BY TERESA TAYLOR Thursday’s front page story about Thanksgiving being diminished by the Christmas holiday jump-start apparently struck a nerve with the public, or at least some of the public.
I’m in the camp of the people who love the Thanksgiving tradition of the big meal with family, with lots of time for socializing, watching a bit of football and playing cornhole in the backyard. Oh, and finding a few minutes on the couch for a restorative nap after the dishes are done.
I can’t imagine going out shopping at 10 p.m. no matter what savings are at stake and don’t agree with stores opening before midnight or even at midnight, but that’s me. Apparently it’s a big deal to a number of people (and to the corporate bottom line). I’ll be happy to be off the road and snoozing in bed.
With the countdown to Thanksgiving under way, food is on the radar. We have two requests related to the holiday.
First, Laurie Ransom of Mount Pleasant has been searching for a recipe for an orange butter compound that is rubbed under turkey skin before the bird is roasted. She said it was in Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving issue about 25 years ago. Marie-Louise Ramsdale of Sullivan’s Island responded. She said it was the only Bon Appetit recipe she could find with an orange butter, although not the traditional “compound butter.” The recipe dates to November 1998.
The full recipe, titled Roast Turkey With Herb Butter and Caramelized Onion-Balsamic Gravy, can be found at www.epicurious.com.
But here is the butter part of the recipe, for basting a 16- to 18-pound turkey.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
11/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons salt
Melt butter in saucepan. Mix in chopped rosemary, sage, orange peel, pepper and salt. Brush herb butter over turkey before roasting, and baste with pan juices throughout.
The only other reference I found to an orange butter compound and Bon Appetit was also online at epicurious.com. It was for a roast chicken with rosemary-orange butter.
For that recipe, the ingredients called for 1 shallot, minced; 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature; 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary; and 1 tablespoon grated orange peel. Those are mixed together, then rubbed under the skin and over the top of the chicken before baking.
Meanwhile, Sharon Cook of Charleston asked for new ideas for the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables in regards to side dishes. For one thing, she is not a fan of the ubiquitous green bean casserole.
We heard from a few folks, including Cheryl Cote of Summerville. “Here’s a great vegetable dish that my family enjoys! Taken from ‘Tasty Creations from ‘The Corner.’ ”
Squash Succotash Side Dish
4 slices bacon, cut into ½-in pieces
2 cups chopped yellow squash
2 cups chopped zucchini squash
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups frozen niblet corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
½ cup diced green onion
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet, leaving as much grease in skillet as possible. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Add squashes and bell pepper to skillet; cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add corn, lima beans, and green onion; cook for 4 minutes. Add cream, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Cook for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Add fresh basil and bacon. Serve immediately.
Harriet Little, also of Summerville, passes along a dish she has made often that’s chock-full of vegetables. She says the quantities are not critical and that the recipe can be varied to suit personal taste, as she has made modifications.
She also notes that the size of the baking dish is not critical. “I have doubled the recipe to make multiple casseroles, frequently baking several small ones to freeze for later use.”
Zucchini Hot Dish
2 pounds yellow or zucchini squash, or a mixture of both, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup grated or shredded carrots
1 (11-ounce) can cream of celery or chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned to taste (see cook’s note)
1/2 cup canola or olive oil
Cook’s note: Harriet uses Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.
Combine squash/onions and microwave briefly; drain and add carrots. Combine soup/sour cream; fold in and set aside. Combine bread crumbs and oil; spread half in bottom of 8x12-inch baking dish. Spoon vegetable mix on top and cover with remaining crumb mix. Optional: Garnish with paprika or Parmesan cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Giovanna Becker of Charleston says this dish is well-liked:
2 pounds carrots, sliced thin
1 can of cream of celery soup
1/2 can of milk (use the soup can)
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
Cover the carrots with water, cook until tender and drain.
Mix the soup, milk, dry mustard and salt to taste. Saute the onion in the butter and add to the soup mixture. Arrange layers of carrots and cheese in a 2-quart casserole dish. Pour the soup mixture over the top of the carrots and cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts or the casserole bubbles.
In addition to the orange butter recipe leading off the column today, Marie-Louise sent this vegetable dish recipe.
“I found this recipe several years ago. ... It has become a family and friend favorite at the holidays including Thanksgiving. You can make it ahead and cook it after you take the turkey out. I have never fussed with making it in individual dishes.”
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup round buttery cracker crumbs
11/2 cups shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, undrained
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and cook 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Set aside.
Combine butter and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in cauliflower, 1 cup cheese, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Spoon into lightly greased individual baking dishes or one large greased casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for and additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Also thanks to Nan Hahn of North Charleston and Mary Larry of Charleston.
Who’s got the recipe?
Jean Cordray of Ravenel loves the meatloaf served at Cracker Barrel restaurant, and wanted to see if anyone had a knockoff recipe for it.
Lela Curry of Summerville is looking ahead to the busy holiday time and would appreciate recipes for simple meals, such as casseroles with not too many ingredients.
Mildred Browder-Hughes of Johnsonville has been active in this column of late. She has a new request for an orange sherbet layer cake filled with cream frosting and coconut.
If there’s a recipe you’ve lost or a dish you are just wondering about, email food@postandcourier or call Features and Food Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.