Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thanksgiving/Holiday Guide Part II

My original intention was to add photos of the cooked food photographed in my prior blog entry along with recipes.  Between work, daily obligations and so forth-I haven’t been able to get around to it.   Better late than never…so I have the photos for most of the  items.  Instead of adding specific recipes for each, I will simply address some keypoints/highlights for making this a successful dish.

The Pumpkin pie (dairy free, made with organic pumpkin) was not photographed.  It was attacked before we took any photos.  Hopefully I will make another one soon.  It’s fairly simple to make and tastes delicious.  The ‘overflow’ of the filling that I made turned into pumpkin brulee.

So in the spirit of “it’s better to blog at some level than not to blog at all (and have the blog be totally outdated)”-here are some holiday pointers:


Completely made from scratch.  I baked a dill bread (added fresh chopped dill to the dough).  Cube the bread and bake it on low heat (275) for a while (maybe 45 minutes) the day before Thanksgiving.  Then the next day make the stuffing.  There are many fresh stuffing recipes out there.  The main points are to sauté and season the vegetables (with Earth Balance soy butter).  Then in a very large bowl, mix the vegetables with the cubed bread.  Pour some organic broth over it to moisten.  I also add 2-3 beaten eggs.  This mixture is then baked for about 45 minutes on 350 (covered).  For the last 15 minutes I add some of the drippings from the turkey to improve the flavor and bake for another 15 minutes uncovered.

The stuffing is delicious.  We also used it for a tofu casserole. 


Once you brine you never go back….so I used Alton Brown’s Turkey brining recipe.  I also use his recipe for roasting the turkey.  Pointers such as put the turkey in for ½ hour at very high heat to get crispy skin are handy.  I also like the turkey armor he makes with foil for preventing burns. 
This method makes for such tender and tasty turkey.  The drumsticks are not fibery or chewy at all.  The breast meat is moist and yet cooked.

Traditional Sweet Potato Dish:

I refuse to use that Princella (or whatever it’s called) canned sweet potato.  Instead, I use my Cuisinart food processor to thinly slice real sweet potatoes.  I have refined a recipe for baking (brown sugar, a little Kahlua,  soy milk,  cinnamon, nutmeg, soy butter).  For the last 10-15 minutes add the marshmallows.  This year I used the mini ones. 

Tofu Stuffing & Vegetable Casserole:

I can’t claim credit for this dish.  It’s delicious.  The main steps are sautéing some vegetables, seasoning them as you also make a great thickened sauce (roux).  Separately  fry tofu cubes.  Layer just right, bake and sprinkle the top with Daiya cheese and breadcrumbs.  This is Shanti’s signature dish.

Green Beans Dijonaise:

Another classis dish for us.  No processed / canned green beans.  Instead everything is fresh.  The sauce consists of soy butter/dill/Dijon mustard. 

Traditional mashed potatoes and gravy:

Again, all from scratch.  Gravy is very simple to make…as the Vegan Black Metal Chef dramatically states: “Gravy is broth and fat.”   I use the turkey drippings with organic free range chicken broth to make it. 


Played around with the cupcakes as well as made a pumpkin pie (non dairy from organic pumpkin).  I don’t have a photo of the pie.  We were too impatient and forgot to take one.

The day after:

Turkey Soup:

Fresh soup made from the turkey carcass…delicious.  Although it looks ‘fatty’ in this photo, I scrape the fat off.  I served it with Hungarian vermicelli noodles and it was delicious.

Turkey Tetrazzini

I used to make this dish, but then stopped because we don’t consume dairy.  This year I was able to make a delicious non-dairy version.  Practically the same steps as the dairy version.  Jordan had two servings (not typical).  I need to make this again.

While cooking:  Caviar and Alaskan Wild Sockeye Salmon

This was a treat for waiting. Quick snack-toffuti cream cheese on homemade bread, fresh dill.  The paper plates-the dinner was going to generate a lot of dishes...and my dishwasher was broken.

Now it’s time to think about the Christmas meal.  I bought the free natural (no antibiotics, vegetarian fed duck) today.  The rest is yet to be figured out. Traditionally, in Budapest we had an elaborate dinner on Christmas Eve and then also more special meals on Christmas Day.  

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1 comment:

  1. 2014 Update-dairy was regained a few years ago, but I personally do prefer the non dairy version.