Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast

Tonight's Menu
Stuffed chicken breasts
Green beans
Garlic mashed potato
Apple crisp

Stuffed chicken breast with garlic mash, green beans and cranberry sauce

In Canada thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October, where Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. It is customary to get together with your family for a thanksgiving meal and celebrate on any one of the three days of the long weekend. The celebration mainly revolves around a large thanksgiving meal and the centerpiece of this meal is usually a large stuffed and roasted turkey. A number of sides are served such as squash, yams, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas and carrots, cornbread, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy. For dessert various pies are served especially apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, mincemeat pie. Non fermented apple cider and wine complete and complement the meal.
This Friday I decided to cook up a thanksgiving inspired dinner, being so close to the weekend it seemed like a great idea and my girls loved the spread. They even helped by peeling and slicing the apples. Instead of the turkey I made the stuffed chicken breast with spinach, green onions and ricotta cheese as the main dish. Manageable in quantity with no leftovers and quick cooking time are some of the advantages over a large roasted turkey since we were only five people for dinner. Garlic mash and green beans with bright and tangy cranberry sauce complemented the chicken in flavor and color both.
An antioxidant with antibiotic properties and a rich source of vitamin-C cranberries are at their peak from October to December. To read more about this amazing berry click on

Stuffed Chicken Breast
chicken breast stuffed with spinach, green onions and ricotta cheese

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic grated
1 lb spinach leaves washed and roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped fine
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper
1 Tbs dry Thyme
2 Tbs ricotta cheese
  1. In a pan heat olive oil and add garlic. Sauté till pink and add green onions. Cook on high stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add spinach and salt and stir on high heat for 2-3 minutes till spinach wilts a bit and all the moisture disappears. 
  2. Add the black pepper and thyme and allow the mixture to cool. Add the cheese and mix well and keep aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  4. Meanwhile keep the chicken breast between plastic wrap and pound with a mallet to flatten them a bit such that the thickness becomes a quarter of an inch all over. 
  5. Season them with salt and pepper and divide the spinach mixture between the four chicken breasts. Roll the chicken breast and secure firmly with toothpicks or kitchen string. This will prevent the stuffing from coming out while cooking. 
  6. In an oven proof pan take some olive oil and heat it at high. Brown the stuffed chicken on both sides for a minute each and then transfer the pan into the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes till chicken is no longer ping from the inside and the internal temperature reaches 175 F. 
  7. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Green beans
2 lbs green beans
1-2 Tbs Olive oil
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic grated
  1. Wash and dry the beans. Trim the ends. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and lay them on to a greased cookie sheet. 
  3. Grill them on the top rack on high for 15 -20 minutes. They should brown just a bit and cook but still retain some of their crispness. 
  4. Serve hot.

Garlic Mash

4 large russet potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Salt to taste
Cracked black pepper
1½ Tbs of butter
¼ cup of milk
  1. Boil the potatoes and garlic till potatoes are tender. 
  2. Drain and peel the potatoes and place them along with garlic in a large bowl. Mash well till potatoes are creamy and lump free. 
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  4. I like to pop this under the broiler for 5-7 minutes to give a slight texture and color on top.

 Serve hot with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream                    

Apple crisp

4-6 apples (I prefer tart granny smith)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup instant oatmeal
¾ cups flour (or whole wheat flour)
½ cup butter
2 tsp cinnamon
Core peel and slice the apples.
Arrange them on a greased pie dish.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix all other ingredients together in a separate bowl and cut in butter until the mixture resembles soft bread crumbs.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the apples to cover completely.
Bake in the center rack for 35-40 minutes.
Serve hot with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream.
Can be served cold.

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