This is a pre-Thanksgiving post to give you a few ideas for your upcoming T-day feast! I've never understood why turkey is reserved for one measly day a year. Well not in this house and especially not since I found this super easy crock pot recipe. It keeps the bird super moist, very flavorful, and hello, you do nothing but push a button! You still get the same great smell without tying up your oven, getting up at the crack of dawn to put it in the oven, and whatever other crazy hurdles you jump through to get the turkey on the table.
Like I said, the recipe is super easy and very flexible and forgiving. The first time I made it I topped it with a can of cranberry sauce and a dry onion soup mix. Below is the recipe I used this time. Sorry, no pictures because I figured everyone knew what turkey looked like (:
Crock Pot Turkey
1 8-10 lb turkey breast (just make sure it will fit in your crock pot)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 white wine
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion slices
salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
Pour broth and wine in bottom of crock pot. Pat the turkey breast dry. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Place turkey, breast side down, in crock pot. Cut butter into chunks and put on top and in turkey cavity. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. Remove and let stand a few minutes before trying to cut.
Even though I have a huge sweet tooth, I have never been a fan of Sweet Potato Casserole. I tried to explain to a friend that I just didn't like sweet vegetables (peas also fit into this category for me) but she nixed that theory by pointing out my love of corn. I guess I just don't prefer sweetened sweet potatoes and who knows why I don't love peas.
I had some canned sweet potatoes from Wes' grandmother that I wanted to purge from the pantry and looked for a way to incorporate them in my mock T-day meal. I came up with this Sweet Potato Souffle and boy howdy, I'm in love! It is sweet but you don't taste enough of the earthy sweet potato to make it weird. It's just a party in your mouth. Mine didn't rise and puff like a professional souffle, but who cares because it tasted so yummy. With only 1/4 cup sugar, no marshmallows, and just a little butter, this one is a healthy alternative to that calorie-ridden casserole that adorns every Thanksgiving table I've ever seen. Oh and I skipped the rum completely and while I'm sure it adds extra depth, I think it was plenty good enough without it! Ignore the not so appealing picture!
I didn't make this next dish to go with my feast but it would be a great alternative to traditional stuffing. I'm sure I just lost 95% of you with that suggestion. I'm not typically a stuffing fan but I used 365 Stuffing with Cranberries and used the stock from the cooked turkey instead of water. That would convert any stuffing hater I think but I digress. This Harvest Wild Rice Salad with Pumpkin Vinaigrette is such a versatile side dish. I paired it with pork tenderloin and it went perfectly with that protein. In case any of you were turned off with the notion of pumpkin in the dressing, you really can't taste it. Sure a refined palate could detect a hint of it but it really is quite subtle.
Finally, what's Thanksgiving without Cranberry Sauce? If you aren't a fan, never fear I used to hate it too but I've discovered that was because I never tried a good one - as in fresh cranberries. Cranberry sauce is too easy to not just make yourself. This recipe has like 4 ingredients, so you should totally give it a try. Your kids will probably even eat it because it's laced with sugar!
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 T. orange zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pomegranate juice (I used Acai juice because that's what I had.)
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes, or until most of the berries have popped. Spoon into serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Next up, what to do with that pumpkin sitting on your front porch!