I'm not going to repeat the instructions for Obsessive Turkey, you can just go look at it. But here's some of the recipes for the rest of our feast.
Regarding the sauerkraut ... I had read about it for years, having sauerkraut at Thanksgiving. Then I heard Sara Moulton talk about. Well fine, I thought, I'm going to give this crazy idea a try.
Not crazy at all. It's just perfect with all the rich food and gravy. Try it, try it! If you like sauerkraut at all, you'll be converted. And the below recipe is just fabulous.
Pralined Sweet Potato Casserole (I think I'm going to add some chipotle peppers to this potato mixture this year.)
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
Mix and spread in 11 x 13 pan.
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans
Mix and sprinkle on top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so.
Crunchy Thanksgiving Dressing
2 pans cooked cornbread, dried out overnight and crumbled (I like to put lots
of herbs and spices in the cornbread itself before I bake it)
1 cup chopped onion
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
generous handful chopped toasted pecans
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
spices: Italian seasoning, dill, paprika, cayenne -- whatever you like!
Saute onion, celery and green pepper in a little olive oil til tender. Combine
with rest of ingredients in saucepan, adding chicken broth til of the texture
you like. If you like, you can finish this off by putting in a casserole dish
and baking in the oven.
From Deborah Madison's ``The Savory Way'' (Broadway Books, $20).
2 cups pecan halves
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
41⁄2 ounces piloncillo
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup espresso or strong coffee
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
Yolks of 2 large eggs
3 tablespoons half-and-half or cream
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
1 (10-inch) tart shell, blind baked
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Be careful - they burn easily. Set aside to cool.
Bruise the peppercorns and the cloves, crushing them slightly with a pestle, then combine in a small saucepan with the cinnamon, piloncillo, corn syrup and coffee. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 10 minutes until the piloncillo is dissolved. Add the butter, in pieces. Set the mixture aside to cool, stirring occasionally so that the butter melts.
Beat the egg and yolks together. Add the cooled syrup to the eggs, along with the half-and-half, salt, vanilla and flour. Stir to combine.
Arrange the pecan halves attractively, rounded sides up, in the tart shell. Carefully pour the syrup over the nuts, rearranging them if the liquid spoils your pattern. Bake about 35 minutes or until tart is set.
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans sauerkraut, drained
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium onions, finely chopped
(I make this a few days before Thanksgiving.) Combine the sauerkraut in a large saucepan with the sugar, vinegar, caraway seeds, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauerkraut has absorbed some of the liquid and is very dark, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Remove the cover from the sauerkraut and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the onions. Return the cover and set aside until ready to serve. (Or refrigerate.)
Gently reheat the sauerkraut, stirring to mix in the onions, over low heat until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot with the turkey and stuffing and pan gravy, if desired.