Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving Dinner is full of difficult decisions.... Mashed Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes, Wine or Beer, Roasted Turkey or Deep Fried, Go Back for Seconds or Save Room for Dessert, Pumpkin or Pecan Pie.  I've learned that the answer is usually C) All of the Above.  And this Thanksgiving I definitely partook in All of the Above.  We had an amazing time we had eating, drinking, and laughing with friends!  Every contribution to the massive buffet was spectacular.  My personal favorite Thanksgiving dish is always the sweet potatoes (with the marshmallows, of course!), which Jaycob made for this festive occasion.  I modified my final Pumpkin Pie recipe after my practice round of pie-baking earlier this week, and also made a spicy creamed corn based on a recipe from a cooking class.  Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did!

Sweet Potatoes
Thanksgiving is not complete without the sweet potatoes, and if you're from the Midwest, sweet potatoes are not complete without the marshmallows.

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed
4 tablespoons butter (divided)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a medium-sized glass baking dish.
2.  Using a stand mixer, beat together the potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the butter, salt, brown sugar and egg.
3.  When mixture is smooth and uniform, transfer to the prepared baking dish.  Top with 2 tablespoons of butter and the marshmallows.
4.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Serve warm and enjoy!!

Pumpkin Pie
This unique recipes contains sweet potatoes and fresh ginger in addition to the canned pumpkin, which really adds to the flavor!  The crust is the best I've ever made.
Modified from The Brown Eyed Baker

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons vodka, cold
2 tablespoons ice water

For the pie filling:
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed, OR 1 cup canned sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

1.  Make the pie crust: Process 3/4 cup flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined.  Add the butter and shortening, a few pieces at a time, and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese, but there should be no uncoated flour.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around the blade.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed.  Remove the blade and give the dough a stir.  Sprinkle the vodka and ice water over the mixture.  With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until slightly tacky and sticks together.  Flatten the dough into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.  
(A few notes about the crust: For my practice pie I refrigerated for 45 minutes, and for my Thanksgiving pie I refrigerated overnight and got better results!  The vodka in the dough helps make a flakier crust because vodka doesn't aid in gluten formation the way water does.)

2.  Adjust an over rack to the lowest position and preheat to 400 degrees F.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured work surface to a 12-inch circle.  Press it into a pie plate, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side.  Ease the dough into the plate by gentle lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into plate with the other hand.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Next, trim the overhand and fold under itself.  Flute the edge of the dough and refrigerate for another 15 minutes, or until firm.

3.  Remove the pie plate from refrigerator, line the crust with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake another 5 minutes until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven.
(Note:  Pie weights come in many different forms and help prevent the crust from pulling away from the sides of the pan.  In the absence of pie weights, spare changes works great!  Just spread it out over the foil in the crust.)

4.  Prepare the pie filling:  While the crust is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs and vanilla together in a medium bowl.  Combine the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large saucepan.  Heat to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes.  Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing the potatoes until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.

5.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.  Pour the mixture back and forth between the bowl and the saucepan a few times to continue to combine evenly.  Transfer the filling to the prebaked pie shell.

6.  Bake the pie:  Bake pie for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees F and continue baking until edges are set and the center looks firm but jiggles slightly, 35 to 50 minutes longer.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool for 2 to 3 hours.

Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!!

Chipotle Creamed Corn
A spicy corn flan with ancho cilantro butter.  Add a Southwest kick to your holiday menu!  This can also be made with green onions, rosemary, or other delicious flavors.
Modified from the Santa Fe School of Cooking's Modern Southwest Christmas

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon red chile powder
6 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed (divided)
2 cups heavy cream (divided)
2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (can also substitute 1 cup green chile)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
4 large eggs, well beaten
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.
2.  Make the bread topping:  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and combine evenly with the bread crumbs and red chile powder.
3.  Make the corn puree:  In a food processor, puree 3 cups of the corn with 1 cup heavy cream and chipotle peppers (or green chile).
4.  Make the garlic sauce:  Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cilantro and saute for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
5.  In a large bowl, mix the corn puree, garlic sauce, and remaining 3 cups of corn.  Stir in the eggs, cheese, and remaining 1 cup of heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the bread topping.  
6.  Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden brown and corn is bubbling slightly.

Serve hot and enjoy!!


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