Holiday Meal – Recipes from Anne Byrn

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Anne Byrn, Nashville resident, former food editor of The Tennessean, and bestselling author of The Cake Mix Doctor, has a fantastic new cookbook coming out this November. Anne Bryn Saves the Day! is full of go-to appetizers, comfy soups and salads, delicious main courses, and one-of-a-kind desserts poised to please any crowd. From large holiday gatherings to do-ahead dinner parties, these are recipes home cooks can fall back on again and again.

Roast Turkey in the Bag
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 turkey (appr. 20 lbs.)
1 medium size onion, cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
1 bunch fresh thyme or parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. seasoned salt (such as Lawry’s)
Fresh herbs for garnish
Purple grapes for garnish
1 Turkey-size oven cooking bag
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the flour in the cooking bag and shake the bag. Place the oven bag in a large roasting pan that is at least 2-in. deep. Remove the giblets and neck from the thawed turkey and set them asid for another use or discard. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the onion, lemon, and thyme of parsley, salt, pepper, in the cavity of the turkey. Brush the outside of the turkey with the melted butter and sprinkle with season salt. Place the turkey in the bag and gather the bag loosely at the open end, allowing room for air to circulate around the turkey. Secure the gathered bag with its nylon tie. Cut four or five 1-in. slits in the top of the bag to allow steam to escape. Tuck the ends of the bag into the roasting pan. Roast until an instant read meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the inner thigh registers 180°F, usually 2 1/2 -3 hours. Add another 30 minutes if you stuff the turkey. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place it on the stovetop. Let the turkey rest about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the turkey from the bag and transfer it to a platter to rest another 30 minutes before carving. Gently tent the turkey with aluminum foil to keep it warm while it rests. Garnish with grapes and herbs.

Curried Butternut Squash Apple Soup
Yield: 8 servings
1 large butternut squash (2½ pounds)
Vegetable oil spray
2 tbsp. (¼ stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. curry powder or garam masala
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (1 to 1¼ cups)
¼ tsp. dried thyme
1 qt. (32 oz.; 4 cups) chicken broth
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan Toasts (optional)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using a soup spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Spray the cut sides of the squash with vegetable oil spray and place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake the squash until it is just tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, place the butter in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the apple, thyme, and ½ teaspoon of salt, stir to mix, and turn off the heat. When the squash has cooked, scoop out the cooked squash and place it in the soup pot. Add the chicken broth. Let come to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer until the flavors combine, about 15 minutes. If desired, puree the soup using an immersion blender or a food processor (return pureed soup to the pot). Stir in the cream. Let the soup return to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, and let the soup simmer until it thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, if necessary, and pepper to taste. Serve the soup warm, garnished with Parmesan Toasts.

Mary’s Pumpkin Praline Pie
Yield: one 9- or 10-inch pie
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz., 11/2 cups)
evaporated whole milk
9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie
crust, thawed if frozen
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) lightly salted butter, melted
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Transfer 1 pie crust to a glass or stainless steel pie pan if you wish or leave it in its aluminum foil pan. Make the pumpkin pie: Place the eggs, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin, and evaporated milk in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie crust. Bake the pie until the crust begins to brown, about 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie until the filling begins to set, 30 to 35 minutes longer. Meanwhile, make the praline topping. Place the pecans, butter, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the praline topping around the edge, pressing it slightly into the filling.
Leave the center of the pie free of topping. Return the pie to the oven and bake it until the filling has browned and is almost completely set but still a little jiggly in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for about 2 hours. Serve slices of the pie at room temperature with dollops of whipped cream.

Kentucky Brown Sugar Pie

Yield: one 9-inch pie

1 store bought pie crust, thawed
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. salted or unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Place pie crust in glass pie pan, or leave in aluminum pie pan. Make the brown sugar pie: bake the pie crust according to instructions on the package until light brown. Let the crust cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on and adjust temperature to 400°F. Place the brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium size saucepan and stir to combine. Slowly whisk in the milk. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the filling begins to thicken. and is bubbly, 4-5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the filling until it has completely thickened, 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a medium size stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the egg whites aside for the meringue. Beat the egg yolks with a fork to combine. Add 3 tbsp. of the hot filling to the eggs with a fork to combine. Then whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan of filling. Place the pan over low heat and cook, whisking, until the yolks are well combined and the filing is thick, creamy, and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the filling into the baked crust.

Make the merinque: using an electric mixer, beat the eff whites on high speed until frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating on high speed. Gradualy add the granulated sugar. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy, and the sugar is dissolved, 4-5 minutes. Pile spoonfuls of the meringue on top of the pie filling. Using a spatula, push the meringue to the edge of the crust to seal in the filling. Smooth the top of the pie. Bake the pie until the meringue is just lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 3 hours before serving.

Roasted Green Beans with Fresh Ginger

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 lb. green beans
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. Asian (dark) sesame oil
¼ tsp. salt
Pinch of dried thyme
1 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Snip the stem ends off the green beans.
If they are large and tough, slice them in half. Rinse, drain, and set the beans aside. Place the olive oil, sesame oil, salt, and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the green beans and toss to coat them well with the oils. Bake the green beans until they soften and are cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from
the oven, toss the green beans with the ginger, and serve.
Dave’s Ooh-La-La Potatoes
Yield: 8 servings

3 lbs. red new potatoes
8 tbsp. (1 stick) lightly salted butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus 1 to 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese for topping the potatoes
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed in a garlic press
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup milk
¼ cup minced onion (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the potatoes under warm running water and scrub them to remove any grit. Place the potatoes in a pot and
add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the potatoes are cooked through but not mushy, 20 to 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and add them to the potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a potato masher or a large fork, coarsely mash the potatoes, skins and
all. Add the 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the garlic and mix well. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the milk and mix well. Mix in the onion, if using, and season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish. Sprinkle anywhere from 1 to 2 cups of cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes, depending on your taste. Cover the dish, and place it in the oven.

Bake the potatoes until they are heated through, 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover the potatoes for the last 15 minutes of baking to let the cheese bubble and lightly brown.
Spicy Creamed Spinach Gratin

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

3 tbs, unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 tbsp. minced jalapeno pepper (from 1 large or 2 small peppers)
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 ½ cups milk
1½ cups heavy (whipping) cream
3 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped or leaf spinach, thawed
1½ cups (6 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until the mixture pulls together in a mass, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the milk and cream and whisk until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the frozen spinach as you can. Crumble the spinach into the pan. Add 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, season with the salt and black pepper, and stir to combine. Pour the spinach mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and spoon the remaining  ½ cup of Parmesan over the top. Bake the creamed spinach until golden brown on top and bubbly around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve at once.
For more great recipes from Anne Bryn’s new cookbook, Anne Bryn Saves the Day! purchase the cookbook visit


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