Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

What to Cook for Thanksgiving


Luckylies
 Share

Recommended Posts

For the last 6 or so years I do a different menu for thanksgiving

this year is soul food/southern

Smoked Turkey

Bacon braised collards

Cornbread stuffing

Fried rabbit and waffles

candied yams (actual yams)

Blackeye pea and brussel sprout succatash

mashed potatoes

green salad

Pecan Pie with Bourbon ice cream

Apple pie

Cranberry punch

Im definatly excited

Kevin J. Adey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

Bumping this back up - because it's time to start planning.

I am seriously considering a capon this year. We usually do turkey two ways (smoked and roasted) and I was thinking a roast capon instead of roast turkey and keeping the smoked turkey in there. Concerned that the family might be disappointed.

Mince Pie, Cornbread Dressing and Giblet gravy, turnips and mustard instead of rutabaga, stepdaughter has the pumpkin pies under control, the rest is still up in the air.

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am hosting for the first time this year. Right now, it's 6 adults and 4 children, which is a pretty small crowd for us.

Here's what I have so far:

Turkey

Stuffing made outside the turkey -- I've been wanting to try this Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Raffy's Turkey Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing. Has anyone ever made it or tried it?

Some kind of cranberry sauce -- maybe this one

Carrot Ring -- my mother-in-law insists on making and bringing this...it's actually the one thing that she can make that is good.

Potato of some sort -- maybe a potato gratin for a change. Does anyone have any good and easy recipes for a good potato gratin?

Vegetable -- maybe brussels sprouts, maybe green beans.

I can't seem to zero in on what I want to make for some reason. The carrot ring is very sweet, so that's why I'm not making sweet potatoes. Also, I was going to make a corn pudding, but again, don't want too many sweet dishes.

I keep thinking that I need more food, but with only 6 adults, I'm trying to not get carried away.

My sister will bring desserts -- she is an excellent baker.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'm beginning to panic. I stupidly volunteered to do Thanksgiving because my husband's family has done the following in the past 1) deli sliced turkey breast with canned gravy and/or 2) turkey loaf in those frozen pans. I mean, really. A girl originally from Massachusetts just can't handle that without being appalled. They are the sweetest people in the world, but their idea of gourmet cooking is throwing a jar of queso cheese over a chicken breast.

Can you old pros help me out? How big a turkey to feed 10 adults and 7 children (ages 7 and under)? I'm thinking about 18 lbs? Should I do 2 10 pounders instead so there are more turkey legs?

To top it off, I probably have to make White Castle style hamburgers for my father in law who only eats ground beef as a protein.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

My boyfriend's mom cooks this every year, and even though I shun it in theory, I have to admit it's pretty good. I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my mom's this year and the bf and I had the following exchange:

Me: Here's my menu for Thanksgiving this year? Any requests? (not giving him time to respond) And I'm not doing green bean casserole. We don't cook things like that at our house (having been raised by a food snob, I've turned out quite delightful!)

Him: Fine, I only want my mom's anyway

Me: (starting to feel bad) I can make it if you really want.

Him: How about scalloped potatoes?

Me: AND mashed potatoes? I don't want to do both

Him: Instead of mashed potatoes

Me: You can't have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes.

At this point, we both began to wonder why I bothered asking him. To please my darling BF, I might make the scalloped potatoes and ask a friend to bring the mashed. Otherwise, I've gotten most of my menu from this month's Gourmet and Bon Appetit. They've got some great looking sides--which, as a vegatarian, are the most important part of Thanksgiving.

My Menu

Haven't thought about appetizers yet. Probably something very light

Turkey

Cornbread stuffing (not dressing!) cooked outside of the bird

Grandmom's coleslaw (prepared by Grandmom hersself, if she's up to it!)

