Beer Cheese Stuffing


If You’re Not Adding Bacon, Beer and Cheese To Your Stuffing, You’re Seriously Missing Out

This is nothing like the stuffing you grew up with. Seriously, you won’t even find sage. But just because Mom never made it this way doesn’t mean you can’t go your own stuffing way. It’s about time you started loading the classic Thanksgiving side with bacon, beer and cheddar.

Beer Cheese StuffingIf you’re skeptical, take two seconds to think about this. Has there ever been a time when carbs were not benefited by bacon and cheese? NO. NO. NO!

Beer Cheese StuffingNow that you’re on board, let’s talk beer cheese stuffing. Start by crisping up some bacon, then sauté onion and celery in the bacon fat. Your kitchen will smell like smoky Thanksgiving. When the veggies are tender, pour in some beer. I’m a huge proponent of IPA, but considering you’re going to end up one short of a six pack afterwards, you do you. From there, you’ll want to let the mixture simmer until the alcohol has mostly evaporated. We’re looking to add flavor, not get drunk … for now.

img_0172The cheese comes into play right after you add the bread. Sharp cheddar is the perfect pairing—it isn’t too funky for gravy and melts beautifully. Mix it in with some chicken stock, eggs, thyme and a touch of worcestershire, then send the boozy concoction off to the oven!

Beer Cheese StuffingFor a crispy golden-brown topping, bump the oven temperature up during the last 10 minutes of baking. There are still plenty of soft, slightly gooey bread pieces underneath for those who weirdly prefer that texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces, plus more for baking dish
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup medium-bodied beer, such as IPA
  • 10 cup cubed French bread, dried overnight (from 1 lb. loaf)
  • 1 cup  sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and butter a 3-quart baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes (reserve fat).
  3. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then chop.
  4. Add onion and celery to skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add beer and simmer, scraping up any brown bits, until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add bread, 2/3 of the cheddar, thyme, and half the bacon and toss to combine.
  7. Add broth, Worcestershire, and beaten eggs and toss to combine.
  8. Scatter with remaining cheddar and bacon.
  9. Cover skillet with foil and bake until a knife inserted in the center of the stuffing comes out warm, 45 minutes.
  10. Let rest 10 minutes and garnish with chives before serving.

A Three-Tier Pie That’s Thanksgiving Dinner All-in-One


People do crazy things at Thanksgiving. Whether it’s deep frying a 25-pound bird or stuffing different birds inside one another to make one gigantic feast of a bird—this holiday is consistently epic in the food world. And while I normally cede to more traditional holiday dinner plans, this year I wanted to try something epic of my own.

I wrote recently about hot water crust, the amazingly sturdy pie crust that holds up well to heavy or wet fillingys. Even more importantly, hot water crust pies are easy to unmold and so sturdy they can be stacked on top of one another to create a tiered pie. You heard right—move over tiered cakes, it’s pie’s turn.

img_0157I mulled over a few ideas and finally decided on making a three-tiered pie that’s Thanksgiving dinner all in one. The bottom tier is your turkey—turkey pot pie, to be precise. The next layer is your side dish: creamed kale with pancetta and walnuts, inspired by one of my favorite fall sides that regularly appears on my Thanksgiving table. Finally, the top layer is filled with cranberry sauce. Sure, this project is ambitious, but no more so than making a full Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd. It also requires some special equipment, but, thanks to the internet, you can get your hands on this (and pretty inexpensively, I might add) before it’s dinner time. Plus, this dinner has some benefits of its own, too! The fillings can be made ahead of time (although they don’t have to be), which can seriously streamline your prep on the big day. The hot water crust is easy to work with—you can even opt to press it in instead of rolling it out! Plus, there’s no denying it: This thing’s a show stopper. If nothing else, it’s a conversation piece, perfect for an offbeat Thanksgiving or for Friendsgiving supper. Plus, I can attest it tastes significantly better than a Turducken. All that said, here’s what you need to know:

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The equipment.

