Fab Food Friday Fotos: Bountiful Thanksgiving Food Special… Food Photos & Frugal Holiday Recipes Edition of Turkey, Taters, Gravy, & All the Fixin’s, on the Cheap
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on November 11, 2011
FOOD. GLORIOUS THANKSGIVING FOOD.
These economic times are far more difficult now than they’ve been for more than three decades. Therefore, making delicious, frugal meals may be more challenging than you’ve ever known, especially during the holidays. Thanksgiving dinner is traditionally a day of giving thanks, feasting, spending time with and sharing one’s bounty with loved ones. However, if your “bounty” is pitifully meager, if your family has suffered recent economic loss or hardship, then maintaining a positive outlook and a sense of humor during the holidays is also challenging.
A tongue-in-cheek article on Gawker addresses those financial challenges that so many people are battling — You Don’t Have to Go Bankrupt Making Thanksgiving Dinner:
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, your “classic” Thanksgiving dinner of “turkey,
whiskey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings” will cost 13 percent more than it did last year. As if you needed to hear that kind of news!
The Federation attributes the price increases to growing demand for turkeys both here and abroad, which doesn’t make sense because other countries don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving. Huh. Also, retailers are passing on more shipping, storing, and processing costs to shoppers as part of the general trend of gobbling up the middle class through higher prices. Whereas last year a feast for 10 cost $43.47, this year it will cost $49.20. Six dollars might not sound like a big deal, but if you’re a Poor without a job and living on unemployment benefits it can be a considerable expenditure.
Click here for Gawker’s hilarious tips on keeping your Thanksgiving dinner expenditures low. One of my favorites:
Smaller plates. This always tricks people into believing that they’re eating a ton of food when they’re not. Do you or your kids have dolls? Serve dinner on the doll plates.
But, seriously — Thanksgiving dinner can still be rewarding and memorable, filled with laughter, love, and good food, without breaking the bank.
Thinking outside of the box and cutting corners can pay off. Save money by stocking up on sales, using seasonal ingredients, coordinating a Thanksgiving potluck buffet dinner with a few other families, focusing on cooking locally grown foods, serving inexpensive, but elegant homemade soups as a first course, being creative with cheaper, more humble but flavorful dishes. Thanksgiving dinner may be hanging from a frayed shoestring this year, but it can still be a gastronomic blast. It’s chic to be cheap…
When they’re available, recipes and links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one thrift-minded recipe will always be included.
Photographer/cook masterphillip has a unique method for preparing a Thanksgiving turkey — I’ve heard of a number of methods, but not this one:
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
* 12-pound fresh turkey
* 5-gallon plastic bucket
* 1.5 gallons water (or enough to cover the turkey)
* 1.5 cups kosher salt (1/2 cup per 2 quarts water) or 3/4 cup table salt (1/4 cup per 2 quarts water)
* 3/4 cup sugar (1/4 cup per 2 quarts water)
* Large cooler
* Big bag of ice
Put water in bucket. Dissolve salt and sugar in water to make a brine. (I used a stick blender.)
Put turkey in brine. You might have to put a heavy pot lid over the turkey to keep it submerged. Cover bucket.
Put bucket in cooler. Fill cooler with ice to keep bucket cool. Leave overnight.
Next morning, take turkey from water. Put on roasting grate in a large cake pan, to catch draining water. Put in fridge for several hours to dry. (I left it overnight.)
Preheat oven to 325. Put turkey on grate in oven, breast-side up. No stuffing — I do it separately.
Bake for 15 minutes per pound. This turkey took about 3.5 hours. I only pulled it once after about 2 hours to brush butter over the skin. No other basting necessary.
Awesome! For the recipe for this earthy, vegan mushroom leek stuffing (a mix of brown rice and sprouted whole wheat bread creates the base), visit the sweetbeetandgreenbean food blog.
I love visiting the Indiana Public Media “Earth Eats” food site — so many creative recipes with accompanying photos. Click here for the how-to on making the sautéed pumpkin slices, and if you scroll down a bit, on the same page are two other recipes: Quinoa with Caramelized Onions and Yellow Lentil Bisque.
Summary of photo:
Service members working at Camp Victory, Iraq, the headquarters for United States Forces – Iraq, enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the dining facility on base, Nov. 25, 2010. The dining facility served more than 4,100 pounds of turkey, 1,000 pounds of stuffing, 780 pounds of sweet potatoes, and more than 305 pies during the day.
Photographer hlklgk wrote:
Ever so slightly adapted from Martha Stewart (chips instead of glaze).
We used to buy these from Gap Mountain Bread every fall in Troy (now Keene), NH – I miss NH in the fall.
Grilled vegetables are a thrifty, unique addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner — photographer/cook woodleywonderworks gives these quick directions:
Most people don’t think about grilling carrots, but they are awesome.
We started with the carrots and onions and chopped fresh rosemary. So simple. Just a light coating of olive oil and a little sea salt on 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until you can see the first signs of light browning. Then added the sugar snap peas. They are only grilled a little past warming to retain the snap and bring out the sugars.
