Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving: Take 2

Every year, my husband and I take the kids to our parents' houses for multiple turkey dinners. But, in our own little world of insanity, we also cook a Thanksgiving meal of our own the next day.

If you know anything about me, you probably have heard me admit that I am a terrible cook. My husband, on the other hand is actually pretty talented. He's not one to create his own masterpieces, but give the man a recipe and he delivers every time.

We both like to experiment and find new recipes online. So, this year, I was really thrilled with our final products and thought maybe I'd gloat some of you guys might like to check 'em out. The sad part is, I didn't take any pictures. What can I say? I was too excited to eat.

The first thing we did was brine our turkey overnight. My ingenious friend, Seth Pollins, had a great instructional video, but the link no longer works, so we'll just go with outright instructions:

3 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 gallons water

For a 12 to 20 pound turkey, you can submerge it in this solution for 4 to 12 hours.

Then, when we cooked it, my husband found this Black Pepper Pomegranate Molasses Glaze recipe.

Holy bejeezus, this was the best turkey I have ever eaten. Even days later, the turkey is still juicy. I feel like I have Rubbermaid tubs full of crack in my fridge because I can't stop consuming it.

Another recipe that my husband tackled was this basic cranberry sauce. Growing up, all I ever saw was that tin can-mold of jelly slurp out into a bowl, so I never touched the stuff. Even though I wasn't excited about the recipe, once it started cooking, the whole house smelled incredible. And so, another addiction was born. The flavors burst in your mouth, coating it first with the tart of the cranberries, but then the sweetness of the brown sugar and honey smooth it out. It was super easy to make and an excellent dish to impress.

I actually made a sweet potato-marshmallow casserole, which is something I never even ate growing up. Never once did sweet potatoes cross the threshold into our home. I don't even like them that much. So, I took the time to bake the potatoes. I mashed them with the electric mixer and love. (Yes, I said that.) For the record, I love anything with brown sugar. I can eat brown sugar right out of the bag.


But, read carefully here...DO NOT add the marshmallows until the last 5 or 10 minutes of baking. Otherwise you will have burnt marshmallows. They neglected to mention that in the recipe, but thankfully, I was leery of cooking them that long and saved them before it was my usual disastrous ending. And surprise! I loved it.

These may be some fairly basic recipes for some, but they are all flavorful and simple ways to create a meal that everyone will drool over.

Bon appetit!