Swide’s recipes pick to celebrate Thanksgiving properly
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated especially in the United States each year on the fourth Thursday of November. The celebration often extends to the weekend, too.
Originally it was a religious holiday but has now become secular. Pilgrim Fathers left for United States because of persecutions in England. They disembarked of Mayflower boat in 1621 on North America ground. They brought with them seeds in order to cultivate their products but the rigid winter combined with a inhospitable land didn't produce enough for all, and many of them died. The Native Americans taught them which products to cultivate and which animals to breed, especially corn and turkeys. After the first plentiful harvest, the Pilgrim Fathers called a day to celebrate and thank God for that abundance and they invited the indigenous people to whom they owed the success of the harvest.
Here are 5 recipes you can easily replicate at home. Some have an Italian twist: enjoy!
Roasted turkey with apple sauce
The typical American Thanksgiving recipe is stuffed Turkey with cranberries sauce on the side, but European cuisine tends to be more simple and cranberries are more difficult to find, so here is a more unconventional recipe, still delicious.
Roasted Turkey Recipe
1 turkey (7 kg)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove neck and giblets from inside the cavity. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Put oven rack on lowest level of oven. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Rub the outside of the turkey with olive oil. Salt and pepper the turkey's body and cavity. Roast turkey about 3 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 175 to 180 degrees F.
Apple Sauce Recipe
200 g sugar
250 ml water
5 MacIntosh apples, cleaned and diced
In a saucepan bring to boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add the apples, return to a boil. Reduce heat, add cinnamon and nutmeg and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator. Take out 40 minutes before serving.
This is a typical dish from Northern Italy, where this kind of meat is widely available but it's widely appreciated because of it is not too strong , still gamey taste. But venison were for sure on the menu of Pilgrim Fathers back in time , as historian report.
If possible, try to buy a single cut of venison like shoulder, neck or a single muscle cut from the leg, as mixed cuts will require various cooking times and you don't want to end up with some tender and some tough parts.
1 kg trimmed venison meat, cut into 3-4 cm chunks
750 ml red wine
3 cloves tree
5 laurel leaves
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp of vinegar
Put the venison in a steel or ceramic bowl with all the wine, vinegar, pepper, cloves tree, laurel, garlic, onion and carrots so that it is fully covered with these ingredients and marinate it for two days in the fridge.
After that, drain the meat thoroughly with a colander, reserving the marinate, and dry the pieces on some kitchen paper. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan, lightly flour the meat with a tablespoon of the flour, season with salt and pepper and fry the meat on a high heat, a few pieces at a time, until nicely browned. Heat the marinate in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until it reduces, stirring carefully, and then add the venison, covering with a lid, and let simmer gently for half an hour or until the meat is tender.
If you like, serve it with peas (mix them with the meat).
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
They are an important element of Thanksgiving dinner. But, unlike cornbread, another important ingredient of it, it's easy to find the ingredients pretty much anywhere in Europe.
Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp of brown sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into bite size cubes and place in a baking dish. Melt butter in the microwave and pour over the potatoes along with the olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Toss to coat evenly. Bake for an hour, checking every 20 minutes and stirring the potatoes while roasting.
A typical ingredient of the season to be found pretty much everywhere. Here is the delicious recipe for your dessert.
550 gr pumpkin (canned or puree)
142 ml milk cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
175 gr brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
ginger to taste
1 tsp ground nutmeg
9 inch pie crust round
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pie crust dough round into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edges to extend about a 1/2-inch over the rim of the pan. Fold edges under, and press to seal. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut a large circle of parchment; fit into the pie shell, extending above edges. Fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake pie shell 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove weights and parchment; bake 10 to 15 minutes more until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Place pumpkin in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well. Beat in half and half, vanilla extract, brown sugar, salt, and spices until thoroughly blended. Add in the pumpkin mixture, mix well. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie shell and place in center oven rack . Bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling is firm. Cool completely on wire racks and serve with whipped cream.
Sugar Glazed Pecans
Pecan Walnuts are another ingredient not to be missed in this season, especially for Thanksgiving. Here is an easy to do recipe. If you are not a sweet-tooth, you can simply toss them in a salad for an entrèè with a twist.
4 eggs, white only
champagne or ginger ale
cinnamon to taste
1 kg Pecan walnuts
Preheat the oven to 250 F. Separate eggs and in a large bowl whisk egg whites. Add champagne or ginger ale to taste, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, sugar and pecan halves. Now fold this together until the nuts are evenly coated. Spread the mixture out onto the baking pans.
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the coating is absorbed and the pecans appear dry, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Separate the pecans into a single layer with two forks. When they are cooled store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Written by Elisa della Barba
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