If you’re still planning your Thanksgiving Dinner Party Menu and need some ideas for the side dishes, here are some of my all time favorite Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes.
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 Anjou pear or 3 Seckel pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup water
- Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
*Recipe from Better Homes & Garden
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup brown sugar, the 2 tablespoons butter, and the 1 tablespoon water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boiling. Pour mixture into a 9x9x2-inch baking pan, spreading to cover bottom. Arrange pear slices in a decorative pattern on top of brown sugar mixture; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and cloves; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat the 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/3 cup brown sugar; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined.
3. Alternately add flour mixture and the 3/4 cup water to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter evenly over pear slices in pan, being careful not to disturb pear.
4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife or narrow metal spatula, loosen edges of cake from sides of baking pan. Carefully invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. If desired, top each serving with sweetened whipped cream. Makes 9 servings.
Time: One hour plus 24 hours for drying bread
1 large loaf Pullman or other firm white bread
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms
1/3 pound pancetta, diced small
10 tablespoons butter, more for greasing muffin tins
1 large chopped onion
1/4 cup minced shallots (about three)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups diced pears (about four or five firm, ripe varieties like Bartlett or Anjou) plus one whole pear
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup minced chives
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups turkey stock.
1. Tear bread into small pieces (you should have about 16 cups) and set in roasting pan or bowl. To dry bread, cover with paper towels and leave out overnight. Or, place on a baking sheet in batches and lightly toast. Set aside.
2. Wipe mushrooms with a clean, damp towel. Trim tough ends. Slice some thickly, chop others. Set aside. Place pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook slowly until fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove to a large plate.
3. Add 2 tablespoons butter to fat in pan and turn heat to medium high. Add onion and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft. Do not brown. Remove to plate holding pancetta.
4. Add 3 tablespoons butter to pan. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and quickly sauté until starting to brown. Remove and add to plate.
5. Add wine to pan and deglaze over medium high heat, cooking until wine reduces by about half. Pour remaining liquid over mushrooms. Wipe out pan and add remaining butter. Add pears and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Sauté pears, in batches if necessary, over medium high heat until they begin to brown slightly.
6. In a large bowl or roasting pan, add sautéed ingredients to bread. Toss lightly to combine. Add herbs and toss again. Slowly pour one cup stock over mixture and toss. Add more broth to make a very moist stuffing. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If you are stuffing a brined turkey, remember that the bird will add a bit more salt.
8. Just before roasting turkey, place some room-temperature stuffing lightly inside a prepared bird. Place whole pear in opening of cavity to help hold stuffing in the bird.
9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter muffin tins and fill each with stuffing, pressing down so each cup is well filled. Top each with one tablespoon stock. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until a golden crust forms on bottom. To serve, use a butter knife to remove each stuffing muffin and invert onto the plate.
Yield: Enough stuffing for a 12- to 14-pound turkey and a dozen muffin tins. If not stuffing a turkey, recipe will fill two dozen muffin tins or a small casserole dish.
*Recipe from NYTimes
Acorn squash has a mild flavor and goes well with sweet and nutty seasonings. This makes a nice Thanksgiving side dish, though you might want to cut the baked halves in half again for smaller portions.
2 tablespoons walnut oil
Freshly ground nutmeg
*Recipe from Martha Rose Shulman
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until soft enough to easily cut in half. Cut in half, and scoop out the seeds and membranes.
2. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Stir the maple syrup and walnut oil together in a bowl, then brush over the cut surfaces of the squash. Sprinkle with a very small amount of ground nutmeg. Place in the oven and bake one hour, brushing every 10 minutes with more oil and maple syrup. When the squash is tender, brush once more, then spoon a tablespoonful of finely chopped walnuts into each cavity and return to the oven for five to 10 minutes, until the walnuts are toasty. Remove from the heat. Serve hot or warm.
Yield: Makes four large servings or eight medium servings.
Advance preparation: This can sit for an hour or so after it’s done. Cover with foil.
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably organic stone ground
1/2 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet, a heavy 2-quart baking dish or a heavy 9-inch square baking pan in the oven while you prepare the batter.
