Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner Date!

Thanksgiving is full of wonderful flavors - but tons of work! I wanted to create a dinner date last night that would give Thanksgiving yumminess, but on a weekday dinner time frame.

Thanksgiving Nuggets with Cranberry Ketchup

1 cup cranberries
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh savory, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup plain bread crumbs
salt & pepper

To make the ketchup: In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries with enough water to cover; bring to a boil, and simmer until berries are soft and breaking down (about 10 minutes). Drain the cranberries and put in a food processor; add tomato paste, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Puree until smooth. Set aside to chill.

To make the nuggets: Preheat the oven to 425F. Mix the turkey, egg, and herbs (and salt and pepper to taste) with your hands until well combined. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Gather 1-2 Tbsp of meat mixture in your hands, shape into nugget shapes, and roll in the bread crumbs to coat.

Set the nuggets on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until no pink remains in the center of a nugget. Serve with cranberry ketchup.

Stuffing Muffins
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup chicken stock

In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, thyme, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the canola oil, eggs, and chicken stock. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Gently stir in the vegetables. Divide between 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Maple Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
sugars for decorating

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead with your hands to form a dough ball. Divide in two and shape each half into a disk; cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove one disk from its plastic wrap and knead lightly on a floured surface to soften. Roll it out to about 1/8" thick.

Trace your child's hand on some parchment paper and cut it out to create a hand-print turkey shape. Use a sharp knife to cut out handprints from the dough:

Transfer the "turkeys" to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with egg white and sprinkle on sugar to decorate. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown.

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I was happy with this dinner date. The girls had a great time decorating their hand print turkeys. I used both Abby's and Lizzy's hands for our shapes, and I must say - if you have a chubby little 5-month-old on hand, their hands make adorable "turkeys"! The cookies themselves had a very nice, but not overpowering, maple flavor.

1 comment:

C. Beth said...

Very cute! Love the idea of stuffing muffins and the maple cookies. And wow, your baby is 5 months now!!