Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Turkey Day - Only Two Weeks Away !

It's that time of year again, to begin preparing for that big Thanksgiving dinner! I've gathered all of my treasured recipes that I will be using for my Cajun Thanksgiving feast and have begun to shop for and order the ingredients. I will be making mostly traditional Cajun dishes, with maybe a few nouveau Cajun recipes, for variety. Here are the first two, in a series, of my favorite T-day recipes that are guaranteed to please your guests. The first was my dear godmother's recipe and the second, was my dear mother's, and and they are both really quite fabulous, cher! Absolute family favorites, any time, but especially at Thanksgiving. Cest bon! Le bon manger!

Nanny's Praline- Sweet Potato Casserole

8 medium sweet potatoes , peeled, chopped, and boiled until tender
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup cane or maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp.'s cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Whisk half and half with brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon vanilla, salt, and egg, in large bowl. Add the cooked, drained, sweet potatoes and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Coat a 13" by 9" baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon in sweet potato mixture and set aside. Make topping.

Praline Topping

1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 small can Pet (evaporated) milk
4 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Melt butter in 2 qt. saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, Pet milk, and pecans. Cook and stir, constantly, on low heat until blended and smooth and thick. (about 5 minutes) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread evenly over top of sweet potato mixture. Cover with foil and bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. Serves 8 Cest bon!

Mama's Cornbread Dressing

Dressing Mix
1 lb. ground round beef
1/2 lb. fresh ground pork
1 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
1 cup each (onions, bell peppers, and celery), chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and Tabasco to taste
1 or 2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce

In a large Dutch oven, season beef and pork with salt and Tabasco, and cook on medium heat till browned. Skim excess oil. Add the chopped vegetables and garlic and stir over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add beef broth or stock, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, make cornbread. Add a little more Cajun seasoning to dressing mix, before mixing with cornbread.


2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, beat the buttermilk, eggs and oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour into a greased cast iron skillet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mix cornbread, gently, with the prepared dressing mix and turn into a buttered casserole dish. Heat thoroughly, in oven, before serving. Serves 8

Everyone just loves this dish and I receive more compliments on this cornbread dressing than anything else on my Thanksgiving table. Bon Appetit!


Cathy said...

I have never had cornbread dressing although every time I hear about it I start drooling. Thx for the recipe!

Jeni said...

I LOVE stuffing -or dressing (Whatever term one uses) but apparently I am about the only one who really likes the stuff. And I'm the only one who likes it baked in the turkey -the rest here prefer what little bit of that item they do eat to be fixed separately. I've never had cornbread stuffing but have looked at many, many recipes for it over the years and thought how good that sounds -to me anyway. Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll give it a shot. I did make a sweet potato and pecan (mashed sweets or yams) about two years ago for Thanksgiving and it went over quite well. So maybe it's time this year to do that again. All depends on how many I'll be feeding too how much I'll be fixing and what.

Joanne said...

I'll be having Thanksgiving dinner at my home too. But now the pressure's on ... 2 weeks?? Say it ain't so. Can Christmas be far behind?

Marguerite said...

Cathy- Oh, you're in for a treat! Out of this world!! You're most welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

Jeni- Definitely try the sweet potatoes! Surely, your family will love this recipe? Cest bon, cher!

Joanne- (2 weeks + 1 day) I know, it is creeping up fast. That's why I'm starting now! And I'm not even thinking about Christmas, any time soon!

Maggie May said...

Well as you will know, we don't have Thanksgiving here, but if I was celebrating......... your place would be ideal to visit!
All that home cooking! Great!

Nuts in May

John said...

As a Brit, turkey means Christmas, but you have a good one.

Kat said...

My heart almost skipped a beat when you said two weeks! I confirmed it by looking at the calendar and now I must get busy!! We are having atleast 10 of us here for dinner. I do like Jeni and put my giblet stuffing in the turkey. But one of the cooks for dinner always brings chicken corn bread dressing, which we all love. Never had the pork/beef kind. The Praline Sweet Potato casserole will be a nice change for us from the puffy marshmallow one! I am gonna give it a try.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

My mom used to have to make cornbread dressing every year for my dad and oyster dressing for the rest of us.

The Sweet Potato Casserole sounds decadent!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Your sweet potato casserole is similar to the one my aunt taught me to make, I like the addition of the pecans. Thanks for the reminder, less than two weeks away. I need candlesticks!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Lovely turkey - yum yum! Love it and the stuffing, as we call it.
We do not actually celebrate Thanksgiving here but tuck in the turkey at Christmas.
Thanks for your encouraging comment at my place.
One thing is certain you Cajun delightful people certainly like your food. If I lived there I'd be like the side of a house!! No wonder you burn off all that surplus with that dancing.
How many type of dance do you dance?
Shame I have two left feet and at the moment a bad hip.
See you soon ~ Eddie x

Marguerite said...

Maggie- Thanks so much and you would be a most welcome guest! These two recipes would be good at any time of year, especially with chicken or turkey.

John- Thanks, but can Christmas be that far behind? Good sides for Christmas dinner, too.

Kat- I serve this cornbread dressing as a side dish. I hope you will try it. This recipe is minus the giblets because my family prefers it without them. But, for stuffing the bird, I make my Oyster Stuffing, recipe on my blog, post entitled, "Cajun Thanksgiving Feast", Nov., 08' Enjoy!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, yum...the sweet potato casserole looks absolutely fabulous!!! But unfortunately for me, I'm allergic to corn...so no delicious corn bread stuffing for me...but I'll be it is out of this world!!!! Love that you put a Cajun twist to T-day!!! How fun is that?!?! And you are so organized!! Planning already?? Or dear...I feel guilty...must get started...maybe, manana...LOL...Love you, mon amie!!! Janine XOXO

Marguerite said...

Katherine- Thanks, my Mom also made oyster stuffing/dressing, and stuffed it into the bird. But, she served the cornbread dressing on the side. All wonderful stuff, cher!

Elizabeth- The pecan/praline topping adds so much to this dish. Like a little bite of heaven! It is right around the corner. Hope you find some nice candlesticks!

Eddie- Merci for your sweet compliments, cher. Your post was fabulous! The Cajun cuisine is a bit high in calories, but everything in moderation, as they say, and lots of dancing helps. I mainly dance the Cajun Two-Step, and Jitterbug, Cajun Waltz, with some Zydeco thrown in, here and there. Keeps the weight in check!

Sniffles and Smiles- Thanks so much for your kind compliments, mon amis! Sorry that you cannot eat the cornbread, but glad that you can enjoy the sweet potato casserole. It's divine and I hope that you try it. I am cooking for a crowd for T-day, so I have to start planning now!

Velva said...

Both these recipes are fabulous additions to the Thanksgiving table! Thank you for sharng these great traditional recipes with your foodie friends.

Kathryn Magendie said...

YES! CORNBREAD DRESSING!!! GMR makes regular bread stuffing - ugh! I gots to have my momma's cornbread dressing - :-)

Marguerite said...

Velva- Thanks so much for your kind comment! You are most welcome and likewise, thank you for sharing yours. They are fantastic and so is your blog!

Kathryn- Spoken like a true Cajun! Just follow the recipe. Cest bon, cher! Thanks for coming by!