Although I’m not American, I know that quite a few of the people that follow my blog are. So I decided this year to have a go at hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Like the Christmas Dinner I made last year my aim was to produce a three course meal for 8 people for just £20. That’s only £2.50 each.
Not knowing much about Thanksgiving food except what I had see on the show ‘Friends’, I did a bit of research online to find out what it’s all about. You guys have a few strange dishes including candied yams? So embracing this novelty I found a great dish from Jamie Oliver with sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
I also got a whole frozen turkey crown for just £7.99. Which was plenty for eight people with some leftovers for a few sandwiches. So although the meal comes to nearly £20 we didn’t use up all of the ingredients so it would have cost less.
We started the meal with cheese and onion tart. Then we had the turkey and stuffing with roasted potatoes and parsnips, carrots, green beans and the candied sweet potatoes. Followed by Sweet potato pie and cream.
1 packet Ready made puff pastry
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
80g cheddar cheese, grated
Some beaten egg or milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in the white wine vinegar and brown sugar. Increase the heat and stir frequently for another 4–5 minutes until the onions turn a deep caramel colour. Cook for another 5 minutes, then reserve to cool.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough and cut 16 squares. With half of these squares using a round cookie cutter, cut a hole in them. Place eight of the full squares on a baking tray and brush the edges with some of the beaten egg now place the other pastry shapes with the holes on top. When the pastry puffs up these with form a wall around the filling.
Sprinkle half the cheese in the middle of these pockets of the dough, then spoon the caramelized onions over the cheese. Brush the rim with beaten egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for 20–25 minutes. Serve while still hot.
The extra bits of puff pastry can be mixed with the leftover cheese, rolled out and twisted to make cheese straws.
1 stalk of celery chopped small
1 medium carrot chopped small
1 medium onion chopped small
4 x crust and slices from the bread grated
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Mixed dried herbs
Pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together and bake in a greased and lined tin in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Candied sweet potato with marshmallows
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 of the sweet potatoes (about 300g)
2 tablespoons marmalade
50g unsalted butter
Packet plain marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 200ºC or Gas mark 6.
Bake or steam the sweet potatoes (doing this in the microwave will be quickest) until cooked through.
Scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl, combining the marmalade and butter, mashing it all together, then season with the spices.
Spoon into an ovenproof dish and top with the marshmallows, covering the potato.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the marshmallows are golden and puffed up. Cool slightly before serving.
Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
4 of the sweet potatoes (about 800g)
100g caster sugar
4 tablespoons of plain flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients For the Pastry
250g plain flour (You can swap 50g to icing sugar to sweeten)
Pinch of salt
130g butter, cubed
2-3 tablespoons cold water
Egg or milk to glaze
For the filling, Bake or steam the sweet potatoes (doing this in the microwave will be quickest) until cooked through.
Make the shortcrust pastry by putting the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.
Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining.
Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before using.
After the pastry has chilled, heat the oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6.
Roll out the pastry and lay it in an 8 inch loose bottom tin and blind bake it by putting some grease proof paper in and filling it with dried or ceramic beans you can see online how to do this. Cook for 10 minutes then take off the beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
While this is cooking peel the skins off the potatoes and discard. Put the flesh in to a large bowl and mash it up. Melt your butter and add to the sweet potatoes with the sugar, flour, spices and vanilla.
Whisk the eggs and pour in to the mixture then stir it all together.
When the pastry is ready, turn down your oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4.
Pour the mixture in to the pastry case and then glaze with some egg or milk and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Serve with the whipped sweeten cream.
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