Black Friday Panini

thanksgiving sandwich

Holiday 2014 is the year of the Thanksgiving sandwich.  I have seen all sorts of variations of turkey sandwiches dressed up for Thanksgiving.  Everywhere from the local tea house to the draft house has one.  I couldn’t resist trying them all.  It’s the perfect thing for a day after Thanksgiving leftover meal.  The basic recipe will be really simple and can be tailored to suit your taste.

Black Friday Panini
Cuisine: American
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 1 serving
The Thanksgiving sandwich transforms a turkey sandwich into a holiday leftover favorite.
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bread
  • turkey slices
  • cornbread dressing or stuffing
  • cranberry sauce
  • turkey gravy
Instructions
  1. Layer turkey, dressing, and cranberry on a slice of bread.
  2. Top with the other slice of bread to make a sandwich.
  3. Place sandwich in a sandwich press or grill in a frying pan to toast bread on both sides, then remove.
  4. Dip the tip of the sandwich in the gravy as an au jus while eating.

 

Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders

pulled pork sliders

Everyday is a great day for pulled pork according to my husband.  He never gets tired of it.  I have made every variation imaginable to just to change it up a bit.  No matter what, his favorite is my root beer recipe.  It’s a great base that is fine on its own or with added barbecue and toppings.

Root Beer Pulled Pork Sliders
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com” target=”_blank”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16 sliders
Root beer pulled pork sliders are a great appetizer or main dish.
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs Boston butt pork
  • 12 oz root beer (unchilled)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (as desired)
Instructions
  1. Place pork in crock pot and add 8 oz of root beer.
  2. Turn crock pot on high and cook for 8 hours.
  3. When pork is done, tender pieces should pull apart easily with a fork.
  4. Drain liquid from pork. Shred pork by pulling apart with fork. Discard fat. Add salt and mix.
  5. Place brown sugar, hot sauce, an sriracha sauce in a small bowl and mix together.
  6. Add 4 oz of root beer to brown sugar mixture and stir gently.
  7. Pour brown sugar and root beer mixture over pulled pork and mix thoroughly.
  8. Voila! It’s done. From here you can add any barbecue sauce and toppings you choose or eat it as is. Either way, it’s delicious.
Notes
If you like a mustard base barbecue sauce, I recommend adding Carolina Classic by Sticky Fingers Smokehouse. It goes great with this recipe. If you like toppings, then try it with coleslaw and pickles.

 

Cedar Grilled Salmon – because orange is the new black

Salmon

Yet, another seafood recipe from me – and right before Thanksgiving no less.  Just save this recipe for cedar grilled salmon to your favorites so it’s easy to find  a week from now.  When you emerge from the tryptophan coma, craving anything other than poultry and pork, you’ll be thankful that I posted it.

Admit it, there’s something about salmon that  makes it stand out from other fish.  It’s the ginger of the sea – the redheads, not the spice.  You either love it or hate it, but either way you recognize that it’s unique.   Salmon can take a meal up a notch.  It adds distinction, and makes for a posh plate.

Unfortunately, bad cooks often give salmon a bad rep.  You have to be really careful not to dry it out, especially when grilling.  There’s usually a lot of basting involved.  I really don’t have time for that.   I like to grill and chat, which decreases my dependability.  Don’t count on me to baste every few minutes to make sure the fish isn’t dry.  For this reason, I prefer cedar grilled salmon.   Marinade the salmon; grill it on a cedar plank.  It works like a charm!  Cedar grilled salmon is tasty, moist, and looks sophisticated.  Like they say, orange is the new black.

