DJ’s RIVER ROAD ENTREES (& W*n RARE Cookbook)

We’re taking a couple of weeks off from the book club (there’s a revised book club schedule in the righthand column), so today I have a River Road-related food post and an ah-maze-ing giveaway!

First, today, if you’ll look at the top of the righthand column, you’ll see a questionnaire. I hope you’ll take a quick minute to fill it out–it’s completely anonymous so I won’t know who you are. I’m looking at what people do and don’t like about this blog, things I might want to overhaul come the new year, things you’d like to see more of and less of, etc. Your input will be appreciated!
Now, here are today’s stops on the River Roadbook tour. There are prizes galore—check the column at the right for Tour Prizes. Today, you can find me at:
*** There are promos only today at Sapphyria’s Book Reviews and at Blooding Book Reviews. You can leave a comment at these for entries in today’s mystery book giveaway and also to be entered in one of two tour-wide $25 gift cards to your bookseller of choice.

There WILL  be a tour stop on Thanksgiving Day, and each day through the weekend–tomorrow, DJ’s going to be dishing on her guys at All Things Urban Fantasy, so stop by for the URL.
So, the idea for today’s blog (and tomorrow’s) was DJ’s Holiday Cookbook. But if you’ve read either of the Sentinels books, you know that DJ’s idea of cooking is reheating pizza leftovers. She does like to eat, though!
So, instead, I called up her grandmother and got Gran’s recipes for DJ’s favorite holiday foods. DJ ends up going to Gran’s house in Winfield, Alabama, for major holidays most of the time, so here’s what’s usually on the menu.
FRIED TURKEY. Okay, DJ’s biological father is in charge of the turkey. He uses a big needle and injects it with seasonings and then fries it whole (very carefully) in peanut oil. The skin gets crisp, the seasonings sink into the meat. It’s juicy. It’s good. Yum. You’ll never want another dry baked bird.
CORNBREAD DRESSING
Forget that Yankee stuffing. In New Orleans, folks like oyster dressing and it’s some tasty stuff. But here’s the classic DJ grew up eating:
6 cups crumbled cornbread (self-rising white cornmeal, buttermilk, and oil. No flour or sugar.)
3 cups soft bread crumbs (loaf bread is fine, or leftover French bread)
4 oz. butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
3-4 cups chicken broth
2-3 cups baked chicken, shredded
4-5 Tbsp dried sage (note: Gran goes heavy on the sage because DJ really likes sage. You might want to start with a quarter this amount and add to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 Tbsp black pepper (again, DJ likes it hot, so you might start with a quarter of this and add to taste)
Heat oven to 400. Combine breads in large bowl. Saute (don’t brown) onions and celery until tender, and add to bread. Stir in chicken and seasonings. Add broth, just enough to moisten well and until it has a thick, slightly soupy consistency. Add spices and eggs, blending well. Spread in a shallow baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until set. Don’t let it dry out; add more broth on top if it appears to be drying out.
SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
½ cup melted butter
Combine ingredients and pour into a buttered casserole dish. Mix together: ½ cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup melted butter, and 1 cup chopped pecans. Spread mixture on top of potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until browned.
CRANBERRY RELISH
Goes great with sage-heavy cornbread dressing!
3 cups whole cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. orange zest
½ cup water.
Place ingredients in saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until cranberries pop (about five minutes). Let cool and serve.
The obligatory side dishes. Usually mashed potatoes because the kids in the family won’t eat dressing, and a green bean casserole or steamed broccoli, as a halfhearted nod toward something green.
COMING TOMORROW: DESSERTS!
Now. Today’s and tomorrow’s commenters will be put in a pool (you can comment each day) to win a special USED book because this baby is out of print. It’s called ANTOINE’S COOKBOOK, and was published by fifth-generation restaurant owner Roy F. Guste Jr. and features a history of the restaurant and of original owner Antoine Alciatore, plus many of Antoine’s original recipes. If you’ve read RIVER ROAD, you’ll know that the original Antoine’s (circa 1850) has an important scene in the book, and I managed to snag a copy of this book and used it to decide what the characters would eat, cooked by Antoine himself.

Just leave a comment (no hoop-jumping—another thing for which to be thankful) and tell your favorite Thanksgiving food if in the US; if outside the US…your favorite special-occasion food!

26 thoughts on “DJ’s RIVER ROAD ENTREES (& W*n RARE Cookbook)

  1. Great recipes, thanks to D.J. grandmother. Favorite food today turkey with all the usual stuff, tomorrow turkey sandwiches, Friday turkey a-la-king. I like turkey.

  2. ^^Christmas eve with a une dinde sauce au airelles avec croquettes de pommes de terre ( en entrée: potage au poulet) and of course dessert: la bûche de noël ( moka- vanille in icecream- not praliné i’m alergic)

    ^^ typical of christmas since we don’t celebrate thanksgiving

    • That sounds really good, Miki. So the potatoes are in the chicken stew or soup? And la bûche de noël sounds amazing. I would like the praline, since I’m fortunately not allergic. (Only to cats!)

    • none of these, the “croquettes” are a variation of the french frites if you want

      La bûche de noel can be done in patisserie too it’s more traditional in a way, for the one in ice cream you have praliné vanille or moka vanille or strawberry vanille but also some with sorbet framboise cassis, or one in sorbet citron/pomme etc ( more expensive too^^)

  3. I use that same recipe for my sweet potato casserole 🙂 Love that stuff! My favotite Thanksgiving food would be the turkey with stuffing. I especially like the turkey the next day on bread with mayo…yummy. I also love cook books. I so could not cook with out them. Thanks for the giveaway.
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  4. My favorite food on Thanksgiving is the stuffing that is cooked inside of the turkey! It is always the first thing that goes at our house. Thanks so much for these recipes…I will definitely be adding them to my cook book. Have a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fried turkey! I do love a great cranberry relish. AND, my special treat at Thanksgiving is rutabaga. It’s not Thanksgiving for me without rutabaga!
    GFC: Catherine
    Twitter: @capefearlibn

    • Fried turkey is great (but dangerous if you don’t know how to do it–I let my nephews do the work). Um…you know, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten rutabaga. I don’t have any idea what it tastes like!

  6. LAWD!!! I dunno how you got your hands on that book but I’d LOVE it!! I know I’m native but I love to cook so I’ll send a little love to the cosmos to win lol and yes I love the scene at Antoine’s in River Road 🙂

    I follow the blog, and by twitter 🙂

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