Sauteed brussels sprouts with caramelized shallots

Mashed bourbon sweet potatoes with hazelnuts

Mashed potatoes

Scalloped potatoes (jury's still out, but I think I'll go ahead)

Cranberry sauce (cooked and canned)

Creamed pearl onions in mustard sauce

A simple vegetable for my pop pop maybe peas and carrots

Mom and I aren't big bakers so dessert will probably be pretty straightforward. If she's recovered from her hip surgery, I may be able to convince her to make an apple tart. I'll do pumpkin pie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the first year we will have Thanksgiving in our new house. It is a great house for entertaining so I am really looking forward to it. We will have 12 people for dinner. My menu for this year is as follows:

munchies:

Cheese straws

shrimp and artichoke dip

spiced pecans

baked brie with pears, apple and grapes

Dinner:

Roast wild turkey (2 young jakes shot by my son YUM!)

mashed potatoes

giblet gravy

cornbread dressing with pecans

bourbon sweet potatoes

zucchini and tomatoes gratin

sauteed brussels sprouts with onion and bacon

Southern collards

succotash (an old Southern Living recipe with cream and onions-delish)

Coca-cola salad (a family tradition-congealed salad with bing cherries)

yeast rolls with herbed butter

Dessert:

Damson pie with unsweetened whipped cream

blanc mange with orange jelly

7 day coconut cake

pumpkin streusel pie with gingersnap crust

coffee mouse with Tia Maria sauce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne, think of it as a sociological experiment.

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes. We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg. Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes.  We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg.  Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

My favorite Thanksgiving green veggie dish - Shredded Brussel Sprouts With Maple Hickory Nuts. I always sub in pecans.

I've also done peas and pearl onions with bacon in a creamy sauce and a salad with glazed walnuts, dried cranberries, pears, and brie.

I'm contemplating this year's green veggie myself!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne:

I feel your pain! My son-in-law wanted that soup green bean casserole too. I could not bring myself to do that, so I "gourmet-ized" the concept. Here is what I did, if you are interested. (measurements are approximate according to memory because I cook by "feel" when I make things up. I can reproduce it for myself but YMMV)

6-8 slices bacon, crumbled and set aside (reserve the fat)

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 portabello shroom, diced

a few shiitakes, diced

5-6 white shrooms, diced

about 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, snapped, blanched and drained

sea or kosher salt

fresh ground mixed pepper

3 Tbsp reserved bacon grease

3 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups half and half

saute the shrooms and onion in the reserved bacon fat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Add the half and half, whisking till smooth. Cook until thickened. Add the sauteed shrooms. Pour this sauce over the blanched green beans, add seasonings and mix well. Taste and correct seasonings. Turn out into a greased casserole and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Scatter the reserved bacon crumbles prior to serving.

I hope this makes sense. I mostly cook by "feel" so YMMV. Please let me know if you try it, how it turns out and if you like it. My Son-in-law thought it way better then the condensed soup version.

All the best,

Berta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

This is the recipe I came up with last year when my brother requested GBC. I may do some crispy fried onion strips on top this year for crunch.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne, think of it as a sociological experiment.

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes. We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg. Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

It certainly is a sociological experiment. I am not sure that the Campbell's GBC will be what she remembered it being. Not to mention that I will have to eat it as well! :biggrin: I suppose I could dip up a tiny spoonful and then just shift it around my plate. If you still have some corn in the freezer, a corn casserole might be nice. Squash is wonderful this time of year. I usually do rutabaga with butter and brown sugar for Thanksgiving, but I have a garden plot full of turnips and mustard, and collards started, so I think the rutabaga would be overkill. A simple buttered broccoli with pecans or walnuts (I prefer pecans) tossed on top at the end is the bomb. Broccoli and pecans make a very lively impact on the palate, and the textures are interesting, big pleasant surprise for everyone I have ever prepared it for.

BertaBurtonLake and emilyr, those recipes look great, and look like something I might actually eat! I'm just not sure if I want to mess with emotional ties to food - sort of like my capon delimma.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, BertaBurtonLake for the recipe. I just might do this one, sans a creamy sauce, for Thanksgiving. What's not to like about green beand and mushrooms? I'm also thinking of something brussels sprouty and bacony (bacon makes everything better).

Anne, with the traditional GBC, one either pushes a little spoonful around the plate, or whizzes it up in the Cuiz or a Happy Baby Food Grinder for any little baby who is at the table and has no teeth, but is eating real food.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne, think of it as a sociological experiment.

