Making Homemade Italian Sausage/Sausage with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms

One of our favorite family holiday traditions is to get together for our annual Italian sausage-making party. It is a big family project that includes my husband and children, plus my mom, sister, and my brother’s family. We make enough for each family to take some home, along with a few bags for the college kids for their apartments. We have a fish course on Christmas Eve but we also have Italian sausage later in the evening. Scroll down for the instructions for making the sausage, along with my mother’s delicious recipe for sausage cooked with potatoes, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. You will need a KitchenAid mixer plus the meat grinder and sausage making attachments in order to make this recipe.

This year we had roughly 45 lbs. of boneless pork butt that yielded 36-37 lbs. of seasoned sausage. It gives us enough sausage to last at least 6 months. We buy the boneless pork butt in roughly 15 lb. packages. They are fairly fatty and you have to remove some of the fat and gristle in order for the pork to grind smoothly into sausage. Leave some fat to keep the meat moist and flavorful. Every pork butt contains a different amount of fat, but I think you can estimate that 15-16 lbs. of boneless pork butt will yield roughly 12-13 lbs. of ground pork sausage. We stuff some sausage into casing and some we leave loose. The meat department of the grocery store should have sausage casing. If you are stuffing the ground pork into sausage casing, you need to have more moisture in the meat. Add 1 cup of water to every 5 lbs. of ground pork sausage meat, mixing well before stuffing into the casing. (If you are leaving the sausage out of the casing, you do not need to add the water.)

15 lbs. boneless pork butt
1/4-1/3 lb. fresh sausage casing
1 c. water for every 5 lbs. ground sausage – if stuffing into casing

Seasoning (per pound of ground pork sausage meat)
1 tsp. fine sea salt or table salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
light sprinkle of sweet paprika

Begin by trimming the sausage of some of its fat and remove the tough gristle. Cut into large stew meat-sized pieces. Once all the meat has been cut, attach the large-hole meat grinding attachment to the KitchenAid mixer. Place a large bowl below the grinder to catch the meat. Turn the machine on medium high and feed the cut pork pieces down into the grinder attachment, pushing down with a wooden peg. Once all the meat is ground, lay out pieces of parchment paper on a table or work surface. Measure the ground pork into 1 lb. portions using a kitchen scale and place on the parchment paper. Flatten out each 1 lb. portion of ground pork. Sprinkle each one-pound portion with the salt, pepper, and spices. Mix the meat with your hands to evenly distribute the spices into the meat. Repeat until all the meat is seasoned and well mixed. At this point you can place loose sausage in one-pound portions into quart-size freezer bags, or take a 5 lb. portion of spiced ground pork and mix 1 cup of water into the meat in preparation for stuffing the casing. To stuff sausage: Take the casing and open it up. Run cool water through the casing to clean and moisturize it. Attach the sausage funnel attachment to the KitchenAid mixer. Tie a knot in the end of the casing and then ease it up onto the sausage funnel. Turn the machine on medium and gently push the meat down the funnel to fill the casing, stopping the machine every eight inches to twist the casing into individual links. Continue until all the loose sausage meat is stuffed into the casing. Place sausage links onto baking sheets and freeze. Remove from freezer and cut the individual links. Keep frozen until ready to cook. Makes 13 lbs. fresh Italian sausage.

Pork being ground, measured and seasoned

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Italian Sausage with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage links
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced
onion powder
garlic powder
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 (8 oz.) pkg. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Place sausage links in a sauté pan but DO NOT prick them. Add enough water to come half way up the sausage. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 20-25 minutes until sausage is cooked through. Remove sausage from pan and drain all of the liquid. While the sausage is simmering, cook the potatoes by mixing them in a large bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of onion powder and garlic powder. Mix. Place the potatoes in a glass pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 8 minutes, then stir the potatoes. Cover again and cook them another 7 minutes until fork tender. Add 3-4 Tablespoons of oil to the previously used pan. Brown the sausage for 5 minutes and turn to continue browning. Remove the sausage and add a bit more oil. Add onion, peppers, and mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 8-10 minutes until the peppers are tender. Add the cooked potatoes. Slice the sausage and return to the pan with the vegetables. Taste and see if you need any more salt and pepper. Saute 3-4 minutes. Place sausage and vegetables onto a serving platter. Serves 4-6.

Note: For Christmas Eve, since there are more than 12 people, we will cook 3 lbs. of Italian sausage, adding 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), 6 potatoes, one very large onion, and an 8-ounce package of mushrooms.

