozen turkey, place it in the refrigerator to thaw 4-6 days before Thanksgiving. Take it out an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature.

Helpful Hints: If there is any smoke, check pan and wings for drips into oven; adjust foil under wings, or slide roasting pan onto a larger shallow rimmed pan. Wipe drips from oven bottom.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Serves 8 / Total Time: 1.5 hrs

For Brussels Sprouts:
2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts, outer leaf layers removed, spout ends sliced off, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 lb slab of bacon, diced into 1/4" pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream

For Gratin Topping:
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (can substitute parsley or chives)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss brussels sprouts with melted butter, bacon, salt & pepper.  Spread in a shallow baking dish, just large enough for one layer with a little overlap.  Roast on top rack of oven for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting.

While the sprouts are roasting, prepare your gratin topping.  In a bowl, mix together all of your toppings ingredients and set aside.

After the brussels sprouts have roasted for 25 minutes, add the heavy cream and stir to fully coat.  Evenly top with your breadcrumb mixture, and put it back into the oven to roast for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley
From the kitchen of our own “Tie-Dye” Ann!

1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed, and cubed
1 head of cauliflower, rough chopped (save the greens!!!)
Cauliflower greens, removed from stalk and rough chopped
1/2 bundle of kale, leaves removed from stalk and rough chopped
1 quart brussels sprouts, stalk trimmed and sprouts halved
4 baby potatoes, cubed
Olive oil
Dizzy Pig Cow Lick Seasoning

**You can also throw in sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, garlic, parsnips or turnips

Preheat oven to 415 degrees.

Prep all of your veggies and if you're making as much as I did, you'll need 2 baking sheets, one for the greens and one for the rest of the veg.

On one sheet, evenly spread out vegetables, minus the kale & cauliflower greens.  Drizzle with a good bit of olive oil, enough to well coat everything.  You don't want them swimming in oil, but you need enough oil for them to caramelize rather than burn.  Then season generously with the Cow Lick Seasoning.  Toss the veggies to evenly coat each piece and place into the oven onto a lower rack to begin roasting.

Prep your kale & cauliflower greens the same way, and then let them sit tight, as you won't pop them into the oven until the other veggies have roasted for about 15-20 minutes.  Place the sheet of greens into the oven onto a top rack and roast for 5-10 minutes, checking to make sure nothing is starting to turn into kale chips (if so, you may need more oil).  Remove both sheets of veggies from the oven, and combine the greens onto the pan with the rest of the veggies, carefully tossing to mix everything up.  Then place them all back into the oven to roast for another 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on things, and turn veggies about every 5-10 minutes to allow browning on all sides.  If after a full 40 minutes of roasting things are still not browning up and the squash is still not soft, then put them back in the oven and make them suffer longer! 

Thanksgiving Favorites: Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
The pumpkin replaces any egg in this cheesecake, and you can easily make it gluten-free with some crust gluten-free graham crackers of gingerbread cookies for the crust.  Plus, with the right substitutions (we used So Delicious’ Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk), you can have a vegan cheesecake to pair with that tofurkey!

16 oz reduced fat cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp Kosher salt
¾ cup pumpkin spice flavored creamer
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup pumpkin puree (make your own!)

For crust:
6 oz of gingerbread cookies, gingerbread snaps, or graham crackers, finely crumbled
6 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together cookie crumbles with melted butter.  Then press mixture into the bottom and sides of a cheesecake pan or cake pan.

In a separate bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, pumpkin pie spice and salt until completely incorporated and the batter is light and fluffy.  Stir in creamer, vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix until fully blended.

Pour over your crust and then bake in oven at 325 for 30 minutes.  When your cheesecake is done, the center will jiggle when you tap on the pan, but you’ll have about ½ inch to and inch ring around the edge that will hold firm.  Remove from oven and cool at room temperature, before cooling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  The longer it chills out the better!

Thanksgiving Favorites: Sweet Potato Maple Streusel

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Sweet Potato Maple Streusel

3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (or alternative flour of your choice)
1/2 cup maple sugar (if you can't find maple sugar, substitute any large granulated sugar, or add some drops of maple extract to your sugar and mix well)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9x13" baking dish.  Peel sweet potatoes, reserving 1 inch pieces of ends for use in the streusel topping.  Coarsely grate these reserved pieces until you have 1/2 cup of gratings; set aside for later use.  Cut the rest of the sweet potatoes into 1/3 inch thick rounds, and arrange them in overlapping rows in your baking dish.

In a small saucepan, bring water, maple syrup, butter and cider vinegar to a light boil, stir in your salt & pepper, and pour mixture over sweet potatoes.  Cover the dish tightly with foil.  These can be made up to 6 hours in advance and refrigerated  just make sure you let them warm up to room temperature for about an hour before baking.  When ready, bake covered at 375 for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your streusel topping.  Mix your flour, sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add the melted 6 Tbsp of butter and, using your fingers, rub it in until the mixture begins to form clumps.  Mix in your reserved 1/2 cup of grated sweet potato.

When sweet potatoes have baked for 40 minutes, remove from oven, increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees, and top sweet potatoes with the streusel mixture.  Return to oven and bake uncovered at 400 for an additional 35 minutes until streusel is golden and crisp.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce


8 apples, peeled, cored and cubed (using a mixture of different apples gives great results)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup local honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven add in cubed apples, water, honey and cinnamon.  Give it a few stirs to evenly coat everything and then cover the pot and place it into the oven at 350 for about an hour.  You'll want to check it a few times and stir it just to make sure the apples on the bottom aren't scorching.

After an hour has passed, checked the apples and if they're looking nice and saucy, remove from oven and give it a good whisk just to break up some of the larger chunks and make sure that the honey and cinnamon are well blended throughout.  Taste and adjust with additional honey or cinnamon if you need it (mine was perfectly sweet with no addition needed).

Serve warm or allow to cool before placing in an air tight jar for use over the next few days.  My batch made a whole quart plus about a half-cup extra.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Sriracha Cranberry Chutney

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Sriracha Cranberry Chutney

½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup orange juice, no pulp
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp Sriracha (or more if you want a super kick!)

Bring first 4 ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan, stirring continuously.  Once cranberries begin to burst, you can mash them with your spoon.  If you want a thinner chutney, mash all the cranberries, but if not leave enough as chunks.  Reduce heat and simmer and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.  Stir in Sriracha and simmer for an additional minute.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly if serving warm, or serve cold by allowing  it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Serve over poultry.

Thanksgiving Favorites: Fresh Cranberry Relish

Thanksgiving In Nalls’ Kitchen!
7310 Beulah Street, Franconia, VA 22315
(703) 971-4068 ~

Fresh Cranberry Relish

1 lb fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 ½  Tbsps vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium high heat, stir together water, sugar & vanilla until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Stir in cranberries and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, but still keep at a rolling simmer.  As cranberries begin to split and burst, stir and squish them along the sides to really release all the goodness.

One all the cranberries have burst and you’re left with a jam-like consistency, you can either leave it as is, or mix in some additional ingredients such as a half cup of rough chopped pecans with some strips of orange zest.  You can even stir in some cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, too.  Some folks even toss in some diced jalapeno for a kick!

Remove from heat and transfer to your serving dish.  Allow it to cool completely at room temperature and then place it into the fridge for at least an hour to allow it to fully set up and thicken.

Makes 2 ¼ cups.