Because I love a challenge, I cooked a feast. Below are the recipes I used – almost all of which can be used year-round and all of which are meant for 1-2 people.
NOTE: Make sure to brine the turkey 2-3 days BEFORE cooking it! The crust and the gravy should be prepared the night before.
2.5 quarts water
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 large onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 1/2 rib celery, diced
1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 equatorially
1/2 bunch fresh rosemary
1/2 bunch fresh sage
3 bay leaves
1 (3 lb.) turkey breast
1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
1 stick of butter, room temperature
To brine the turkey breast: Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To prepare the turkey breast for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, sage, and butter for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts. Wrap in aluminum foil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Put 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the netted turkey breast, skin side up. Roast, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let cool, prior to removing netting.
NOTE: If you do not have a roaster, slice the turkey into cutlets, put the liquid mix in a large pan and place the turkey cutlets on top, cooking until thoroughly cooked, registering at 165 degrees.
4 cups gluten-free 1-inch bread cubes (that’s about 2 sandwich loaves)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 large onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon each fine-chopped fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme
1 cups hot stock (turkey or chicken)
1.5 large eggs
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl. Set a small pan on high heat and pour in the stock. Cook until it is boiling hot, then leave it simmering on the back burner. Beat the eggs together in a bowl.
Set a large saute pan on medium-high heat. Put the oil and butter in the pan. When the liquids move around the pan easily, add the diced celery and onions. Cook them, stirring, until they are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the fresh herbs to the pan and cook, stirring, until they release their fragrance, about 1 minute.
Toss the softened celery and onions into the bowl with the bread cubes. Put it all into a 3-quart casserole pan.
Pour a few tablespoons of the hot stock into the beaten eggs. Stir, quickly, until the stock is incorporated. Add the remaining stock, slowly, continuing to stir.
Pour the eggy stock over the pan of bread cubes. Press down on the cubes with your hands, distributing the liquid evenly. Cover the casserole pan with aluminum foil.
Slide the stuffing into the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook until the stuffing is steaming hot and browned, but not dry, about 5 more minutes. If you can insert a toothpick into the middle of the stuffing and have it come out clean, the stuffing is done.
Cover with gravy, immediately.
1 medium onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 heaping cup)
6 sprigs thyme
2 sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 dried bay leaf
6 fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Position an oven rack in the highest position, and preheat to 450 degrees F. Toss the onions, celery, carrots and garlic with 1 teaspoon each oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are charred in some places, 25 to 30 minutes.
Bring the roasted vegetables, 1 cup water, mushrooms, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until reduced by about one third, about 45 minutes. Strain the stock through a strainer into a large liquid measuring cup; use the back of a ladle to squeeze all the liquid out of the solids (there should be about 4 cups of stock). If not making gravy right away, let the stock cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
To make the gravy, warm the stock slightly in a medium saucepan if it has been refrigerated. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil in another medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves, and cook until fried and crispy, about 2 minutes; remove and set aside. Add the flour to the saucepan, and stir until smooth and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the warm stock while whisking constantly until smooth and thick, 8 to 10 minutes
Chop up the fried sage, stir it into the gravy along with the parsley and season to taste with pepper.
Orange Scented Sweet Mashed Potatoes
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks or thin slices
1 tablespoon oil, extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 slices smoky bacon, finely chopped
1 orange, zested and juiced
Chicken stock, as needed
1 teaspoon coriander, 1/3 palmful
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with water, salt the water and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook until tender, then drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Heat a little oil over medium heat, in a medium saute pan and add the bacon and cook until it begins to crisp. Stir in the orange zest and juice and the potatoes. Mash to desired consistency with some chicken stock to thin the potatoes, if desired. Stir in the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Low-sugar, Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie
MIX Truvia, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shells (note, I used 2, 10 X 10 round pans)
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.