The crust and the filling require nothing more than the equipment you’re likely to already have in your kitchen. But, to build these pies properly, you do need some specific pans. While hot water crust pies are relatively easy to unmold, I prefer to use springform pans. The removable sides make unmolding even easier. Just like a tiered cake, you need different sizes to make the whole tier thing work. I opted for a 12-inch pan for the base, a 9-inch pan for the middle, and a 6-inch pan for the top. (Note: The links provided here are the actual pans I used—they have leak-proof bases and are very sturdy, making them good purchases all-around!) You’ll also need plastic wrap. It makes rolling out the hot water crust a breeze. While you likely have plastic wrap stocked at home already, this project is the time to opt for the largest width roll your grocery store can provide. The bigger the sheets of plastic, the larger you can roll the dough (pretty important for that big bottom pie).

Finally, I’d recommend purchasing a few cardboard cake circles. Putting the pies on the circles makes them easier to move around and gives them a sturdy base for when you go to stack the pies. It also makes it easier to remove the pies for when it’s time to serve. Since you can serve the largest pie from the serving platter you display it on, I only purchased a 9 inch cardboard and a 6 inch cardboard. You can also trace circles onto the cardboard yourself using your cake pans as a guide, cut them out, and cover them with foil or something food-safe.

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The make-ahead options.

Because the pies will get baked in the oven, you have the option to make all of the fillings fully ahead, if you’re so inclined. This can save a ton of time come feast day when all you have to do is make your crusts, shape, and bake the pies. However, because hot water crust is unlike traditional pie crust, it should be noted that you don’t have to make your fillings ahead if you don’t want to. With a traditional pie crust, it’s important that cooked fillings be made ahead of time so they have a chance to cool before they are added to the crust so they don’t melt the fat and create a soggy mess. But hot water crust must be hot when it’s worked with, which means hot fillings can be added to them, no problem. So, the choice is yours! Just know that even if you prep your fillings ahead, you’ll need to make the pie crusts just before you form the pies.

A hot water crust primer.

You can find tons of details on hot water crust here, but I’ll offer a quick review as it pertains to these pies:

  • The crust must be made just before you shape the pies. It will only be pliable while it is warm, so have your fillings and equipment ready to go before you begin the process.
  • Rolling out the dough makes for more even coverage, and rolling the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap makes it easier to work with.
  • If your dough tears when you transfer it to the pan, never fear! Hot water crust can be easily patched and it doesn’t even effect the final look or sturdiness.
  • If you have trouble with rolling the dough, you can opt to press in the crust from the get-go, just be sure to work as quickly as possible and keep things even on all sides.

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The timing.

The best part about this project is it offers some pretty great built-in timing that really streamlines the process. As the pies get smaller, the baking times get shorter, so if you start with the largest pie, all of them will come out of the oven at about the same time. If you don’t make your fillings ahead, make them first. Then start the crust for the bottom pie, fill it, and put it in the oven. Then make the crust for the middle pie and bake. Finally, make the crust for the smallest pie and get it in the oven. (Note: The recipes call for the springform pans to be placed on parchment lined baking sheets. If you can’t fit three sheets in your oven, the 9 inch pie and the 6 inch pie can fit together on a single baking sheet, or you can just place a baking sheet on the bottom of the oven to catch any leaks or drips and place the pans directly on the oven racks.) Don’t be tempted to make all the crusts in one big batch—they won’t stay warm enough while you build the other pies!


The stacking.

Once the pies are baked, it’s a good idea to let them cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding. Working on one pie at a time, remove the sides from the springform pan, then slide a spatula all around the base of the pie. Start by placing the 12 inch pie onto a serving platter (do yourself a favor and measure the platter before you try to move the pie!). Place the 9 inch pie onto a cardboard cake circle and the 6 inch pie onto a 6 inch cardboard cake circle. You can even use the circles to help remove the pie from the base of the springform pan by lifting the pie slightly on one side with a spatula, then sliding the cake circle under. Place the 9 inch pie, centered, on top of the 12 inch pie. Place the 6 inch pie, centered, on top of the 9 inch pie. Then parade around your kitchen or dining room like the champ that you are. I mean, these pies are heavy, but do a little Rocky victory lap. You earned it.

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Serving.

