Thanksgiving: ‘A Recipe for Tradition’

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rowing up, most of us spent Thanksgiving helping our loved ones prepare, cook and taste-test dishes. But now that we spend Turkey Day performing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade and on the Great Stage, it’s special for us to celebrate the holiday by coming together and sharing a special meal with the Christmas Spectacular cast, crew and our fellow Rockette sisters right here at Radio City Music Hall.

While the turkey is always the star of the meal, here are some of our favorite Applegate® recipes that are sure to impress your partygoer’s palates:

Orange, Fennel and Prosciutto Salad

Serves 6 | Total Time: Less Than 30 Mins

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves

For the salad:

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-ounce) package Applegate Naturals® Prosciutto
  • ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Instructions:

  1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Just before serving, whisk in the chopped mint.
  2. To make the salad, cut the peel and pith from the oranges with a sharp paring knife. Cut the peeled oranges into rounds, and set aside on a plate. If any juice has collected on the cutting board, pour it into the bowl of vinaigrette.
  3. Scatter the fennel, red onion and oranges on a large serving platter.
  4. Tear each piece of prosciutto in half and drape here and there over the salad.
  5. Give the vinaigrette a final whisk, then drizzle over the salad. Scatter the pomegranate seeds over everything and serve at once.

Bread Stuffing with Bacon, Leeks and Apples

Serves 8 to 10 | Total Time: More Than 60 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound French bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Applegate Naturals ® No Sugar Bacon, chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 large apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and let sit out overnight, to dry. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. Butter a large gratin dish.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened and bacon is crisp and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the apples and thyme leaves, cover and cook until the apples are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the bacon mixture to the bread and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Whisk together the turkey stock and eggs in a bowl, then pour evenly over the bread mixture. Toss together gently until evenly moistened. Transfer the stuffing to the buttered gratin dish and cover tightly with a piece of buttered aluminum foil.
  6. Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is crisped and golden brown, about 15 minute more.
  7. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Seeded Cheese Straws

Makes 32 straws | Total Time: Less Than 60 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to package
    directions
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 slices Applegate Naturals® Medium Cheddar Cheese, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll each sheet of pastry into an 11 x 14 inch rectangle. Brush one side of each sheet with the egg wash.
  2. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over one of the egg-washed pieces of pastry. Season well with black pepper. Place the second piece of pastry, egg side down, on top of the cheese. Run the rolling pin over the pastry sheets to seal.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry crosswise into 32 strips. If the pastry gets too warm and stretchy at any time, chill it for 15 minutes before proceeding.
  4. Gently twist each strip 3 to 4 times and arrange on the baking sheets. Brush the twisted strips with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the sesame and poppy seeds.
  5. Bake until the cheese straws are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: Any unbaked cheese straws can be frozen on their baking sheets, then transferred to resealable plastic bags, and kept in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.