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Thanksgiving recipes -- let's see 'em!

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Pawtucket Patriot:
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought it would be appropriate to start a Thanksgiving recipe thread.  From the traditional to the exotic, share your best recipes!

We usually make two birds at our house.  One is a very traditional, oven-roasted turkey with gravy made from pan drippings.  The other is totally experimental.  This year, it's going to be a mezcal and lime brined, adobo-rubbed smoked turkey, with smokey adobo gravy made from the pan drippings.

Here are the brine and rub recipes (note: these recipes are for a smaller, bourbon red turkey):

Brine
1/2 cup mezcal
1/4 cup lime juice (about two limes)
1 cup warm water
2/3 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup honey
1 serrano chile, split in half

In a large bowl, whisk the mezcal, lime juice, water, salt, and honey until the salt and honey are dissolved.  Add the serrano.

Place turkey in a one-gallon ziplock bag and add the brine.  Set the bag in the sink and fill with cold water, within 1 inch of the zipper (8 to 10 cups of water, depending on the water displacement from the volume of the chicken).  Press the air out of the bag and seal.  Place the bag in a large bowl or on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips.  Allow the turkey to brine for 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, turning the bag once or twice to redistribute the brine.

About an hour before you plan to start cooking, remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse the bird under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. This removes sugar from the skin and prevent burning during cooking.

Tuck the wings under the body to keep them out of the way during cooking. For a neat appearance, pin the neck skin down to the back using toothpicks or skewers, and tie the legs together using kitchen twine.

Apply a light coat of canola oil or other vegetable oil to the turkey, then sprinkle with the adobo rub.

Adobo Rub
4 dried guajillo chiles (2 oz), stemmed and seeded
3 dried ancho chiles (1 1/2 oz), stemmed and seeded
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 (1/2-inch) piece cinnamon stick, smashed
2 whole allspice
1 clove
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves

Toast chiles until they release their fragrance, being careful not to burn them.  Set aside.

Toast the cumin seekd, cinnamon stick, allspice, and clove over medium-high heat, until they become fragrant.  Be careful not to burn them.  Set aside and let cool.  When the spices have cooled, grind them in a spice grinder along with the toasted chiles, and transfer to a small bowl.  Add the remaining rub ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

Pawtucket Patriot:
I'm still toying with the adobo gravy recipe, but it will be something like this:

Smoky Adobo Gravy
Pan drippings from smoked turkey
Turkey stock
Adobo rub
Flour
Reserved fat from pan drippings
Melted butter
Cider vinegar
Turkey stock
Salt

After turkey has been smoked, transfer the pan drippings to a large saucepan.  Add 1 cup turkey stock and boil over high heat for two minutes.  Strain pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into fat separator.  Reserve fat.  Add enough turkey stock to liquid to bring total to 5 cups.

Whisk together adobo rub, flour, reserved fat, butter, and cider vinegar over medium heat for three minutes, whisking constantly (mixture will be thick).  Add pan juices and turkey stock in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Bring to a boil, whisking, them simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.  Season with salt.

deepsouth:
here are some non-traditional italian recipes....

Bolognese (meat sauce)

very few italian dishes have one set recipe. different regions and different families have their own way of doing dishes that go by the same name. Consequently, there is no one way to do Bolognese Sauce. This is the most basic recipe.

1/2 - 3/4 pound lean beaf, coarsely ground
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
parsley, chopped
thyme, leaves only
2 bay leaves
2 pieces clove
salt and pepper to taste
stock

optional: cup of red wine
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of flour
parmesan cheese

heat butter in a tall skillet or a saucepan. add onion, celery, carrot and meat. when the meat begins to brown, add a little stock and continue adding from time to time so the bottom of the pan always has some liquid. at this time you may also add a cup of red wine. allow the wine to evaporate before adding more stock. after the wine has evaporated, tomatoes may be added. also, a sprinkling of flour may be added. bolognese with tomatoes is more common than without.

add parsley, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, salt and pepper. lower heat and cook, covered, for one hour or more.

serve grated parmesan on the size.

deepsouth:
Lasagna

in the region of the Marche, and nowhere else, lasagne is called Vincisgrassi. some say the name "Vincisgrassi" is drived from Windish Graetz, Napolean's general who occupied Ancona in 1799. according to this theory, the Austrian general's personal chef invented thie pasta dish that became Windish Greatz's favorite. others claim the pasta dish was already in existence before the napoleonic wars of 1799. in a publication of 1780, Antonio Nebbia, a chef from Macerata, Marche Region, describes a sauce for "Princisgras" became "Vincigrassi".

Vincisgrassi

the basic ingredients of lasagna consist of sheets of pasta dough, a bechamel sauce and a meatsauce. older recipes for the meat sauce contained the outer extremities and the inner organs of chickens (rigalie di pollo) and the brain and sweetbreads of calves (cervella, filoni e animelle).

sheets of dough sufficient to make 5 or six layers in a baking pan appriximately 8 x 10 inches

for the meatsauce:

1 pound ground beef
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 can (28 ounces) tomato puree (passato) or diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

brown the beef in olive oil. add onion, celery and carrot and cook about 10 minutes. add tomatoes, salt and pepper. cook an additional hour. the sauce should have a thick, fluid consistency. if it appears to get to dry, add a little water. if it's too fluid, cook a little longer.


for bechamel sauce:

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 quart milk
zest of 1 lemon
salt

melt butter in saucepan. add flour and whisk until blended.

in another saucepan, bring milk to a boil. add milk and lemon zest to flour, stirring rapidly to blend. cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

cut the dough into manageable sheets, about 4 x 6 inches. cook sheets in salted water, a few at a time, about 2 minutes for fresh pasta. remove sheets one at a time, and spread on a clean damp cloth.

cover bottom of buttered baking pan with liquid from meatsauce. then cover the bottom with 1 layer of cooked lasagne sheets. cover the layer lightly with meatsauce. then spread on bechamel sauce lightly. finally sprinkle generously with parmesan. repeat the layering process for 5 or 6 layers if the baking pan permits. be sure to allow sufficient space for the sauce to bubble without spilling over.

dot the top layer with butter, after sauces and parmesan. cook in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. allow pasta to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

deepsouth:
eggplant parmesan

the original sicilian recipe for eggplant parmesan included sliced potatoes and sliced onion, each fried separately and placed in alternate layers with the eggplants. finally, there was a topping of tomato sauce, medallions of mozzarella and basil leaves.

3 medium eggplants
1 quart of basic tomato sauce
1/2 pound of sliced mozzarella
2 cups grated parmesan
bread crumbs
butter
olive oil for frying (yes, olive oil)
fresh basil

cut the eggplants lengthwise (japanese eggplant) or the other way for the big round eggplants and allow them to drain either laying them out in the sun or by salting and laying them on an inclined surface.

fry the eggplants in olive oil, not so much as to cover the eggplant however. do not drain the eggplant. in an oiled pan, layer the eggplant slices, tomatoe sauce, mozzarella slices, and parmesan cheese. end with a topping of parmesan, bread crumbs & small pieces of butter.

bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. garnish with fresh basil.

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