After your guests have oohed and aahed over the majesty of your creation, its time to serve—and it’s actually pretty easy! You can remove the two top tiers right at the table and slice them on their cardboards (or transfer them to platters if you’re feeling extra fancy). The bottom tier can be served right from the platter. Each pie will make about 10 servings – but that’s assuming that the portions for the center and top pies are smaller (like a side dish and a scoop of cranberry sauce). Dive in—then get ready for a serious nap.

This pie is Thanksgiving dinner all in one. It’s is as epic as a Turducken – but infinitely more tasty (in my pie-loving opinion). The bottom tier is your turkey – turkey pot pie, to be precise. The next layer is your side dish: creamed kale with pancetta and walnuts. Finally, the top layer is filled with cranberry sauce. It’s a serious show stopper – perfect for an offbeat Thanksgiving and amazing to wow at a Friendsgiving supper

Three-Tier Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Place the turkey pot pie on a large platter.
  2. Place the creamed greens pie on a 9 inch cardboard cake circle.
  3. Place the cranberry sauce pie on a 6 inch cardboard cake circle. This makes it easier to move the pie around (including removing it to slice and serve).
  4. Use an offset spatula to transfer the creamed greens pie on top of the turkey pot pie.
  5. Use an offset spatula to transfer the cranberry sauce pie on top of the creamed greens pie.

Turkey Pot Pie


Turkey Pot Pie
This pie is great on it’s own, but it’s even better as part of the epic Three-Tier Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 cups turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2x recipe Hot Water Crust

Procedure

  1. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and sauté until tender, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  4. Stir in the potatoes and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the flour and stir to combine—cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and bay leaf and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sauce thickens and good flavor develops, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the turkey, peas, rosemary, thyme, and heavy cream. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 12 inch springform pan on it.
  10. Prepare the hot water crust as directed by the recipe, then divide into two pieces—one about 2/3 of the dough (for the base and sides) and one about 1/3 of the dough (for the top).
  11. Start with the larger piece for the base and sides. Remember, you have to work with the crust while it’s hot to keep it pliable. I like to roll it out as best I can between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thick (a little thicker is OK, too).
  12. Peel the top piece of plastic wrap off, then use the bottom piece to help you invert the dough into the springform pan. Don’t worry if it tears or small holes appear – you can patch it! Patch any holes, tears, or uncovered areas with more dough, and press well to ensure they’re sealed. (Alternatively, you can just press the crust in from the get go— just remember to work quickly!)
  13. Pour the filling into the pan and spread into an even layer.
  14. Transfer the springform pan back to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  15. Roll out the remaining dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thick.
  16. Peel off the top piece of plastic wrap then use the bottom piece to help you invert the crust on top of the filling, then peel it away.
  17. Pinch the two crusts together at the sides, and pinch off any excess.
  18. Crimp the edges as desired to make sure they’re sealed together.
  19. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a vent in the center of the pie.
  20. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and steam is coming out of the vent, 50-60 minutes.
  21. Cool at least 15 minutes before unmolding, slicing, and serving.

Creamed Greens Pie


Turkey Pot PieThis pie is great on it’s own, but it’s even better as part of the epic Three-Tier Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 5 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 bunches kale, roughly torn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 recipe Hot Water Crust 

Preparation

  1. In a large pot, heat the pancetta over medium heat.
  2. Cook until the fat has rendered and it’s golden brown, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  5. Add the kale in batches—adding handfuls and sautéing until it wilts. Once all the kale is added, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  6. Add the wine to the pan and sauté until it evaporates, 6-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in the rosemary. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, 5-6 minutes more.
  8. Stir in the walnuts.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 9 inch springform pan on it.
  11. Prepare the Hot Water Crust as directed by the recipe, then divide into two pieces—one about 2/3 of the dough (for the base and sides) and one about 1/3 of the dough (for the top).
  12. Start with the larger piece for the base and sides. Remember, you have to work with the crust while it’s hot to keep it pliable. I like to roll it out as best I can between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thick (a little thicker is OK, too).
  13. Peel the top piece of plastic wrap off, then use the bottom piece to help you invert the dough into the springform pan. Don’t worry if it tears or small holes appear—you can patch it! Patch any holes, tears, or uncovered areas with more dough, and press well to ensure they’re sealed. (Alternatively, you can just press the crust in from the get go— just remember to work quickly!)
  14. Pour the filling into the pan and spread into an even layer.
  15. Transfer the springform pan back to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  16. Roll out the remaining dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thick.
  17. Peel off the top piece of plastic wrap then use the bottom piece to help you invert the crust on top of the filling, then peel it away.
  18. Pinch the two crusts together at the sides, and pinch off any excess.
  19. Crimp the edges as desired to make sure they’re sealed together.
  20. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a vent in the center of the pie.
  21. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and steam is coming out of the vent, 40-45 minutes.
  22. Cool at least 15 minutes before unmolding, slicing, and serving.