Elegant dessert, but not overly difficult nor expensive to make — photographer/cook Michelle Ramos provided a description of the popular Scottish dessert:
Cranachan – A typical Scottish dessert made from oatmeal, cream, Drambuie, and fresh fruit. This one had cranberries and raspberries. Delish.
Here are a few recipe links for cranachan at Scottish Recipes, AllRecipes, and Group Recipes. These recipes use Irish whiskey or rum instead of the mentioned Drambuie. To make the dessert alcohol-free, substitute the liquor with a few drops of vanilla essence.
Photographer/cook and food blogger Emilie Hardman wrote this about her fabulous salad:
With greens that we cut at Parker Farms on our last CSA harvest and beets from Terry’s garden. I love this salad with its sweet and savory elements — so good!
Read my full Thanksgiving post at The Conscious Kitchen.
Photographer/cook mia3mom provided the recipe links to Rachel’s Recipe Box for making this gluten free Thanksgiving pot pie:
Some background on the recipes posted at Rachel’s Recipe Box:
Rachel’s Recipe Box: The Gluten Free Family is a site designed to help families eat well while dealing with celiac disease, food allergies, food intolerances, and/or dietary restrictions.
My motto is, “this isn’t just good food for a special diet, it’s Good Food”! Why not eat well despite your dietary restrictions? We have been dairy free since 1999, and gluten free since 2003, following a gfcf diet. We have also (along our way) lived free of citrus, eggs, soy, corn, and currently berries. We always ate well, though!
Our recipes are delicious, family-friendly meals, which happen to be gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, gfcf, and berry free. Most recipes are either free of the other top allergens (peanut, nut, egg, fish, shellfish, soy, corn), or can be adapted to be free of those ingredients. Please check ingredients on anything canned or bottled – brands change formulations all the time.
Here are more gluten free recipe ideas for Thanksgiving or any holiday meal.
Overview compiled from Wikipedia: Gnocchi are thick, soft dumplings that are popular in a number of countries, such as Italy, France, Croatia, and Argentina — they’ve been a traditional Italian pasta since the Roman era, and can garnish soups or be eaten alone. Gnocchi can be made from semolina pasta, wheat flour, flour and egg, potato, bread crumbs, or other ingredients. The word gnocchi is believed to be derived from the Italian word nocchio, meaning “a knot in wood,” in reference to its shape, or from the word nocca, meaning “knuckle.” The letter “G” is silent — it’s pronounced “nok-ee” or “noh-kee” or “nyawk-kee.”
The recipe for photographer/cook Alison Young’s pumpkin gnocchi is posted here.
An upscale take on a Thanksgiving staple, perfect for those who don’t need or want a full-sized bird. Check out the gluten-free recipe for Herb Crusted Turkey Breast at The Messy Chef food blog.
What a delightful dessert presentation this lemon tart would make on Thanksgiving. For the recipe, more photos, and a video demo, photographer/cook christaface provided the link to the Joy of Baking website.
This would be a runaway hit at any Thanksgiving or party gathering. Photographer/cook Tim Wilson shared his family’s recipe, which is super-easy:
Palos Verdes Hot Shrimp Recipe
This is a family favorite that we have every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
* 1-1/2 c. olive oil
* 1-1/2 c. wine vinegar
* 1 c. Dijon mustard
* 3/4 c. minced parsley
* 3/4 c. chopped green onions
* 1/2 c. minced celery
* 1/2 c. cayenne pepper (1/4 c. is hot enough if you’re not into spicy stuff)
* 2-1/2 T. salt
* 5 lb. shelled cooked shrimp
Combine all ingredients except shrimp. Mix thoroughly and add shrimp. Marinate for at least 3 hours before serving. The shrimp will get hotter the longer they sit in the marinate. I like them best after 2-3 days.
Check out my post about this at The Savvy Technologist.
Photographer/cook alfonso cevola added this notation:
Sliced or cubed for the squash. Sliced for the onion.
Wow, such a gorgeous side dish — almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.
Photographer/cook Kimberly Vardeman provided the recipe link to Adam Roberts’ terrific The Amateur Gourmet food blog.
Photographer/cook Sean Dreilinger shared his recipe for homemade Thanksgiving cranberry sauce:
* 4 cups cranberries
* .5 cup honey
* .5 cup ganulated sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 orange peel (I used the peel from a little satsuma mandarin)
In a large saucepan, bring sugar / water to a boil. Add honey, cinnamon, bay leaf, return to boil. Add cranberries, reduce heat, stir until the cranberries burst open.
Simmer 10 minutes. turn off heat and cover.
Once the sauce is room temperature, remove the bay leaf, remove the cinnamon stick, remove the orange peel, transfer to another container and chill in fridge.
These savoury broccoli cakes look GREAT — I can picture a wicker basket of them, still warm from the oven, sitting on a Thanksgiving dining table. Photographer/cook marshlight wrote:
Couldn’t resist this recipe and it came out fun and tastier than expected.
