Planning Thanksgiving for two

Portions don't have to be huge

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Although Thanksgiving is most often associated with a large gathering of friends and family, there's nothing wrong with a more intimate two-person feast. Here are some suggestions for dishes for the main course, a few sides, and two tasty desserts.

Cornish game hens for two

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Cornish game hen (20 to 24 ounces), split lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients; sprinkle over hen halves.
  2. In a small skillet, cook hen halves over medium-high heat in oil until browned on both sides.
  3. Transfer to an ungreased 11x7-inch baking dish; set aside and keep warm.
  4. In the same skillet, saute green onion and garlic until tender.
  5. Stir in broth and orange juice concentrate; pour over hen halves.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until meat is tender and juices run clear.
  7. To serve, drizzle with pan juices and sprinkle with almonds and parsley.

Turkey and stuffing for two

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 (3- to 4-ounce) skinless turkey breast cutlets
  • 4 slices stale whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add shallot and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, stir in sage and thyme; let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy skillet until 8 to 10 inches wide and less than 1/4 inch thick. Be careful not to tear the meat. Remove the top sheet.
  6. Add bread to the celery mixture; stir in 2 tablespoons broth, salt and pepper.
  7. Place half the stuffing mixture in the middle of one of the pounded cutlets; compress the stuffing into a log.
  8. Fold and roll the meat over the stuffing. Tie in three places with kitchen string.
  9. Repeat with the remaining stuffing and the second cutlet.
  10. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
  11. When the butter melts, add the turkey rolls and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes.
  12. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the turkey is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  13. Transfer the rolls to a serving plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  14. Return the skillet to medium-high heat (take care, the handle will still be hot); add vermouth (or wine).
  15. Cook until dark and almost completely evaporated, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 minutes.
  16. Add the remaining 1/4 cup broth; cook for 1 minute, just to reduce slightly.
  17. Remove the string from the turkey; cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, if desired, and spoon half the sauce over each portion. Serve warm.

Waldorf salad for two

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, sliced almonds or pecan pieces, toasted
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large crisp apples, such as Gala, cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery (with leaves), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (leaves chopped)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions:

  1. Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, nutmeg, honey and lemon zest in a large bowl and season generously with pepper.
  2. Add the apples, celery and raisins to the bowl, and sprinkle with the lemon juice; then toss with the dressing.
  3. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Corn pudding for two

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears corn, kernels scraped from cob
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle. Butter a small shallow baking dish.
  2. Pulse half of the corn in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the herbs, flour, sugar, salt and remaining corn.
  4. Whisk together milk and egg and add to bowl with the corn; atir until just combined.
  5. Pour into baking dish and bake until the center is just set, about 30-35 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Gingered sweet potato mash for two

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Place potato in a small saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender and drain.
  3. In a small bowl, mash potato with remaining ingredients. Serve warm.

Autumn fruit crisp for two

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pear, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Dash ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place prepared apple and pear in an ungreased 2-cup baking dish; sprinkle with dried cranberries and lemon juice.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, oats, butter and cinnamon; sprinkle over fruit.
  3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until apple and pear are tender.
  5. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Chocolate souffle for two

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Coat 2 cup-sized ramekins with cooking spray and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.
  3. Combine water and next 5 ingredients (water through egg yolk) in the top of a double boiler.
  4. Cook over simmering water until thick (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk.
  5. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
  6. Beat egg white and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
  9. Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and set.
  11. Sprinkle each soufflé with 1 teaspoon powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

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