Thanksgiving is almost here so we thought it was a good time to offer some help with the cooking. That means some tips, hints and a few fabulous recipes from Chef Tina Martini:
When it comes to preparing a thanksgiving meal, plan ahead, don't wait! Do as much preparation before the party as possible - there are some things you can do as early as two to three days in advance like our Turkey Roulade (you'll find the recipe below!) A few items going directly from fridge to oven to table can make a huge difference. Our delicious cranberry, cherry chutney can be prepared two to three days in advance along with gravy and stuffing. For some dishes like chutney, letting them sit for a few days can actually greatly enhance the taste since this allows the flavors to marry and further develop.
Place cocktail/drink glasses in the freezer one day in advance and choose a drink that can be made by the pitcher. This way all you have to do is take the glasses out and pour! If you're doing our cranberry margarita, which you'll also find below, cut small lime wheels or wedges and freeze them right in the glasses. This will serve as an attractive garnish and keep the drink chilled.
This year greet your guests with a fabulous smile and chilled drink in hand! No need to be frazzled or frantic! Remember…plan, prep, and present!
Cranberry, Cherry and Walnut Chutney
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups red wine
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 inch piece of orange rind
- 1 inch piece of lemon rind
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 inch of ginger, peeled
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 12 ounce package of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2/3cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine sugar, wine, whole spices and citrus skins in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cherries and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and add citrus juices. Simmer until about half the cranberries pop, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the walnuts, orange zest and nutmeg. Let cool completely. The chutney will thicken as it cools. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- 1 boneless turkey breast half, about 3 lbs
- 2 cups wild mushroom stuffing
- 10 ounces thick sliced apple-smoked bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a large cutting board, place turkey breast on top of plastic wrap and cut so that it opens up to one large flat piece of even thickness. Cover with additional plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness of just under 1/2 inch. Remove plastic wrap from top of turkey and spread stuffing evenly over middle portion of turkey breast and roll it up, using the plastic wrap to help keep the roll in place.
On a large piece of parchment paper, lay the slices of bacon down so that they just overlap. The resulting blanket of bacon should be long enough to cover the entire length of the turkey roulade.
Lift the turkey roulade off the plastic and onto the bacon slices. Using the parchment as a handle, carefully roll up roulade, "tootsie-roll" fashion. Twist ends tightly. Place this roll on top of a large piece of aluminum foil and roll entire roulade, paper and all, with the aluminum foil. Crimp ends closed. Bake in a roasting pan with a rack for 1 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 155 degrees. Let roulade rest for 15 minutes, then slice into 1-inch slices and serve.
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
- 1 cup fresh white bread (such as ciabatta), crust removed and cubed.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 slices of apple smoked bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup Marsala wine
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, soak the bread crumbs in milk.
In a saut? pan, saut? bacon over medium-high heat until crisp and all fat is rendered. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and are soft, about 4 minutes. Deglaze with Marsala and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Squeeze excess milk from bread and place bread in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix well, breaking up pieces of bread. Add mushroom mixture, thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
- 1 ounce Tequila
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 3 ounces Cranberry juice
- 3 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
Pour all ingredients into a pint glass with ice. Shake and strain into a bucket glass and garnish with a lime wheel.