Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Thanksgiving Special
Volume 5 No. 315 November 24, 2015
II. Recipes

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Foolproof Whole Turkey
When a whole turkey is done, the leg joint moves freely when the drumstick is rotated, and the juices run clear when a knife is inserted into the deepest part of the leg joint. The turkey needs to cook longer if you see any tinge of pink in the juices.

When your turkey is done, move it to a warmed platter, cover it loosely with foil and let it stand for 15–20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to settle and makes slicing easier. Use the following timetable to approximate the roasting time for your fresh or thawed whole turkey.

Roasting Time Chart

Recommended Whole-Turkey Roasting Times
(Fresh or Thawed) at 325° F (160 deg C)

6-8 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 2 3/4 - 3
8-12 2 3/4 - 3 3 - 3 1/2
12-14 3 - 3 3/4 3 1/2 - 4
14-18 3 3/4 - 4 1/4 4 - 4 1/4
18-20 4 1/4 - 4 1/2 4 1/4 - 4 3/4
20-24 4 1/2 - 5 4 3/4 - 5 1/4
24-28 5 - 5 1/2 5 1/4 - 5 3/4

Cook stuffing to an internal (center of stuffing) temperature of 165° F (75 deg C)

How to Use a Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge whether or not your turkey is done – from both a quality and safety perspective. Insert thermometer into thickest part of the breast until it touches bone and pull back 1-inch. You can also test temperature in the thigh. This chart gives you done temperatures for turkey.

Internal Temperature for Cooked Turkey

Breast 170° F (77 deg C)
Thigh (in the inner thigh, near breast) 180° F (82 deg C)

Gravy Directions:

This guide to the perfect turkey gravy will have your family asking for more.

1. First, loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the turkey roasting pan.

2. Next, pour the reserved turkey juices through a colander.

3. Then, pour the juice into a separate container. After a few minutes, the fat will start to separate.

4. Skim 4 tablespoons of fat from the top and place into a pan on medium heat.

5. Add 4 tablespoons of flour to the pan. This will create a roux, which will be used to thicken your gravy.

6. Stir thoroughly to remove all lumps. The roux should be a paste consistency. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, this will help remove any starch flavor.

7. Next, slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups of chicken broth (or turkey broth if available).

8. Continue stirring.

9. Add remaining reserved turkey juice and cook until simmering. You may add more chicken broth to adjust the consistency of the gravy to your liking.

10. You may add salt, pepper and fresh herbs to taste.

11. You are now ready to pour the gravy into a serving dish of your choice.

Source: Marcs

Turkey Stuffing

5 pounds ground meat (round, sirloin or ground chuck)
5 - 6 large stalks of celery, tops included
4 large apples 2 large onions
5 pieces of toast
1 egg per pound of meat
Garlic salt


Put celery, apples, onions, eggs and toast through the food processor, mix into the meat and spices to taste.

Brown the mixture in a large kettle on medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Drain off any grease as it accumulates in the pan.

Let cool, refrigerate overnight.

Stuff the turkey just before cooking.

This will stuff a 20 pound turkey with dressing left over.

Note: Any leftover stuffing can be heated in a casserole dish. This makes great sandwiches with gravy.

Source: WVIZ/TV Carole Kmetz, Parma, Ohio

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

by John Boehner, Former Speaker, House of Representatives, USA

What's not to love about Thanksgiving? It's a time to gather together, catch up with our loved ones, and of course, try to impress them with our cooking skills.

If, like me, you're responsible for the turkey, then you've probably got some special ingredient or some way you make it that you've perfected. For me, it's brining the turkey. From my kitchen at home in West Chester, Ohio, you can see exactly what I mean.

If you end up giving this a try, let me know how it goes. As for side dishes, I'd recommend my grandmother's creamed spinach. You can't beat it.

No matter what you make, or how you make it, Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. This is the day our forefathers set aside to reflect on how blessed we are to live in this great nation under God. It's a beautiful thing.

The Boehner Brine


8 quarts water
6 bay leaves
2 cups Kosher salt
3 tbsp peppercorns
1 head of garlic
16 oz pure maple syrup


Bring the brine close to a boil, then let it cool.

Put a bag in a five-gallon bucket.

Wash the turkey and remove the insides. Put the turkey in the bucket. Pour the brine over to cover the turkey. Keep the turkey submerged.

Let it stand overnight in the refrigerator or outside if it is cool enough.

After 24 hours, take it out and rinse it off.

At that point, it's ready to be cooked.

Directions for Roasting the Turkey:

Follow the cooking directions on the Turkey

(If using ovens use 325 deg F or 160 deg C. Cook till the internal temperature reads 170 deg F or 75 deg C)

Speaker Boehner recommends cooking till the inside temperature reaches 160 deg F or 70 deg C.

First bake or roast with the breast side down for the 50% of the total cooking time.

Turn it over and bake it through.

Take out the Turkey and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it site for another 1 hour (Resting time.)


