Thanksgiving is a just a few day away and I wanted to do a little something to hopefully get the creative cooking juices flowing. I am happy to say that I am not on the hook for making a large Thanksgiving meal this year. My wonderful family always does me the great favor of giving me Holidays off, and I am always incredibly grateful for the wonderful meals that I don’t have to cook. I did, however, start to crave thanksgiving a little early this year and so I will share the weeknight meal that helped tie me over as well as my husband’s awesome mustard recipe that took my turkey to next level. I’m going to share my recipe for cranberry sauce as well. I have nothing against the canned stuff. I actually have pretty fond memories of seeing that on the table as a kid, but one year my mom started to make her own cranberry sauce and it is so easy and the texture is so great that I will never go back. Make sure you check out the notes ahead of each recipe to pick up some cooking tips that might help you this Thanksgiving.
Let’s start with the mustard. Mustard is the kind of project that you might not think about doing because who makes mustard, but it was actually really easy, and the results are really impressive. I’ll put it out there that making your own is not a necessity, but for those of you who like to venture into new territory, and learn a technique this is really cool. For many mustard recipes you will need at least three days to let the mustard seeds soak, but this is a rough country mustard and it only needs 12 hours. So you only have to plan one day ahead.
6 Tbsp Yellow Mustard Seed
8 Tbsp Brown Mustard Seed
3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
6 Tbsp Dry White Wine
2 Tbsp Honey
Pinch of Ground Clove
- Take half of both the yellow and brown mustard seed and grind until very fine in a spice mill or coffee grinder. Once the seeds are almost powder, add the remaining seeds to the mill and pulse just enough to crack the seeds.
- Put the dry mustard mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. If you need a little more liquid to get it thoroughly mixed you can add another tbsp of wine or water. It is important to use room temperature liquids. The colder your liquids are the hotter your mustard will be.
- Transfer the mixture to a jar and let sit for 12hours. If you would like it a little smoother after it has fully developed it’s flavor you can put it in the food processor to smooth it out. I left mine very rough.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This is a really easy way to do your potatoes. I frequently put my root vegetables beneath a chicken or pot roast and roast them together. The drippings from the meat make the veggies extra good.
1 Large Sweet Potato (Yam)
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Country Mustard
¼ Tsp Granulated Garlic
Salt and Pepper (Lightly)
- Pre-Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Peel and wash your sweet potato. Cut into 1” by 2” pieces.
- Toss your sweet potato in olive oil, mustard and seasonings and lay in a 13 x 9 glass baking dish.
- Cook your potatoes on their own for approx. one hour or beneath your turkey until the Turkey reaches 165 degrees.
Mustard Rubbed, Roasted Turkey Breast
I bought my turkey breast with the skin on which makes for a very flavorful and moist turkey breast. I also bought my turkey frozen, which most of us do for the holidays. When you defrost anything, there are a few ways to do it. You can put it in the sink to defrost. If you do this, you should let cool water run over it while it defrost. It will doesn’t have to be one full flow, but letting water run over your bird will speed up the process and help prevent food borne illness. You can also just put your bird on a plate in the fridge. I had a small turkey breast, so I did it in the fridge and it only took a day and a half to be fully defrosted. If you have a 20lb turkey, one it may not fit in the fridge, and two it will probably take at least three days to defrost. If you have a large bird the sink methods overnight is probably best, but give it some thought ahead of time so that you don’t get caught with a frozen bird. You can try and defrost it some as it cooks, but most likely you will end up with a dry bird, because the outer meat will cook too long and the inner meat will take a long time to get to temperature. Whatever you decide, remember that you should treat a turkey just like chicken and clean any surfaces that it comes in contact with thoroughly, and it should not be left out if it is not fully frozen. If it gets too warm or comes to room temperature you are asking for trouble.
3 lbTurkey Breast with Skin
2 Tbsp Softened Butter
2 Tbsp Country Mustard
¼ C. Dry White Wine
1 Tsp Dry Parsely
1 Tsp Granulated Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
- See paragraph above for tips on defrosting. Pre-heat oven to 375degrees. Remove from packaging and pat dry.
- Peel back skin and rub with butter and mustard. Place skin back over the top of the breast and apply the remainder of your seasonings. Place on your sweet potatoes in a 13×9 glass pan.
- Place in the oven. After approx. 45 add the wine to your glass pan and cover lightly with a pieces of foil. Cook for another 15- 20 min. Check temperature at this point. Continue to cook until turkey reaches 165degrees.
This makes such a good turkey topping. It really compliments the spice you get from the country mustard on your turkey. It takes between 15-20 minutes to make. So start this about the time you add the wine to your turkey.
1lb Fresh Cranberries
1 C. Water
½ C. Orange Juice
½ C. Granulated Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick or ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
- Place washed cranberries in a small sauce pan. Add Water, Orange Juice, Sugar, Cinnamon and Salt.
- Bring mixture to a boil and keep at a low boil for approx. 15 min, stirring occasionally. Your berries will burst and break down and your liquids will combine. The natural pectin in the cranberries will help your sauce gel. It will get a little thicker as it cools.
“I have no desire to crow over anybody or to see anybody eating crow, figuratively or otherwise. We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he pleases. ”
Harry S. Truman