Stuffing and cranberry relish were 2015 hits.
The media are awash with Thanksgiving recipes before the holiday, but few people share recipes afterwards for successful dishes. But there will be Thanksgiving again in 2016, so here goes. Dinner was a joint effort of all us 2015 holiday gluttons, but I had compliments and even recipe requests for two of my contributions to the groaning board. I neglected to photograph either.
From the typeface on the yellowing clipped directions, I can tell that the basis for the stuffing recipe below came from the Denver Post at some time in the past. Of course, I changed it a bit. It filled a 15-pound turkey and a casserole for the oven.
Turkey with Olive Bread Stuffing
2 round loaves of artisanal olive bread
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cups turkey stock (or chicken or veggie broth)
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cut bread into one-inch cubes, place on cookie sheets in a single layer and toast until well dried out. In a medium skillet, sauté sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until sausage is lightly browned. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large skillet (I like cast iron), melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms, currants, part of the turkey stock and thyme, and heat until butter has melted. Add to the bread cubes the remainder of the stock, the mushroom-currant mixture and the browned sausage. Mix with your hands until well combined. If you like a moister stuffing, add more stock. Stuff the brined or unbrined turkey. Put remaining stuffing into an ovenproof dish. Roast turkey and heat stuffing using your preferred method.
My tradition has long been to make one cranberry sauce as directed on the back of the Ocean Spray package (with or without an added cinnamon stick) and one interesting “other.” And here that one is, inspired by a recipe from Real Simple.
Fresh Cranberry and Apple Relish
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 Braeburn apple, unpeeled but cored and chopped
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. orange juice
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Let sit at rom temperature so that flavors blend, and then refrigerate until serving.