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Ghoraibi – Lebanese Butter Cookies

Here is my version of Lebanese butter cookies. I love the flavor combination of orange flower water and mastic (resin crystals with a pine-like flavor) that you find in some Middle Eastern desserts. Adding those flavors into these light, tender butter cookies makes them wonderfully complex and delicious. They make an interesting addition to any holiday cookie platter.

Ghoraibi – Lebanese Butter Cookies
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted plus extra for dipping
2-1/2 tsp. orange flower water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. + 2 Tbsp. flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. granulated sugar
5 mastic crystals

In a mixing bowl combine butter and confectioner’s sugar. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add orange flower water and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. In a spice grinder combine 1 tsp. granulated sugar and mastic crystals. Grind for about 20 seconds until mixture is powdery. Add the powdered mastic to the flour mixture and stir to mix. Add flour mixture into the whipped butter and sugar, by hand, one cup at a time, until dough is well mixed. Form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 3 inch long thin ropes that you can form into a wreath, ribbon or a crescent. You can also roll into marble size balls. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes until set but not brown. Place cookies on rack and let sit 2 minutes then roll in confectioner’s sugar. Let cool completely on rack. Makes 60 cookies.

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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

I have tried various Italian chocolate spice cookie recipes over the years but this one is my favorite so far. The addition of apricot jam was inspired from a New York Times recipe. The cookie is like a little cake; it is soft, moist, yet also reminiscent of a brownie. It has a balanced chocolate flavor with a hint of spice. They are easy to make. The dough is a bit sticky but, since you don’t want to add too much flour, you should flour your hands to roll the cookies.

Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 c. apricot jam
1 c. milk (you can use almond milk)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-1/4 c. flour (you may need a little extra)
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. cocoa powder (I use Callebaut)
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 c. chopped dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios

Glaze
2 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3-4 Tbsp. milk (or almond milk)
1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 drops vanilla extract
multi-colored nonpareils

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl beat shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and mix 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Add apricot jam and milk. Mix well. Add vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and spices. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until blended. Add pistachios. Take a plate and place 1/4 cup of flour in it. Flour your hands and let the excess flour drop into the mixing bowl with dough. Roll the dough into marble size balls. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan half way through baking. Do not overbake. Let cool on rack. Combine the glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth. Place sprinkles in a bowl. Dip cookies in glaze, letting the excess drip off, then dip in the sprinkles. Let dry completely before storing. Unfrosted cookies freeze well. Makes around 100 cookies.

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Canistrelli – Corsican Cookies

Canistrelli have become a new favorite cookie at our house. Each Christmas we receive a bag of these wonderfully addictive treats from my husband’s colleague Anca. She gave me some instructions to make them, but my attempts were never as good as her cookies. Recently, I came across Dorie Greenspan’s canistrelli recipe in her book Baking Chez Moi, so my recipe is adapted from both that book and Anca’s instructions. These cookies are simple, rustic, and dairy free. With just a few strokes of a fork you have an easy-to-handle and full-flavored dough. They can be shaped into diamonds, squares, or circles, and can also be filled with small pieces of Turkish delight.

Canistrelli
1-1/2 c. flour (you may need 1-2 Tbsp extra if the dough is too moist)
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar plus extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
zest of half a medium lemon
1/3 c. white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
1/4 c. olive oil (not extra virgin)
2-1/2 Tbsp. Pastis or other anise flavored liqueur or extract to taste
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine flour, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Stir with a fork to mix. Make a well in the center and add wine, olive oil, Pastis, and vanilla. Use the fork to stir from the center on out until a crumbly mixture begins to form. Transfer dough to a parchment- or silpat-lined surface. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and roll dough out with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the dough into strips, then squares or diamonds. Place cut cookies on baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes until cookies are golden on bottom and top. Cool on rack. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar to serve. Makes 60 cookies.

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Christmas Spice Cookies: German Pfeffernusse and Dutch Speculaas

Here are my favorite recipes for German and Dutch spice cookies. I make the pfeffernusse every year. They are spicy, nutty and so delicious; a good make-ahead cookie as they can be baked several weeks in advance and stored in a tin where the flavor improves with age. The recipe is slightly adapted from The Great Holiday Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. The spiced confectioner’s sugar came from Gourmet Magazine. The Dutch speculaas are one of my daughter’s favorite Christmas cookies to share with friends.

