A Mouthfools Thanksgiving
Alton Brown Brined Turkey: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html
Creamy Turkey Gravy: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/homemade-gravy-recipe/index.html
Shrimp, Mirliton, and Cornbread Dressing:
2 quarts diced unpeeled mirliton (substitute peeled, seeded zucchini if absolutely necessary)
½ cup salad oil
1 cup onion
½ cup celery
½ cup bell pepper
3 tablespoons garlic
3 pounds whole head on shrimp
1 quart chicken stock
1 batch cornbread (recipe below)
1 bunch parsley chopped
2 bunches green onion chopped
3 whole eggs
1 ½ cup shredded grana padano cheese
MAKE AHEAD – CORNBREAD: Pre-heat a buttered cast iron pan in a 375 degree oven. In a large bowl, mix: 1 cup flour, 1.5 cups cornmeal, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ½ tablespoon salt. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup buttermilk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Carefully pour mixture into hot cast iron pan, place back in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a tester or tooth pick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare Creole seasoning: Mix 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons paprika, 3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
Peel and roughly chop the shrimp, reserving the shells and heads.
In a small stock pot, sear the shells and heads over high heat until starting to color. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, then strain and reserve the stock.
In a large flat pan (sauteuse pan), heat the salad oil over high heat and sear the mirleton until browned. Remove the mirleton with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel.
Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, pepper and celery to the pan with the salad oil and sauté 5-7 minutes until tender.
Add the garlic, spice mix and shrimp to the pan and cook 3-5 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Add the reserved shrimp stock and bring to a boil, then turn off heat.
Lightly beat the eggs and, while still stirring, slowly add a ladle-full of the hot liquid from the pan to temper the eggs (do not scramble).
Crumble the cornbread into acorn-sized pieces and add to the pan, along with the merliton, parsley, green onion, and tempered eggs. Mix well.
Pour the full mixture into a buttered casserole dish. Smooth out the mixture and cover with the cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is browned, approximately 30 minutes.