Turkey Wraps
This is a great recipe to try. It is healthy as well as delicious. If you do not have time to cook a traditional Turkey for thanksgiving, this could be a good substitute. You can adapt the recipe to use left over turkey from your thanksgiving meals too!


Ground Turkey (I used 35 oz.–16 oz. Honeysuckle White ground turkey in a tube and 19 oz. fresh ground Honeysuckle White, extra lean)

Onions diced – 2 small (Use less, if you don't like onions)

Bolderdash Spice 4 to 5 teaspoons, depending on your taste. This does not have salt, so it doesn't hurt to use extra.

Grated Cheese (optional)

Iceberg lettuce leaves

Olive Oil (about 1 tablespoon)


Put Olive Oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onions, and brown. Add turkey meat, and Bolderdash seasoning to cooked onions and cook thoroughly. The turkey meat was so lean there was nothing to drain after it was done cooking.

Wash iceberg lettuce leaves and put between paper towels to dry.

Take individual iceberg lettuce leaves (if you want, you can add finely grated cheese to the center of the lettuce leaves), put the turkey on the lettuce leaf (on top of the cheese if you opt for cheese). Fold the top and the bottom of the iceberg lettuce leaf over the cooked turkey. Roll the lettuce up, and voila…you have Turkey Rolls.

Source: Sherman Provision Blog

Roasted Spicy Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons salted butter
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 deg C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a microwave safe medium size bowl, melt the butter for 30 seconds in the microwave.
Add in the lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper.
Stir to combine.
Add in the pumpkin seeds and toss so all the seeds are evenly coated.

Spread the seeds out in an even layer on the baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, stirring the seeds halfway thru.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.

Will keep in an airtight container for 10 days.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 deg C).

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together sweet potatoes, pineapple, oil, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt.

Roast until sweet potatoes and pineapple are tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon salt


Place potatoes in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Bake at 400° for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, cherries, parsley and potatoes. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, lime peel and salt. Pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.

Prep Time: 20min
Cook Time: 30min
Yield: 6 Servings

Source: Sams Club

Butternut Squash Soup Shooters
Shot-sized soup servings to tide you over until dinner.


3 ¾ cups Chicken Broth
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
¼ teaspoon Iodized Salt
¼ teaspoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Spiced Cream Topping:
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg


In a stock pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add garlic, onion, potato, butternut squash and boil for 15 minutes or until fork tender.

Strain vegetables and reserve 1 ½ cups of stock.

Using a blender, puree the vegetables. Slowly add reserved stock to reach a soup consistency. Add sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.

For the spiced cream:

In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, mix for another 10 seconds.

Pour soup into shot glasses and top each shooter with a dollop of cream.

TIP: This recipe can be made into a soup course for a sit-down dinner or served as an appetizer.

Nutritional Information per Shooter:

Calories: 60
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Sodium: 200mg
Carbohydrates: 5g
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Sugar: 2g
Protein: 0g


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 20 shooters

Recipe Courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

Avocado Cheesecakes with Spicy Tomato Chutney
Delicious and festive-looking.



Cooking Spray
1/4 cup French Fried Onions, crushed
3/4 cup Corn Chips, crushed
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted


8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 avocado, cored, peeled and mashed

Tomato Chutney:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon Iodized Salt
1/4 cup White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Pure Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
28 ounces Whole Tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved and diced


Preheat oven to 400°F (200 deg C).

Coat a 24-count mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine the onions, corn chips, cheese and butter in a medium bowl. Press 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mixture in the bottom and sides of the muffin pan. Press down. Bake for 3 minutes. Cool completely. Lower oven temperature to 300°.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the egg, beating until well combined. Add the cilantro, lime juice, sour cream and avocado. Mix until smooth.

Place approximately 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Bake at 300° for 12-15 minutes (or until the centers are just set). Let cool completely and remove from pan.

While the cheesecakes are cooling, make the tomato chutney. In a saucepan, combine the garlic, salt, vinegar, sugar, oil, cumin and jalapeño with the diced tomatoes and the reserved liquid. Simmer until reduced and thickened (20-30 minutes). Cool until room temperature.

Invert cheesecakes so that the crust is on top and place a small amount of chutney on each appetizer. (Save the remaining chutney to serve with leftover chicken or turkey, if desired.)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 24

Recipe courtesy of Chef Stacey, ALDI Test Kitchen

Fruited Punch
Freshly squeezed orange juice delivers a natural, full-flavored deliciousness to this guest-worthy drink.


1 1/2 cup(s) sugar or equivalent Stevia
1 1/2 cup(s) water
3 cup(s) strong brewed tea, chilled
3 cup(s) orange juice, chilled
3 cup(s) unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1/2 cup(s) lemon juice, chilled
3 cup(s) thinly sliced fresh strawberries
2 liters ginger ale, chilled


In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove
from the heat; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In a punch bowl, combine the tea, juices and sugar mixture. Stir in strawberries. Just before serving, stir in
ginger ale.

Yield: 26 Servings

Prep Time: 20min
Cook Time: 10min

Source: Sams Club

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