In The Kitchen: Back-to-Basic Thanksgiving Recipes

November 2017


Cornmeal Muffins

Close-up of appetizing muffins in a bakery

1 ¼ cups yellow cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
¾ cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen and well drained

1. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, milk and melted butter. Pour over cornmeal mixture and stir quickly to blend; batter doesn’t have to be smooth. Stir in corn.
3. Spoon batter into pan, filling indentations about ¾ full. Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 17 to 20 minutes or until muffins are golden and small knife inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool on rack 5 minutes. Turn out of pan. Serve warm.
Makes 12 muffins.
Basic Roast Turkey with Gravy

Roasted Christmas turkey with orange,  festive decoration

1 fresh or frozen, thawed 8-to12-pound turkey
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs fresh sage plus a few leaves for gravy
2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
Sage, rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
2. Remove giblets from turkey cavity. Use for another dish such as turkey broth.
Season turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Add sage sprigs.
Place turkey breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Add ½ cup water to the pan. Tuck wings back. Brush turkey skin with butter; season lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast in preheated 325-degree oven, allowing about 2 3/4 to 3 hours for an unstuffed bird (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture timetable; you may want to start checking the bird temperature after 2 ¼ hours). When a meat thermometer inserted in the innermost part of the thigh, not touching bone, reaches 165 degrees the turkey is done. If the bird becomes too dark before it’s done, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the bird. Continue roasting.
3. Remove turkey from oven, when done. Lift onto a platter and tent with foil. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, skim and discard excess fat from drippings in roasting pan leaving about ¼ cup drippings. Stir in flour. Place on stovetop burner over low heat. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and browned bits are scraped up. Gradually stir in chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened and smooth. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage if desired. Makes about 2 cups gravy.
5. Carve turkey at the table; passing gravy separately.
Makes 10 servings.

For a timetable on turkey roasting visit the following websites:
To thaw a frozen turkey allow 1 day (about 24 hours) for each 4 to 5 pounds of turkey in the refrigerator at 40 degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.
A 12-16 pound bird requires 3 to 4 days
For more tips on safely thawing turkey visit the website:


Pecan Pie

Pecan pie


1 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for work surface
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
2 to 3 tablespoons very cold water
½ cup dark corn syrup
¼ cup maple syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups raw pecan halves

For piecrust:

1. stir together flour and salt in large bowl. Cut butter pieces into flour using a pastry blender. Stir together egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water; sprinkle on flour mixture and gently toss to evenly moisten. If dough is dry, add the remaining tablespoon water and gather pieces into a ball; shape into disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour (or 1 day).
2. Lightly flour a work surface. Arrange dough on surface and roll out to 12-inch circle with lightly floured rolling pin. Gently fit into bottom and up the sides of 9-inch pie pan. Trim off overhanging dough. Make decorative pinches in top of crust.
3. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

For filling:
1. In a large bowl beat together corn syrup, maple syrup and eggs. Beat in sugar, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans.
Pour into piecrust. Place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until filling only slightly quivers and crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool on wire rack 1 hour before serving.
Makes 8 servings.

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