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Carving the Stress Out of Thanksgiving
Tips for a Simple, Satisfying and Stress-Free Holiday

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Glazed Turkey
Poblano Chile and Two Corn Pudding
Creamy Broccoli With Turkey Bacon

(Family Features) - Every year at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL), home economists and nutritionists answer thousands of questions - yet invariably the same concerns crop up.

To ease the anxiety that Thanksgiving can trigger, this year the experts have created a Thanksgiving "cheat sheet" that will help home cooks have a stress-free holiday.

"Many of our callers want to prepare a large Thanksgiving 'the way mom did,' but ask how they can make the meal easier," says Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. "Our best advice is to plan what needs to be accomplished, buy what you can early and prepare what you can ahead of time."

To help first-time cooks and seasoned pros alike create memorable holiday meals, the home economists and experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line will be available starting Nov. 1. Advice, tips and delicious recipes are also available at www.Butterball.com.

From Dressing to De-Stressing ...

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and tips on topics that callers ask about every year:

  • Thanksgiving is tomorrow but the turkey is frozen solid! - A recent Butterball Thanksgiving survey* showed more than half of respondents begin thawing a frozen turkey one to two days before Thanksgiving - far less than the four days recommended by the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. To thaw the turkey more quickly, submerge it in cold water. Leave the bird in the wrapper, place it in a tub or sink of cold tap water breast-side down and allow 30 minutes of thaw time for every pound of turkey.

  • Don't have a roasting rack? - Butterball recommends using a flat rack so that the turkey cooks evenly and is raised off the bottom of the pan. If you don't have a flat rack, place two or three large carrots underneath the turkey.

  • Only one oven? - Nearly half of those surveyed said that they prepare dishes ahead of time to reduce stress during Thanksgiving. Cook the turkey first and get it out of the way. You can keep it piping hot for about an hour after it comes out of the oven by wrapping the entire turkey and pan in foil and placing a large towel on top. This will allow you to finish cooking side dishes and will keep the turkey warm for carving.

  • Make food safety a priority! - Practice good food safety procedures to protect against possible foodborne illnesses: wash hands often; keep raw turkey and other foods separated; use a meat thermometer to ensure foods have been cooked to proper temperatures (a minimum temperature of 180°F in the thigh and 165°F in the center of the stuffing); and refrigerate or freeze cooked turkey and leftovers within two hours of carving to reduce temperature to below 40°F.

  • New recipe, new pan? - Always test out a new recipe or a roasting pan before the big day arrives. This will prevent any surprises if the recipe doesn't taste like you thought it would, or if the turkey doesn't fit into your pan (or the pan doesn't fit in the oven).

  • Overwhelmed with everything to do? - Don't be afraid to ask for help - ask guests to bring their own favorite holiday side dish. That way, you get help and guests feel like they've contributed to the meal. Encourage husbands, brothers and friends to roll up their sleeves and tackle a dish. With the percentage of Talk-Line calls from men nearly doubling over the years, it's clear more men are taking an active role in holiday help.

* July 2006 survey of 1,533 Americans (aged 20 and older) conducted by Impulse Research on behalf of Butterball. Survey findings have a +/- 2 percent margin of error.

Glazed Turkey

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Hunt's BBQ Sauce - Original
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Fleischmann's Original Margarine (stick)
  • 1 Butterball Turkey (14 pounds), thawed
  • PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine barbecue sauce, corn syrup, coffee and cumin in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high 1 minute, stirring once, or until coffee is dissolved. Add margarine and stir until melted. Set glaze aside to cool.
    2. Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey; refrigerate for another use or discard. Drain juices from turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Place turkey, breast up, on flat roasting rack in shallow roasting pan. Spray turkey with cooking spray.
    3. Bake turkey 2 hours. Brush turkey with some of the glaze. Loosely cover breast and tops of drumsticks with aluminum foil to prevent overcooking of breast and to keep from browning too much.
    4. Continue baking turkey 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted in deepest part of thigh, brushing with additional glaze after 30 minutes. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Total Time
4 hours

Serves
Makes 14 servings (6 ounces each)

Poblano Chile and Two Corn Pudding

Ingredients
  • PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 2 tablespoons Fleischmann's Original Margarine (stick)
  • 2 medium poblano chilies, seeded, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 14-3/4-ounce can cream-style corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup crushed white corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 11- by 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. Melt margarine over medium heat in large skillet. Add chilies and onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add whole kernel corn; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream-style corn.
    3. Beat eggs and milk in medium bowl. Pour over corn mixture in skillet; mixing until blended. Add cheese, tortilla chips and salt; mix lightly. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes

Serves
Makes: 10 servings (about 1/2 cup each)

Creamy Broccoli With Turkey Bacon

Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cubed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 4 strips Butterball Turkey Bacon, heated, chopped
  • 1/4 cup David Sunflower Kernels, Roasted and Salted

Preparation
    1. Place broccoli, 1/2 cup water and salt in saucepan; cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and keep warm.
    2. Place cream cheese and milk in same saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in mustard and turkey bacon; cook 1 minute.
    3. Add broccoli; mix lightly. Spoon into serving dish; sprinkle with sunflower kernels. Serve immediately.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Total Time
20 minutes

Serves
Makes 8 servings (about 1/2 cup each)

SOURCE: Butterball



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