I thought I’d take a few minutes to share the Thanksgiving recipes I’ll be using this year since I happen to actually be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, ON THE DAY, at our new place.
So! Much! Fun!
Also? A TWENTY POUND BIRD, courtesy of my in-laws who earned a freebie at their local grocery store. This particular bird was frozen, so I’m not going to brine it (although I will try Alton Brown’s recipe one day) since I’ve heard it can make the bird too salty. Apparently when they freeze birds they often inject them with a solution first, and I’m guessing that solution must have sodium in it. Maybe it actually doesn’t, but I’m not taking chances.
So, back to the menu!
I’ve made some of these recipes for years. Others are brand new to me, which I find both challenging and fun! There are a few simpletons like steamed corn (a veggie everyone at the table will eat), and a few that are more challenging (did I mention a 20 pound bird?). So, in no particular order, let’s take a look at the upcoming spread!
My 2014 Thanksgiving Recipes
1. Mashed Potatoes
There’s no substitute in my book for a bowl of creamy, steamy mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. Whether it’s a means to corral gravy, or part of the perfect collaborative turkey-potatoes-dressing-cranberries bite, they are perfection. My go-to recipe is pretty simple, with only milk, butter, salt and pepper added in. I use a hand-held mixer (travesty to the potato ricer people, I know), and they turn out creamy every time. This year, however, I’m not making them – my mother-in-law graciously offered to make hers, which are made ahead and then reheated in a casserole. Works for me!
2. Alton Brown’s Cranberry Sauce (only better)
We’re not having the canned gel over here; it’s the real deal! I was about to make Alton Brown’s recipe (which includes oranges and honey), until a Google search stumbled me upon this other recipe that claims to be Alton Brown’s cranberry sauce (only better). Huh. We shall see!
3. Pioneer Woman’s Cornbread Dressing
If there’s anyone that I believe can make a killer Thanksgiving dressing (which is baked in its own casserole, versus a stuffing which is cooked inside the bird) it’s Ree Drummond herself. Her cornbread dressing starts with homemade cornbread made in a cast iron skillet. How can you go wrong?
4. Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving Pioneer-Style Herb Roasted Turkey
As mentioned above, I’m starting with a thawed frozen turkey, which means brining could be risky (otherwise, I’d be making Alton’s Good Eats recipe). So instead I’m making Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving pioneer-style herb roasted turkey, which starts with a super hot oven and includes beautiful aromatics stuffed inside the bird. He recommends basting the bird every 15 minutes after the heat’s been reduced, but Alton says NEVER open the oven door while the turkey’s roasting – no need to baste. I haven’t decided which way to go yet….
5. Steamed Corn
It’s simple. It’s also the only vegetable universally eaten by all my Thanksgiving guests. That is all.
6. Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Pie
My in-laws will be joining us for dinner and they’re both diabetic. This diabetic friendly version of a traditional pumpkin pie uses stevia instead of sugar or other chemical sugar substitutes, and they love it.
7. Bobby Flay’s Sage Gravy
Bobby Flay includes his recipe for sage gravy with the recipe for Thanksgiving Pioneer-Style Herb Roasted Turkey, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. There’s nothing like piping hot homemade gravy!
8. Simple Oyster Casserole
I’ve made this simple oyster casserole for Thanksgiving for over a decade now, and it’s a favorite on both sides of our family. The hardest part about pulling it together is making sure the grocery store (or local fish market) has pints of oysters in stock!
9. Apple Pie
In addition to the pumpkin pie, I’ll be making an apple pie because it’s my husband’s favorite. This Honey Cardamom Chunky Apple Pie is soooo good if you’re looking for a twist on the classic. A reader has been making it with cubes of caramel mixed in and said it’s out of this world.
There are also a few other extras coming by way of my mother-in-law that I’m not responsible for: sauerkraut (a classic Thanksgiving addition from her childhood), pickles and rolls to round everything out.
What’s your Thanksgiving menu look like?