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Southern Thanksgiving Recipes

Guest Author - Jenny Derden

Here are some of the recipes of the dishes that will be on our Thanksgiving table. If you are looking for an oyster dressing here, stop. It will not be here. Even though we love oysters in the south, they do not belong in our cornbread dressing. The horror!

Cornbread Dressing

Prepare your cornbread the day before Thanksgiving. Leave it out overnight, uncovered. Also, unwrap and crumble a loaf of french bread (that's right, FRENCH BREAD, which was my moms secret ingredient) and 5 or 6 pieces of white bread. Leave all of the bread out overnight and uncovered.
Thanksgiving morning, crumple the cornbread in a very large bowl.
There should be approx. 12 cups of crumbs in your bowl or large pan.
Add the other breads and set aside.

Here comes the best aroma ever coming from your kitchen!
In a large pan, melt butter to saute your dressing vegetables,
Add the following:
2 cups of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
Saute over medium heat until the onion is transparent.

Then, in the pan you plan to cook the dressing in, add the bread and then pour the vegetables over the bread pieces. It needs to be a large pan, as you need room to stir and mix.
To that mixture add the following:
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
4 cups of chicken stock (more if necessary as you do NOT want dry dressing.)
and one cup of turkey drippings from your turkey pan that hopefully you prepared a turkey in Thanksgiving morning.
To that, add 1/2 teaspoon of rubbed sage, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of poultry seasoning.
MIX THROUGHLY and pop it into oven at 375. After about 15 minutes, pull the dressing out, and stir, getting the dressing from the side of the dish to the middle. Check your seasonings....a taste test. If you don't taste the sage enough to your liking, add some more with a little more broth.
Put it back into your 375 degree oven and bake it for 30 - 45 minutes. You do not want it to be soggy before taking it out.

Giblet Gravy, true southern tradition

Hopefully, you remembered to remove the package of giblets from the turkey before roasting it.
With that said, in a large pan, add the following:
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, sprinkled in while stirring.
1 cup drippings from the turkey pan (fat skimmed off)
1 cup chicken broth
2 eggs, boiled and sliced.
Slowly stir the mixture until your gravy is the right consistency. Add cooked giblets. (I boil mine for about 30 minutes before adding them to the gravy mixture.)
The giblets I cut up are the liver, the neck, and the gizzard.
After the gravy starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste, add the sliced boiled eggs and simmer. Stir, stir and stir again.

Corn and Green Chile Pepper Casserole

2 cans of sweet corn, drained.
1 small can of green chile peppers, diced
1 package of cream cheese, softened
Put all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, heat and stir til the mixture is creamy.
Set aside as this can be warmed at serving time.

See Tams Layered Salad in this sites archives for the green pea and onion dish.

Squash Casserole
5 pounds medium-size yellow squash
2 eggs -- beaten
1 cup bread crumbs plus additional for topping
1 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
salt -- to taste
2 tablespoons onion -- chopped
1 dash pepper

Cut tips off squash and cut each squash into 3 or 4 pieces. Drop
squash into a large saucepan with enough boiling water to cover.
Return to boil, reduce heat and cook until tender. Drain in
colander and mash.

Combine with beaten eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, butter, sugar, salt,
onion and pepper. Turn into 3-quart casserole that has been
lightly greased or sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with light
layer of bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until
lightly browned.

Mashed Potatoes With Buttermilk and Roasted Garlic

3 LBS of Yukon Gold boiling potatoes
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 tsp black pepper

Peel and slice the potatoes in 1 1/2 inch cubes.
Place the potatoes in a boiling pot of COLD water, turn on the heat until the water begins to boil then turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered until tender. (Placing the potatoes in cold water to start helps the potato to cook evenly.)
While the potatoes are cooking, roast your garlic.
Peel a couple of garlic cloves and place in olive oil in a saute pan and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Then, transfer the garlic to your oven and roast in oven for about 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pan, smash them well, chop and mash again. You want them to be like a paste.
Fold the garlic into the potatoes.

Next, heat your whole milk and butter. Do not let it boil.
Remove the milk from the heat. In a pan, place your cooked potatoes and add the most of your hot milk mixture. Next, add the buttermilk and fold. Stir til creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To keep the potatoes warm before serving, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes. If you need to, add a little more hot milk mixture before serving.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes Recipe ala Paula Deen from her Food Network television show.

Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.


This is the time to put your fancy tablecloth on your dinner table, pressed and ready to go. On your table, place dried tiny pumpkins, gourds, and dried fall stemless flowers, and dried fall colored tree leaves scattered about the table. Don't forget the candles! Dinner candles in your nicest candle holders will do just fine. Time to pull out your good silver? Do this a few days ahead and check it for polishing, etc.

Now, enjoy one of the best Southern Thanksgiving dinner ever! Happy Eating!





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Content copyright © 2014 by Jenny Derden. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jenny Derden. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cati Arcuri for details.

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