Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! In this edition of Rebecca's Food Porn, I am posting a few of our favorite dishes of the day. We do the usual turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn, but sub the StoveTop stuffing with a rice dressing. And sweet potato casserole - the single greatest way to ruin the nutritional value of the sweet potato - has become a requirement.

Spicy and sweet pot of deliciousness.

Spicy and sweet pot of deliciousness.

Rice, Apple and Craisin Dressing

This is adapted from the Rice, Apple and Raisin Dressing recipe in Paul Prudomme's Louisiana Kitchen, a classic cookbook that should be on your shelf if it isn't already. And because I can't leave recipes alone, I made changes, including - the horror! - reducing the fat. Seriously, if you use  the amount of oil and butter called for in the original recipe, the dressing is just greasy. IMHO, and no offense to Chef Prudomme. I also added wild rice and celery, eliminated the pecans (household preference), and used craisins instead of raisins. Spices can be adjusted to taste (and, apparently everything else, judging by all the changes I made!). Here is my version:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup craisins
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 cup converted rice
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 3 cups stock or bouillon (I use chicken)
  • 2 cups chopped unpeeled apples

Combine seasoning mix in small dish and set aside. Place wild rice in small bowl of water to soak.

In large pot, heat oil on med high heat. Add onions, celery and green pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Add craisins and butter. Stir until butter is melted then cook and stir for about 4-5 minutes. You should see craisins plump up. Add rices and seasoning mix. Cook and stir about 5 minutes, then add stock and apples. bring to boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes to absorb liquid. (You can re-heat and simmer another 5 minutes if wild rice is still tough, or if liquid has not been absorbed.)

At this point, I usually sit down with a bowl of the stuff and shovel it in. It is so good.

Use as a side or to stuff chicken, turkey, yourself....

Sweet Potato Casserole

Funny how our kids tastes change over time. Both my kids loved baby food sweet potatoes, and what's not to like? The real thing? Well, not so much. And then my Aunt introduced them to this dish, and again, what's not to like about beautiful sweet potatoes amped up with sugar and butter? And marshmallows! I know you'll be shocked that I reduced the butter and sugar in this recipe. It's still at horrifying levels, and mmm, mmm, good.

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (do not use canned!!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 milk
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 1/4 orange juice
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Mini marshmallows for topping (about a cup?)

In large bowl, combine all ingredients except marshmallows. Mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with marshmallows and bake another 10 minutes.