Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Finally, this is the time to enjoy great meal with great company. This year, one of my friend was lending his place to cook a full Thanksgiving meal with colleagues. As can be seen on the plate, the meal includes the traditional turkey stuffed with bread and raisin, tofurkey for the vegetarian (and non-vegetarian) and homemade cranberry sauce. We also have candied yams even though it is a dish found in American Thanksgiving. In total, we were 12 people and we had lots of leftovers at the end of the evening. Here are a couple of recipes that are not found in this blog.

For the first time, I made cranberry sauce from scratch and I was amazed how the taste differs from canned cranberries. A hint of orange juice is used instead of water.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Makes 4 cups of sauce
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Printable Recipe


1 12oz. bag of fresh or frozen cranberries, pale ones removed
1/2 cup sugar
2 oranges, juiced and zested
1 cinnamon stick


1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Simmer until cranberries burst and sauce thickens, about 15 mins. Adjust sweetness if necessary.

2. Cool and refrigerate or serve at room temperature. Remove cinnamon stick.

What can I say more about this dish, it was yummy and gooey. You can find a quick Candied Yams recipe from one of my past post. Here is a not-so-long version of candied yams. Thanks to my friend for providing pictures of his dish.

Candied Yams

Serves 12
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins


4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cups margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups marshmallows
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 13''x9'' baking pan.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and boil until slightly undercooked, about 15 mins. Drain and cool.

3. In a large saucepan, heat margarine over medium heat. Add in brown sugar, 2 cups marshmallows, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook until marshmallows are melted, stir occasionally.

4. Mash half of sweet potatoes. Stir in mashed and chunk-sized potatoes into marshmallow sauce. Pour into baking pan.

5. Bake for 15 mins. Remove from oven and cover evenly with marshmallows. Return to oven, bake until marshmallows are golden brown.

This dish is made by a Paraguayan friend. Don't get fooled by its name as it is not a soup, but a Paraguayan version of cornbread. A fun story is found on wiki where this dish is designated as a "solid soup". I think what special about this cornbread is that cheese are mixed with the batter to give a cheesy bite. I'm not sure if that is the case for other variations of cornbread.  

Sopa Paraguaya (Paraguayan Soup)

Serves 12
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Baking Time: 40 mins
Printable Recipe


2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp salt
6 eggs
2 lb corn flour
4 cups milk
1 can corn kernels
500g mild cheese, grated (gouda, cheddar and/or ricotta)


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions until soft but not brown, add a bit of water if necessary. Season with salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and mix in onions, corn flour, milk, corn kernels and cheese.

4. The mixture should be liquid. Add milk if necessary. Pour batter to a greased 13''x9'' baking pan.

5. Bake for 40 mins or until it passes the toothpick test.


When I watch Thanksgiving event on Food Network, it is all about roasting or deep fried the turkey. I was shocked that there is a "turkey" version for vegetarian made out of tofu stuffed with whole wheat bread crumb and wild rice. I really enjoyed it and tasted strangely like turkey. This tofurkey is bought from the Tofurky brand.
Here is how it looks like once cooked, it resembles a lot like a roast.

This is how it looks inside when carved. If you want an alternative to turkey for the next Thanksgiving, this is it!

Finally, for the meatarians, I have to admit that this is my first attempt of roasting a turkey. It is also my first time carving a turkey. Usually, in every Thanksgiving, my mother roasts the turkey and always ended to be very juicy and flavorful. For the first time, Thanksgiving happens at my friend's place, I have to conquer the fear of roasting and carving the turkey. For a fully cooked and tasty turkey, the rule is to roast for 15 mins/pound and baste the turkey every 20 mins. This recipe is inspired from To carve the turkey or any poultry, the easiest way is to use a sharp knife and carve along the bones.

Perfect Turkey with Apple Stuffing

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Roasting Time: 3 hours for 12lb turkey
Printable Recipe


1 whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
3-4 tbsp salt
1/2 cup butter or olive oil
1/2 cup water
Vegetables (carrots, onions, celery), cut in half or in quarters

4 cups sweet apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup margarine
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp zaatar
6-8 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
2 cups raisins
1 cup apple juice
2 eggs, beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large skillet, sauté apples, almonds, onion and celery in margarine for 5 mins. Remove from heat. Add in salt, cinnamon and zaatar.

3. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, raisins and apple mixture. Mix in apple juice and eggs.

4. Season turkey inside and out with salt. Rub turkey with butter or olive oil. Place breast side down in a roasting pan. Use half of the stuffing and place it inside the turkey cavity. Pour water and scatter vegetables at the bottom of the roasting pan.

5. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 180F. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up at about 2/3 of its roasting time. Baste turkey every 20 mins. Let it rest for 30 mins before carving.

6. Bake remaining stuffing, covered, for 30 mins. Uncover, bake for an additional 10 mins until lightly golden brown. 

This is pretty much all of it. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Wow Victor, that's quite impressive. It looks like a wholesome Thanksgiving dinner. :)

  2. Hey Elaine, I'm quite surprised myself that we managed to cook the turkey.

  3. Very cool, everything looks delicious! What a beautiful turkey! This year, I celebrated my first proper North American Thanksgiving in years, with loads of people, two giant turkeys, and all the trimmings. It was awesome, but I'm glad I wasn't in charge of all the cooking!

  4. Wow, two giant turkeys, that is a lot of people! We managed to eat half of the medium-sized turkey with 10 people.

  5. Tofurkey gives me nightmares. it takes as long to defrost a tofurkey as a regular turkey.



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