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes. We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg. Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

Oh honestly . Just make the green bean casserole. It's comfort food. It's been around a long time. Isn't Thanksgiving about making people happy by serving food that makes them happy? Make her happy. It's one day out of the year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually do rutabaga with butter and brown sugar for Thanksgiving

Anne:

I've never met anyone else who did rutabega! It has been a family tradition for generations, and I'm so convinced I have to have it, I've made it to take to friend's houses for the holidays. They usually don't get it. :hmmm:

I know some folks do a potato/rutabega combined mash, but not for me! Peel, boiled rutabega mashed on its own, butter and just a touch of brown sugar. You just can't beat that slightly bitter taste to complement the richness of the rest of the meal!

Thanks for the memory!

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne, think of it as a sociological experiment.

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes. We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg. Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

Oh honestly . Just make the green bean casserole. It's comfort food. It's been around a long time. Isn't Thanksgiving about making people happy by serving food that makes them happy? Make her happy. It's one day out of the year.

Yeah. I'm gonna do it. I should probably take pictures. Maybe my next avatar? It is honestly bugging my hubby (his daughter) worse than it is me. Oh well, he'll just have to suck it up and be a man.

I've never met anyone else who did rutabega! It has been a family tradition for generations, and I'm so convinced I have to have it, I've made it to take to friend's houses for the holidays. They usually don't get it. dry.gif

Jamie Lee, they are so good! And incredibly good for you. I have converted many to rutabaga. It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

I don't get the combined mash either. I want rutabaga with my rutabaga. With a little butter, brown sugar, and actually some pork fat when I am being especially bad. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's still kinda up in the air around here, there's some family drama, and we haven't decided if we're even DOING Thanksgiving, buuuut...I have a menu, just in case. My family is extremely traditional, my usual cooking is way too outlandish, so I give them what they want, on the Big Day. It's just about the same every year, I usually play with the veggies and sweet potatoes. They bitch if I get wild with the important stuff, that's why we have 3 kinds of cranberries, ham glaze on the side, and 2 kinds of gravy and stuffing.

I generally go easy on munchies, because the one year I went all out with a soup course and nibbles, no one ate dinner, so I keep it very light and simple.

-Spiced nuts

-marinated olives

-stuffed mushrooms

Meal:

-Brined and butter injected turkey, roasted the Alton Brown way.

-both giblet and ungiblet gravy

-spiral ham

-candied pineapple/bourbon glaze on the side

-2 kinds of stuffing, basic bread stuffing and a cornbread sausage one, for me.

-mashed taters

-roasted glazed sweet potatoes, some with chipotle, some with just cinnamon, honey and butter

-steamed broccoli and cauliflower polanaise

-dijon creamed onions

-green bean casserole (my way, not the soup way)

-3 kinds of cranberries, the canned jelly goop, homemade plain whole berry, and this fantastic cranberry chutney with diced apples and golden raisins

- 1 baked potato for my BIL, who found out that my secret mashed potato ingredient is carmelized onions, had a hissy fit, and still to this day refuses to touch them...if only he knew what I did to the turkey! :blink:

Dessert:

-pumpkin, apple and coconut custard pies

-homemade vanilla and cinnamon ice creams

-homemade chocolate plate, with truffles, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered cherries, etc. Still trying to work that out

-I'm open to suggestion, or whatever folks bring. When someone asks me "what can I bring" to any meal I'm cooking, barbecue, party, or family get together, I always say dessert. A) I lose at pastries, and B) it's guaranteed not to screw up my menu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you believe my stepdaughter has requested a Green Bean Casserole? :shock:

I've have never made or eaten one, but I guess I'm going to this year. She remembers it the way her mother used to make it - Campbell's Soup and French's Onion Rings. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it.

Anne, think of it as a sociological experiment.

I'm in need of a couple of vegetable side dishes. We're going to my SIL's, and I always do the veg. Glazed carrots need not apply; I've done them too many times.

We also dine at my SIL's and I ALWAYS take a smoke turkey. My BIL always makes a turkey in one of those oven bags which, to me, makes steamed turkey. They always have a big crowd and the smoked turkey is a hit. I love oyster dressing and that usually travels with us as well. And a roasted shallot and cranberry sauce I stole from Andrea Immer's wine show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also dine at my SIL's and I ALWAYS take a smoke turkey.