German Pfeffernusse
1 c. unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 c. toasted hazelnuts, finely ground
2-1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger

Spiced Confectioner’s Sugar
1 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and nuts. In a separate bowl combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir well. Slowly add to the wet ingredients to form a somewhat stiff dough. Roll dough into small balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are set and light golden. While the cookies are baking combine all ingredients for the spiced confectioner’s sugar. Mix well. Remove cookies from the oven and set on a rack. While still warm roll pfeffernusse in spiced confectioner’s sugar. Cool on rack completely. Store in a tin for 2-3 weeks. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

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Dutch Speculaas
1 c. unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1-1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp. orange or lemon zest (I prefer orange)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. freshly ground anise seed
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. finely ground toasted almonds

In a mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, citrus zest, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Sift the dry ingredients and spices and slowly add them to the wet ingredients. Add nuts. The dough will be a bit sticky. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several half sheet baking pans with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. Take one half and roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. You may need to sprinkle the dough with a little extra flour. Spray a wooden cookie mold then dip the mold in flour, press mold into the rolled out dough and cut out cookies. Place on baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 8-9 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven. Cool on rack. Store in a tin for up to 1 week or freeze. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

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Italian Raspberry Almond Paste Squares

Years ago, on a trip to Boston’s North End, we stopped at the famous Mike’s Pastry Shop for some cookies and pastries. One of my favorite treats was a raspberry almond paste square. It consisted of a thin shortbread-like base, a layer of orange marmalade, then an almond paste layer with raspberry, and was topped with toasted pine nuts and almonds, a delicious combination and one I wanted to include in my holiday baking repertoire. This is my version of it (the almond paste layer is based on a recipe by Nick Malgieri) and a favorite for the Christmas Eve cookie platter.

Italian Raspberry Almond Paste Squares
Cookie Base
1-1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
pinch of fine salt
5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2/3 c. orange marmalade or apricot jam (for the photo I used apricot)

Almond Filling
1 (8 oz.) can almond paste
1/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. rum emulsion or extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping
3/4 c. Solo brand raspberry filling
3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
1/4 c. unsalted, dry toasted sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 or 10×10 metal pan. Line pan with parchment paper. Begin by making the cookie base. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse in the butter to form coarse crumbs. Add the egg and pulse to just bring the mixture together. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and press into the edges of the pan to make a smooth even base. Spoon the jam on top of the base and smooth out to reach the edges of the pan. For the almond filling: In a food processor pulse together the almond paste and sugar until it is a smooth granular mixture. Transfer the almond paste mixture to a mixing bowl. Add eggs, then butter. Beat well. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Add flour and extracts and beat until smooth. Spread almond paste mixture over the base and smooth out with a spatula. Spoon raspberry filling gently over the almond paste mixture. Run a toothpick through the raspberry filling to swirl it through the almond filling. Sprinkle with pine nuts, then sliced almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through baking. It should be golden and set in the middle. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Lift almond paste squares out of the pan and onto the rack to cool completely before cutting into small squares. Makes 30-40 squares.

Swirled Raspberry Filling

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Nut Topped bars ready for the oven

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Baked Raspberry Almond Paste Bars

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Czech Jam and Nut Christmas Cookies

This recipe is adapted from one I clipped out of the Syracuse Herald newspaper in the early 1990’s. The cookies are buttery, nutty and delicious. You can use whatever jam you have on hand. I used homemade apricot for the photo. My husband looks forward to them as they are some of his favorite cookies.

Czech Jam and Nut Christmas Cookies
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (I prefer pecans)
1 c. apricot, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry or plum jam
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8×8 metal baking pan then line with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. It should take 4-5 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, spices and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add nuts. The cookie dough will be very thick. Divide the dough in half. Pat half into the bottom of the prepared pan, spreading out to the edges. Spoon jam over dough and spread with a spatula. Take pieces of remaining dough and flatten slightly with your hands. Place on top of the jam. Continue fitting pieces of dough on to the jam layer until you have formed a top crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes until light golden. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Store in the refrigerator. Cut into 2 dozen or more squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when ready to serve. Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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Hazelnut Cinnamon Biscotti

It is now December and time to start baking cookies. I make these biscotti often for the holidays. I love the combination of cinnamon, citrus and hazelnuts. They keep for several weeks in a tin or sealed jar.

Hazelnut Cinnamon Biscotti
3-1/2 c. flour
1-2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. lemon or orange zest
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon oil or more to taste
1-1/4 c. toasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two half sheet baking pans with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, lemon zest and cinnamon. Mix well. Add eggs, extracts and cinnamon oil. Mix well. Add hazelnuts. Divide dough into three balls. Roll each ball into a log that is 10-12 inches long. Place on baking sheets. Flatten the logs slightly. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pans for the oven. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes. Transfer logs to a cutting board and cut into diagonal slices. Return slices to the cookie sheets and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and cool on racks. The biscotti will crisp as they cool. Makes 4 dozen.

