Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Simple Thanksgiving Meal for Two

When it is just the two of you it is easy enough to scrap a homemade Thanksgiving and head out to a restaurant - especially when you live outside the U.S. My husband and I already celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving at his parents house in October, but I still need my American Thanksgiving although we can't be with my side of the family this year. Holiday flights are prohibitive - even with THREE layovers!

So even though being with my family is not on the menu this holiday, I didn't forgo the turkey dinner. Ours has an Italian edge and it is very easy to prepare. This is the Thanksgiving meal for those of you with only a few hours to spare, those who don't have enough people coming over to warrant a huge feast and those who don't want to eat turkey dinner leftovers for days. Drinks and dessert are up to you. We are having lambrusco and pumpkin cheesecake from the bakery.

Note: I am posting a day early this week to give you time to do your grocery shopping before the official American Turkey Day. 

Cranberry sauce
2 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dark agave nectar
2 teaspoons arrowroot

Combine cranberries, water, agave and arrowroot in a small pot and bring to a boil. When the cranberries begin to burst remove from the heat. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Serve at room temperature.

Turkey breast
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless turkey breast
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash and pat dry the turkey breast. Season both sides of the breast with Italian seasoning. In an oven-safe skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown both sides of the turkey breast (about 3-4 minutes each side). Finishing cooking in the oven for 20 minutes or until the temperature reaches 170°F. Salt the breast and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Green beans with pancetta
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pancetta, diced

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Steam green beans for 5 minutes. Set aside. Over medium-high heat, sauté pancetta with onions for about 2 minutes in the same pot. Add green beans back to the pot to combine with the pancetta and onion.

Buttermilk sweet potatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Steam sweet potatoes for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain excess water and remove steamer basket. Add butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Combine until smooth with a potato masher.

Salad with balsamic
3 cups mixed baby lettuce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

To plate: 1 1/2 cups of lettuce per person. Grate cheese over lettuce in the amount you prefer. Drizzle 1 teaspoon vinegar over lettuce per person.

Serves 2 with minimal leftovers.

© 2009 Madame Monaco All Rights Reserved



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  2. Your Thanksgiving dinner for two sounds yummy. Why didn't you ever cook for us during the holidays when the family got together?

    Aunt Deb

  3. Thanks Aunt Debbie! - Dad would have disowned me if he had to forgo Grandma's brown sugar ham and beautiful meringue pies.

  4. Restaurant? We're coming over to your place. lol