The Annual Thanksgiving Menu thread archived

(is that a thing? I'm making it one!)

Post your menus here!! We're hosting as usual, and I'd love some new ideas to spice things up. A few of our family standards will always be included:

Smoked turkey
Baked ham
Mushroom risotto
Mashed potatoes
Cranberry sauce - jellied from the can (it's required!)

But not sure about the other sides. I tend to do something green, something squash-y or sweet potato-y, a dressing, and then whatever else strikes my fancy.

I have an interesting balance of dietary concerns: a few are gluten-free, several are vegetarian, and several others are raging carnivores. So I tend to try to keep most sides gluten-free and veggie for my own sanity. But I also like to do a wide variety so there's something for every taste.

I tend to do a cornbread-based dressing, since that's easy to do GF, but I'd love a new recipe. In the past I've tried some with some sweetness, like apples and cranberries, that are delicious.

And of course, DESSERT. Usually I do a chocolate thing and something else - maybe a pumpkin pie this year.

I need this!! We're hosting for the first time ever (my mom never even hosted so I have nothing to base this on) and I am so lost. So, so lost.

In regards to squashy and sweet potatoy, I recently made a sweet potato, butternut squash and apple mash. You can season it however you like, rosemary and thyme, maybe cumin for interest, brown sugar or maple syrup or honey. No matter what way you go, it's really delicious and can be prepared ahead.

I'm not hosting this year (but I am baking) but wanted to share this sweet potato recipe. @afa, I hosted for the first time ever a couple of years ago, and it was daunting but manageable. Just watch your timing--make as much ahead as you can that week. I found a good timetable online that helped a lot.

There are plenty out there, but here's one to start with (I can't remember what I used):

This timeline is even better, maybe:

That sounds delicious!!

I really like this dish, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch. But I've made it a few years in a row so I need to rotate in something new oh oh

afa, my suggestion is write everything down from the menu to what to do when. I find it helpful and this way I don't forget to serve something I made (which has happened). I usually set the table the night before and make sure I have everything out (serving pieces). My menu is traditional to how I grew up.

Turkey Soup or Chicken Soup
Turkey (22 lbs) / gravey
Candied Sweet Potatoes / Baked Sweet Potatoes / Baked White Potatoes
Breaded Asparagus or Artichokes (if in season)
Cranberry Sauce (usually open the can and slice)
Small Salad
Italian Bread pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie and whatever anyone brings

The best part is leftovers. After everyone is finished and we are all cleaned up, someone is always hungry and the sandwiches are made. As the weekend goes on, we usually make Turkey Pot Pie with what is ever left over. By Monday, we don't want to look at Turkey for awhile.

Enjoy your first time and Happy Thanksgiving

I vaguely remember a cranberry chutney discussion last year. I got a carton of cranberries from my CSA and as a non turkey eater I want to make a sweet and spicy chutney that can stand up on it's own as a side dish. I have to search last year. (I think I made it with ginger and oranges and maybe hot pepper?)

shh I have an excellent one I may have posted. PM your email address (can't recall if I have it) and I'll email it to you as a word document tonight or tomorrow. I can also post it here of course too.

Found it!

Here you go. I hope you enjoy it as much as my guests and I do:

Cranberry Chutney

1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves - or a bit less
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 lemons - rinds grated, pits discarded, fruit sectioned – See Note below
2 naval oranges - done like lemons – See Note below
6 cups cranberries
1 apple peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and the 5 spices, 1 and 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil and stir till sugar dissolved.
Add rinds, sections and apple. Simmer 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Add 3 cups of cranberries, raisins and apricots. Simmer 30-40 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally. Stir in 2 more cups of cranberries. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in last cup of cranberries and walnuts and simmer 15 minutes. Stays up to two weeks covered in refrigerator.

Note – Although the recipe calls for rinds grated (or at least that’s how I initially wrote it down), I actually just use the zest, which is the outer layer of the rind and not the pith which is the spongy white layer and is bitter.

1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen (don't thaw) cranberries
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chutney can be made 5 days ahead and chilled, covered. Leftovers will keep, chilled, 2 weeks.

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.

Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, then collapse, about 12 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and cool, uncovered (chutney will thicken as it cools).

Chill chutney, covered, at least 8 hours for flavors to develop.

I think this was Bella's.

Dg64 posted this one. I think this is what I made...and wait, there's one more that was mentioned. (Nevermind,t he other one was made with sour cream, more for Hanukkah.)

This Autumn Spice Pie sounds amazing!

My sister in law make a sweet potato and apple casserole (for want of a better word) - boil potatoes, cool, peel and slice into 1" rounds, peel and slice apples and alternate in a baking dish. Pour OJ over (about 1/2 cup to 3 lbs potatoes) sprinkle some brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger and bake at 350 for half an hour. Basic, but the family loves it - it's not as rich as the marshmallow topped variety - so that makes it a good thing.

I think I''m going to do brussel sprouts for my "green" this year - either going with an onion & bacon or cranberry & pignoli nut variety.

I make my own cranberry sauce - just cook whole berries in OJ and add sugar as needed, finish with a dash of nutmeg. Very easy.

What about green vegetables? Who has a favorite recipe - besides Brussels sprouts? oh oh

In the past I made these Green Beans with Lemon, Garlic and Parmesan Gremolata. They were easy and delicious. I may do it again but was looking for other options too.

TarheelsInNj said:

This Autumn Spice Pie sounds amazing!

I'm supposed to bring pie to the feast (I'm not hosting this year - yeah) and this looks really, really good. thank you.

TarheelsInNj said:

What about green vegetables? Who has a favorite recipe - besides Brussels sprouts? oh oh

In the past I made these Green Beans with Lemon, Garlic and Parmesan Gremolata. They were easy and delicious. I may do it again but was looking for other options too.

As I was folding laundry yesterday I watched the Chew, and the theme was potluck thanksgiving on a dime. They made a creamed kale with cheese gratin, with crostini as the base and topping. Ok, so I can't eat it at all, but it look amazing. It was pretty much creamed spinach, but with lots of cheese in the sauce and baked In the oven. Looked like even non veggie lovers would go for it.

Otoh, the green I made many years ago which I still love and my family still teases me about was a kale and potato stew with a creamy Dijon sauce. I got the recipe from the union sq farmers market over 20 years ago and loved it so much I still do a variation of it. (This was way way before kale was even on most people's radar.)

Ooooooooh, I think I found my cornbread dressing!!

Cornbread Pudding with Rough Country Greens

@shh that sounds amazing!!

For greens, although not really in season, these two are really easy and quick and are delish. Even the kids will ask for more:

Fun interactive, with T'giving recipes from all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico:

I'm making turkey. I just bought it this weekend and put it in the freezer. When should I take it out to defrost and brine? Three days in advance? Four days?

Allow at least 1 day of thawing in the fridge for every 4 lbs.

j_r said:

Fun interactive, with T'giving recipes from all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico:
wow, some fascinating stuff in there....

See if this works for anyone

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