The good news is….I’m alive!

Hi all! Well, I made it through the first wave of Thanksgiving week guests and I am alive. Actually, far better than that…I’m even having fun. Truly. I swear. Pinky promise!

And, in case you are concerned- or even vaguely interested- Georgie is doing incredibly well as the newest member of our three-ring circus. Each day my amazement grows at what a calm and sweet dog she is. Given the insanity of the situation here, she should be shaking in her boots, bolting for the exit and begging to go back to her breeder. The poor thing has not had a night in the house since she arrived without at least two overnight guests…and she won’t for another week! Looney-tunes. Yet, she has taken it all in stride. She is a champ.

So, as a result of the circus that is currently our life, I am doing something unusual today: I am going to throw out two recipes for your consideration without my usual story to tie it all together. I admit, I am a tad overwhelmed and quite busy just keeping my many balls (puppy, house guests, meals, kids, house, husband, blog, just to name a few) in the air. And yet, we are on the eve of a big cooking holiday and I know that you are looking for new ideas and recipes for your Thanksgiving. I can’t fail you now! But, I also can’t be uber-entertaining either. Somethings gotta give! That said, it should not be the stuff coming out of your kitchen! So, if you are looking for something new and different, try these two this holiday- they rock!

Note: I already gave you the stuffing recipe that goes with the Cider Brined Turkey- but sometimes I do this one instead. They are both fabulous, so you can’t go wrong either way!

Savory Apricot-Sausage Stuffing
Adapted from Sarah Leah Chase
Makes enough to stuff a 24 lbs turkey

3 c dried apricots
1 ½ c Cognac
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 very large onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 ½ lbs Pepperidge Farm’s herb stuffing crumbs
1 lbs sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
12 oz bulk pork sausage (like Jimmy Dean’s)
2 c pecans, toasted and chopped
2 ripe pears, cored and coarsely chopped
3 T fresh rosemary, chopped
3 ½ c chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1. Soak the apricots in 1 cup of cognac for 2 hours.
2. Melt ¾ cup butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, scallions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with the stuffing crumbs.
3. Add the sweet and bulk sausages to the sauté pan and cook, crumbling the meat with a fork or large spoon, over medium-high until the meat is no longer pink. Add the meat to the stuffing mixture and stir to combine.
4. Add the pecans, pear and rosemary to the stuffing and stir to combine. Stir in the apricots with the Cognac.
5. Heat the remaining ¾ cup butter with the chicken stock in a saucepan until the butter is completely melted. Pour the butter mixture and the remaining ½ cup Cognac over the stuffing mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
6. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook turkey. Any stuffing that does not fit in the cavity (or all of it!) can be baked in a casserole at 350 for 40 minutes.

Molasses Horseradish Sweet-Potato Spears-Gourmet Magazine
Serves 8 – 10

3 lb medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 spears
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 t. salt
1/3 c molasses
5 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup bottled horseradish (including juice; 3 oz.)

1. Put the oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 450.
2. Toss potatoes with oil and 3.4 t. salt in a bowl, then spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast in lower third of oven, turning once or twice, until tender, 18 – 22 minutes. (This much can be done up to 2 hours in advance.)
3. While potatoes roast, bring butter, molasses, horseradish (with juice), and remaining 1/2 t. salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree 30 seconds. Pour glaze through a fine-mesh sieve to strain. Drizzle glaze over cooked sweet potatoes and gently toss until coated.
5. Just before serving, bake glazed sweet potatoes in lower third of oven until hot, 3 – 5 minutes.

One Comment

  1. Lisa Beach
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t wait to try the stuffing! Sounds divine!

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