2. Place the cornmeal in a bowl, and sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the mixture with a spoon or whisk to amalgamate. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt (or buttermilk), milk and honey. Whisk the cornmeal mixture into the liquid mixture. Do not overwork the batter.
3. Remove the pan from the oven, and add the butter to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the butter melts quickly before it gets too brown, then quickly whisk the butter into the batter. Brush the sides of the pan with any butter remaining in the pan.
4. Quickly scrape all of the batter into the hot pan, and place in the oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It will be quite brown on the edges. Allow the bread to cool in the pan, or serve warm.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings. This is easily doubled for a larger quantity of stuffing. Bake it in a 3-quart baking dish (it will take about 45 to 50 minutes) or in two 9-inch pans.
Variation: Sage Cornbread
Stir 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage into the batter before turning into the pan.
Cornbread and Sage Stuffing
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or 1 tablespoon each olive oil and unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
4 stalks celery, cut in small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons rubbed sage, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper
A double batch of cornbread (see above), crumbled (you can do this in a food processor fitted with the steel blade)
1/2 cup milk, or as necessary, for moistening
4 tablespoons unsalted butter if baking separately
1. Heat the olive oil (or oil and butter) over medium heat in a large, heavy, nonstick skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about three minutes, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the celery. Cook together for another few minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, and stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Combine well. Taste and adjust salt. Moisten as desired with milk.
2. Stuff the cavity of the turkey, or transfer to a buttered or oiled 2-quart baking dish. Dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil, and heat through in a 325-degree oven for 30 minutes.
Yield: Makes enough stuffing to fill an 18-pound turkey.
Advance preparation: You can make the cornbread several days ahead and the stuffing a day ahead.
*Note: You can add rosemary, lemon thyme, mushrooms, sausage, chorizo, cheese, peppers, pecans, walnuts, golden raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots to make your cornbread stuff more special. Use your creativity and come up with your own unique stuffing by adding different ingredients.
You can also hallow out small pumpkins or apples and bake the cornbread stuffing in them. Sprinkle a little cheese over the top and they are not only delicious, but the presentation is beautiful! You’re guests will be impressed that you’ve put a spin on traditional Thanksgiving stuffing!
FOR THE BARLEY-MUSHROOM MIXTURE:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light-green part only, finely chopped
2 cups pearled barley
1 rosemary sprig
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 1/4 pounds shiitake mushroom caps, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup toasted, peeled hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the chive butter:
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon plus one teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 cup chopped chives (about 1 bunch)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add barley and rosemary sprig; cook 1 minute more. Pour in the stock, 1 1/2 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer until barley is tender and most liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check it after an hour. If it is tender but liquid is not absorbed, drain barley in a strainer. Or if liquid has evaporated and barley is still not tender, add a little more water and continue cooking until it is.
2. Meanwhile, toss mushrooms with oil,
3/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and beginning to crisp around edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Make chive butter: In a mortar and pestle or mini food processor, mash together the garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Stir in the lemon zest and juice until salt dissolves. Pound or pulse in the chives, then stir in the butter until incorporated.
4. Spoon hot barley into a large bowl. Stir in mushrooms, hazelnuts, parsley and chive butter until well combined. Taste and add more salt and lemon if necessary.
Yield: About 9 cups, enough to stuff a 10- to 12-pound turkey.
*NOTE: Variations of polenta cakes can be made sweet or savory. Look below for some ideas.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
FOR THE LEMON CURD:
8 lemons, preferably thin-skinned and seedless
3/4 cup sugar.
1. For crust, combine flour, salt, butter and 1 cup of sugar in a bowl. Mix with your fingers until it forms flaky crumbs and lumps. Mix in egg, almond extract and lemon juice. Continue to mix until it clumps; at first it may seem very dry. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 day ahead of baking.
2. For confit, slice off and discard ends of lemons. Slice 5 crosswise, peel and all, as thinly as possible. Remove any seeds and place in a bowl. Peel skin, including white pith, from remaining 3 lemons, then slice thinly crosswise, and add to bowl. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Toss and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
3. Place lemon slices and their juice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook down until lemons are candied and small amount of liquid in pan is sticky and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half and form each half into a ball. Roll one ball until large enough to fit into a 9-inch round tart pan. Dough will be crumbly (more shortbread than pie crust); if it falls apart, press it back together. Spoon confit over crust, spreading evenly. Roll out second ball of dough and place on top, sealing edges but making sure no crust overlaps the rim (or tart will be difficult to remove later).
5. Bake until edges of tart are lightly golden, about 35 minutes, then sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Return to oven for about 10 more minutes; edges should be lightly golden and crust cooked through but not browned. Serve warm or cooled.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
Pear Ginger Crumble
2 1/2 to 3 pounds pears (about 5 large ones), peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons raw brown (turbinado) sugar, preferably organic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2- or 2 1/2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together the pears, sugar, lemon juice, candied ginger, vanilla extract or seeds, and cornstarch or arrowroot.
2. Scrape the fruit and all of the juice in the bowl into the baking dish. Set the baking dish on a baking sheet for easier handling, and place in the oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the liquid syrupy. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool if desired.
3. About 30 minutes before serving, spread the crumble topping over the pear mixture in an even layer. Bake 20 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: Serves eight.
Advance preparation: The crumble topping keeps for several months in the freezer. The recipe can be made through Step 2 several hours before the final baking.
*Quinoa-Oat Crumble Topping
This topping can be used to make any number of delicious, gluten-free crumbles.
1 1/4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup quinoa flour (grind quinoa in a spice mill to make the flour)
1/3 cup unrefined turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment. Place the oats, quinoa flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and pulse several times to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed throughout the grain mix. The mixture should have a crumbly consistency.
2. Spread the topping over the parchment-covered baking sheet in an even layer. Place in the oven, and bake 10 minutes. Rotate the pan front to back, stir the mixture and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. You can keep this in the freezer for several weeks in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Yield: Makes a little over 2 cups, enough for one crumble serving eight made in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
1 1/3 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 25 gingersnap cookies)
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
9-inch pie plate
Making the Crust: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. The cookies must be finely ground for this crust. This can be done with a food processor or any other method you choose. You need to have approximately 1 1/3 cups of crumbs. Next, combine the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir until the crumbs are moistened. Press your crust mixture evenly into your pie plate. Press evenly and pack tightly as you cover the bottom and sides of the dish. Use your fingertips to work the crust over the bottom and sides. Now, bake the crust for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it is crisp. Let the crust cool completely before filling. If you’d like to prepare your crust early to reduce the kitchen stress, feel free to make the crust and wrap it in plastic. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Prepare the Pumpkin Mousse Filling
1 prepared gingersnap crust
1 tablespoon of cold water
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of heavy cream (keep chilled)
An instant-read thermometer
Making the Filling:
Put your water in a small stainless-steel bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, letting it stand to dissolve.
In a slightly larger stainless-steel bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Add about 2 inches of water to a medium-sized saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Place the bowl with yolk and sugar on top of the simmer water
Take care that your bowl’s bottom is NOT touching the simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees on the instant-read thermometer.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in your gelatin mixture. With an electric mixer, beat about 5 minutes, or until cool and thick. Next beat in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and vanilla.
Place the chilled heavy cream into yet another mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into your pumpkin mixture.
Your pie filling is now ready to be placed in the previously prepared crust. Be sure to scrape the entire filling into the crust. A spatula may help with this. You will now need to cover your pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The pie should be refrigerated for at least 6 hours and can set for up to 1 day. Be sure that the filling has set completely before serving your pie.
Serving the Pie: Once the filling has completely set, it is ready to serve. Top each slice with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream or store bough cool whip. If you are making homemade whip cream, you can also infuse with a shot of brandy or vanilla liquor. One taste of your scrumptious creation and your diners will be begging for seconds!
*NOTE: Visit me again tomorrow for more recipes ideas for an all Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu and Dessert Table Menu and Ideas!
“Eating is Believing!”