Thanksgiving is a week away so it's time for all the cooks to start their menu planning. I've actually never hosted a big family gathering at Thanksgiving (only Christmas & Easter), but here are some of my favorite dishes to serve at a holiday meal:
1. Orange-Zinfandel glazed ham from the Thanksgiving 101 cookbook by Rick Rodgers. Mix 1 jar orange marmalade with 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup red Zinfandel, and 1/2 cup OJ. Marinate ham overnight then bake until done.
2. Roast turkey. A trick I learned to keep the breast from drying out is to ice it prior to sticking the bird in the oven. Another one (if you don't have anyone with heart disease in the family!) is to pin bacon strips on the breast to let the drippings seep into the meat as it cooks.
3. Gravy. I like to make a starter using turkey stock and butter in case the turkey does not give off enough drippings. Also, I like to add 2 Tbsp. of bourbon for flavoring.
4. Sourdough, apple, and sausage stuffing. I make this recipe from Bon Appetit but use sourdough instead of French bread. I've also used Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix & just added the sausage, apple, leeks, and celery.
5. Triple cranberry sauce. I've adapted this recipe by using 100% cranberry juice from the natural foods section in lieu of the cranberry cocktail concentrate and then bumping up the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.
6. Maple-glazed carrots from Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. Saute baby carrots in butter, beef broth/bouillion, and real maple syrup. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
7. Mashed potatoes. The trick with these are to make them as close to the meal as possible so that they're still warm when served. I peel & chop the potatoes a few hours ahead and cover with a couple inches of cool water. Then I start cooking them shortly before the turkey is ready to come out of the oven. By the time the bird is cooled, carved, & ready to go on the table the potatoes are ready to mash.
8. Steamed green beans with slivered almonds. I am not a fan of the traditional green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup & french-fried onions on the top.
9. Fruit salad with scoop of rainbow sherbet. This is how my family traditionally starts all big holiday meals.
10. Tiramisu. This is one of those dishes that are really tricky to make well from scratch & it's simply easier just to pick up at one's local bakery.
11. Pecan-Bourbon pie. Another recipe from Rick Rodgers' Thanksgiving 101 cookbook. Add 2 Tbsp. Bourbon to the standard corn syrup-brown sugar-eggs-butter filling. Yum!
12. Apple pie. I like to use tart Granny Smith apples for this. Rick Rodgers has a great suggestion to saute them in butter & sugar prior to putting them in the pie to minimize shrinkage.
13. Weird dish relative always brings & nobody has the heart to tell not to. In my family, this is my aunt's Jell-o salad. She's been showing up with it to every family meal since long before I was born and I'm sure she'll bring it as long as she's able to. I love her dearly but not her odd concoction of lime Jell-o, cottage cheese, pineapple, and vegetables (!) I'm sure your family has a similar dish that everyone has to choke down a small serving of to be polite.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants