Spicing up your Thanksgiving Meal

Spicy Bacon-licious Green beans

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

 

1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, ends trimmed

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon butter or ghee

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 bacon strips, cooked, drained of fat, chopped

Red pepper flakes to garnish

 

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water with ½ teaspoon salt to a boil; add green beans (water should be just above the beans). Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, drain the beans and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter or ghee in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook, constantly stirring, until fragrant or about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the chopped cooked bacon and green beans. Sauté while gently tossing, on medium heat for about 1 minute to combine all ingredients. Season with salt to taste and garnish with red pepper flakes.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

General Tips on Time Management: The bacon can be cooked up to a day before and stored in the refrigerator.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 can cranberry sauce (whole cranberries or jellied)
Juice and zest of two fresh oranges
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ginger

 

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberry sauce, orange zest, juice, and spices. Heat until sauce just comes to a boil. Turn down to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool, transfer to Pyrex serving dish or bowl, and place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. Sauce should thicken a little as it cools.
  2. Serve at room temperature.

Note: This can be made 2 days in advance.

Make ahead Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 50 minutes

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

 

 

2-3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 ½ cups potato water (water reserved from draining potatoes after boiling)

1 cup butter or ghee (clarified butter)

1 teaspoons salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Fresh chives, diced (for topping potatoes just before serving)

 

  • Place potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and mash in the cooking pot with the potato water, butter, salt and pepper. .
  • Transfer to a casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate (over night or up to 2 days).
  • When ready to heat the mashed potatoes, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Place in the oven covered for 50 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, dot with butter and minced fresh chives and serve.

 

Baked Sausage & Bread Stuffing

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

 

1 yellow or white onion, diced

4 ribs of celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cremini or button mushrooms, sliced or chopped

3 tablespoons butter or ghee (clarified butter)

1 pound pork sausage

1 package seasoned stuffing mix

¼ teaspoon sage

2 cups chicken broth

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter and sauté the celery and onion, until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are lightly browned.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  3. Remove from pan and reserve. Add the sausage to the pan and cook through, breaking it apart as it cooks until it is crumbled and lightly browned all the way through.
  4. Drain sausage on paper towels.
  5. In a large bowl, combine celery mixture, sausage, stuffing mix and sage.
  6. Add chicken broth a little at a time, tossing to mix evenly to moisten and not make it mushy or runny.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a greased casserole dish, and bake covered with foil or an oven proof lid for 20 minutes or according to package directions. If stuffing is drying out dot with butter and add small amounts of broth to moisten. For a crispy top, remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.

Note: This stuffing can be made a day or two ahead. Store it in the refrigerator, in the casserole dish you intend to bake it in, covered with a lid or tinfoil. Take it out of the refrigerator and bring the stuffing to room temp prior to baking it (let it sit out of the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour).