Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Quickie Thanksgiving - Pt. 1

We had the Reader's Digest Condensed version of Thanksgiving this year.  About 3 hours, start to finish.  The food took longer to prepare than the actual enjoying of it.  But that's kind of how the wind blew, and it was ok.

My mom and I each created our own meal plan and brought the two pieces together.   Mom brined a turkey breast (very moist and tasty!) and also had mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, her famous rolls (at least they're famous in our family) and a pumpkin pie.

My contribution included this ham, which goes together quickly, cooks quickly and is just as good as that famous ham you spend $45 on.

Honey Glazed Ham

1 spiral sliced ham (mine was fully cooked)
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey
1/3 c brown sugar

¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ginger

Heat oven to 325°.  Place ham on a baking dish with enough of a lip to catch the juice that will accumulate.  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Drizzle ham with honey (or a mixture of honey and corn syrup, if you prefer).  Cover completely with sugar mixture and place in oven.  Bake in oven, glazing the ham every 10 minutes or so with the juice that accumulates at the bottom of the dish until the ham is golden and heated through, about 45 minutes.

*  *  *

My sweet potato dish was also fast and easy.  Nothing fancy here.

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

3 - 4 lbs. sweet potatoes (or yams)
2 Tbs. butter (plus additional for greasing the baking dish)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. bourbon
1 egg
3/4 cup pecan pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows

Heat oven to 400°.  Wash potatoes and pierce skin with fork.  Place in oven and bake until tender (the amount of time will vary depending on how big your potatoes are).  Allow to cool slightly and then cut each in half and scoop meat into a bowl.  Add the butter, sugar, spices, bourbon and egg and mash together with the potatoes.  Spoon mixture into a baking dish and top with pecans and marshmallows.  Reduce heat to 375° and bake about 20 minutes, or until marshmallows are puffy and golden.

*  *  *

This was a last minute addition to the Thanksgiving menu.  I had a vague idea of a dish with Brussels sprouts and finally settled on this recipe.  I actually made it early in the day and then reheated it later, but the next time I make it, I'll serve it right away.  The pomegranate seed add a nice tart bite to the dish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter
Adapted from Bobby Flay

6 Tbs. softened unsalted butter
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil

3 Tbs. pomegranate molasses (recipe here)
Seeds from 1/2 of a large pomegranate
1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
1 Tbs. freshly squeezed orange juice

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°.  Place the Brussels sprouts in a roasting pan (I use a foil covered cookie sheet).  Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until lightly golden, about 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, add the pomegranate molasses and stir to combine.  Return to the oven and roast another 10 minutes.

Transfer the sprouts to a serving dish.  Add the pomegranate seeds, orange zest and juice.  Stir to combine.  Top with Pecan Butter.  Serve immediately.

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