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October 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner for 2

With a small house hold in a tight economy, you can still enjoy a nice Thanksgiving Dinner without eating turkey every day for the rest of the month. This is a complex dinner that is easy to make.


Spinach Salad with Pomegranate, Orange, Celery & Citrus Vinaigrette

Braised Turkey Breast with Duo of Potatoes, Gravy & Cranberry Sauce

Recipe for Spinach Salad:

5 oz Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Pomegranate
2 Oranges
1-2 Sticks of Celery
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 small wedge of Lime
1 tsp Sugar
1 pinch of Salt
1 pinch of White or Black Pepper

1. Rinse fruit and vegetables.
2. Split Pomegranate in quarters. Use a fork to pull out the red seeds. Be aware that the color stains bad so if you are using your fingers instead of a fork, use gloves.
3. Peel one orange and cut nice bite size pieces. Try to take away all seeds.
4. Cut Celery into thin half moon slices or small square pieces.
5. Put the cut pieces to the side, bring out a large bowl and a balloon whisk to make the dressing.
6. Pour Vinegar into bowl, together with juice and peel of orange, juice of lime wedge, sugar, salt & pepper.
7. Whisk constantly while adding oil in a slow pour until incorporated.
8. Taste vinaigrette by eating a leaf of spinach dipped into the dressing. Taste so it is balanced with sweet, salty and acid (lime or vinegar.) Make adjustments until you are happy with the flavor. Always whisk properly before tasting or dressing the salad; if you pour the vinaigrette into a squeeze bottle it makes it very easy to just shake the bottle to mix.
9. Put all the spinach in a big bowl, sprinkle vinaigrette over and toss until coated, but not soaked.
10. Center a pile of dressed spinach leafs in a good portion size on each plate. Divide cut pieces of Pomegranate, Orange and Celery in a nice looking way to finish the salad plates. Serve immediately; if you are planing to serve later, wait with dressing the salad.

Recipe for Braised Turkey Breast:

1 full fresh Turkey Breast with skin on
1 medium Yellow Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Carrot
1 stick of Celery
1 small firm Apple
2 slices of Sourdough Bread
1 cup of Chicken Stock
3 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil

1. Turn on oven to 375º F
2. Coat Turkey Breast with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Heat up 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil in a frying pan. Brown both sides of the Turkey Breast.
4. Cut Onion, Carrot, Celery, Apple and Bread in bite size pieces. Mince or grate garlic.
5. Toss cut pieces and Garlic in a bowl with Poultry Seasoning, Sage and two pinches of each Salt & Pepper. Pour Chicken Stock over and toss without mushing to much.
6. Coat a small, deep oven pan with oil. Spread the bite size pieces as a bed for the Turkey Breast to lay on. Cover pan with foil after 12 minutes to keep food moist. Bake until the Turkey feels firm but does not look like it is shrinking, the inner temperature has to reach 165º F (use thermometer to be sure.)

Recipe for Duo of Potatoes:

2 Large Russet Potatoes
2 Large Sweet Potatoes or Yams
3 Tbsp Soft Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup of Warm Whole Milk
1 Tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Scrub Potatoes under running water, leave peal on.
2. Put potatoes in a larger pot, fill with water so potatoes are covered. Add a pinch of salt, bring to boil, take down heat to simmering and cover with a lid. Cook until potatoes are soft, but not too mushy. You might want to take out the Sweet Potatoes earlier if they are done prior to the Russets.

3. Put the potatoes in two separate bowls and mash them ruffly with a balloon whisk or a potato masher.
4. Add 1.5 Tsp butter in each bowl, 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg and a touch of Salt & Pepper
5. Pour in the warm milk a little by little while you continue to mash until all is mixed and the consistency is how you like it. If you mash to much it will become starchy.
6. Keep the different mashed potatoes separate, so you can plate them nicely as a duo.

Recipe for Gravy:

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1-2 Cups Milk
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1-2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
Salt & White Pepper to taste

1. Melt butter on low heat, take pot of the stove.
2. Whisk flour into butter until smooth.
3. Pour chicken stock and half of the milk while whisking.
4. Put pot back on the stove and heat until mix is boiling.
5. Add cream, mustard and spices and use the rest of the milk to find the right consistency.
6. Heat up again and the gravy is ready to be served. It is important that the gravy is boiled, or you will feel the flavor of flour when tasting it.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe:

1 Cup Fresh Cranberries
1 Orange
1 Lime
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1-3 Cups Water

1. Grate the zest of orange and lime and squeeze out the juice.
2. Mix cranberries, citrus zest, citrus juice, sugar and half of the water.
3. Bring mix to boil, stir properly and turn heat down to simmer.
4. Stir frequently and add water when needed. Cook until cranberries are soft and jelly consistency is created.
5. Taste to see that it has a nice balance between sweet and tart.

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