NELA Living Blog by Emilie Broughton

A Twist On Holiday Cooking

The holidays are a time for being with family and sharing in traditions.

Typically this means an evening spent sitting around the dinner table swapping
stories and eating good food. Whether you spend hours in the kitchen cooking
old family favorites or opt for the highest rated Food Network recipes, preparing
a family sized holiday feast is a lot of hard work.

Here some twists on traditional Thanksgiving recipes that might inspire new

Change it up: Try half Yukon gold potatoes and half turnips or parsnips. Make
the same way as mashed potatoes with a touch of half and half and butter,
seasoning salt or simply salt and fresh pepper. For a heart-healthy version, use
low fat cottage cheese rather than cream and butter and mash into potatoes.
It gives a creamy tasty consistency that’s a bit healthier.”

Try a tent: Start out with the turkey completely sealed and tented with
onion, carrots, celery, V-8 juice, chicken stock, brandy, bay leaf, sage
and fresh herbs. Cook it half the required cook-time completely sealed
(air-tight) on high heat, about 450. Then for the last half of the cooking
time, uncover it and turn the heat down to 350. Baste and brown it until
it is done. This is consistently YUMMY and moist–even the next day
reheated as leftovers.

Or slow roast at 300 degrees simply with fresh herbs on a bed of
fennel, onions, carrots, celery, leeks and bay leaf, a dusting of sea salt,
pepper and ample amounts of sage. The veggies and herbs add to the
drippings to create exceptional gravy.”

Up for Brussels Sprouts? For all you Brussels sprout haters out
there–this will convert you! Cut the bottom off each sprout, peel each
individual petal off, and quickly blanch the loose petals (15 seconds) in
boiling water. Cool down. Oven roast little cipollini onions (peeled)
until caramelized and done. Slice the onions in half. In a sautè pan,
heat a little bit of sliced bacon, the onions and the Brussels sprout
petals. Season them to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as a side and be
ready for people’s surprised reaction to how much they LOVE Brussels

Do not bake the stuffing in the turkey. Bake on the side in the oven to
get a bit of crispy crust on top. Use lots of sausage, celery and onion
with crusty bread or cornbread and lots of fresh sage. Drizzle turkey jus
(after it’s roasted) over the dressing to keep it moist and add a ton of

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