Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i -Happy Thanksgiving or so we hope

Thanksgiving is fast upon us and yet it seems to bring with it the the stress of being with our family, and what their being around us can do.

But face facts no matter how crazy they make us, we will do anything to protect them, including threatening a feisty 90 year-old. Well I guess even Super Seals have a weakness, right?  

Though those issues may preclude the turkey getting on the table if mom and sis don't resolve their issues,  and then you might not really sure who will be cooking the bird this year.  

You could really be happy if you if get that call from work, actually it may be a blessing from above and one to be thankful for.  

As in all our lives we focus on the job at hand, we may even become irritated at those around us, or just not find enough time for them. These may be the things we need to rethink in out lives.

Though I might suggest not talking turkey when you are hanging around this guy and the table, might make you lose your appetite...

And though you may argue a bit you know deep down you are going to ask the little guy to come over, he does  amuse you.

There are always going to be those guests that are going to get under your skin.  Make you feel like you are being held hostage in your own home for the holiday.

It is at those times we wish our inner Seal would just come out with its own form of justice.  Then again cooler heads will always prevail, and we can only fantasize these things.  

When we look back on it all, I hope, my wish is that you will all be able to smile, maybe even laugh about the day's events. If we don't have our family, what do we have? 

I have just a few recipes to help you out if you need it.  Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Roast Turkey with Gravy

1- 16 lb  turkey
1 Tbsp salt
1 -3/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups water
7 to 8 cups turkey stock
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp cider vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place oven rack in lowest position then rinse turkey inside and out, then pat dry. Sprinkle turkey cavities and skin with salt and pepper. 
  2. Put turkey on rack in roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to pan and roast without basting, rotating pan halfway through roasting, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thighs (registers 170°F, 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours).
  3. Carefully tilt turkey so any juices from inside large cavity run into roasting pan, then transfer turkey to a platter, reserving juices in roasting pan. Let turkey stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (temperature of thigh meat will rise to 180°F).

Make gravy while turkey stands:

  1. Pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into measuring cup (do not clean roasting pan), then skim off and discard fat.
  2. Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners, then add remaining cup water and deglaze roasting pan by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Pour through sieve into measuring cup containing pan juices. Add enough turkey stock to pan juices to bring total to 8 cups .
  3. Melt butter in a 4-quart heavy pot and stir in flour. Cook roux over moderate heat, whisking, 5 minutes. Add stock mixture in a stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Stir in any turkey juices accumulated on platter and simmer 5 minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper, then stir in cider vinegar (to taste).
Glazed Squash

3 acorn squashes (about 1 1/2 lbs each), halved, seeded, & sliced into 1-inch-thick crescents
 salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil, and brush with oil.
  2. Lay squash pieces on baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle squashes evenly with half the sugar. Roast until sugar has melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove baking sheets from oven. Using tongs, turn over pieces. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle evenly with remaining sugar. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes
Cranberry Sauce

1 bag- 12 oz cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup water

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, lemon zest, and water; bring to a boil. 
  2. Reduce to a simmer; cook until cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
Green Beans with Vinaigrette

2 lbs green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside.
  2. Place green beans, stem ends trimmed, in basket. Cover; steam until crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Plunge beans in ice water. When cool, drain; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake extra-virgin olive oil, white-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, coarse salt, and ground pepper until thickened and combined. Pour over beans; toss to coat.

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