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HMc: No Hum-Drum Thanksgiving

Greetings!  I hope today finds you well. 
Are you ready for the mad rush that is officially the holiday season?  Thanksgiving is tomorrow and then it is off to the races.  Dashing from store to store to find the perfect holiday gift, getting the kids pictures with Santa, holiday parties, guests, 24-hours-of-A-Christmas-Story on TBS (I watch almost all 24 hours!), cookie baking, wrapping paper, decorations, holiday programs at our kids school, running out of tape, and trying to remember if that rarely-comes-for-a-visit distant aunt can drink egg nog or not.  There is just so much going on over the next month that it’s easy to forget to slow down and take a breath. 
Drive-thru’s do booming business this time of year because all of the holiday shoppers are so worn out at the end of the day that they don’t want to cook.  I’ve been there, and will probably be there again this year, too.  My weakness is that pork-rib-shaped patty slathered in bar-be-que sauce from the home of the golden arches.  I can’t help it.  I don’t know what part of the pig it comes from, and I don’t want to know, but it sure is YUMMY!
With all of the hard work we put in to making the holiday season festive and merry, making great memories for our family, who has time to cook a delicious homemade meal?  We spend the next several weeks planning for various holiday dinners and making anything more than mac-and-cheese over the next few weeks seems like faaaaar too much work.  This recipe though keeps with the thought of the holiday meal, and doesn’t take nearly the time.  You still get your turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, everything you love about a homemade holiday dinner without the hours and hours in the kitchen.  This is a Rachael Ray recipe straight out of her Yum-O cookbook.  And like any good holiday dinner there will be plenty of leftovers.  Mmmmm . . . turkey sandwiches!
Turkey Stuffin’ Meatloaf with Scallion Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans 
•2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling
•6 tablespoons butter, divided
•1 large onion, chopped
•5-6 ribs celery from the heart, with leafy tops, chopped
•1 bay leaf
•Salt and black pepper
•1 bag stuffing cubes, such as Pepperidge Farm brand
•2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
•2 quarts chicken stock, divided
•3 pounds ground turkey or ground turkey breast
•2 eggs
•2 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes (4-5 medium to large potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks
•1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
•1 small bunch scallions, chopped
•1/2 cup milk
•1/4 cup flour
•1 pound green beans, trimmed
1.Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
2.Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons EVOO and 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter has melted into the EVOO, add the onion, celery and bay leaf to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Add the stuffing cubes to the skillet, season with poultry seasoning and then moisten with 4 cups chicken stock. Remove the bay leaf. Place the stuffing in a bowl and cool.
3.Once cool enough to handle, add the turkey and eggs and season with salt and pepper. Mix the turkey with the stuffing. Form the meat mix into two long loaves on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the loaves with EVOO and cook in the oven for about an hour, or until brown and cooked through (165°F internal temperature on a meat thermometer).
4.Wash your hands after handling the raw turkey.
5.Once the turkey loaves are about halfway done, start the sour cream and onion potatoes. Add the potatoes to a medium size pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to hot pot. Add reduced fat sour cream, scallions, milk and salt and pepper, mash and smash to desired consistency and adjust seasoning to taste.
6.While the potatoes are boiling, start the gravy. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepot. Add flour and whisk 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 4 cups chicken stock and thicken for 6-7 minutes.
7.Heat one inch of water to a boil, add salt and green beans, cook for 3-4 minutes and drain.
8.Serve one meatloaf with some mashed potatoes and green beans alongside and drizzle with stovetop chicken stock gravy.
Heathers variation:
  • Once I have all of the stuffing mixed together in the bowl to cool I set the bowl in front of an open window.  The cool air coming in the window will help it cool a lot faster than just leaving it on the counter.  Otherwise it would take forever for that big ol’ bowl of stuffing to cool down.
  • When you add the ground turkey to the stuffing mix don’t be afraid to reach in there with your hands to mix it up.  Your arm will be ready to fall off if you try to stir it with a spoon.  Hands are best for this job.
  • When it comes to the potatoes this recipe leaves them tasting a little watery.  I add more sour cream and little more milk than called for.  I like creamy mashed potatoes.  I also don’t smash them all the way.  I like mashed potatoes with some potato chunks still in there.  Yum!
This recipe is so much easier than all the work that goes into Thanksgiving dinner and my family loves it because it’s so much easier.  That means that we can have Thanksgiving in the middle of summer.  Once you start putting the stuffing together your house will start to fill with that glorious scent of grandma’s house at the holidays.  And you still get the fantastic holiday dinner leftovers also.  Add your favorite side dishes and enjoy a delicious holiday meal anytime of year.
Next time, I am working on getting my dad to give me his fudge recipe (soooooo yummy!) and getting my mom to share her pecan pie recipe.  Wish me luck!
Hoppy holidays!
Heather McRibbits

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Locations : Idaho
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11/21/2012 12:07PM
No Hum-Drum Thanksgiving
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