Thanksgiving Recipes, Stuffing and Hot Cocoa
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and I always want to create the best Thanksgiving recipes. This Thanksgiving stuffing and hot cocoa are probably some of the best recipes I have had the privilege to make.
Start Planning Early
Time to start planning your Thanksgiving recipes, to create this stuffing and hot cocoa you will need a few things that you can stock up on now. These 2 recipes were created by Alex Guarnaschelli from the Food Network. On a side note, this recipe is so easy to make, that I made it in my hotel room while I was on the road for a TV segment where I was sharing how to create it.
Red Blend Wine and Onion, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
- 1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Red Blend
- ¾ stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 5 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 8 slices white sandwich bread
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, stemmed
- 20 medium fresh sage leaves, stemmed and chopped
- One package of loose pork breakfast sausage, broken into small pieces and browned off
- A cup low sodium chicken stock, boiled and cooled
- 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Reduce the red wine: In a medium pot, reduce the red blend wine over medium heat until there is ¾ cup total liquid, 15-20 minutes. Cool.
- Cook the onions and apples: In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) of the butter. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add the apples and cook for 3-5 additional minutes until they meld with the onions, stir in the reduced wine and brown sugar and simmer an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Toast and butter the bread: Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until light brown. While the bread is still hot, use remaining butter to butter both sides of each piece. Cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with salt, pepper, thyme and half of the sage. Set aside.
- Finish the stuffing: Combine the onion mixture, the cooked breakfast sausage, remaining sage, mozzarella and the toasted bread. Mix to blend and add the cup of chicken stock to moisten.
- Stuff the turkey: Place the turkey on a flat surface, season with salt and pepper on the inside and out, and stuff the cavity with the stuffing. Truss turkey or, alternatively, tie the legs closed with a strong piece of kitchen twine to assure the stuffing doesn’t fall out as the turkey roasts. Wrap any remaining stuffing in tinfoil and keep the tinfoil fairly flat, like a large envelope.
- Cook the turkey: Transfer the turkey to a roasting pan, fitted with a roasting rack if desired, and soak the cheesecloth in the melted butter. Brush any remaining butter on top of the bird and cover the breasts with the cheesecloth to prevent the top skin from burning before it is cooked. Lower the oven to 350 F and place the roasting pan in the center of the oven. Cook for about 12 minutes per pound.
- Finish the turkey: After about 2 hours cooking, remove the roasting pan and place the tinfoil package containing the stuffing in the bottom of the pan. Remove the cheesecloth from the top of the breasts and return the turkey to the oven to brown the top and finish cooking.
- How do you know when it’s done? The temperature of the thigh (where the meat is thickest and takes the longest time to cook) meat should register 160 F when tested with a thermometer. When done, remove the bird from the oven, transfer it to a flat surface (or serving platter) and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes before removing the stuffing and carving the meat. Transfer the stuffing to serving platter.
Spiked White Hot Chocolate with Cabernet Caramel Sauce
You want something that will really impress your friends and in-laws. This spiked white hot chocolate with Red wine caramel sauce is absolutely a must this Thanksgiving, and Christmas and Fall, and any other reason you need to create it.
Cabernet Caramel Ingredients:
- 1 Bottle really good Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. water
White-Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 ½ cups good quality white chocolate chips
- 6-8 Tbsp. dark rum
- 1 cup whipped cream, unsweetened
- Reduce the red wine: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is ¾ cup total liquid, 15-20 minutes. Keep warm.
- Make the Cabernet caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until an amber-colored caramel forms. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the reduced wine. Return to the stove and simmer 3-5 additional minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Keep warm.
- Make the hot chocolate: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 2 cups of the milk and the vanilla over low heat. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl that fits on top of the pot to create a makeshift double boiler. Gently melt the chocolate in the bowl above the milk, stirring with a rubber spatula. When melted, remove from the heat and heat the remaining milk in the pot until it simmers. Gently whisk the warm, melted chocolate into the milk. Add the rum to taste, if using.
- Serve the drink: Spoon some Cabernet caramel into the bottom of four large mugs or 6 smaller cups. Pour in the hot white chocolate mix. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with additional Cabernet caramel. Have kids at the party? Simply omit the rum and the caramel and dust with a little cinnamon instead!