Thanksgiving Day

30/09/2012 21:20


Creamy Cauliflower Soup - with Cheesy Croutons
Roast Turkey
Cranberry, Chestnut & Mushroom Loaf ( Vegetarian)
Sage & Onion Stuffing Balls

Crispy Roast Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts with crispy herb crumbs
Caramelised Carrots
Green Beans with Almond & Orange Butter
Baked Red Onions with Thyme
Cranberry & Orange Sauce

Pumpkin Pie



Serves 6

50g butter

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 sticks celery, finely sliced

1kg cauliflower florets

2 bay leaves

500ml hot vegetable stock

500ml whole milk

grating of fresh nutmeg

100ml cream

Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion and celery. Cook gently over a low-medium heat until soft. Add the cauliflower, bay leaves, stock, milk and grating of nutmeg and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently,covered, for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Add the cream and whizz with a hand-held blender until smooth.

Cheesy Croutons ~ Heat the oven mark 4/180C.

Dice up 150g white bread, and mix with 40g melted butter and 40g finely grated Parmesan cheese, season and spread out onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 5-10 minutes until deep golden.

To serve - ladle the soup into bowls and scatter with cheesy croutons and a sprinkling of snipped chives.



Serves 6 - 8

4.5kg turkey

100g butter

1 lemon

few sprigs thyme

2  onions

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas 4

Take the turkey out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking- it needs to be at  room temperature.

Prepare the turkey, rinse inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the lemon into quarters and put into the cavity with thyme.

Rub the butter over and under the skin of the turkey - make a pocket between the skin  and the turkey breast. - Loosen the skin of the bird at the neck with your fingers, so you  can get your hand underneath, and  rub plenty of softened butter over the flesh. Rub more butter generously over the top of the skin and legs of the turkey.

Roughly chop the onions, leave the skins on, and scatter in a large roasting tin. Pop the turkey on the top of the onions, breast side up. Cover loosely with foil. Roast the turkey for 3 hours 40 minutes. Baste with the cooking juices every 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil 45 minutes before the end of cooking time.

To test if the turkey is cooked, piece the thigh in the thickest part with a skewer. If the juices run clear, then the bird is cooked. Lift the turkey out of the tin (discard the onions) cover loosely with foil, and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Reserve the meat juices for the gravy.

Tip - cooking times here are for a 4.5kg bird, for a different weight bird, calculate the cooking time by allowing 20 minutes per 450g, plus an extra 20 minutes. More cooking times and turkey tips can be found here.

A few more ideas for using up any left over turkey

TURKEY STOCK - for the gravy.

Make this the day before and keep in the fridge to let the flavours infuse fully, then finish the gravy on the day.

Rinse giblets well and put into a pan with 1 small, peeled onion, 1 peeled carrot,1 celery stick, 2 bay leaves and 6 blackpeppercorns. Pour in 600ml (1pt) water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour, skimming if necessary, Strain and cool.

To make the gravy, skim the fat from the roasting tin, leaving the meat juices. Put the tin on the hob and heat. Mix 1tbsp flour in a cup with a small amount of water, then add to the tin. Stir with a wooden spoon, then tip in the turkey stock. Swich to a balloon whisk, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve and transfer to a warm gravy boat.



This is great vegetarian recipe

Seves 4-6

450g/1lb loaf tin, lined with baking parchment.

1 leek, finely sliced

1 onion,finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

200g / 7oz mushrooms, sliced

200g chestnuts, roughly chopped

50g / 2oz fresh cranberries

150g  /5oz fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp olive oil

flat-leaf parsley, chopped

      Preheat the oven 200C / 400F/ Gas mark 6

In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the leek, onion  and garlc for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes. Place the remaining dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the leek and mushroom mixture and bind together with the egg. Season well with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pack the mixture into the loaf tin. Loosely cover with foil and pop into the oven to bake for about 1 hour. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Slice and serve with cranberry sauce.



1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

80g/3oz fresh white breadcrumbs

salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten

Over a low heat, fry the onion in the oil, until soft but not coloured. In a bowl, mix together the onion, sage and breadcrumbs and season well. Add enough of the beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Roll the mixture into small individual stuffing balls. Put into a greased baking dish and cook at 180C for about 30 minutes.



Serves 4-6 

* Floury potatoes work best.

Heat the oven to 200C, Put 1kg of Potatoes that have been peeled and cut into chunks into a pan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until almost cooked, then drain and allow to dry out. Shake well to "roughen up" the potatoes for extra crunchy outsides.

Pour 6 tbsps of Sunflower oil into a large roasting tin and heat it in the oven for 5 minutes until very hot, remove from oven and spoon in the potatoes, coating in the oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper.Roast the potatoes in oven for 40-50 minutes turning a couple of times until they're golden and crispy.



Boil 400g of green beans in salted water, until cooked, drain well. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan melt 30g butter, add 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 40g flaked almonds, a squeeze of orange juice and the cooked green beans. Toss until well coated and heated through and the almonds are golden. Season and serve.



Sweet and full of flavour

Serves 6

550g carrots, scrubbed or peeled, halved lengthways then cut horizontally.

1-2 tbsp demerara ( brown) sugar

Knob of butter

In a saucepan of boiling water, add the carrots and cook till they still have bite to them. Drain well. In a large frying pan, add the butter & sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, throw the carrots in and toss really well, so that they all get coated. Cook until lightly caramelised. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS -with crispy herb crumbs

Serves 6

900g  Brussels sprouts, trimmed

50g butter

2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs - choose from parsley, chives or basil

50g breadcrumbs


Cook the sprouts in boiling water for 10 minutes until tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water and set aside. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the herbs and breadcrumbs and fry for 5 minutes, constantly strirring, until crispy. Add the sprouts and cook for around 3 minutes until heated through. Season and serve.



8 Red onion, peeled and bottoms sliced flat

2 tbsp olive oil

bunch fresh thyme


Preheat the oven 200C/Gas 6

In a pan of salted water, add the onions and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 mins just until they soften slightly. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them into a roasting tin, cut-side down.

Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over the thyme leaves, add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pop into the oven and cook until beginning to turn golden- about 30 minutes.




450g Cranberries

125g Brown sugar

zest & Juice of 3 Oranges

Put all the ingredients into a small pan and simmer gently for about 10-15 mins, until cranberries are soft, stirring occasionally. Best served hot, this sauce can also be served cold with other cold meats and ham.



A traditional and delicious dessert served at American Thanksgiving celebrations.

Serves 6-8

For the pastry case ~

150g plain flour

35g self-raising flour

2 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp icing sugar

125g butter, chopped

2 tbsp water

For the pie filling~

235g cooked mashed pumpkin

(cut up a small pumpkin and remove rind and seeds.Boil or bake until tender, then mash until smooth.)

2 eggs

50g soft brown sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

165ml evaporated milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch ground spice


Sift the flours and sugar into a bowl, rub in the butter, add enough water to make the ingredients stick together. Press the dough into a ball and knead gently on a floured surface, until smooth. Cover and pop into fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough on a floured surface until large enough to line a 23cm ( 9in) flan tin. Line with the pastry and trim edges.Prick the base with a fork. Lay a piece of baking parchment inside the pastry case and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans, then bake for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned.Cool.

Whisk up the eggs, sugar and maple syrup in a bowl until thick. Stir in the pumpkin, milk and spices. Pour the filling into the cooled pastry case and bake in a moderate oven for about 45- 50 minutes or until the filling is set, cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with a dollop of créme fraïche or a scoop of ice cream.

* Tip- pushed for time? Just use a ready made sweet pastry case instead.