Ten Top Tasty Tips to create an awesome Turkey/Holiday Meal
- Plan Ahead. If you can make mashed potatoes ahead of time – do so, then keep them in the crock pot to stay hot until serving. Keep some potato water for the gravy thou! (Gramma G – that’s for you).
- Try adding a veggie casserole to the menu, so you just have to heat and serve rather than cook them up ahead of time. (see recipe for Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole below).
- Be Aware. Check if any guests have allergies or food intolerances. If you have guests coming that are gluten intolerant then either use Gluten Free bread for stuffing, cook the stuffing(dressing) outside of the bird or use a rice or quinoa based stuffing.
- Serving crackers? Include some rice crackers (in a separate dish) for those that are Gluten Free.
- Tetra packs of chicken broth (sometimes used in addition to drippings for gravy) usually contain gluten and MSG, however there are some new ones available (in Canada anyway) that are gluten and MSG and preservative free. (I believe one is called Cooks Choice or Kitchen Basics).
- You don’t need to baste a turkey unless you see it getting dry! I use butter, minced garlic and kosher or sea salt rubbed into skin and roast. Add a bit of water in the bottom of the pan. I don’t cover it at all. Gorgeous bird.
- Remember that birds that are over 10 LB, will cook from the inside out as well. So you need to adjust cooking time for that (see below).
- I have personally found that roasting birds at high heat (400 degrees) guarantees a moist bird, (count stuffing as 1 additional LB if stuffing the actual bird). Calculate as follows: 15 min per LB up to first 10 LB, after that reduce cooking time to 7 min per LB (see #7). Plus an additional 15 min.
- Therefore for a 10 LB Bird = 15(min) *10(LB)=150 Min + 15=165 minutes (2 hr 45 min)
- An 18 LB bird however is (15*10) + (8 *7min) + additional 15 min = 221 min. (3 hr 40 minutes).
Let the bird rest for 15-20 minutes after removing from oven to absorb juices…..
- Need a second meat? Try Maple Syrup Salmon! So easy – when you pull the bird out of the oven, drizzle salmon with maple syrup (buy local!!), and bake with turkey sits for 20 minutes. Very yummy and how easy is that!!
Broccoli – Cauliflower Casserole
This is a fave with little and big kids alike! Also a great make ahead dish for holiday meals and potlucks.
Time saver tip – If you don’t want to make the white sauce from scratch – substitute in a can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup instead.
- 1/2-1 head broccoli crowns – washed and trimmed to small bite sized pieces & cooked under tender
- 1/2 – 1 head cauliflower – washed and trimmed to small-sized pieces & cooked until tender
- 1 cup shredded cheese (your fave – we like old cheddar)
- 1/2 cup diced onion (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
White Sauce (or substitute a can of condensed cream of mushroom, cheese or celery soup)
- In a saucepan over med heat add:
- about a 1/4 cup butter & melt
- slowly add in about 1/4 c flour and stir
- slowly pour in about 1 cup of milk stirring constantly
- add: salt, pepper and mustard powder to taste. Cook, stirring until thickened (about 5 minutes.
Cook veggies. Saute onion until soft, with broccoli & cauliflower. While onion is sauteing, make white sauce. Drain veggies, put in bowl add spices, white sauce (or soup) and cheese to drained veggies & onions. Stir until combined. Place in lasagna pan and (if you are making ahead – assemble to pan then stop until its time to serve) cover with tinfoil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until heated to 65 degrees C. enJOY
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