Cedar Grilled Salmon
Recipe Type: seafood
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Cedar grilled salmon produces flavor and moisture. This recipe will make any cook look like a grill master.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cedar plank
  • 1 dash fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place cedar plank in water and soak overnight. Place something on top of the plank to keep it completely submerged if necessary. This will prevent the cedar plank from burning while on the grill.
  2. Place salmon in ziplock bag and add soy sauce. Marinade for 5 hours in soy sauce. Flip it over and marinade for an additional 3 hours.
  3. Sprinkle pepper on salmon. Put salmon with the flat side on the cedar plank, and put plank on the grill. Grill over 425 degree heat with lid closed for 20 – 30 minutes or until done. It all depends on the thickness of the fillet. There’s no need to flip the fish while it’s cooking. Check the grill periodically to make sure the plank isn’t burning. It is normal for the plank to turn black and produce smoke, but you definitely don’t want flames. Fire will burn the fish quickly, or at the least dry it out.
  4. Remove salmon and plank from the grill. Mix lemon juice into butter and drizzle over salmon, and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
Notes
Maggi Seasoning is my personal favorite in lieu of soy sauce.[br]For garnish, I recommend sesame, grilled lemon slices, and dill for spectacular color.

 

Babe Blue Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

 

“Nose to tail” eating has carried a stigma throughout the ages and around the globe.   During the Antebellum period of the United States, leftover animal parts were used to feed slaves on plantations.  As a result, dishes comprised of offal (organ meat) and cheap cuts of meat became associated with African-American culture and Southern fare.

During the Victorian era, the stigma of “nose to tail” eating persisted in Europe.   French chef Alexis Soyer despaired that so much good food was going to waste.  He could not understand why the British turned their noses up at it while countries like France ate the whole animal without worrying about such things.  Oxtail soup, which is similar to oxtail stew,  had its origin during the Reign of Terror in Paris in 1793, when many of the nobility were reduced to starvation and begging.  Fresh hides were sent to the tanners without removing the tails, and in cleaning them the tails were thrown away.  One day one of the noble beggars, while happening to pass a tannery, noticed a pile of discarded tails, and asking for one it was willingly given to him.  He took it to his lodging and made what is now famous – the first dish of oxtail soup.  He immediately told his friends of the good luck he had, with the natural result that the tanners were soon annoyed to such an extent by the demand for oxtails that a price was put on them.

For anyone that has not tasted oxtail soup or stew, it is best compared to braised short ribs, but with much more flavor.  Today, the limited availability of oxtail as a grocery item, has made it a very expensive one.  It is no longer a cheap cut of meat.  Oxtail stew is savory and easy to prepare.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

 

 

Although oxtail soup has European origins, oxtail stew would still be a fitting meal for an American lumberjack.  Anyone familiar with North American folklore has heard of Paul Bunyan.  His name evokes images of massive strength and unusual feats.  Paul Bunyan is described as a giant lumberjack, and is often accompanied in stories by his animal companion, Babe the Blue Ox.  Legend has it that Babe was given to him by pioneers, Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.  I’m sure frontiersmen had huge appetites, and would appreciate a hearty warm meal – like oxtail stew.  Sorry, Babe.

Oxtail Stew
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Oxtail stew is a hearty dish that can satisfy the biggest appetite.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lbs oxtails
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway
  • 1 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1 cup potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Add onion, celery, tomatoes, chicken broth, oxtails, salt, pepper, thyme, and caraway to a large crock pot. Let it cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Add carrots and potatoes, then cook for another 2 hours.
  3. Drain liquid and reserve in a separate bowl. Whisk 2 cups of the liquid with cornstarch and pour over oxtails. Stir oxtails, then cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Brer Rabbit’s Gullah Gumbo

Gumbo

 

Chew on this:  What would Brer Rabbit eat?  He would opt for a Southern regional dish, in my opinion.  Something full of flavor and heritage – like gumbo.  In case you’re not familiar with Brer Rabbit, he is a central figure of the Uncle Remus stories set in the Southern United States.  Brer Rabbit is a trickster who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, tweaking authority figures and bending the rules as he sees fit.  The Brer Rabbit stories can be traced back to trickster figures in Africa, particularly the hare that figures prominently in the storytelling traditions in West, Central, and Southern Africa. These tales continue to be part of the traditional folklore of numerous peoples throughout those regions.  Some scholars have suggested that in the American incarnation, Brer Rabbit represented the enslaved Africans who used their wits to overcome adversity and to exact revenge on their adversaries, the White slave-owners. Though not always successful, the efforts of Brer Rabbit made him a folk hero.brer rabbit

