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'A Spread of Thanks' guide to cooking Thanksgiving dinner with WPTV

A Spread of Thanks
Posted at 2:50 PM, Nov 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-22 07:40:33-05

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — 'A Spread of Thanks' is a guide for you to cook your family and friends a perfect Thanksgiving dinner using the advice of local culinary experts.

Recipes in this article

  • Thanksgiving Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing aka Dressing
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Healthy Green Bean Casserole
  • Wine pairing
  • Grapefruit Mocktail

Okeechobee Steakhouse Turkey Recipe

'A Spread of Thanks' - Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Planning Your Turkey Dinner

Q. How big of a turkey do I need?
A. Figure one pound of raw turkey per person, for example, a 12-pound turkey will feed 10 to 12 people and a 20-pound turkey will feed 18 to 20 people

Q. When do I start thawing the turkey?
A. A 12-pound turkey will take up to three days in the refrigerator, a 20-pound turkey will take up to five days in the refrigerator.

Q. What's the best way to roast my turkey?
A. Here are the steps.

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. Roast for 30 minutes per pound, an 8-to-12-pound turkey will take three to four hours and a 12-to-16-pound turkey will take up to four to five hours, and an eight to 20-pound turkey will take up to five to six hours.

Q. Do you have any other cooking tips?
A. Here are the tips.

  1. It is recommended to cook the stuffing separately, but if you do stuff the turkey make sure the internal temperature of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees
  2. The temperature of the breast should be 165 degrees, make sure to stay away from the bone when checking the temperature
  3. The temperature of the leg is best and more tender at 175 degrees
  4. Keep in mind that a convection oven will cook faster than a conventional oven.
Okeechobee Steakhouse Thanksgiving Turkey
Okeechobee Steakhouse Thanksgiving Turkey.

Brining your turkey for tenderness and flavor

Ingredients list

  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 10 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 12 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • ½ Gallon Water (Can use chicken stock for more robust flavor)

TIP: You can also add Allspice Berries, a Cinnamon Stick, Rosemary Leaves, Sage Leaves, and Apple Slices to kick up the flavor

Steps

  • Mix all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add One Gallon of cold water (or Chicken Stock) and ensure brine is at room temperature before pouring over turkey.
  • Place turkey breast side down in a large container
  • Pour brine over turkeys and top the turkey with a heavy plate to keep it submerged in the brine
  • Brine a 12 to 14-pound turkey for eight to 12 hours, 16-pounds and over 12 to 16 hours in the refrigerator
  • Rinse Turkey inside and out after pulling it from the brine and pat dry before roasting

Seasoning
There are many ways to season your turkey, Okeechobee Steakhouse suggests using a dry rub or herbs and butter under the skin of the turkey to keep the turkey moist and to add another dimension of flavor.

Seasoning options

  • Cajun Seasoning/Rub
  • Jerk Seasoning/Rub
  • Traditional – Poultry Seasoning, Salt & Pepper, some Paprika for color
  • Herbed Butter – Add Fresh Herbs to the butter you put under the skin, such as sage, rosemary, thyme

Okeechobee Steak House Decadent Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds of Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes (Russets are more fluffy and white, Yukon Golds are heartier and starchier and pack a lot of flavor)
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Okeechobee Steak House Decadent Mashed Potatoes
Okeechobee Steak House Decadent Mashed Potatoes

Steps

  • Peel Russet Potatoes, if using Yukons you can leave the skin on, but wash thoroughly
  • Cut into large cubes
  • Place cubed potatoes in a large stockpot
  • Add enough water to cover the potatoes by at least an inch
  • Add salt to the water
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 25 minutes
  • Drain the potatoes well
  • Using either an electric mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes well
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, butter, and milk.
  • Mix until smooth.

Healthier Version
Instead of Butter and Milk, Try This:

  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup of skim or 2% milk

Sausage and Cornbread Dressing

'A Spread of Thanks' - Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing/Dressing

Michele Ralston, of Singer Island, has published a cookbook called, 'A Lively Dishes Thanksgiving.' It features some of her family's favorite recipes. She has many dishes in the book perfect for your holiday spread. You can buy the book by clicking here. If you use the code "LOVE" you'll get a discount.

