Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep Work...

My sister just e'd me a Williams-Sonoma recipe and wanted to know if I thought it sounded good.

Fresh long green beans, wrapped in a 3 or 4 bean bundle with a strip of bacon holding the bundle together; a glaze of butter and brown sugar over the bundle and then bake for 20 minutes. 

It didn't appeal to me (too much grease) but you might just love it. 

I made a marvelous discovery at Trader Joe's Monday.  I'd been mulling the turkey situation - brined or kosher.  Frequent readers know that I abhor adding salt to foods - either during preperation or to the finished product. 

As I stood there, looking dumbly at the two types of turkeys, my eye wandered and I found they are also selling whole, totally-cooked roast turkeys!  I slammed one into our grocery cart with more speed than perhaps was called for...

Advantages:  it only has to be in a 350 oven for an hour and 30 minutes.
I don't have to root around inside a cold turkey (from the disposal end of a large bird) for a bloody bag of entrails.  I don't have to endure the ghastly odor a raw turkey makes when it starts to cook.

I thought it was a bit pricey - 10.83 lbs. for $39.80, but my sister reports she paid $50 for a 10 lb. organic bird. 

This year I have upgraded the green-bean/mushroom soup casserole to new heights of glory.  For years, I have drained two cans of Dole French green beans into a casserole dish, dumped in a can of Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup and stirred it up.  I set the Durkee fried onions aside in a little bowl so people can use the amount they want. 

The upgrade?  Trader Joe's frozen imported French green beans (which are thinner than Blue Lakes) with their Cream of Portobello mushroom soup.  I bought a can of their fried onions and can report that they have considerably less breading than other brands.  The recipe printed on the can says to saute crimini mushrooms and onions in butter, add the frozen green beans and cook, then dilute the Cream of Portobello and add that; cover with cheese and the fried onions and bake until bubbly.  I think that's taking it just a little tooo far...

If you're doing a ham, this is a quick stuffing to serve with it - PINEAPPLE DRESSING
Cream 1/2 cup sugar and one-half cup butter together.  One by one, beat in four eggs.  Add 5 cups of torn-up white bread slices and then dump in a 19 oz. can of crushed pineapple - juice and all -- mix thoroughly and bake at 350 for an hour. 

My final advice?  Do every bit of prep work that you can before Thursday.  Yesterday I cut a baguette into half-inch cubes, bagged it and it's ready to rock and roll.  Good thing I've been doing upper body work at the gym;  it was a day old baguette.   Those babies don't want to give an inch.

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