Like Brer Rabbit, gumbo has ties to the Southern United States and West Africa.  It is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century.  It was an attempt to make bouillabaisse in the New World, but was heavily influenced by traditional West African dishes.  Gumbo combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including West African, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Native American.  The Spanish contributed onions, peppers, and tomatoes; Native Americans contributed filé, or ground sassafras leaves; the French gave the roux to the stew and spices from the Caribbean. Over time it became less of a bouillabaisse and more of what is called gumbo. Later the Italians added garlic.  The Germans contributed potato salad as a side and even started the practice of eating gumbo with a scoop of potato salad in it.

My recipe is slightly different from typical Creole gumbo, in that I’m using a smoked country sausage in lieu of Andouille sausage.  This act alone is probably enough to get me banned from the state of Louisiana, but I wanted to make the dish more “Gullah”.    The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who live in the Low country region of the United States of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands.  My version of gumbo is full of flavor and heritage – just like Brer Rabbit.

Now, here comes the hard part boys and girls.  It doesn’t take a lot of talent to make gumbo, but it does take time.  To do it properly, you need seafood stock.  My suggestion is to make the stock in advance.  It’s a great ingredient to have around.  Stock up on stock.  Make a big batch and freeze the left over portion for later use.

 

Gullah Gumbo
Recipe Type: soup
Cuisine: American
Author: [url href=”http://onceuponatine.com” target=”_blank”]Once Upon A Tine[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Gumbo is full of flavor and heritage. It combines the ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups butter (divided)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 lb smoked country sausage (sliced 1/4” thick)
  • 4 1/2 cups seafood stock
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 16 oz okra (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 2 lbs medium shrimp (peeled, deveined) – use shrimp from seafood stock
  • 1 lb crab meat (remove any shell pieces) – use crabs from seafood stock
  • 1 lb crab claws (half open claw shell with meat)
  • 2 lb small scallops
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon gumbo filé powder[br]
  • Seafood Stock
  • 2 lbs medium shrimp (with head and shell-on)
  • 6 blue crabs
  • 8 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 quarts water
Instructions
  1. [i]Make the seafood stock[/i]: Peel and devein shrimp, removing shells and heads. Set shrimp bodies aside in a small bowl. Set shells and heads aside in a separate larger bowl.
  2. Add salt and water to a large pot, then bring to a boil. Add the crabs and salt. Cover the pot, and boil for 7 minutes. Drain immediately and set the crabs aside to cool. Don’t discard water. It will be used later.
  3. Peel the front flaps and tops off the crabs and place in the large bowl with the shrimp heads and shells.
  4. Take the remaining crab body and scoop out the “yuckiness” from the middle of the crab. (Yuckiness is defined as anything in a crab that is orange, yellow, or green; literally a bunch of crap to be discarded.)
  5. Breakout the crab bodies and crab claws, and scoop out as much crab meat as you can. Set aside crab meat for the gumbo. Put any additional crab shells into bowl with other crab and shrimp shells.
  6. Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the crab and shrimp shells and shrimp heads. Stir until the shells turn pink – about 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic, paprika, saffron, bay leaves, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and gently simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Remove the stock from the heat and strain, discarding the solids. Voila! You have seafood stock![br][br]
  8. [i]On to the gumbo: [/i] Melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add bell pepper, onion, and celery. Cook until tender.
  9. In a separate skillet, cook sausage until down – approximately 10 minutes – then add to saucepan with vegetables.
  10. [i]Make a roux: [/i] In a large pot, heat 1 cup of butter and flour. Whisk over medium heat until roux has a rich brown color. Do not burn roux.
  11. Add stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce; stir well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Skim any foam and grease off the top.
  12. Add sausage and vegetables to pot. Stir well, then add Cajun seasoning, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and thyme; mix well. Stir in okra, shrimp, crab meat, crab claws and scallops. Slowly add filé while stirring constantly. Lower heat and stir 5-10 minutes until scallops are cooked. Serve with rice or potato salad.