Cranberry Sauce Pie


Turkey Pot Pie
This pie is great on it’s own, but it’s even better as part of the epic Three-Tier Thanksgiving Dinner Pie.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau (or other orange liquor)
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grasted nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 recipe Hot Water Crust

Preparation

  1. In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, Cointreau, and orange zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the cranberries begin to break down, 10-12 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Continue to simmer until the cranberries have broken down completely and the sauce is thick, 15 minutes more.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 6 inch springform pan on it.
  5. Prepare the hot water crust as directed by the recipe, then divide into two pieces—one about 2/3 of the dough (for the base and sides) and one about 1/3 of the dough (for the top).
  6. Start with the larger piece for the base and sides. Remember, you have to work with the crust while it’s hot to keep it pliable. I like to roll it out as best I can between two sheets of plastic wrap to about ¼ inch thick (a little thicker is OK, too).
  7. Peel the top piece of plastic wrap off, then use the bottom piece to help you invert the dough into the springform pan. Don’t worry if it tears or small holes appear—you can patch it! Patch any holes, tears, or uncovered areas with more dough, and press well to ensure they’re sealed. (Alternatively, you can just press the crust in from the get go— just remember to work quickly!)
  8. Pour the filling into the pan and spread into an even layer.
  9. Transfer the springform pan back to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Roll out the remaining dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Peel off the top piece of plastic wrap then use the bottom piece to help you invert the crust on top of the filling, then peel it away.
  12. Pinch the two crusts together at the sides, and pinch off any excess.
  13. Crimp the edges as desired to make sure they’re sealed together.
  14. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to make a vent in the center of the pie.
  15. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and steam is coming out of the vent, 30-35 minutes.
  16. Cool at least 15 minutes before unmolding, slicing, and serving.

Soft White Dinner Rolls


Homemade dinner rolls are SO much tastier than store-bought! These are a lovely addition to your breadbasket, and make great sandwiches, as well.

Our guarantee: These soft, light rolls will rise about 2¾ inches high, and will have a soft (not crunchy) crust and moist, tender interior. Their flavor is pleasantly mild and slightly buttery.

  • 1 packet “highly active” active dry yeast; or 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ⅞ to 1⅛ cups lukewarm water*
  • 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk
  • ½ cup instant mashed potato flakes

*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.

  1. If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
  2. Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a smooth dough. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.
  4. While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans, or a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan.
  5. Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 16 pieces.
  6. Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough into a very small knot at the bottom, then rolling it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball.
  7. Place eight rolls in each of the round cake pans (or all 16 rolls in the 9-inch-by-13-inch pan), spacing them evenly; they won’t touch one another.
  8. Cover the pan(s) with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise till they’re very puffy, and have reached out and touched one another, about 1 hour. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake the rolls until they’re a deep golden brown on top, and lighter on the sides, about 25 minutes.
  10. Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. They’ll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Yield: 16 rolls

Tips from our bakers

  • Brush hot-from-the-oven rolls with melted butter, if desired, for a soft, buttery crust.
  • For snowflake rolls, gently shake flour from a sieve atop the warm rolls.
  • When making yeast rolls or bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., “Let the dough rise till it’s doubled in bulk.” Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking that it’s impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.

Cranberry Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking sofa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries

Procedure

  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl, blend well.
  2. Add eggs, milk and melt d butter; stir to make a smooth batter; fold in cranberries.
  3. Fill well-greased muffin pan cups 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in a hot oven (425°F.) for 15-20 minutes or until well browned; remove from pans.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.