I went a little overboard this year and bought a pre-cooked 5 kg honey-glazed spiral cut ham for my Thanksgiving meal. It cost me $22 CDN and I figure I’ll get at least ten meals out of it so it was definitely a good purchase, price wise.
I had a wonderful lie in this morning, and hadn’t done the math needed to figure out how long it would take to re-heat this monster, ahead of time. It turned out to be almost THREE HOURS, with the enclosed glaze being brushed on for the last half hour. Next time I’d up the temperature to AT LEAST 300 deg or even 325 deg, from the 275 deg F written on the wrappings, because, even after the maximum roasting time recommended, it was still only lukewarm inside. So I sliced off and reheated the portion I ate in the microwave. By this point, it was 6 pm. And I was VERY hungry.
The ham was tasty and moist, but the potato and onion gratin was the star of the show, in my opinion. I started out with this recipe, and then made some changes. Because I was starved, I served myself about one quarter of the dish and by the time I was finished, I was so full, that I almost didn’t have room for dessert.
Cause this was a great looking dessert.
I wanted to make some sort of seasonal fruit dessert for Thanksgiving, but all I had in the house were three apples (Red Delicious) in the crisper drawer, and some blueberries in the freezer. I decided on an apple crumble (with sliced almonds in the crust because I didn’t have any rolled oats in the pantry) with a couple of tablespoons of the blueberries added for a bit of colour. I’ll post my recipe for an individual apple crumble in a future post. As well as for an individual blueberry pudding cake I made.
Potato and Onion Gratin
Potato and Onion Gratin – serves 6-8
1 medium (~300 gm) sweet potato, peeled, halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick *
1 medium white/yellow (~100 gm) Russet potato, peeled, halved and sliced about 1/4 inch thick*
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced (1/8-1/4 inch thick)
~4 oz (125 gm) cream cheese, cubed
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
4 strips of cooked bacon, thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
* Use all sweet potatoes or white potatoes, if preferred, or if that’s all that you have available.
1/2 cup grated old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup fried onions
Combine topping ingredients in a shallow dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg Fahrenheit.
Lightly oil a medium sized baking dish with a neutral oil like canola. (Spray with a cooking spray if you prefer.)
Cover the base of the baking dish evenly with about 1/3 of your sliced potatoes. Scatter about half of the sliced onions over the potatoes. Make another layer of potatoes, and then scatter the remaining onions over the top. Finish with the last of the potatoes.
Place the cubed cream cheese in a medium sized, microwave safe bowl, and warm just long enough to soften the cheese. Whisk/stir in the flour and the dried thyme. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, a bit at a time, until it’s smoothly combined with the cheese and flour mixture. Whisk in the milk.
Pour the cream cheese/broth/milk mixture over the layered potatoes and onions. Scatter the bacon over the top. Put the lid on the casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
Take the lid off the casserole dish, scatter the topping evenly over the casserole and return to the oven. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
Let rest for 10-15 minutes, then serve.
And, of course, dessert … cream puffs. I didn’t bother with any icing sugar etc. Just dived in.
PS: I made cranberry sauce but forgot to serve it with the meal. I’ll show you what I’m going to do with the rest of it later.
Turkey is something that I only cook a couple of times a year. Not because I don’t like it but because I buy a frozen 12-14 lb turkey, when it’s on sale, and for a single person, using up leftovers is even more challenging than for small families since I have to cook it all at once.
Turkey thawed and ready for butchering
Spatch-cocking is a good way to cut down on uneven turkey roasting. And removing the legs means when the breast is done, you can take it out of the oven, cover with foil and continue roasting the legs until they’re done.
Turkey Breast – nice and moist, 2 hrs at 350 deg F
Turkey Thighs – skinned, de-boned, cut into big chunks and ground up in a food processor while still slightly frozen … or at least chilly
Turkey Tacos – Half a diced onion was sauteed in oil and/or schmaltz (chicken fat), then the ground turkey meat (~710 gm) was added and cooked until no longer pink. I added 1 tbsp of taco seasoning for every 454 g of meat and cooked it all for a few more minutes. The cooked meat mixture can be used for taco bowls or lettuce wraps.
I had an inexpensive turkey in my freezer … too ratty to ever present to company, if I had had plans for any, because it was missing most of the skin over the breast. However it was perfect for making a bunch of tasty goodies. Some were eaten immediately but most were wrapped up and frozen away for the future. A lot of good meals starting with a $10 turkey.
Supper was breast meat trimmed from the carcass, mashed potatoes and gravy from the drippings, giblet and rice stuffing with the help of a couple of boxes of Stove Top stuffing. And a bit of salad.
Turkey gravy … SO good.
The two turkey breasts ready to be sliced and wrapped away in the freezer. A jar of mint lemonade in the background.
Dessert was fresh strawberries macerated in vanilla sugar and a couple of splashes of Cointreau over French Vanilla ice cream because I was too tired to make anything more ambitious.
The turkey wings were marinated and roasted. The result was Asian Sticky Turkey Wings.
The legs were jointed and braised in a combination of Mexican flavours for Turkey Tinga. Sorry, no pictures of the shredded meat and sauce before it was frozen away … just the pre-braise mixture.