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Thanksgiving on a Budget

Monday, Nov 18, 2013  |  Updated 5:34 PM EDT
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Thanksgiving on a budget? It is possible. Chef James Sinopoli of Washington, D.C., created a budget menu that includes all the trimmings.

Liz Crenshaw & Patti Petitte

Thanksgiving on a budget? It is possible. Chef James Sinopoli of Washington, D.C., created a budget menu that includes all the trimmings.

Chef James Sinopoli of Washington, D.C. created a Thanksgiving menu to feed a table of eight.

These recipes will make a beautiful, bountiful spread without breaking your budget.

Herb-Roasted Turkey

It’s not necessary to roast an entire turkey for Thanksgiving, and in some cases it’s just a waste. Why not roast what you will use? It’s much more budget friendly than buying an entire bird that you will only use part of!

About 6 pounds of turkey (we are using breast, but legs and thighs work too)
10 sage leaves
About 1/2 cup of parsley
Several sprigs of thyme use leaves only
Several sprigs of rosemary use leaves only
Zest of one lemon
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Use a food processor or blender to chop the onion, zest and the herbs adding just enough oil to create a paste (similar to pesto) season with salt and pepper.
2) Loosen the skin from the meat and place the herb mixture under the skin and spread it evenly over the meat.
3) Transfer the turkey to a greased roasting pan and rub the skin with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4) Roast the turkey in a 425° F oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 and continue to roast an additional 25 – 35 minutes.
5) Test the turkey for doneness by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to check for doneness, the turkey is cooked to a safe temperature when the thermometer reaches 165°F. The pan juices can be used to prepare gravy.
 

Creamy Chestnut soup

3 cups whole roasted chestnuts (you can find them in a jar)
1 ½ cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped carrot
¾ cup chopped celery
1.5 Tablespoon butter
Salt & pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
6 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
1 cup heavy cream

1) In a heavy bottom soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat
2) Sautee the onion, celery and carrot until the onions turn translucent. Add the chestnuts and thyme and sautee for an additional minute.
3) Add the broth and the pinch of nutmeg to the pot, increase the temperature to medium high and simmer the soup uncovered for roughly 30 minutes.
4) Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and allow the soup to cool slightly before pureeing.
5) Puree the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
6) The soup may be prepared several days in advance, cooled and stored for later use.

Delicious Dressing

½ stick of butter
1 large onion chopped
4 stalks of celery chopped
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ bunch chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
10 cups of dried bread cubes
2 cup of chicken stock
1 egg

1) In a large pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery till soft.
2) Add the seasoning to the pan along with salt, pepper and heat for roughly 30 seconds, and then remove to a large bowl.
3) Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken stock reserving ½ cup for later use. Mix the egg into the mixture and then gently fold the bread cubes into the bowl. Use the remaining stock to adjust the consistency.
4) Place in a well-greased pan and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes at 350°F.

Fresh Cranberry Relish

12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
1 navel orange cut into 8 pieces (rind and all)
½ cup to 1 cup sugar

1) Pulse all ingredients in a food processor till the sauce is well chopped up. Store several days under refrigeration.

White & Sweet Mashed Potatoes

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
½ stick butter
½ cup heavy cream or milk
Salt & pepper to taste

1) Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
2) Place the potatoes in a large enough pot to boil the potatoes with plenty of water.
3) When the potatoes are soft to the piercing with a knife, drain the potatoes.
4) In a large bowl, add the butter and mash the potatoes using a potato masher.
5) Adjust the consistency with the heavy cream or milk, add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Using as many Brussels sprouts as you would like to use, clean and cut the sprouts from stem end through the sprout to get two nice halves. Sprinkle the sprouts with a liberal amount of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lay them out on a cookie sheet in an even layer. Don’t crowd the cookie tray with too many; it’s best to use two sheets so they crisp and brown nicely.

Roast on 400° F stirring once in a while till the sprouts are soft and some of them have taken on a nice brown color. When they come out of the oven you can serve them as is or drizzle a little Balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice over them.

Apple Crisp

8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cardamom
1 ½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 ¼ cup of oats
Pinch of salt
½ cup cold butter

1) Warm the oven to 375° F
2) Lightly butter a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.
3) Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and cut the cold fat into the flour until crumbly.
4) Slice the apples and arrange them into the bottom of the baking dish.
5) Sprinkle the dry mixture over the sliced apples and bake 35 – 40 minutes the top should brown nicely.
6) Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

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