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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Food for Thought : Creole Thanksgiving meal

Hello viewers that love good food ,I have a confession. Although I love a good meal shared with family and friends, I've never been a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.Dry turkey, jellied cranberries and mushy vegetables? Pass. 
Louisiana take on a traditional turkey dinner, I couldn't be more thankful.
Juicy, seasoned turkey? Cranberries that don't wobble? Vegetables that aren't in casserole form?
Tell me more. Fill my plate.
Here are all the recipes you'll need to prepare your own impressive, Creole Thanksgiving spread.
Oven-roasted turkey injected with Creole butter marinade: 
Serves: 15-20        Cook time: 2 hours
1 young turkey, 15 to 20 pounds 
1 bottle Tony Chachere's Butter Injectable Marinade 
4 tablespoons Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning 
2 large onions, cut into 2-inch pieces 
4 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces 
4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces 
1/2 gallon water or chicken stock 
Heat oven to 325 degrees
1 .  Using a large cutting board or work surface, separate the major muscles from the turkey. Remove wings. Remove legs and thighs. Then cut breast away from the backbone. Reserve backbone, cutting into 4 equal pieces with the neck, tail, liver, gizzard and heart. These will be used for stock and/or gravy.
In a large roasting pan, add onions, celery and carrots.
2 .  Carefully inject turkey wings, legs and thighs, and breast with marinade. Inject into meat without going through the skin. Inject in as many places as possible without getting too close to the bones.
Season the outside of each piece of turkey with Tony's seasoning and place the pieces on top of the onions, celery and carrots in the roasting pan.
3 .  Add water or stock to the roasting pan. Cover pan with foil and place in oven. Cook covered for 90 minutes. Roast uncovered for another 60 minutes to brown and crisp skin. 
4 .  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Place wings, legs and thighs on a serving dish. Remove breast from bone and carefully slice. Reserve drippings to make turkey stock and/or gravy.
                           Turkey stock and gravy :
Reserved drippings from roasted turkey pan 
Reserved turkey backbone, cut into four equal pieces and seasoned liberally with Tony's 
Reserved turkey neck, tail, liver, gizzard and heart 
1 onion, diced 
1 yellow bell pepper, diced 
2 stalks celery, diced 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 cup white wine or water 
2 quarts water 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
Tony Chachere's Brown Gravy Mix

1 .  Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Place reserved and seasoned turkey backbone and innards into the pan and caramelize for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all pieces are browned.
2 .  Deglaze with white wine or water. Add in onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Continue to saute until onions are translucent.
3 .  Add two quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for an hour. Water can be added in as the liquid reduces if necessary.
2 ..Use the stock after cooking for an hour in the cornbread dressing and stuffing recipes or use the stock to make a gravy.
For gravy, strain the stock, add liquid to pan and thicken to desired consistency with Tony Chachere's Brown Gravy Mix.
                                 Creole cornbread dressing :
Serves: 12     Cook time: 45 minutes

2 packages cornbread mix (prepare your favorite kind ahead)
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 pound ground pork 
1/2 pound chicken livers, pureed 
2 cups turkey or chicken stock 
1 sweet onion, diced 
1 stalk celery, diced 
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning 
3 tablespoons Tony Chachere's Brown Gravy Mix 
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped 
1/4 cup green onions, chopped 

1 .  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2 .  Prepare cornbread ahead of time using directions on package. This can be done days in advance and refrigerated.
3 .  In a medium pot on medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add the ground pork and pureed chicken livers and brown, about 15 minutes.
4 .  Add about 1/2 cup turkey stock, onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in remainder of the turkey stock and Tony Chachere's and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Follow instructions on brown gravy mix (mixed with cool water first before adding to hot mixture) and add to pot. Allow pork mixture to thicken for about two minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
5 .  In large mixing bowl, crumble cornbread and add in ground pork mixture, green onion and parsley. Mix well.
6 .  Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Spoon dressing into pan. Place into heated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot.
                   Stuffing muffins :
Serves: 12        Cook time: 45 minutes
1 loaf French bread, diced 
1/2 stick butter, melted 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered
2 cups turkey or chicken stock 
1/2 cup white wine
1 sweet onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning 
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped 
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped

1 .  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2 .  Place diced bread on a sheet pan, drizzle with melted butter and place pan in the oven, allowing bread to toast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3 .  In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add in olive oil and allow to get hot. Place mushrooms in the pan and caramelize. Try not to move them around too much, letting the pan do the work. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup turkey stock and add diced vegetables, garlic and seasoning. Cook down until onions are translucent. Add in the last cup of turkey stock and remove from heat.
4 .  In a large mixing bowl, mix the sauteed vegetables and toasted bread. Add the beaten eggs, parsley and green onions and mix until well combined.
5 .  Portion bread mixture into coated muffin pan and place in heated oven. Cook 45 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the muffin tins to serve.
                                      Fresh cranberry sauce :
Serves: 8-10       Cook time: 20 minutes
1 cup white granulated sugar 
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest 
1 12-ounce package cranberries 

1 .  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the water, orange juice, orange zest and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the cranberries and cook until they all start to pop, about 10 minutes.
2 .  Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve hot or cold.
Sauteed Brussels sprouts with green beans and bacon :
Makes: 8-10 servings        Prep Time: 25 minutes
1 pound bacon, chopped, rendered and drained; reserve bacon grease 
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and outer leaves removed 
1 cup water or chicken stock 
1 cup fresh green beans 
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning 

Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat.
Toss Brussels sprouts in reserved bacon grease and place cut side down in hot saute pan. Cook for 6 minutes, until caramelized, adding water as needed. Add green beans and simmer for 5 minutes or until green beans are cooked.
Remove from heat and lightly dust with seasoning. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve hot.
                                        Kale butternut squash salad :
Serves: 10 -12         Cook time: 35 minutes
1 bunch kale, washed, removed from rib and broken into bite size pieces 
2 cups butternut squash, roasted and seasoned with Tony's Original Creole Seasoning 
4 clementines, segmented 
4 ounces goat cheese, broken up into pieces
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted 
1 cup pomegranate juice 
1/4 cup Creole mustard
3 tablespoons pepper jelly 
1 tablespoon orange zest 
1-1/2 cup olive oil
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning to taste 
Place kale into a medium salad bowl. Top with butternut squash, clementines, goat cheese and pecans.
Mix together all ingredients for dressing.
Top salad with dressing just before serving.
Remove clutter from your kitchen and clean out your fridge before you grocery shop for your holiday meals. Be sure to read new recipes all the way through and be sure you have storage containers, foil and plastic wrap for leftovers. Clean as you prep and cook, but don't be afraid to let pans soak so you can spend time with your family. Keep a few simple snacks — a few chunks of nice cheese, smoked sausage, fresh fruit, crackers — on hand through the holiday season, so you'll always have something for unexpected guests to snack on.

Have  a happy and  safe Thanksgiving Day .

A proud Grand-poppa             G .


  1. Hello HB
    Happy Thanksgiving. The recipes sound my mouth watering. So sad, we already had our thanksgiving but I think I can use them just for a Sunday family dinner or at Christmas. I have to go and fix myself a snack right now; you made me hungry.
    Love you,

    1. Hello Butterfly ,
      Thank you , I think it will be very nice , with both families connecting , my brothers got in this evening and the rest will be here tomorrow . They will stay at the barn and Lenny's , do not know yet who going to stay where , I do so think my brothers will stay at the barn , there are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs . There are 2 wash rooms down stairs , Maybe Charles is taking the other bedroom , Lenny has 4 bedrooms ,
      Hugs and love

  2. Hi Poppa ,
    Your family will enjoy this spread , heck , they may never go home . Jonny was the man of the hour , Aunty and Uncle made his day . He walks just like uncle . Jonny and Aunty got down doing the Samba , Uncle was watching and smiling .
    Great post poppa , see you later .
    Your sweet granddaughter .

    1. My sweet granddaughter ,
      I agree with you , they will enjoy this spread , you know there is more to go with it , more meats , desserts ETC . Jonny is like his daddy , he is a young man now and we are so proud of him and Jonny knows it .
      Your sweet Poppa

  3. Aunty and Genie ,
    Aunty , you still got it , your man was watching with a wicked smile on his face . Jonny was so thrill with his gift .
    Genie , hope it's not to cold up there , forecasters says rain will move in by Wednesday night .
    Your sweet Niece
    Dear Maxy ,
    I work for a company that provides little opportunity for growth and innovation . It frustrates me because I have some ideas that can really help streamline my company's productivity . I am hesitant to share my ideas because upper management has shot down so many ideas from previous employees . I think my ideas will be helpful to the success of the company . Do you think I should share my ideas even if upper management says no ?
    Progress to the People

    Dear Maxy ,
    I have been attempting to arrange a visit with my sister for a few weeks now . I haven't seen her in a while , and I feel as though my effort is incredibly one-sided . We've been spending less and less time together and I would just like to spend a day or weekend with her ! But whenever I ask what's good for her , she says she'll "tell me when she knows" or that she'll "get back to me ." Is she trying to avoid me ?
    We haven't had a fight or disagreement of any sort . I just want to spend some time with my sister and I feel like she's dodging me .She could come visit me too , and the only reason I've been proposing to come to her is because she lives in a bigger city and she wouldn't have to travel .
    What can I do to get her to care about seeing me ?
    Little Sister is Trying

    Dear Maxy ,
    My husband and I raised raise my three children with very little help from their birth father . He paid no child support and rarely visited them .
    Of course , now that the children are adults , Dad is back in the picture . My children are so hungry for what they feel like what they missed that they've left me behind in the dust . I do understand this on a a primitive level , yet it hurts .
    I would like people think about how much care is required to raise a family . That "father" didn't take you to the doctor , the orthodontist or any of the other necessary appointments . He didn't go to your school activities and talk to your teachers . He didn't support you as he should have emotional or financially , even when he had the money . He didn't have to instill discipline , especially when one of the reasons you acted out was because you felt abandoned by your father . Now you think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread .
    The Ones Left Behind

    Dear Maxy ,
    I work in a small department within a larger corporation . One of my co-workers is a rather large gentleman who has very bad body odor . I am a larger gal myself and I sweat more than others . I know this , so I bathe daily and use antiperspirant .
    This co-worker comes into my office smelling this way , so he probably doesn't shower every morning . He works with the public and I can't help but wonder what kind of an impression he leaves about our department . I am not the only one who has noticed this , but I not comfortable enough to talk directly to this person . Should our supervisor say something ? Please help .
    Suffocating in Orlando


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