Three of my favorite holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. To me, they mean fun, family and feasts!
This year, I thought I'd share a few recipes for the coming holidays and publish them a little early to give you a chance to try them out or at least buy the ingredients you need ahead of time. I hope you and your family enjoy these dishes as much as mine have!
Stove-top Scalloped Potatoes
My mother taught me this simple dish, which is always a favorite for any time of the year in our home. The milk in this skillet version creates a creamy white sauce, which goes well with any meats or vegetables. The recipe can easily be scaled up based on how many people you're serving. No baking necessary!
Prep time, 10 minutes. Cooking time, 20 minutes.
- 1-2 Yukon Golden* potatoes per person
- 1 yellow onion (or your favorite type of onion) OR 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/2-2 cups milk
- Seasoned Salt
- 1/8 tsp powdered garlic (optional) OR 1-2 cloves of fresh crushed/minced garlic (optional)
- 2 tsp – 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
- Optional: garnish with shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese
*Yukon Gold potatoes have a thin yellow skin, as opposed to the thicker and more brown color of regular potatoes. These have proven to be the best for this recipe because they have such a lovely buttery taste.
As for the variances of the ingredients, the instructions will explain quantity, but how much you use is entirely up to your personal taste. I have family members who hate onions, so onion powder is a great substitute without sacrificing flavor. Same with the garlic – use powdered or fresh as per your taste. And I personally like butter instead of margarine.
Slice the potatoes into approximately 1/8-inch slices (a food processor is your friend). I like to keep the peelings on because they're so thin and have lots of nutrients, but peel the potatoes if you wish. Slice the onion the same thickness, and cut them from the end so they'll form rings. I usually hand-cut about 2-3 slices of onion (cooking for two), mostly for flavor and texture, but use more or less to your taste suitable to the number of servings.
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, melt about 2 tsp of butter per serving (2 potatoes = 2 tsp/a pat of butter) and sauté the onions until they start turning translucent. If you're using fresh crushed/minced garlic, add that now and sauté with the onions for about 30 seconds more. Careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the sliced potatoes and spread them out evenly over the pan. Add enough milk to cover the potatoes about half-way. You don't want to submerge the potatoes in the milk, or the sauce will be too runny.
Sprinkle enough seasoned salt to lightly cover the potatoes and milk. If you're using powdered onion and garlic instead of fresh, add them here.
Cover the pan and let the milk come to a soft boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Check the pan every 3-4 minutes to be sure the potatoes aren't sticking to the skillet. If they start to boil over, vent the pan by offsetting the lid slightly and/or turn down the heat. The potatoes are done when they break apart easily when pressed with a spoon (about 20 minutes).
Stuffing with Apples & White Wine
This is just a slight variation on the Mrs. Cubbison's boxed stuffing, which I experimented with and now I won't make my stuffing any other way! The apples add a subtly sweet touch and texture (as opposed to raisins, which I'm not fond of) and the wine adds an amazing rich flavor that is to-die-for.
The links below are for reference ONLY. Do not buy these products online (too expensive!). You should be able to find them at most local grocery stores.
Prep time, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cooking time, varies based on choice of cooking method.
- 1 box (12 oz.) of Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing* – can be Traditional Seasoned, Herb Seasoned, or Corn Bread versions – your choice!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup broth, fruit juice or water (I recommend the broth made with Better Than Bouillon* brand – turkey or chicken – YUMMY)
- 1/2 cup of chardonnay
- 1/2 to 1 cup of peeled and diced apple (your choice on amount and type – I usually just peel and cut up one small red delicious apple because they're what I usually have on hand)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
For the most part, you'll follow the instructions on the box of stuffing with these modifications:
- The recipe on the box calls for 1 1/2 cups of broth/juice/water – note above I only list 1 cup. Instead, you'll be using the 1/2 cup chardonnay to replace the subtracted 1/2 cup of broth.
- Melt the butter in a large pot and sauté the onions and celery in the butter until they are tender, but still crunchy
- Add the wine and the broth to the vegetables and bring to a boil (this will help the alcohol evaporate so the stuffing won't be bitter)
- If you're adding the cinnamon, stir it in with the broth and vegetables now
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, broth and vegetables with the stuffing mix and stir until completely moistened
- Cook as directed on the package for either in-the-bird, oven casserole or stove top cooking methods.
The slow cooker recipe calls for eggs (optional) and has you whisk everything together in the slow cooker with no heat. If you're using the slow cooker recipe, I recommend putting the wine and broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil – again, to let the alcohol evaporate. However, you may have to let it cool before mixing it in with the eggs so the eggs don't cook in the broth or omit the eggs entirely. Your call.
Every holiday, my husband looks forward to the morning after because of my holiday omelettes. Anything goes with these babies. It doesn't matter what you had for your holiday feast the day before – it can go into the omelette! I'm not kidding, and don't knock it 'til you've tried it. These are really good.
Prep time, 10 -15 minutes. Cooking time, 5 minutes. Makes 1 large omelette.
- 1 cup of holiday feast leftovers
- Shredded cheese
- 2 eggs
- A pinch of Italian seasonings (optional)
- Cranberry sauce for garnish (optional)
In a saucepan, combine a spoonful each of whatever leftovers you wish to use, but try to keep it to about 1 cup of ingredients total per omelette. These leftovers can be anything! Broccoli, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, ham, beef, and of course turkey. You're just warming the leftovers in the saucepan and creating the filling for the omelette. Gravy is great to add moisture for this leftover filling. Set aside.
Whisk two eggs with a pinch of Italian seasoning (optional) and/or salt and pepper.
Melt some butter in a skillet on high heat, then reduce to medium heat when butter begins to sizzle (electric ranges should reduce heat when butter has melted – you don't want the pan too hot). Pour in and coat the bottom of the pan with the eggs.
Once the eggs have firmed and are no longer runny, spoon the leftover filling on one half of the egg “pancake”. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the filling. Using a rubber spatula, fold over the other half of the egg to cover the cheese and omelette filling. Let cheese melt.
Serve hot. If you're the kind of person who likes cranberry sauce on your turkey, then you just might enjoy a garnish of cranberry sauce on the top of your omelette.
I hope you enjoy these dishes and if you use them, please drop by and leave a comment. I'd love to know how they turned out for you. And you're welcome to leave a comment below if you have a question about ingredients or preparation. Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!