Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving with the B's

Every year Mrs. Benona hosts Thanksgiving for her friends and family. Normally I make a Chapman turkey but this year I am thinking trying something new. Here are links of food dishes that are inspiring me this year:

Turkey (without the breadcrumbs)
Gordon Ramsay - Roast Turkey with Truffled Butter and Citrus Breadcrumbs


Turkey Preparation
1 x 5kg Turkey
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 orange, halved
1 head garlic, halved
2 bay leaves
2 x sprigs Thyme
250g butter
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 x sprigs thyme, chopped
½ bunch tarragon, chopped
1 x black truffle

Pre-heat the oven to 220c (which is around 400F).

Allow your butter to soften to room temperature.

Open up the cavity of the bird and stuff with half the onion, half the orange and half the garlic. Season with a little salt and repeat. Finally stuff in 2 bay leaves and the thyme. Season inside the bird well and tuck the legs under the neck skin to secure - tie in place if necessary.

Chop the parsley, thyme and tarragon and mix into the softened butter. Finely slice the truffle and roughly chop before adding to the herb butter. Season well. With your hand, gently feel your way between the skin on the breast of the bird and the meat itself. You want to open the space so you can fill it with the butter. Repeat with the skin on the legs - from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosen the gap.

Fill a piping bag with the butter and gently pipe into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the meat so it is well, and evenly covered.

Place the Turkey breast side up on it’s baking tray, season well with salt and pepper before drizzling with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 220c for 10 - 15minutes to get a crisp golden start to the skin. Reduce the temperature to 180c and cook for approximately 30 minutes per kg basting occasionally throughout. To test that your turkey is cooked simply skewer the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear rather than pink. Remove from the oven, cover with tinfoil and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.


My mother-in-law's Dressing

2-3 chicken backs
1 8oz. Bag Pepperidge Farm corn bread dressing mix
1 8oz. Bag of Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned dressing mix
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
broth from turkey
1 onion - chopped
1 tsp ground sage
black pepper and esalt
poultry seasoning (optional)

Boil chicken backs, remove skin and discard. Pull meat off. Place onion in a small pot and add a little water. Cook for 5-6 minutes. In a large bowl place both kinds of dressing mix, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, onion, meat from chicken backs, and turkey broth. Add salt, pepper, and sage. Taste to see if seasoning is adequate and add a little bit of cooking oil if needed. If dressing mixture is to thick add more broth or some hot water. If dressing mixture is toot hin add some toasted bread (crumbled up). Taste periodically to see if anything else is needed. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

*Sometimes I cook a muffin cake of corn bread to use in place of all the dressing mix

*You can freeze extra dressing to bake at a later date if desired.


Mash Potatoes

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well. Mix in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish. Stir the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the mashed potatoes. Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time; cover and chill.

Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes.



Pumpkin Banana Meringue Pie

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence 2009

Prep Time:
45 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
1 hr 30 min
8 to 10 servings


Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 whole sugar pumpkins
  • 6 bananas
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch kosher salt

For the meringue topping:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch salt



Combine the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cold butter with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work in egg yolks and 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water until the dough holds together without being too sticky. If it's still crumbly, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll the dough into an 11 to 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Ease the dough into a 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough, then pinch the edges. Refrigerate until ready to fill.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Split the pumpkins down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Arrange on a roasting tray, cut side up, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and lay bananas (in their skins) around and between the pumpkin halves. Return to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before handling, about 5 minutes.

Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to a food processor. Peel the bananas and add the flesh to food processor as well. Add the 3 eggs, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, nutmeg, heavy cream and salt. Puree until smooth.

Put a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Pour the filing into the prepared pie shell. Lightly beat the egg white. Brush the pastry edges with the egg white and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Carefully arrange the pie on the preheated baking sheet, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake it until the pie is set but still jiggles slightly, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.


Beat the egg whites, powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and a pinch salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until glossy medium peaks form, being careful not to over beat.

Spread the meringue mixture over the top of the pie, covering right to the edges. Using the back of a spoon press lightly into the meringue and pull up on the spoon to form peaks all over the surface of the meringue (alternatively you can use a piping bag with a large star tip if you choose).

To cook the meringue, preheat the broiler with the rack in the highest position. Put the pie under the broiler and broil until the meringue is set and golden brown, about 7 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning, as it cooks quickly. Remove from the broiler and cool before serving.


Chocolate Chess Pie with a Pecan Crust
2 eggs
1 sm. can evaporated milk
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 stick butter
BE SURE TO MIX AS FOLLOWS: Beat eggs. Add 1 cup sugar and then add milk. Mix well. Mix cocoa with other 1/2 cup sugar. Add to egg mixture and mix well. Melt butter and mix with above. Add vanilla. Pour in 10 inch deep dish unbaked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Candied Sweet Potatoes (recipe from Grandma Dot)
Sweet Potatoes
2/3 cup sugar
brown sugar

Boil potatoes untild one but not mushy. Cool and take peelings off. Cut in failry small pieces and place in baking dish. Spring 2/3 cup sugar over the cut sweet potatoes. Spring brown sugar generously over potatoes. Dot wellw ith margarine and then sprinkle cinnamon over top. Bake at 300° in oven until syrup in potatoes thickens.

No comments: