Jumbo Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce
Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil
Drizzled with Garlic Infused Virgin Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Tuscan Crispini Bruschetta with Calamata Olives and Capers
Chopped Greek Salad with Feta Cheese
Warm Potato Rolls
Sweet and Salted Butters
Slow Oven Roasted Bacon Drenched Salt Cured Purdue Turkey Hen
Dry Rubbed with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Convection and Steam and Injection Basting
Three Oven Roasted Gourmet Stuffing Selections
Roasted Chestnut and Smoked Bacon
Italian Sausage and Raisin
Wild Mushroom and Vidalia Onion
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Yukon Gold Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Home Style Turkey Pan Gravy
Mushroom and Bacon Gravy
Sautéed Baby Peas
Broccoli Florets in Lemon Butter Sauce
Lasagna Al Forno
Apple Pie with Cheddar or Ice Cream
Fresh Whip Cream
Assorted Fruits and Nuts
Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to celebrate family and friends by sharing a bountiful harvest. My menu is based on a cultural heritage of Italian cooking enmeshed with American traditions.
What follows is a recipe for the main portions of this dinner: Turkey, Lasagna and Stuffing(s).
This year I decided to try some new techniques in roasting the Bird: Using an Injection Baste and Rack and Roast/Steamer combination in a convection oven, I reduced cooking time, increased control and created a new “family” standard. Apportioned to serve 10.
The Bird was a Purdue Hen, weighing 12 ½ lbs. The Hen was salt cured for 1 hour, dry rubbed with a spice mixture of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The Bird was racked and roasted in a convection oven at 325o for 1 hour in an open pan.
A Mirapoix (country cut/mixed) was added to the base of the roaster and the Bird was covered with 1lb. of bacon. On the stove, I prepared a basting mix (finely ground Mirapoix sautéed in butter and simmered in Chicken stock).
I injected the breasts at 1-hour intervals with an equal mixture of basting broth and drippings while steaming the bird (covered) for the next 2 hours. The last fifteen minutes I uncovered the bird and reduced the heat to 250o. What results from this process is a deeply hued hen, with crispy skin and moist meat.
Lasagna Al Forno: Preparing the traditional baked Lasagna, begins with preparation of the cheese layer and the meat and sauce layers.
This year, I blended 4 different meats: sirloin, pork, veal and ham; in a tomato concasse seasoned with fresh basil, fresh Italian parsley, onions, garlic, hot red pepper, salt and pepper (white, green, red).
The cheeses used for this layer were: ricotta, fresh mozzarella, parmesan and locatelli; and mixed with 3 whole eggs, fresh chopped parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of cinnamon. One can add asagio, processed mozzarella to the mix.
The casserole is roasted lightly tented for 1 hour.
Brown the top and melt mozzarella and shaved reggiano prior to serving:
To Go Portion and Extra Sauce
Gourmet Stuffing Selections:
This year I decided to make three different kinds of stuffing combinations, each a variant of a “traditional” recipe.
Each stuffing required a mix of different ingredients to create a unique accompaniment to the “bread and the “bird”.
Mushroom, Butter, Mirapoix, Parsley, White Wine, Salt and Pepper
Sausage, Raisins, Onion, Italian Parsley, Salt and Pepper (white, red and green)
Roasted Chestnut, Onion, Parsley and Smoked Bacon