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Featured Cuisine: Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Roasted Turkey Roast Turkey
1 Whole turkey, fresh or thawed
Stuffing (see recipe below)
Melted butter or margarine

Remove turkey neck and giblets from cavities of bird, rinse turkey and wipe dry. (Cook neck and giblets to make giblet gravy, see below.) Prepare stuffing of choice. Stuff loosely into neck cavity, then skewer neck skin to back. Stuff body cavity loosely. Sew openings shut by lacing piece of string on wood picks. Fasten down legs either by tying or tucking under skin band. Twist wings under turkey. Place turkey, breast up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter. If roast meat thermometer is used, insert into thick part of thigh. Bulb should not touch bone. Roast at 325 F. A tent of foil placed loosely over turkey keeps it from browning too fast and may be removed when necessary to baste turkey. Remove foil last half hour for final browning. Turkey is done when thermometer registers 170 to 180 F, or when thick part of drumstick feels tender when pressed with thumb and forefinger or when drumstick and thigh move easily. Let turkey stand covered with aluminum foil at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes to finish cooking.

Cornbread Stuffing
2 packages corn bread mix (10 oz.)
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks
Salt, pepper

Prepare corn bread, following label directions, or use your own favorite recipe. Cool. Crumble enough to make 7 cups and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Saute celery and onion in butter in a large skillet until soft. Spoon vegetables and butter over corn bread crumbs. Beat egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl; stir in stock and pour mixture over corn bread. Stir lightly to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Giblet Gravy
Neck and giblets from 1 turkey
6 cups water
1 can chicken broth
Drippings from roasted turkey
Butter, optional
3 tablespoons flour
Salt, pepper

Remove neck and giblets from bird. Separate liver from other giblets and discard or save for another meal. (The liver, largest and softest of organ meats, clouds the broth.) Place remaining giblets and neck in 2-quart saucepan. Add chicken broth, and bring to boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 1 hours. Strain and reserve broth. Discard neck. Chop giblets, cover and refrigerate. When turkey is roasted, remove from oven and transfer to platter. Lightly cover with foil and let stand about 20 minutes to allow juices to set before carving. Meanwhile, add 1 cup reserved broth to drippings in roasting pan. Place pan over medium heat and scrape browned particles free from bottom with wooden spoon. Pour mixture into clear measuring cup and let fat rise to top. Skim fat off with spoon.

To make 2 cups gravy, place cup turkey fat in saucepan. (If necessary, add butter to make cup.) Add enough reserved giblet broth to skimmed drippings to make 2 cups. Heat fat over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until bubbly. Remove from heat. Gradually pour in dripping-stock mixture, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Return pan to heat, and cook, stirring, until gravy boils and thickens. For thinner gravy, add more broth. Stir in giblets. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
12-oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in zest, then cool. Note: The cranberry sauce may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Mashed Potatoes (4 servings)
6 baking potatoes
Salt, pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup hot milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
Cream (optional)

Boil potatoes in heavy saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Cook potatoes in about 1 inch boiling, salted water until fork-tender. If whole, cook 30 to 40 minutes; if cut up, 20 to 25 minutes. If lid doesn't fit tightly, water may boil away. Check occasionally and add more water if necessary. Peel potatoes (this can also be done before cooking). Use potato masher, electric mixer or ricer to mash potatoes. Beating with mixer or wooden spoon, gradually add heated milk, according to taste. Potatoes will be creamier and thinner if more liquid is used. Finish with softened butter or margarine to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or spoon into buttered casserole and smooth light film of cream over top. Keep warm in oven heated to 250 degrees. Cover with towel to absorb steam.

Buttered Brussels Sprouts
2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Cook brussels sprouts in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss with butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Banana Nut Bread
1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour 9.25x5x2.5 -inch loaf pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in medium bowl. In small bowl, mix mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Using electric mixer, beat shortening in large bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat banana mixture and flour mixture alternately into shortening mixture in 2 additions each. Stir in pecans. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Wrap tightly in foil and let stand at room temperature.)

Pumpkin Pie
For the crust:
1& 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in work bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and cut into dry ingredients with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg yolk and stir to combine. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with fork in between, until dough forms ball. Wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes. Turn dough out on floured work surface, roll flat and lay over 9-inch pie plate. Pat dough into plate, then trim and crimp edges. Chill 20 to 30 minutes before using.

Pumpkin Pie For the filling:
1 & 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups half-and-half
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Combine pumpkin, brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl. Beat until well-blended. Add half-and-half, eggs and butter, and stir to combine. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Source: Latimes.com, Soar.berkeley.edu, Epicurious.com

More About Thanksgiving Meals

Turkey 101
Roasting the Turkey
Give Thanks, Then Eat

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Bon appetit!

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