Part I: Thanksgiving Dinner
Who doesn’t love the holidays? They are packed with over the top gourmet meals, football, lots and lots of naps, and even better yet, family time! The Mack’s spend Thanksgiving 99% of the time hunting at the ranch. This year we just moved into our new house so I’m demanding family come to us and have a Thanksgiving dinner. They wouldn’t give me the actual day of Thanksgiving so I’m settling on a Wednesday night dinner before we leave for the ranch Thanksgiving morning.
So who loves Thanksgiving, but HATES turkey?!?! Okay I’m one of the abnormal ones I guess that absolutely hates a big ‘ole turkey! I love turkey bacon, deli turkey, etc, but can’t stand a big gigantic turkey on my table waiting to be carved by the man of the house. So my husband and I are getting creative this year and came up with something in the flying/wing family that isn’t turkey and that will satisfy our family’s palates.
Many of you may already have Thanksgiving dinner/lunch planned out, but should you not, here are some yummy ideas that the Mack’s will be eating up next week! Make sure to check out tomorrow’s blog for Part II of Thanksgiving Dinner!
A Meal for a Family of 6!
Turkey bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese:
12-15 jalapenos sliced in ½ and de-seeded. Make sure to get the veins out or they will be HOT! Soak the ½’s in H2O or milk for 30 minutes or so to help minimize the hotness. 10 pieces of raw turkey bacon. Whipped cream cheese. Once you’ve soaked your ½’s take a small knife and put a nice portion of cream cheese in each ½. Cut your bacon strips in ½ and wrap around each jalapeno ½ with the ends coming together on the underneath side of the jalapeno. You can cook these on the grill, but I recommend the oven so you don’t lose any cream cheese (that’s the BEST part)! Cook until the cream cheese is bubbly and the bacon is cooked.
Spinach salad with blue cheese, apples, candied walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette:
This is super easy to make! You can buy your walnuts pre-candied or you can do it yourself. To do it yourself get a skillet and cover with sugar, enough that the entire skillet is covered in sugar. Turn the stove on medium heat and wait for the sugar to begin to melt. Once it begins to melt pour your bag of walnut pieces into the melting sugar and stir the sugar to coat the walnuts. The sugar will burn very easily so make sure you stir quickly and as soon as the walnuts are coated pour out onto a plate or wax paper so that they dry. Once they are cool to the touch you can break them apart and put into a Ziplock bag to reuse.
Place spinach in individual salad bowls and sprinkle with diced apples, blue cheese, your candied walnuts, and a raspberry vinaigrette of your choice. I prefer Newman’s Own Light Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette.
Cornish Game Hens:
This will be my first time to make Cornish Game Hens on my own, but they are such tasty little boogers that I know I can do it! Here’s the recipe I’m going to follow, but if anyone knows of a better way to cook these little guys, please, I’m all ears!
Needed: 3 hens, salt and pepper, lemon, rosemary, olive oil, garlic, white wine, and chicken broth. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, rub hens with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place lemon wedge and sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each hen. Arrange in roasting pan and place garlic cloves around hens. Roast for 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and in a bowl, whisk 1/3 cup wine, 1/3 cup chicken broth, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pour over hens. Continue roasting for 25 minutes or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes. Transfer hens to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Take the pan juices/cloves and put in a saucepan and boil until the liquid is reduced to a sauce (about 6 minutes). Cut hens in ½ lengthwise and arrange on plates and spoon sauce and garlic on hens (each person gets 1/2 a hen). Garnish with rosemary.
Quail just might be my favorite meat ever! They are pretty little, but that’s what makes them so delicious! You’ll need 12 quail (2/person)-Marinate the quail in a large baking dish. For the marinade mix 1 ½ cups of chopped cilantro, 3 tablespoons of lime juice, ½ cup of white wine, ½ cup of chicken broth, 4-5 garlic cloves minced, ½-1 tablespoon of black pepper, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Marinate 2-3 hours. Remove the quail from the marinade and blot with paper towel removing excess marinade. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prepare your grill or if you’re me, have your husband do it. Sear the quail where they just start to form lines from the grill. Remove the quail from the grill to an oven safe platter and glaze with honey mixture (2 cups of honey and 2 tablespoons of chili powder). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until liquid shows no pink.
Thanks for reading Part I of The Mack’s Thanksgiving Dinner, but stay tuned tomorrow for Part II of my Thanksgiving recipes for 2011!