Michele Ralston, of Singer Island, has published a cookbook called, 'A Lively Dishes Thanksgiving.'
Michele Ralston, of Singer Island, has published a cookbook called, 'A Lively Dishes Thanksgiving.'

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of sausage with sage
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups of finely diced white onions
  • Package of Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing
  • 1 teaspoon of sage
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing
Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing

Steps

  1. Brown sausage
  2. Drain sausage into a dish lined with paper towels to help remove grease
  3. Melt butter
  4. After the butter has melted add onions
  5. Cook until translucent (about 15 minutes)
  6. In a mixing bowl mix stuffing packet, sage, and thyme
  7. Add in drained sausage, and chicken stock, cooked onions, and parsley
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  9. Place in dish with non-stick spray
  10. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes

Blues & BBQ Mac and Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pasta macaroni noodles
  • 1 qt. whole milk
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese shredded (2 oz. reserved for topping)
  • 10 oz. mild cheddar cheese shredded (2 oz. reserved for topping)
  • 10 oz. parmesan cheese shredded (2 oz. reserved for topping)
  • 1 tbsp. All-purpose seasoning
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 1/8 c. oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Parsley (optional)
Blues & BBQ's Macaroni and Cheese recipe
Blues & BBQ's Macaroni and Cheese recipe

Steps

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil
  2. Add pasta and 2 tsp of salt and pepper
  3. Cook pasta to Al Dente
  4. Drain pasta
  5. In a large bowl, add the noodles, sour cream.
  6. Mix evenly and set aside
  7. Start making the cheese sauce

Roux for Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. butter
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1 cup flour

Steps

  1. Make a roux by whisking in 1 quart of milk for seven-10 minutes on low/med heat
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 tsp of pepper, and 1 tablespoon of all-purpose seasoning
  3. Slowly add all three kinds of cheese and mix until melted evenly
  4. To test consistency, dip a spoon in the sauce and make sure it coats the spoon (should be creamy and velvety in texture)
  5. Add cheese sauce to pasta and make sure it is coated throughout

Topping for Mac and Cheese

Steps

  1. Place 2 oz. of each cheese on top
  2. Garnish with paprika and parsley
  3. Layer the top of the mixture with reserved cheese after you put it into a casserole dish
  4. Place under broiler to back for three to five minutes until Golden Brown (Watch carefully)
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes

Coolinary Café's Healthy Green Bean Casserole by Chef Tim Lipman

'A Spread of Thanks' - Healthy Green Bean Casserole

The recipe is dairy-Free, gluten-Free, vegan, and feeds four to six people.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups julienne Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 ounces snipped fresh green beans

For the vinaigrette:

  • 24 ounces sliced shitake mushroom
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
Coolinary Café's Healthy Green Bean Casserole by Chef Tim Lipman
Coolinary Café's Healthy Green Bean Casserole by Chef Tim Lipman.

Steps
To make the vinaigrette:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and place on a greased sheet pan
  3. Roast until tender and starting to brown then remove from oven and let cool
  4. Once cool, combine mushrooms and remaining vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor and blend till mushrooms are finely chopped and all is combined
  5. Set aside

For the onions:

  • Toss onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast on a sheet pan in preheated 450° oven until tender and caramelized (about 8-12 minutes)

For the beans:

  1. While onions are in the oven, toss beans in a bowl
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast beans until caramelized and tender (can be roasted along with the onions)

To finish:

  1. Once beans are cooked, toss in vinaigrette, serve on a medium-size platter and top with onions

Thanksgiving wines & Mocktails recommended by Virginia Philip of Virginia Philip Wine Spirits and Academy

'A Spread of Thanks' - Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

White - Calera Viognier (white)

Calera Viognier
Calera Viognier

Red - Thibault-Liger Gamay, Burgundy

Thibault-Liger Gamay
Thibault-Liger Gamay

Grapefruit Mocktail

Grapefruit Mocktail
Grapefruit Mocktail

Ingredients

  • Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit
  • Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water
  • Mint, to garnish

Steps

  1. Combine the Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit and Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water (½ and ½) into an ice-filled glass
  2. Garnish with mint

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Avi from Prosecco in Palm Beach Garden shares his secret recipe.

Avi from Prosecco in Palm Beach Garden shares his secret recipe.
Avi from Prosecco in Palm Beach Garden shares his secret recipe.