Hi Pan -- These recipes have to easy enough for the tyro cooks in the household. The gourmet cooks here will faint, but these work for us.
The shrimp thing is ridiculously easy --
Lay some cream cheese (proper or not) onto a serving plate, cover with icy cold, cooked baby shrimps (ie. refrigerate that can overnight
) and then artfully pour on your favorite cocktail sauce. Stick in a couple of spreaders & pass the crackers.
Fry several slices of bacon, remove & crumble or dice, pour out some of the grease, toss in some green beans (I usually use frozen whole baby green beans but French-cut canned beans will work as do fresh beans) & a little water. Stir it around and let them steam 'til they're cooked through. (Julia Child had a name for this, steam-sauté?) Pour vinagrette salad dressing over it and let that heat up. If you want to be really fancy, add some thinly sliced red pepper with the green beans.
This is a stuffing I came up with on my own. My mom taught me a more sedate version of bread & sausage that also included loads of melted butter, but there's none in this. It includes really good bread crumbs which I think is the most important ingredient of a bread stuffing. I dry them a little, but I don't worry too much about how dry they are. I don't use storebought bread crumbs -- they seem wasteful to me & bread just isn't that hard to cut up. I buy loaves of Italian, sour-dough and Asiago bread just for this, happy to get stale bread or whatever, plus I'll use any ends from the rye & ww breads that I may have diced up and stashed in the freezer. The bread crumbs are diced as small as I feel like and put into an amazingly large pan -- it is more than 2 feet across, but it makes it much easier to mix.
Meanwhile, I'll sauté 1# Italian ground sausage, and 1# regular sausage (more than usual but it's a big turkey). Once those are mostly crumbled & beginning to brown, I'll pour off all the grease, replace some of it with olive oil & add a diced-up onion, 3-4 chopped shallots and a couple of minced garlic, plus several thinly sliced stalks of celery with as much of the inner leaf as possible.
I'll also be adding to the sauté a small handful of pine nuts, a lot of dried tomatoes (at least 1/2 cup), a cup or more of dried fruits -- chopped up apricots, prunes & cherries, and nearly a cup of grated fresh parmesan cheese -- the stuff I buy costs an arm & a leg. I like to use fresh sage, but fresh or dried... a good amount of that and some fresh ground pepper. No salt needed -- .
[size=8] look at all that parmesan! I take that off the fire and let it cool a little. I've added other ingredients in the past -- but these are the core that seems to work best. Last time I added a bunch of fresh basil that I'd preserved in olive oil.
In yet another bowl I'll mix up a couple of eggs with canned chicken broth. Then I add the sauté mix to the bread and stir it around and make sure it looks right (does it need more bread?) and finally add the liquid in bits. It should be moist but not sloppy. I stuff all that I can manage into the turkey. Whatever is left... I add another egg to the broth mix and add to that so it is much more moist and put into a deep pan covered with foil that can somehow fit into my oven with that turkey.[/size]
Blah, blah, blah... didn't mean to explain in such detail, but there you have it.
I'm worried about the turkey drying out... it is a 20.5# turkey. I'm thinking about cooking it upside down. <Perhaps holding it over the side of the skiff and letting it scream a while.>
I thought Hellman's owned Best Foods.