Traditional Mashed Potatoes, French Squash and Someone’s Mom’s Dressing Recipes = Turkey Day Is Upon Us

French Bread for Stuffing

Here’s what I cooked for the big day: Mashed potatoes, stuffed butternut squash, and turkey stuffing

Results: 100% approval rating on these recipes from the consumers. (Yes. Smiling here.)

The potato recipe is really the easiest.  The stuffing or dressing recipe is really delicious, but labor intensive when you do it all by hand.  Buying the French bread fresh and making my own breadcrumbs was worth the trouble. (People loved it.)

The squash takes time, but most of that is the baking. When I followed the recipe for cooking it, I found that my stove runs hot  – old gas job – with the result that the skin was burned. I usually cook squash in a glass pan with a little water.  Then the squash is not dried out, which it was yesterday. I was unable to put the squash back into the shells because for one, they were burned and two, they were too thin.  Ideally this would be very attractive.  Browning the breadcrumbs at the end in the oven melded all the flavors of the squash, garlic, leeks and ginger together. This is not a difficult recipe.

Cooking the squash and the stuffing simultaneously was a challenge while flipping back and forth between the two recipes.  There was always the chance that I would confuse the ingredients.  (Hurrah! That did not happen. Relief. )

I think I passed my learner’s permit for part of Thanksgiving meal making.

Traditional Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup warm milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine

3/4 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

Directions

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.  Retrieved November 24, 2011 from AllRecipes.com:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/traditional-mashed-potatoes/detail.aspx

Butternut Squash

Stuffed Butternut Squash

From Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Encore with Claudine, by Jacques Pepin.

“Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: About 1 hour 30 min

Total time: About 1 hour 45 min

Yield: Makes 4 servings

The very simple stuffing for this butternut squash is made primarily of the flesh of the squash itself. Garlic, a bit of ginger, and chopped scallions are added for flavor. If you are not fond of ginger, which gives this combination its unusual taste, you may want to use less of it, or eliminate it altogether. Breadcrumbs, tossed with a little oil and sprinkled on top of the filling, become brown and crisp in the oven, and their crunchy texture contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the filling.

Squash with Panko

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, about 2-1/4 pounds

3-1/2 tablespoons canola oil

About 8 scallions, minced (1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and finely chopped (2 teaspoons)

1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 small slices bread, processed in a food processor to make 1- cup fresh      bread crumbs (I used Ian’s panko bread crumbs.)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Split the squash in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Score the flesh of the squash, making 1/2-inch deep cuts through it one way and then the other (in a checker-board pattern). Arrange the squash halves cut side up on a cookie sheet, and place them in the 400-degree oven for about 60minutes, until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the scallions and sauté them for 1-1/2 minutes. Mix in the garlic and ginger, and set the pan aside off the heat.

4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to gently scoop the flesh from the shells (reserving the shells), and add it to the scallions along with the salt and pepper. Mix well, stirring until the squash flesh and scallions are well combined but the mixture is still chunky. Fill the reserved shells with the mixture.

5. In a small bowl, lightly mix the bread crumbs with the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of oil, and sprinkle the mixture over the stuffed squash. Arrange the squash halves on a cookie sheet, and place them in the 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes (a little longer if the stuffing is cool). The crumb mixture on top should be nicely browned, if it is not, place the squash under a hot broiler for a few minutes.

6. Cut each of the squash halves in half again, and serve one piece per person.

Note: The skin or shell of the squash is edible.”

The above recipe was retrieved from the Splendid Table November 24, 2011.

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/splendid-table/recipes/vegetable_squash.html

Mom’s Turkey Stuffing Recipe posted by Elise on Nov 24, 2008

“INGREDIENTS

1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)

1 cup walnuts

(I used pecans and raw pumpkin seeds.)

2 cups each, chopped onion and celery

6 Tbsp butter

1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped

3/4 cup of currants or raisins

Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)*

Stock from the turkey giblets (1 cup to 2 cups) (can substitute chicken stock)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used fresh parsley that I had dried.)

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage (to taste) (I substituted rosemary instead.)

Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

*I added mushrooms in place of olives.

Apple Cored

METHOD

1 If you haven’t already made the stock, take the turkey giblets – heart and gizzard – and neck if you want, and put them in a small saucepan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a simmer; simmer for about an hour, uncovered. Strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

 

2 Toast the walnuts by heating them in a frying pan on medium high heat for a few minutes, stirring until they are slightly browned (not burned) OR put them in the microwave on high until you can smell the aroma of them toasting, about a minute or two. Let them cool while you are toasting the bread*, then roughly chop them. *Note, if you aren’t working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you’ll end up with mushy stuffing.

 

3 Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter. Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side.

 

4 In a large Dutch oven, sauté chopped onions and celery on medium high heat with the remaining 3 Tbsp butter until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread. Add cooked chopped walnuts. Add chopped green apple, currants, raisins, olives, parsley. Add one cup of the stock from cooking the turkey giblets or chicken stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper.

5 Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. Check every ten minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serves 8-10.”

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_turkey_stuffing/ Retrieved November 24, 2011.

Bon Appetit!

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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