Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tried and True

Although we were only six this year for Thanksgiving day dinner, my menu was extensive:

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon-Egg Soup)
Toss Salad
Roast Turkey
Sausage Stuffing
Baked Yams
Mashed Potatoes
Corn seasoned with Thyme
Spinach Artichoke Casserole
Green Beans in Mustard Sauce
Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
Pumpkin Pie


 I thought I would share with you those most raved about and the newest one this year.

Avgolemono is a recipe I haven't made for years. My mother has difficulty with salad, so I decided to give everyone a choice of soup or salad. I choose this Greek lemon-egg soup, because it is light and I remembered it to be one my children liked. Sure enough when my son saw and smelled the soup he said, "I remember this!" and everyone decided to try some. The recipe I am sharing here is not the recipe I used years ago, but was delicious!

Avgolemono (from Real Simple)

  • Ingredients
  • 6  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4  cup  long-grain rice
  • 2  cooked chicken-breast halves, skin discarded and meat shredded I did not add the chicken!
  • 2  large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 1  lemon, thinly sliced
  • Directions
  • 1. Place the broth and the rice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • 2. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  • 3. Add the chicken. Remove the soup from heat and cover.
  • 4. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice in a medium bowl until frothy.
  • 5. Slowly add about 1 cup hot chicken broth to the lemon and eggs, whisking continually. Slowly stir the warmed eggs into the soup.
  • 6. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve immediately with a slice of lemon.
  • Tip
  • Warming eggs with a bit of hot liquid before adding them to the pot makes for a silky-smooth soup, rather than an egg drop–style one.

I started making sausage stuffing about five years ago. Everyone enjoyed it so much, it has beome our traditional turkey stuffing. I have crossed out the parts of the recipe I eliminate. 
The recipe is one of Paula Deen's.

2 loaves oven-dried white bread (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
2 cups cooked white rice
1 sleeve crushed saltines
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
2 cups chopped celery
1 large onion, chopped
7 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 stick butter, melted
Mushroom Giblet Gravy, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crumble oven-dried bread into a large bowl. Add rice and saltines.

Cook sausage in a large skillet until it starts to brown. Add celery and onion and saute until transparent, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour over bread and rice mixture. Add stock and mix well. Add salt, pepper, sage, and poultry seasoning. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter. Mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture for the Mushroom Giblet Gravy.

Pour stuffing into a greased pan and bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

My son loves green beans in mustard sauce, and my daughter-in-law and husband's stepfather,  do not believe it is a holiday meal without my spinach and artichoke casserole. I am posting both recipes, but cannot credit the creators of the recipes, because I have been making them for so long, I no longer remember who gave them to me, or where I found them!

Spinach Casserole

2 (10 oz) pakg. frozen chopped spinach, cooked and trained well (I squeeze mine threw a towel)
1 pkg. frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. lemon juice

Place hearts in bottom of a casserole. Mix cream cheese and butter into hot spinach; blend well. Spread spinach mixture over hearts; sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter.  Bake in 350 over for 25 minutes. Serves 8.

***I have used either seasoned or unseasoned crumbs depending on what I have on hand, and I no longer dot with butter, I melt a small amount and drizzle it over the crumbs.

Green Beans in Mustard  (It had been awhile since I made them, and were welcomed!)           

kosher salt and black pepper

  • 2 pounds frozen green beans
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook green beans until just tender; transfer to a serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet and return to medium heat.  Stir in the vinegar, mustard, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add to the green beans, along with the bacon, and toss to combine.

Finally, the recipe of the year:

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Lemon Sage Browned Butter…..I thought they were good, son thought the lemon over powered the cheese. Husband didn't try them! I will make them again and adjust or omit the lemon.

To get the recipe visit Proud Italian Cook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an outstanding menu!! I'll await my invitation next year. Ellen