Hello people of Centereach High School! Are you guys excited for the holidays? Thanksgiving’s approaching in a few weeks, and with Thanksgiving comes great quality time with the family. And what’s the center of Thanksgiving? What is the cause of which people spark conversation and have relaxing nights? FOOD. Food, at least in my opinion, is the most important part of Thanksgiving. A great, juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and that good ol’ canned cranberry sauce! This article will consist of four recipes (all are of my creation): one appetizer, one side dish and one drink. It will also contain tips on how to cook a proper turkey (if you want to let your parents know how to do so). With that little intro aside, let us begin.
Appetizer: Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients: One-half can of canned pumpkin, one-half can of evaporated milk, one-third cup of cream, a handful of chopped up sweet potatoes, carrots and onions, general seasonings such as salt and pepper, chestnuts or sunflower seeds, butter or oil, 3 tablespoons of chicken broth. Steps:
- Sautee the sweet potatoes, carrots and onions in a pot with a tablespoon or so of butter or oil until tender. While sweating them, throw in a teaspoon of salt, a few pinches of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Add the canned pumpkin into the pot alongside the few tablespoons of chicken broth and stir.
- Add the evaporated milk, cream into the pot and stir. If the mixture at this point is still a bit thick, add some water or regular milk.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer; let it simmer for 10-20 minutes.
- Blend the soup until creamy. If it is still a little thick, add a liquid of your choice (cream, evaporated or regular milk, water).
- When serving, top the soup with either toasted sunflower seeds or chestnuts (I’d suggest sunflower seeds, but it is at your discretion).
- Season the turkey. It can be as simple as salt and pepper. I would recommend adding some aromatics into the cavity such as lemon, apple or herbs.
- Start the turkey at a high heat (about 500 degrees Fahrenheit) to brown the skin for 30 minutes, then lower it to about 325 degrees and cook until the internal temperature of the breast is about 161 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep in mind, when you lower the heat, cover the breast with an aluminum breastplate so the white meat doesn’t overcook.
- WAIT to carve the turkey. Wait at least a half hour. The longer you wait, the juicier the turkey will be.
Side Dish: Black Pepper and Chive Spiked Mashed Potatoes Ingredients: Yukon gold or russet potatoes, cream, milk, butter, chives, black pepper, roasted garlic powder and salt.
- Peel the potatoes and cube them into equal sized pieces.
- Put the cubes into a pot of cold water, bring to boil and boil until they are fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl off to the side.
- In a pot, heat the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the cream and milk; stir.
- Once the liquids are mixed together, add the potatoes. I would recommend adding them into a ricer or food mill, so the potatoes can mix easier. If you do not have one, just throw them into the pot and use a potato masher or whisk to combine until creamy.
- Once creamy, add the seasonings (also the chives) and stir with a plastic/rubber spatula.
- When serving, or putting into the serving dish/bowl, top with a few extra chives.
Drink: Sparkling Pineapple Punch
Ingredients: One to two containers of orange juice concentrate, one to two containers of lemonade concentrate, one to two large cans of pineapple juice, one 2-liter bottle of sprite (Note: Amounts will differ based on how much is wanted), optional: sliced oranges, pineapple rings, lemons
- Make sure the concentrates are thawed completely. They usually come frozen.
- In a large drink container, combine the concentrates and pineapple juice.
- Slowly add the sprite while stirring constantly.
- Before serving, drop in some sliced oranges, pineapples and/or lemons. You can also add some ice to make it chilled.
These recipes are very simple, yet delicious. I hope you will try out at least one of these recipes. I also hope that all your guys’ Thanksgivings are great! Make sure to eat a lot and spend quality time with your family!