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Central Coast Living: Local chef dishes tips to make a successful Thanksgiving meal

Posted: 7:47 AM, Nov 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-22 10:47:55-05
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In this week's Central Coast Living, we help prepare you for Thanksgiving dinner. A local culinary school, taught by a renowned chef is making sure you avoid some easy pitfalls, and take some stress out of the day.

Over at Central Coast Culinary, you'll find chef Debbie Duggan teaching the craft of cooking.

This lesson -- making a successful, delicious turkey day dinner.

Central Coast Living: Local chef dishes up tips for your Thanksgiving meal

"It can be done in a day, but it can be done over a period of two or three days."

Duggan has a number of easy to remember tips:

- Do you shopping Sunday or Monday

- When it comes to green beans, aim for fresh or frozen

- Look for organic Yukon gold or red potatoes and estimate a serving size of a quarter of a pound per person

- Don't focus too much on appetizers

- Stay away from raw veggies and nuts -- you don't want to fill up your guests before the big meal

- Be bold, try a new recipe, but also keep the classics

- As for turkeys, look for organic

- If frozen, start the thawing process a few days in advace

- Cook the turkey at 325 to avoid drying them out, ensuring you keep the juices for the gravy (stuffed turkeys will take longer to cook)

Follow these tips and your meal will be a hit for your guests.

"The premise of Central Coast Culinary is to take all of the intimidation out of cooking," Duggan said. She says there are no recipes you can't do yourself.

Upcoming classes will focus on dishes perfect for the December holidays. You can learn more about signing up here .

For now, remember what Thanksgiving is all about when you gather around the table.

"It's such a great time to include people that maybe they've lost someone and don't have anywhere to go," Duggan said.

Big Jim's Favorite Stuffing
-2 loafs of day old break (white, buttermild or egg)
-3 sweet yellow onions, chopped
-3 sweet yellow onions, chopped
-2 pounds Farmer John Pork Sausage or any pork/pork apple sausage you prefer
-2 tablespoons of dried sage
-2 tablespoons of dried thyme
-2 tablespoons of dried thyme
-2 sweet tart apples, peeled and grated
-1 cooked skinless large yam, chopped finely
-1 cup dried cherries, golden raisins, dried apricots or Craisins Apple Juice to moisten stuffing or Port wine--mixture of both
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Tear bread into bite size pieces into a large bowl. Set aside. In a large frying pan, add sausage, onions, celery, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Cook slowly making sure onions and celery are tender and sausage is cooked. Do not cook over high heat as it will overcook the sausage and make it too dry and hard. While this is cooking peal apple and grate into bread, add yam, toasted pecans and dried fruit. Add sausage mixture and blend well. Add apple juice to desired consistency.

If you are putting stuffing inside turkey, keep it a bit drier but if stuffing is going to bake in over, place it in a greased pan and bake in 350 degree oven, covered for 45 minutes. It will make enough stuffing for 15 to 20 pound turkey. Can be made one day ahead and put in refrigerator. Serves 10.