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Dutch Apple Pie

One last recipe before the rush of Thanksgiving preparation begins. When I was growing up we often had Dutch apple pie on our Thanksgiving dessert table. It was one of my father’s favorites and mine too because we liked the buttery crumb topping. If I am making an apple dessert for the holiday this is the recipe I use most often. It is best served the day you bake it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pie Crust
3 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 c. lard, room temperature (not cold)
1/2 c. (or a little less) ice cold water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine flour and salt. Mix. Cut lard into flour and with your hands form pea-size crumbs. Make a well in the center and add just under 1/2 c. ice water. Gently and carefully work the dough into a ball with your hands. Just bring dough together; do not overwork because you want to see lard marbling the dough as you roll it out on a lightly floured surface (roughly 1/8″ thick). Fit dough into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. (You will have enough pie dough for a second pie or save for another use.) Add apple filling and trim the edges. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes until filling is bubbling up from the crumb mixture and the apples are fork tender. Cool on rack. Store covered at room temperature. Serves 8.

Apple Filling
6-1/2 c. peeled and sliced apples (6-8 apples)
2/3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. kosher salt

In a large bowl combine apples, sugar and lemon juice. Stir well. Add flour, spices and salt. Mix well. Pour into prepared pie shell.

Crumb Topping
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
5 Tbsp. cold butter or margarine, diced

Combine flour and sugar. Mix. Add spices and salt. Mix again. Cut in the butter and mix to form coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of apple filling.

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Brined and Roasted Turkey and Porcini Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

The brining of the turkey I leave to the men in my family; my job is to roast the bird after brining. This brine recipe is slightly adapted from the New York Times. We make the brine the Monday of Thanksgiving week. Let it chill overnight, then immerse the turkey and let it brine for 48 hours, removing it from the brine on Thanksgiving morning when you rinse and then roast it. The turkey is always moist and flavorful.

Brined and Roasted Turkey
1 (14-16 lb.) turkey
Brine
2 gallons water
3/4 c + 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
1/4 c. diced celery
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
1 Tbsp. mixed peppercorns
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
2 dried red chili peppers
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 star anise
1 tsp. dried thyme

Aromatics for the Turkey
1/2 large onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 large lemon, sliced
1/4 apple or Asian pear
2 fresh bay leaves
handful of fresh herbs – sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted
sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder, sweet paprika

On Monday: Prepare the brine by bringing 1 gallon of the water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add salt and sugar, then stir to dissolve. Add vegetables, herbs, and spices. Stir to mix. Add 1 more gallon of water. Stir to mix. Refrigerate overnight until cold.

On Tuesday: Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavity and set them aside for stock. Transfer brine to a 21-quart pot, 5-gallon bucket, or other large plastic container. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cavity side up. If necessary add a bit more water to submerge the bird. Cover with a lid. Place in the refrigerator for 48 hours, stirring occasionally.

On Thursday (Thanksgiving morning): Remove turkey from brine, then rinse the turkey. Place it on a rack inside a roasting pan. Let sit at room temperature for at least one hour.

Roasting the Turkey: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Insert the onion, lemon, apple or Asian pear, and the fresh herbs into the turkey cavity. Brush the outside skin with butter, and season with a generous sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder, and a bit of sweet paprika. Roast for 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for another 2 hours or until the deepest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees using an instant read thermometer.

The porcini mushroom potatoes are a nice variation on the mashed potato theme, delicious along side the Thanksgiving turkey, or steak, or even chicken cutlets. They can also be used as a filling for pierogies, knishes, and savory pies.

Porcini Mushroom Mashed Potatoes
14 medium to large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
9 Tbsp. salted butter, diced and at room temperature
3/4-1 c. milk, warmed
1/4 c. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a 6 quart stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add two teaspoons of kosher salt and let boil for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. While the potatoes are boiling you will need to rehydrate the mushrooms. Do this by placing the porcinis in a bowl. Cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let sit 5-10 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Once they are softened drain and chop porcinis. Drain potatoes and let sit for 1 minute, then return potatoes to the stockpot and let them dry on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan. Transfer dried-out potatoes to a mixing bowl. Add softened butter and milk. Beat on low speed for 20 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix again. Add chopped mushrooms and parsley. Mix until they are just incorporated. Serves 8.

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