JACKSON, Miss. – Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and our mouths are already watering thinking about the delicious food we will share with family and friends. Executive Chef Matthew Kajdan of Estelle Wine Bar and Bistro at The Westin Jackson has put together his three favorite recipes –Andouille and Cornbread Stuffing, Baked Mac and Cheese, and Cranberry Sauce– for guests to enjoy on Thanksgiving this year. To sweeten up the holiday even more, Estelle will also be offering take-home desserts to finish off the holiday meal. Desserts must be ordered 48 hours in advance and will be available for pick up on Thanksgiving Thursday, November 23rd. Orders can be placed by calling 769-235-8400. Desserts include:
Pecan pie (8 slices) $25
Sweet potato pie (8 slices) $25
Red velvet cake with black walnut icing (12 slices) $45
Yellow cake with chocolate icing (12 slices) $45
Pre-baked pans of cinnamon rolls (6) $30
Andouille and Cornbread Stuffing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound andouille sausage links, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick (about 3 cups)
8 cups onions, chopped, divided
5 cups celery, chopped, divided
3 cups mixed red, yellow, and/or green bell pepper, chopped, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
Green onion jalapeño cornbread
1/4 cup (half stick) butter, melted
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until browned, about 6 minutes. Add 6 cups onions, 4 cups celery, and 2 cups bell peppers; sauté until vegetables are brown, about 20 minutes. Add remaining onions, celery, and bell peppers, then thyme and cayenne; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 15-by-10-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup broth in medium bowl. Crumble cornbread into very large bowl. Add vegetable and egg-broth mixtures; toss. Mix in more broth by 1/4 cup fulls if dressing is dry. Transfer dressing to prepared dish. Drizzle with butter.
Bake dressing uncovered until golden brown and slightly crisp on top, about 45 minutes.
Baked Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni shells or cavatappi
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (not skim)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheese (Sharp cheddar, Swiss, or any other preferred cheese)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to a boil; add generous sprinkling of salt to the pasta. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a skillet or a pot large enough to hold the pasta when it's done. Add the flour and stir over medium heat until the mixture is lightly browned; 1 to 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk to remove any lumps and add the salt and pepper.
Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cheese and whisk until smooth and melted. Turn off the heat.
When the pasta is almost done but still firm, drain it and add to the sauce. Stir the pasta into the sauce and bake in a greased 2-quart dish (or an 8-by-8 pan) for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.
You can also skip baking it if you want it super creamy and just put it under the broiler to brown the top.
12 ounces fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon loosely packed orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 stick cinnamon
Pick through the cranberries and discard any that look shriveled or mushy. Rinse the remaining cranberries well, then place them in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and cinnamon stick. Give it a stir, then place the pan over medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture every 5 minutes to ensure the bottom doesn't burn.
After 15 minutes, the cranberries should all be popped. Remove the pan from the heat, and remove the lid. The sauce will look very liquidy, but as it cools, the sauce will thicken up significantly. After the sauce has cooled completely, you may add additional water if you desire a thinner texture. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve the cranberry sauce at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
Note: Cranberry sauce can be made 2–3 days ahead of time before serving.