Today is Canada's Thanksgiving Day. Since I don't host the traditional November holiday right now, I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend with my northern friends. It was a crazy weekend. We took the little one on a pumpkin train ride on Saturday. He got to pick out his own pumpkin(which he named Greg) after the train ride. On Sunday, I cooked. We had a feast of Lemon Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast with White Wine Gravy, Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Wild Mushroom Stuffing, Cranberry Cherry Walnut Marmalade and a delicious salad (made by my dear friend, Pam)consisting of Romaine, spinach and leaf lettuce, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, bacon, red onions, Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses with a light vinaigrette dressing. For dessert I made Concord Grape and Pumpkin Pies. I found most of the recipes on Eating Well magazine website. Since my husband is a type 1 diabetic and the rest of us could stand to lose a few pounds(while still enjoying the food), I looked for recipes that would replace some of my less healthy childhood favorites. I've included direct links above to the recipes I followed verbatim and will share my altered recipes for the marmalade and stuffing below. I especially liked the Cranberry Cherry Walnut Marmalade. I've always loved cranberry orange relish but this recipe adds my favorite fruit to the yumminess, has less sugar and a nice little crunch with the toasted walnuts.
Cranberry Cherry Walnut Marmalade
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water (liquid from cherries plus additional water to equal 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup port, or other sweet red wine (see tip1)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 can of tart cherries, drained,reserve liquid for above
- 1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see tip 2)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest(see tip 3)
Add cherries to the cranberries and return to a boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in walnuts and orange zest. Let cool completely. (The marmalade will thicken as it cools.) Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Tip 1: I used a local wine because they had a sweetness gauge on the label. As I tend to like dry wines, I had not a clue which wines would work for this when I couldn't find a port. A kind fellow grocery shopper told me about this handy little feature. I am thankful for friendly fellow shoppers!
Tip 2: To toast chopped walnuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes
Tip 3: The zest is the very top layer of the orange rind, do not use the white part because it will impart a bitter taste to your finished dish. Oxo makes a very nice, easy to use lemon zester
Note: A nonreactive pan—stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking acidic foods, such as tomato or lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.
This recipe originally used dried tart cherries. For the original recipe, visit this link: Eating Well: Cranberry Cherry Walnut Marmalade
(Not so)Wild Mushroom Stuffing
- 1 loaf day old ciabatta bread, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 shallots, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
- 1 large container baby bella mushrooms and 1 large container of oyster mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons thyme( fresh thyme if you can find it, I could not)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place bread in a large bowl and toss with milk. Let stand, tossing or stirring occasionally, until saturated.
- Add the 2 tablespoons oil and butter to a large straight-sided skillet and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until the mushroom have softened and the liquid released has evaporated, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Drain and squeeze the bread and add to the bowl with the mushroom mixture (discard any remaining milk). Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in eggs. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until heated through and golden on top, about 45 minutes.
For the original recipe visit this link: Eating Well :Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Handy tidbit of relatively useless knowledge:The Oyster mushroom may be considered a medicinal mushroom since it contains statins such as lovastatin which work to reduce cholesterol.