Mike, I always take a smoked turkey along with me as well (to go with the overcooked turkey that the SIL provides). One reason I do this is that my Best Friends and I have an annual women's getaway, and we leave on Thanksgiving, often before The Meal begins, so I smoke the turkey so we will have some for a real Thanksgiving meal with my best friends at a posh resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior (no pets, no kids, no men, but lots of cooking and knitting!).

But, for a side for the meal I won't eat, my neighbor has offered her brussels sprouts, which she grew but won't eat. Just one more veg side needed for the meal I won't eat.

But, back to the smoked turkey. While not much is consumed on Thanksgiving, everyone goes home with some, which is a nice thing to have around that weekend -- sandwiches, frittatas, eaten out of the fridge with the door open and the bathrobe on.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I get ejected from eGullet, let me set the stage:

I will be without an oven (or patio, or smoker, or grill) on Thanksgiving, but still think I want something close to my traditional meal, but want to do it solo. (I'm new to the area, my condition the day of T-day is iffy due to medical issues, and don't really want to intrude on fellow chemo "pals" for the big meal.)

That said, it seems my options are:

1. Restaurant - um, no.

2. Pre cooked "Meal" from the grocery store, warmed on stove and in microwave.

3. All-stove top meal with either turkey cutlets or rotissiere turkey (if I can find it) with stovetop stuffing, gravy, taters, etc.

or,

4. Something like this (A Rival Roaster Oven)

I know not to expect crispy skin. I also know friends who use something like this every year even though they DO have an oven, they swear the meat is moist and juicy.

Has anyone used something like this before to "roast" a turkey? What else could you use this for? (Pot roast I suppose, but I've got a nice dutch oven I use for stove-top braises..

Thoughts?

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I always do "make ahead mashed potatoes" Recipe found here http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r743.html

I leave out the horseadish if I am doing turkey, but always put it in to serve with roast beef.

These potatoes are delicious and can be done the day before. It takes all the stress away from doing the potatoes at the end. The only thing is you must have enough oven space to warm them up. Have them at room temp before you put them in the oven. I find they take longer than 30 minutes to reheat - more like 45.

My entire family has become a convert to these potatoes for special gatherings, and they are the only ones wanted! :biggrin:

Life is short, eat dessert first

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Annecros, tell me more about that mincemeat pie. Where does the mincemeat come from? Homemade?

I've had all sorts of Thanksgivings over the years, from the bologna sandwich in Costa Rica to the huge family meal at a farm in West Virginia, and I have to say, I like being with my loved one, just the two of us, best.

The house is empty, I like to have a good bottle of wine, and eat only exactly what I want to eat.

This means a nice little turkey, slow cooked. My mom's bread dressing. Cranberry sauce made with orange juice and candied ginger. And my own pumpkin pie. That's all. Double servings on everything. No appetizers, no vegetables, no choice. Just the best.

And on those years (this is one of them) in which I'll be eating with friends or family, I still do this. Cook the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and make the pie. Make turkey and rice soup from the carcass. At some point during the weekend, doesn't have to happen on Thursday. Sometimes it does, and I eat two meals, but I eat mine first.

I suppose this is the height of curmudgeonly-ness, to implode a group holiday, but I really like to dwell on the thankful part, and I find that is best done in solitude. I also like the food to be good, which is rare when 50 dishes from 30 different cooks are combined.

And, every year, I watch Home for the Holidays. Try it.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lindacakes,

So beautifully put. I have so many things to be grateful for this year, it makes me cry.

On a truly non-sentimental note, it always has cracked me up how tightly we hold onto the "apps" tradition.... in my family (parents now gone), we HAD to have (their form of) nibbles, followed by a shrimp cocktail. And then a platter of pickled and sour cream herring. There ALWAYS had to be a "relish" tray (jarred crab apples, black olives, uncut green onions, and celery sticks), then salad, then soup ...