The turkey photo above is part of a THEMED Thanksgiving dinner. Bacon-themed.
Oh, my — you must check out all the recipe links included below that photographer/cook dpstyles made for just one Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s mind-boggling how many different ways bacon can be used in one meal — and how many ways one can induce a heart attack. I don’t recommend you duplicate this entire bacon-on-everything menu, but if you and your family love bacon, these recipes will definitely spark your imagination to give you some unusual ideas/dishes that you may want to launch this Thanksgiving. Here’s dpstyles’ summary and recipe links:
Bacon. Wrapped. Turkey. (and this is the LUXURY bacon from the East Village Meat Shoppe).
I had some friends over last night for the Thanksgiving Feast of the Millennium starting special guest chefs Stacey.H and Heather.D. I’ve been wanting to do this forever (since I moved to NYC) and can’t even begin to describe how amazing this was (some 15 dishes!) and how much effort Stacey and Heather put into making this awesome (thank you 100x).
I woke up this morning being totally stuffed, reeking like bacon (bacon turkey, bacon dates, bacon ska-lops) and my apartment still smelling as if the oven was on fire (er, which it was for about 30% of last night. We set my upstairs neighbor’s fire alarm off. Oops.)
Oh, and recipes here for all who asked:
Bacon Wrapped Turkey
Goat Cheese Pop-Overs
Devils on Horseback (aka Bacon wrapped dates) amazing
Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing
Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake holy sh!t this is gooooood
Potato Mushroom Gratin
Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna
Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks and Corn
Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping
Photographer/cook Peter Lee wrote this brief description:
Using the Cook’s Illustrated recipe as usual, this year with 2 pounds each of Macoun and Empire apples.
I did some hunting and found the recipe — here’s the link to the pie recipe, however, it is accessible only to Cook’s Illustrated members.
This spicy main dish recipe serves 12-14 and is wildly unique — ingredients include whole, boneless turkey breast, ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, pasilla chiles, almonds, and Mexican chocolate.
Photographer/cook Jason Hammer provided the recipe link for his Turkey in Mole Poblano, created by Chef Rick Bayless and posted here at Saveur.
Photographer Frank Chan’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner, starting at the top and going clockwise: Vegetarian Bread Dressing with Apples, Wild Mushrooms & Walnuts, Cauliflower with Olives and Capers, Spinach Catalan-Style, and Rosemary Onion Cornbread.
Photographer/cook distopiandreamgirl provided this description of her heavenly cake:
Bing Cherry Cake
* white velvet cake
* with triple sec Italian meringue buttercream
* cherries dipped in belgian white chocolate
* Belgian white chocolate leaves
Photographer/cook milky way provided the recipe link and this information about the stuffed turkey roll:
In Italy, Thanksgiving isn’t a national holiday but to be close to my American family even if miles separate us, I made turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
Instead of herb-seasoned bread stuffing mix that I never saw in Italy, I mixed bread crumbs with some olive oil, shredded parmigiano cheese, salt, pepper, ground dried chili, rosemary, marjoram, an egg yolk, and some milk to smooth.
Simple to make and always, this gravy is ambrosia from the gods. Don’t buy those pricey manufactured jars of premade turkey gravy when you have a pan filled with glorious turkey drippings begging to be thickened and seasoned. Make a huge quantity of your own gravy that will taste far fresher (you can customize it to your preferences) and will save you a good amount of money. Photographer/cook SliceOfChic wrote this giblet gravy description:
Made with turkey stock, pan drippings and white wine, this is the perfect, no-fail gravy recipe.
Photographer/cook bouche provided this list of ingredients for the sweet potato salad:
Roasted Sweet Potato | Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Organic Field Greens | Red Onion
Date, molasses, balsamic vinaigrette
Another roasted veggies photo, showing just how versatile this dish can be — photographer/cook blueant808 used a variety of potatoes with carrots and Brussels sprouts:
My take on Giada DeLaurentis’s dish – fingerling potatoes, yellow sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, carrots, and Brussel sprouts.
Last year’s Thanksgiving roundup of photos and recipes: Tantalizing Thanksgiving Food Extravaganza Special… Holiday Recipes & Scrumptious Food Photos Galore
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:
Endive Au Gratin, Pot Roasted Beef Brisket, Banana Spice Minicakes, Eggplant Fries, Cheesy Tot Pizza, Winter Pesto Pasta, Bacon-Stuffed Portobellos, Lemon Date & Cheese Danish Braid, Salads, & Frugal Recipes
Thai Curry Noodles, Pesto Biscuits, Guinness Chocolate Pie, Mattar Paneer, Tuna Potato Chip Casserole, Shrimp Gumbo, Fab Cakes, Balsamic Chicken & Garlic-Roasted Potatoes, Asado Negro, Easy Recipes, & More
Five-Spice Chicken, Sherried Tomato Soup, Vegan Enchilada Casserole, Chinese Peanut Cookies, Beef & Barley Soup, Salads, Baked Costa Rican-Style Fish, Chili Shrimp Pasta, Lamb Shanks, More Frugal Recipes