Welcome to a special holiday edition of A Hungry Southern Belle. Whew! What a Thanksgiving holiday and holiday weekend! After sitting down with the family and getting everyone’s special requests for Thanksgiving dinner, we had enough food to feed the neighborhood! Riche took over the turkey prep duties this year and used his new fancy professional turkey fryer my parents and I got him for Christmas last year. He’ll be doing his own special post on the most delicious Cajun inspired fried turkey. Let me just sum it up for you… yumm! So that left the rest of me (and my Mom who generously offered to make some dishes). So the menu you ask? Cajun fried turkey with from scratch gravy, cornbread, sausage, apple and pecan dressing, parmesan smashed potatoes, four cheese macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry compote, my famous apple pie and pumpkin pie. Clearly not enough! HA! (I won’t even go into the rest of the weekend with the epic win of Auburn in the Iron Bowl! That’s a post that deserves its own recipe!) So for today, I’ll be sharing the portion of the menu that I prepared which includes the dressing, smashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and sweet potato casserole. I’ve already posted about my apple pie earlier in the blog (http://ahungrysouthernbelle.com/2013/08/02/the-easiest-pie-crust-ever/). I’ll post separately with my Mom’s famous recipe for cranberry compote. A favorite from over the years! Enjoy y’all!
Southern Cornbread Dressing
(courtesy of Southern Living NOVEMBER 2002)
- 1 cup butter or margarine, divided
- 3 cups white cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 7 large eggs, divided
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups soft breadcrumbs
- 2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
- 1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage*
- 6 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
- 1 tablespoon pepper
Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.
Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.
Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute until tender. Stir in sage, and saute 1 more minute.
Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
*1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage may be substituted for fresh sage.
Sausage, Apple, and Pecan Dressing Variation: Brown 1 pound spicy sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add sausage; 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped; and 2 cups chopped toasted pecans to dressing. Proceed as directed, baking 40 to 45 minutes or until done.
Parmesan Smashed Potatoes
(courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa 1999)
- 3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 2 teaspoons
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are completely tender. Drain.
In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Transfer the potatoes to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix them for a few seconds on low speed to break them up. Slowly add the hot cream and butter to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed (the last quarter of cream and butter should be folded in by hand). Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, the remaining salt, and pepper; season, to taste, and serve immediately. If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.
Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
(Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002)
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons, plus 1 tablespoon
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Hot Sauce
- 8 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces grated fontina cheese
- 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I also like to use panko bread crumbs)
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence or Creole Seasoning
In a heavy, medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, season with the salt, pepper, hot sauce and 4 ounces of the grated parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste and, while stirring, add the macaroni. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until macaroni is very al dente (slightly undercooked). Drain in a colander and return the macaroni to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the garlic and stir to combine. Add the bechamel sauce and stir until well combined. Set aside.
Using the remaining tablespoon of butter, grease a 3-quart baking dish or casserole and set aside.
In a large bowl combine 4 ounces of the remaining parmesan cheese, cheddar, fontina and gruyere cheeses. Toss to combine.
Place one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 ounce of grated parmesan, and the Essence and toss to combine. Sprinkle this over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and hot and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Sweet Potato Souffle
(Courtesy Anita Estroff)
- 3 large sweet potatoes cooked and whipped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 bag marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Peel and cook potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and whip. Add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well and put in a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25 minutes. Place marshmallows and pecans on top and return to oven for about 5 minutes or until brown on top.