Over the years, the shrimp cocktail got smaller, the soup got dumped, the salad lost! We finally realized the rest of the meal was so good, why fill up beforehand? :laugh:

We still HAD to have the shrimp cocktail (I think a tradition because that was the only time the family could afford, or would afford shrimp.) It got to the point we'd have one jumbo shrimp in a martini glass, just to fit it in! (To today's "haute" chefs: See it's been done for years! :laugh: )

I say skip the nibbles, skip the apps, skip the relish tray and green salads... Move straight to the turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashers, rutabega, sweet taters, and rolls (if you must).

Then go straight to pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie.

There's 364 other days to eat salad!

J

Jamie Lee

Beauty fades, Dumb lasts forever. - Judge Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't gotten around to the mains yet.

I have a few boxes of John Cope's corn, so creamed corn is likely.

I'm leaning toward roasted cauliflower, but I'm not sure how that will go over with the teenage grandchildren. They're not picky eaters and generally inhale food.

Yeast rolls.

A green vegetable, probably green beans or Brussels sprouts. Broccoli doesn't hold up well, and if the timing isn't perfect...

Potatoes of some sort. I'm really bored with mashed or baked. Perhaps a casserole.

Probably two kinds of stuffing. This is the only sore point between my GF and me.

Do I really need to do something with squash? It's not that I dislike it, but I've had it for every Thanksgiving for the past 60 years.

I don't eat deserts and my daughter will probably do them.

Now, thinking about mains:

Possibilities are smoked turkey, spiral sliced ham and bone in pork loin.

Has anyone tried warming a spiral sliced ham in a WSM? It's not an issue of oven space, but I thought it might add an interesting touch. If you ever buy a bone in loin, make sure the butcher removes the chine bone. Carving is a bitch otherwise.

Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where you from, Hon?  Our DEEP-South family always had a pan of macaroni and cheese (Heavy almost-orange Hoop cheese, grated over hot macaroni, with a stick of butter and some Pet milk poured in, top replaced, then stirred into a creamy, cheese-stringing mass sprinkled with several grinds from the peppermill).  Even better baked a while as the turkey rests.

And Baked Beans!!!  My Mother had two of the little steam-table pans, and they were the only utilitarian items allowed on her sumptuous buffet---one held the above cheese and macaroni, and the other, a pan of Showboat beans, begun by sauteing a couple of big chopped onions and a chopped bell pepper or two, then some barbecue sauce and a big handful of brown sugar stirred in.  Two tall cans of Showboats drained, the pesky little tallowy bit of keep-it-legal "pork" fished out, and the whole pan stirred for a moment, poured into the baking pan, and topped with enough bacon to completely cloak the top.  As it baked, the slices shrank and crisped, with little sags becoming sauce-saturated and redly transparent.

There were enough carbs on that table to fuel an NFL franchise.  Plenty of salads, green vegetables for nibbling, and ambrosia with forty RDA's of Vitamin C, but the carbs carried the day.

I'm a year late in responding, but I'm born and raised in NYC (believe it or not). I do have some roots in the south (my paternal grandmother's parents were from Tennessee). By my way of thinking, Thanksgiving would NOT be Thanksgiving without baked macaroni & cheese, collard greens and some form of sweet potato. Years ago when I was a teen, my mom tried omitting the mac & cheese from our T-day meal since it was never a traditional dish in her family (her family has roots in the Caribbean - rice & peas was their staple side). However my sisters and I were having NONE OF THAT! We finally wore her down and she made our beloved mac & cheese.

As for the baked beans, that was never a traditional Thanksgiving dish in my family, but in hubby's family it was. Last year when I hosted Thanksgiving, I actually ended up omitting it from the menu (with his blessing) because there was so many other dishes.

And instead of mashed potatoes, I made a make-ahead mashed potato casserole which was a time saver for me. It was easily prepped the night before and baked in the oven on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving is always a very carb-heavy menu in my family. The butternut squash soup went over well with the family and they're requesting it again. Mom is cooking the main dinner this year, but all of our carb-heavy favorites will be present. I'll probably make a sweet potato cheesecake to add to the mix. Truth to be told, I think I enjoy the sides more than the actual bird on Thanksgiving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...