Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 16, 2010
I don’t know about you but, for the Caveclan, Thanksgiving is the holiday we look forward to the most. A day filled with friends and family, fantastic football, and fabulous food is certainly a day worth giving thanks for. Which is why, when the Cavewoman and I wed, we chose Turkey Day as the one we would host for the entire family. Yeah, it is a lot of work in the kitchen. But, seeing everyone slumped into the couch, satiated and smiling, is worth every moment spent hoping not to burn the gravy or undercook the bird.
Over the last dozen years, we have incorporated some of our families’ recipes with our own to create a meal that has become a tradition … to the point we are threatened with embarrassing public revelations from our pasts if we change anything. Making blackmail truly the most sincere form of flattery you can receive! 😉 With that in mind, I want to share with you some of the recipes we’ll be employing next week for the big day. I hope to also post a few new recipes over the next week that we will be enjoying this year, as well.
Before getting to real meal, we try to tempt our guests palates with some basic, yet delicious appetizers. And, shrimp cocktail is about as basic as it gets. However, a chilled shrimp is only as good as the sauce that accompanies it. You could make your own sauce from scratch. But, that is time consuming and, as you know, we like to make things as easy as possible around here. Thus, with necessity being the mother of invention, came the recipe for Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce. As the name suggests, it’s quick, it’s easy, and man is it goooooood! If there is any doubt about how good it really is, on a holiday known for leftovers, there are never any leftover shrimp!
As good as those little crustaceans bathed in that sauce are, man (and, more specifically, the vegetarian Cavewoman) can’t live on prawns alone. So, we also whip up an incredible veggie friendly Baked Brie with Peach Sauce. When coupled with the dried cherries and pecans, this gooey plate of yum becomes a huge hit. Serve it up with some quality Lavosh or water crackers and let the feasting begin!
NOTE: Even though you will want to dig right in, be sure to let the baked brie cool for about 10 minutes after pulling it from the oven as the melted cheese inside the brie casing can get quite hot. Nothing worse than burning your tongue on that first bite and not be able to taste the full flavor of the rest of the meal. Yes, this is the voice of experience talking! 😳
Too often, one of the cornerstones of the Thanksgiving meal is taken for granted. The cranberry sauce! Serving it right out of the can isn’t worthy of the time and effort most will put into their holiday spread. You could just follow the rather simple directions that come on a bag of fresh cranberries … at least that is a huge step up from pre-made. But, if you want to bump it up a major notch, I suggest you take the few extra steps recommended in our Cave’s Cranberry Sauce recipe. It’s still very simple to make. But, instead of having your cran-sauce be just an also-ran on the plate, it will become one of the stars of your holiday meal. In fact, you just might find yourself making this dish throughout the year!
Of course, it isn’t Thanksgiving without a turkey. However, it isn’t much of a Thanksgiving, foodwise, if your bird isn’t flavorful, juicy and tender. Fortunately, there is one thing you can do to help assure you achieve all three of those lofty goals: marinate your turkey in brine! My now-famous T-day Turkey Brine is one of those modified/modernized family recipes that has been handed down from my Cavenana to my Cavemom, and most recently to me. Combing wine, fresh grapes, garlic, rosemary and various other ingredients for an overnight marinade creates a turkey that is perfect nearly every time. Turkeys done this way usually don’t have much in the way of drippings because the bird retains so much of the moisture. But, it also helps make the meal’s main attraction tender, moist and full of flavor.
Like I said, these are just a few of the recipes we will be whipping up in the coming days. We should have a few more to share before you start winging it around the kitchen. No matter what you end up making, we wish you and yours a safe, savory and happy Thanksgiving. And, don’t be bashful about telling the people sharing your holiday table how thankful you are for having them in your life – it is the only true fail-safe ingredient to a successful T-Day gathering.
©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at https://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.