The 2022 Thanksgiving Thread!

Haha
No, best forgotten :innocent:

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I would like to know more about your stuffing balls. Care to share any deets on the technical aspect?

I actually made a note for the next time I make this to sprinkle kosher salt over the interior of the breast and then coarsely grind the pepper before slathering over the other ingredients that have been turned into a paste. Mostly so I can control the salt a bit more, but also to bust up the peppercorns more. I used the mini processor that came with my Braun for the paste. It worked fine for the most part, but there were a few peppercorns that missed the blades.

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OMG what a saga!!

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Oof! I forgot to mention the sides:

  • multicoloured carrots roasted with herbs. Very good
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with maple soy caramel - the best Brussels Sprouts I have tasted! Outstanding! In fact in this week’s post TG grocery shop I have bought another bag of BS so DH can make these again. I would suggest cooking just a few minutes longer, but the flavours are perfect.
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Sure thing, they’re actually very easy, just a bit labor-intensive in the balling. Here are my previous comments.

But from this year’s experience: WF version of Stovetop was the base, I ignored the instructions (except proportions) – in a big bowl, add the butter and hot water (eg from a kettle) but hold back 1/2c of what’s called for (to prevent sogginess), then add the stuffing mix and stir to moisten. Check after a few mins and add the water held back (this year I actually needed more). Let it all sit for a bit to cool down, then form balls (I did just over 1/4c scoops) and arrange on a baking tray on parchment.

Cover and refrigerate – they take about 20-ish mins to bake and crisp up in the oven, which is exactly how long the turkey rests, so I put them in when the turkey comes out,

Based on the salt situation I ran into, be very cautious with add-ins – water not stock, unsalted butter, etc.

You can also scoop into muffin tins if you like, but we like the all-over browning of having them fully exposed on a sheet pan. Double the recipe if other people are eating – stuffing haters (like me) get converted when it’s more crunchy than soggy!

You can also use a waffle iron for leftovers, just to get all the crunchy ideas in the same place!

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Sure, right in my memory bank, here you go:

Begin with this recipe from NYTimes / Melissa Clark.

The basic technique is to:

  1. Roast some tomatoes and scallions in a 9x13 inch glass dish @450 deg F (adjust dish size based on if you are going to make the full recipe or half), along with minced garlic, herb sprigs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar drizzle, salt and pepper; for about 15 minutes
  2. In the meantime, boil some veg stock (based on the amount of couscous you plan to use) and punch it up with cumin, a little more salt, lots of minced cilantro or parsley, lemon zest or juice, and we added TJ Bomba here, something like 1 TBSP, can do more or less based on your taste. This stock concoction should taste very intense as it has to seep into the couscous and flavour the whole dish.
  3. Take the roasted veg out of the oven, add Israeli (pearl) couscous. I used 2 Cups couscous and how much ever stock it said to use on the back of the couscous package.
  4. Add more vegetables - bottled (drained) artichokes and several handfuls baby spinach in this case and distribute around…
  5. Pour the boiling stock over it. Cover tightly with foil and roast for another 15 minutes.
  6. Here is where I deviated: Take 2 (I think 8 oz?) pkgs of feta, slice them horizontally to get slabs, take the dish out of the oven, stir the contents to mix, place the slabs atop, drizzle with OO, cover again, and bake for another 10-ish minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-ish minutes. The original recipe uses much less feta, crumbles it, and mixes it in and bakes (not the slabs on top etc.)

Take it out and cut up the feta, mix, and serve.

We just love this dish.

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Thank you! I’ve been toying with the idea of making balls (using a cookie scoop), and wasn’t sure where in my own stuffing recipe would be the best stage to shape them. Your explanation helps quite a bit.

FYI my all-time favorite stuffing recipe is from Bon Appetite. It’s delicious, and can largely be made in advance. I think the best time to make the balls will be after the first stage (Step 4: Do Ahead).

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I almost took my scoop along this year but thought it might be regarded as extra, so I used my aunt’s cup measure instead, and it was just fine.

Btw I have debated the egg issue (for binding the stuffing balls) before, and landed firmly on the no-egg side because it tastes cleaner / not eggy.

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I’m wondering, also, whether you could freeze the balls before the final bake and then bake/brown them from frozen. Hmmm… :thinking:

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Good on you for stepping in to help. But I can only imagine the frustration at suggestions that had been offered about using 2 roasting pans being ignored.

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How was it? Really curious.

An after-Thanksgiving mini-Thanksgiving meal here tonight. Stuffed roasted chicken, cranberry sauce, peas. One of the cookies I’ll make this week calls for an orange cranberry filling which can double as T-Day cranberry sauce. I use an immersion blender to smooth it for cookie-filling. Baked cookies will also need the freezer space the whole chicken was occupying. And I missed “my” version of buttery stuffing with sliced almonds due to T-day with relatives, but now have satisfied that craving.

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That sounds delicious - please tell us more!

This meal (from Momofuku) was a huge success.

I got to sample scant leftovers last night, and they were DELICIOUS!

Can’t decide if the “Smoked American Wagyu Brisket with Momofuku Spicy & Tingly Seasoning Crust” or the “Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Pie” were the MVP – that chocolate pie was just RIDICULOUS.

My friends were also waxing eloquent about (of all things) the coleslaw, daikon & jalapeño pickles, and apparently the caulini (which I never tasted because it got wiped out the same night :joy):

Apparently “this is every year’s thanksgiving meal now” – but I’m not buying that one of the other ideas won’t win next year, lol.

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Almond Stuffing - enough for 4 Cornish game hens or a 3-4 pound chicken

¾ cup butter (note - I now reduce this to 1/2 C / 1 stick, add 1/4 C. more broth/water)
½ cup chopped celery (or 1 T. celery flakes or 1 tsp Beau Monde and omit salt)
¼ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped or sliced almonds
4 cups soft bread cubes (4 slices of bread, cubed)
1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon (note - I now use broth in place of bouillon and water)
1/3 cup water

Combine butter, celery and onion in medium micro-waves safe mixing bowl
Microwave on ROAST for 4 or 5 minutes, or until vegetables are partly cooked. Stir in remaining ingredients; mix well. Stuff poultry.

from Litton Vari-Cook Microwave Cooking cookbook, c 1975, 8th printing 1978

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Forgot to report back. We finally had it for Friday dinner. It was good, stuffed with a lot of lobster (which made me feel guilty, given my self-imposed moratorium on lobster). But the filling was drier than we expected (I think we were expecting something chicken pot pie-like, thick soup/stew-ish). It definitely needed a gravy treatment, which we gave it. Probably would not order it again, although I think it’s something good for a party of diverse eaters (eg, my parents would have loved it).

Froze the leftovers after another night.

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You’re so kind! Thank you.

This year, as always, I made my not-too-sweet raw cranberry orange relish. Bracing and delish. One year I had an epiphany and turned the relish into a great sorbet. Wonderful palate cleanser. Best part is that this relish stays fresh and bright for many days in the fridge. Just right for turkey, chicken, beef, or lamb sandwiches. It’s also pretty terrif on Greek yogurt. Just sayin’.

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