Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Menu

Ben and I are staying home tomorrow for Thanksgiving.  We had some invitations, but really just wanted to spend some downtime together for the holiday.

Even though it is just the two of us (and Paco!) we are still preparing a holiday meal.

I thought I would share what we are having.  There are many recipes on the internet that I contemplated; I wanted to share the ones we decided on!

Ben is making his Turkey enchiladas. I will prepare the turkey by braising it.  I am removing the breast meat from the bone,  then pan searing.  I will saute a mira poix, leaks, garlic, 2-3 bay leaves, rosemary and thyme then add chicken stock.  This would actually be great with a brown or beef stock, but I want to keep the more natural flavor of the turkey breast for the enchiladas.  (If you are using beef stock, please add some red wine too to make an amazing sauce!  For more of a "gravy" than a sauce, add about 1-2 ounces of flour after sautéing your veggies.  Cook off the flour , then add your herbs and liquids.)  Braise at 350 until done.  A full turkey (cut into pieces) will take about 90 minutes.  Cover with foil and cook until about 165 degrees.  Because we will be using these in enchiladas I will cook until about 155 degrees as to not dry it out.

Ben makes an amazing green enchilada sauce with green chiles, chicken stock, flour, and chile powder.  He stacks corn tortillas, sour cream,  onion, cheddar cheese, turkey and the sauce and bakes until hot and bubbly.  If I am ambitious enough tomorrow, maybe I will create a recipe.

I am making turkey tamales using this Alton Brown recipe.  I have never made tamales but I love them! I am looking forward to trying this.

I am also going to make a Red Sauce for the tamales using this recipe from my friend Sylvia:

Chile Colorado (Basic Red Chile Sauce)

Yield: 2 cups 
Temperature: Medium, Low 
Freezes Well
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

2 tablespoons shortening 
2 tablespoons flour 
1/4 - 3/4 cup Red Chile Powder 
2 cups chicken or beef broth 
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic
Oregano (optional ½ tsp)
Cumin (optional ½ tsp)

1.Heat shortening in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, I like to cook until the flour turns light brown.
2.Add chile powder and cook for an additional minute.
3.Gradually add the broth and stir, making sure that no lumps form.
4.Add seasonings to sauce and simmer at low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Since I had to buy masa harina for the tamales, I may try to make our own corn tortillas.  Would you believe William Sonoma did not have a tortilla press?  I am going to have to go old school and roll these out by hand.  I understand getting them thin enough is the challenge!

For sides, I am making these green beans and roasted brussels sprouts.   While you are on the Once Upon a Chef site, check out the scone recipe.  A-mazing!

Dessert?  Of course!  I won't skimp on Thanksgiving.  I am of the camp that believes that I did not become morbidly obese because of Thanksgiving dinner.  It was the other 364 days a year!

This is the recipe I will be making for dessert.    Cinnamon Chai cream pie just sounded too good to pass up!  I will be using Ginger Thins instead of graham crackers in the crust.

I am looking forward to our non-traditional Thanksgiving meal!

We are not going to run any organized 5k this year; instead, Ben, Paco and I will be heading out for our own 5k!    I am actually quite excited to not set an alarm to wake up on time year to be able to drive downtown and park before the 5k we have run the last two years.   There are no times we have to do anything; I think I am looking forward to that more than anything.  Well, spending the weekend with Ben and Paco is actually what I am looking forward to the most.  I got new running shoes tonight so I am eager to try those out too!

These turkeys walked passed our home this morning; Paco wanted nothing to do with them!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



  1. Turkeys walked past your house?? That's crazy! We don't see them very often around here. Your dinner sounds amazing; so wish we could be there to help you cook and eat it all. Happy Thanksgiving, Kel, Ben and Paco.

  2. Thank you my dear friend! Apparently next year we all have plans in Maryland. Won't that be amazing!

    Safe travels to you and Greg. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh, and I no longer say "when turkeys fly" around here, as I have seen these guys fly!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Kel and Ben! Thank you for sharing your meal with us. We see wild turkeys in our back pasture all the time. They just dont taste like a Jennie-O. LOL!

  5. i've seen wild turkeys once roaming around in my parents' hood in NJ. freaked me out!