Play With Your Food Episode 9 -Thanksgiving preparation

Uploaded by OkStateNews on 11.11.2009

Hey everybody I'm Marc Dunham, the executive chef of the Atherton Hotel and Ranchers Club.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner so we'll talk a little bit about how to get ready for it.
I had a conversation with Josh from the O'Colly a few days ago,
and he asked me a question that I hadn't
been asked in quite some time:
what's the first memory you can think of the got you interested in cooking?
And it took me a minute to think about it and then I thought back to
Thanksgiving and my grandmother when I was
about 14 or 15.
My grandmother has long since passed on
so I thought it might be nice to re-visit her
and give her a little
bit a credit for teaching me how to cook Thanksgiving dinner. So join us right here on Play With Your Food.
Welcome back everybody.
When I think back
to my grandmas house and Thanksgiving when I was that young, I was always impressed at how she put dinner on the table.
It kind of was the way that it was, if you didn't like what she was putting down, you could
go to the local Chinese restaurant that was open and have some of their food.
But that was part of the good thing because she made it simple, and I think
what made it
successful for her
is she made it simple and she was very methodical
and planned about
what she did and when she did it.
That being said, before we get into something,
I want to plan the menu with you and I'm hoping this is
a first time for a few of you or maybe you've had a couple of Thanksgiving
meals that just turned disastrous or you're just tired of spending that much time.
So let's talk about menu. What we'll get together
carrots, which you've already seen on the vegetable
Either pick green beans or asparagus. That's the other vegetable.
So that takes care of the vegetables.
Go back and visit the episode about vinaigrette. Put together a vinaigrette and you can have whatever salad you want.
So you've got a salad,
you've got your vegetables ready,
mashed potatoes, if you like sweet potatoes we'll talk about that next time, but plan on mashed potatoes for sure.
Just go back and watch the potato
We'll have roast turkey, we'll have dressing,
gravy and pumpkin pie. So that's pretty simple.
If you want to do dinner rolls or things like that,
if you're not a baker and don't want to do it from scratch, just go to the store and buy some Pillsbury rolls and bake them.

They're just fine and delicious and that way you don't have to worry about that.
So let's talk about a timeline. What I want you to do
is get the green beans and the carrots cooked off ahead
the night before or the day before,
cool them down and put them in the refrigerator. With the carrots, don't put any of the butter on them, just
blanch them off in the water and get them soft.
Make the vinaigrette the day before.

We'll do the pumpkin pie that day,
we'll make a turkey that day. Two reasons, one it tastes better fresh
and I like the smell in the house.
We'll also make the gravy that day because that'll taste better.
Let's talk about stuffing. That's something that you can do the day before
about 95% of the way.
So my grandmother used to save up
bread ends
for about 6 to 8 weeks before Thanksgiving and it took me up until I was about 14 until I figured out why she was
doing it.
Rather than throwing them in the garbage, she was saving them for part of her stuffing.
She would save them for about 6 or 8 weeks and let them get really stale
and then she'd toast them. So that's what I've done. I've got some bread from the restaurant.
Its two-day old.
I cubed it up,
and toasted it off lightly.
That's going to be part of the stuffing. The other part of the stuffing in terms of the
bread portion
is just your standard box
of corn bread mix that you can buy at the store. Whatever kind of brand you want. This is two of the small boxes
that I baked off right before.
The other ingredients, now she didn't do this, but I like to throw a little bit of this in just because,
bacon and chopped sausage. This to Spanish chorizo. If you like regular breakfast sausage that's fine too.
Then we'll throw in some herbs and I've got chopped parsley and chopped sage.

The vegetables that will throw in are
carrots, onion and celery.
This just needs to be sweated down until soft with a little bit of oil or butter,
a little bit of salt-and-pepper and that's it.
So this is how easy it is.
You've got your green beans blanched the day before,
you got your carrots cooked off the day before, the major vinaigrette and it's stored in your court container
the day before,
your turkey hopefully by this time is well defrosted and sitting in
the cooler.
You've got all the ingredients for the pumpkin pie and all the ingredients for the gravy, which would talk about.
So now we just get the stuffing ready, put it in its container and then we'll bake it tomorrow. So all I'll do is take my
hands in here

and get the cornbread
broken up a little bit.

Then I'll put all of the herbs,

all of the bacon
all of the vegetable
in the container.
And again at this point you can use whatever kind of device you want to mix. I just use my hands.

Now the only thing that you're not going to do with this today that we'll do
the day of
is actually reheat it. When we reheat it we'll add a little bit of chicken stock.
You can by the chicken stock at the store and that's fine.
So in the container.

Spread this out and use whatever casserole dish you have.
Wrap this up,
put in your refrigerator overnight and that's it. So tomorrow
when you wake up for Thanksgiving
you've got to heat this guy up, reheat your vegetables, make your mashed potatoes,
bake your pie, roast your turkey
and make your gravy.
So make sure to join us
next episode where we finish all of this stuff up for Thanksgiving dinner.

A little tribute to my grandma. Join us next time.