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The Cottage August/Mabon 2002

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Mabon Feast
 
mushroom stuffed mushrooms
perfect roast turkey with best-ever gravy
italian stuffing with sausage and parmesan cheese
bacon-tossed brussels sprouts
brown butter sweet potato
mashed potatoes with caramelized onions
southern buttermilk biscuits
pumpkin rum mousse
mulled cider

mushroom stuffed mushrooms


1 ounce dried wild cepes or porcini mushrooms
20 large mushrooms suitable for stuffing
3 tablespoons butter
2 minced shallots
2 minced scallions
1 tablespoon freshly minced tarragon
dash cayenne powder
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter



1. Soak the wild mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove the stems of the large mushrooms and dice finely. Drain the wild mushrooms in a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl, making sure to remove all of the liquid from the mushrooms.

2. Finely dice the wild mushrooms and add to the mushroom stems. Place the soaking liquid in a small saucepan and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.

3. In a heavy saucepan saute the shallots and scallions in 3 tablespoons butter for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, reduced soaking liquid, tarragon, and cayenne. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid has all evaporated. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until all of the cream is absorbed. Meanwhile, lightly saute the mushroom caps in the 2 tablespoons butter for several minutes. Add the lemon juice to the mushroom mixture and season to taste.

4. Stuff the sauteed mushroom caps and place in a shallow baking dish. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until piping hot. The stuffing mixture can be made ahead, refrigerated for a few days to allow the flavor to develop. Reheat the mixture before stuffing.

perfect roast turkey with best-ever gravy



1 18-pound fresh turkey
About 12 cups of your favorite stuffing
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 1/2 quarts Turkey Stock
, or more as needed
unsalted butter, melted as needed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup port, dry sherry, or bourbon



1. Position a rack in the lowest position of the oven and preheat to 325 F.

2. Reserve the turkey neck and giblets to use in gravy or stock. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water. Pat the turkey skin dry. Turn the turkey on its breast. Loosely fill the neck cavity with stuffing. Using a thin wooden or metal skewer, pin the neck skin to the back. Fold the turkey's wings akimbo behind the back or tie to the body with kitchen string. Loosely fill the large body cavity with stuffing. Place any remaining stuffing in a lightly buttered casserole, cover and refrigerate to bake as a side dish. Place the drumsticks in the hock lock or tie together with kitchen string.

3. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub all over with the softened butter. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly cover the breast area with aluminum foil. Pour 2 cups of the turkey stock into the bottom of the pan.

4. Roast the turkey, basting all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan (lift up the foil to reach the breast area), until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh (but not touching a bone) reads 180F and the stuffing is at least 160F, about 4 hours. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 cups at a time. Remove the foil during the last hour to allow the breast skin to brown.

5. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter and let it stand for at least 20 minutes before carving. Increase the oven temperature to 350F. Drizzle cup turkey stock over the stuffing in the casserole, cover, and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a heatproof glass bowl or large measuring cup. Let stand for 5 minutes, then skim off and reserve the clear yellow fat that has risen to the top. Measure cup fat, adding melted butter if needed. Add enough turkey stock to the skimmed drippings to make 8 cups total.

7. Place the roasting pan in two stove burners over low heat and add the turkey fat. Whisk in the flour, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the turkey stock and the optional bourbon. Cook, whisking often, until the gravy has thickened and no trace of raw flour taste remains, about 5 minutes. Transfer the gravy to a warmed gravy boat. Carve the turkey and serve the gravy and the stuffing alongside. Makes about 18 servings, with about 7 cups gravy.
 
italian stuffing with sausage and parmesan cheese


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed hot red pepper
12 ounces day-old, crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
8 tbsp unsalted butter(1 stick), melted
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups Homemade Turkey Stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, or as needed


1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it loses its pink color, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add the bread and cheese and mix well. Stir in the butter, wine, and enough of the stock to moisten the dressing, about 1 cup. Use to stuff the turkey, or place in a buttered baking dish, drizzle with an additional cup stock, cover, and bake as a side dish. Makes about 10 cups.


bacon-tossed brussels sprouts


5 pints brussels sprouts
12 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste



1. Peel any old or yellowed leaves off the brussels sprouts. Cut off the stems and rinse.

2. Steam or boil the sprouts in salted water until tender but still slightly crunchy, about 10 minutes.

3. Drain the brussels sprouts. Set aside.

4. Saute the bacon over medium heat until it begins to crisp, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove some of the rendered fat.

6. Add the onion and saute until it begins to wilt.

7. Add the pepper and sprouts to the bacon mixture. Toss well.

8. Add the vinegar and butter, stir, and season. Serve immediately.

 
mashed potatoes with caramelized onions

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups yellow onions, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
7 large russet potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup warm heavy cream
salt and white pepper

1. Heat an empty large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the oil, butter, onions, and sugar to the skillet. Stir the mixture well.

2. Continuing to stir, cook the onions until they are deeply browned. This takes about 20 minutes.

3. If the potatoes are cold, reheat them. Whip the potatoes with the butter, warm cream, salt, and pepper until fluffy. Place in a buttered serving dish and top with the onions.


brown butter sweet potato


2 lb sweet potato
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp salt



1. In a small skillet cook the butter over medium heat until browned.

2. Be careful not to burn the butter.

3. Place the sweet potatoes, browned butter, molasses, and salt in a food processor and process until very smooth.

4. Place in a greased casserole.

5. This dish can be made up to a day ahead of time up to this point.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until warmed through and lightly browned on the top.



southern buttermilk biscuits

can be topped with butter, gravy, or honey.


2 cups self-rising flour
5 tablespoon shortening
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Whisk the flour, soda, cream of tartar and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or 2 knives. Add in the buttermilk and stir until the dough just sticks together.

3. Place the dough on a well floured surface and knead 3 times. Pat out the dough and cut with a round biscuit cutter or glass. Re-pat the scraps and cut again.

4. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they turn golden brown.


pumpkin rum mousse

terrific served with whipped cream, and even better served with molasses cookies.


1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup amber rum
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1 cup very cold heavy cream
whipped cream (optional)



1. Place the rum in a heat proof bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and place the bowl in a small saucepan. Poor simmering water into the pan and halfway up the outside of the bowl. Stir the rum, and remove from the heat when the gelatin is totally dissolved. Remove the bowl from the pan and let cool to room temperature.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl until the mixture thickens. Slowly add the sugar, beating constantly until the mixture becomes light and lemon colored (about 4 minutes).

3. Mix in the pumpkin, spices, and orange zest. Add the gelatin mixture and mix thoroughly. Using clean beaters, whip the heavy cream in a separate bowl until stiff. Gently fold the cream into the pumpkin mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture into individual dishes or cookies and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream before serving if desired.

 

mulled cider

apple cider
cloves
one apple
one orange, thinly sliced
1 cup of orange juice
dash of cinnamon

Fill kettle with cider and add one clove-studded apple, one thinly sliced orange, 1 cup of orange juice and a dash of cinnamon. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes and serve with cinnamon stick stirrer.