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Sep 27, 2007 06:47 AM

Favourite FOODIE Thanksgiving Dish?

Of course a perfectly roasted turkey or other fowl can be foodie: foodie needn’t be elaborate, exotic or expensive.

But especially looking for meatless or other alternative dishes, and nothing too cloyingly sweet. Seasonal vegetables are a plus.

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  1. I make a great lentil & nut roast that can be done vegan if you like. It's from a random cookbook but I've made a few...improvements. Served with garlic/ginger cranberry chutney for full effect (the spicy, the sweet, the savoury--it's all there!). It's all neither elaborate nor expensive: red lentils, hazelnuts, and walnuts are the only even remotely specialty ingredients.

    For sides I always like a seasonal veggie roast, like carrots & parsnips done in maple pecan mustard glaze. A roasted squash is always welcome, as are mashed potatoes prepared with roasted garlic and celery root (ugly from the ground, nutty in the mash). My partner loves stuffing and we've been experimenting with cornbread style stuffing lately.

    This year I might go a little more...polished than usual, with courses of soup, vegetable, lentil roast, cheese plate.

    Now you've got me all excited. Thanksgiving is, like, American foodie Christmas, but secular and centered squarely around togetherness and food. These are a few of my favourite thiiiiiiings...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nora Rocket

      Yes, based on Amerindian harvest foods, but incorporating European and even Middle-Eastern (Biblical) elements. As my spelling indicates, I’m from Canada, not the US. Our Thanksgiving comes in a couple of weeks.

      Since it is more of Protestant origin, it is not as important a holiday here in Québec than elsewhere in Canada, to say nothing of the US, but it is a good opportunity to eat local, seasonal foods.

      1. re: Nora Rocket

        Would you be willing to post the lentil & nut roast recipe? It sounds delicious!


      2. Roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts. (I sometimes add bacon, but you asked for veggie.) I made these w/o bacon for T-day last year and they went over very well, even among folks who dislike the b-sprouts.

        And, I have an obsessive love of cranberry sauce. From scratch, not too sweet. Add a slug of port and mmmmmmmmm.

        7 Replies
        1. re: slowfoodgrrl

          I was just about to say that until you've had roasted brussels sprouts, you haven't truly had brussels sprouts. I trim them, lightly parboil them for a couple minutes, toss them in olive oil and coarse salt and roast them until golden brown. Your hazelnuts intrigue me: tell me more.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            I make mine like you do except I can't remember if I parboiled last time, and then add chopped, toasted hazelnuts and a little hazelnut oil (or you could use butter, or just rely on the olive oil for roasting). I made these with the hazelnut oil so the dish would be vegan for my friends.

            Another seasonal, sister recipe to this that I'm reminded up is one of my favorite pasta dishes printed in Food and Wine a few years ago... Oricchette with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon. OMG, it is amazing. Those three incredients plus some chix broth to moisten and parmesan = delicious.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              I do the same thing, although I've found if you roast them at high enough heat, parboiling is unnecessary. And if your oven has convection capabilities, turn it on! I usually roast at 400 on convection for about 15 minutes and they're brown and some of the leaves are really crispy...mmm. I think I'll make some tonight! I've also added chopped pecans (thrown in for the last couple of minutes so they don't burn) and once added bacon, both of which are very good. But they're pretty darn amazing all on their own.

              1. re: kkbriggs

                I love brussel sprouts when they are sweet and good but how do you prevent them from getting skunky. That's probably not the right word but you know what I mean. Is there a trick? Or is it the batch of brussel sprouts themselves? Any wisdom?

                1. re: kary

                  It's the brussel sprouts themselves. IMO, the size doesn't necessarily matter but the relative freshness does. In other words, I've had big ass brussel sprouts that were sweet and without any skunky quality, and I've had tiny little ones that were skunky (although the smaller ones are less likely to be bad). My favorite way to prepare them is roasted as described above until the outsides are crispy. I've hatched a bunch of new brussels sprout lovers this way. Or, parboil, then saute in butter, with chopped shallots, bit of OJ or mustard to glaze, then add pecans or walnuts and dried cranberries. Also good simply baked in cream with grated asiago and pepper.

                  1. re: kary

                    If you can buy them still on the stalk, they tend to be younger and less skunky.

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      Personally, my feeling is that, y'know, they're part of the cabbage family. A certain amount of funk is to be expected. But a good rule of thumb is that the tighter and less springy a sprout is, the sweeter it is.

            2. I make my turkey with a hazelnut-prosciutto compound butter beneath the skin and add summer savory in addition to the usual sage. The gravy this bird makes is unbelievable.

              Vegetables, unfortunately, have been getting short shrift in these latter years since the family matriarch can't chew vegetables unless they've been boiled grey.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JungMann

                I make the same thing!!!! I've made it 4 years running. It's the bomb!

              2. Halve a butternut or other squash (may have to cut a teeny bit of the shell to let it sit upright in pan), remove seeds and strings.

                fill each half's (former) seed area with whatever ( mushrooms, mostly cooked crumbled sausage, cornbread crumbs, craisins, cranberry chutney? nuts? -- something red is good, and something crunchy and something savory)

                drizzle melted butter over stuffing, and bake in a baking dish with 1 inch water in the bottom to keep things steamy and moist. Cover with foil, and place in moderate oven -- say 375 or so, for maybe 45 minutes (though test about 1/2 hour for tenderness). temp. is flexible if you are making other sides in the oven. remember though, squash takes a while to cook through.

                VERY Easy. Yummy, and up to your own imagination. A hit with everyone. Plus, it is not SWEET except for the natural sweetness of the squash. A good respite at many Turkey day tables I have been at. You can feel virtuous eating it, and it is a pretty presentation.

                2 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  Wild rice (with other stuff, like the mushrooms suggested above and I would argue, cranberries!) makes a particularly good filler for this squash dish.

                  1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                    Absolutely -- I forgot wild rice. Shame on me!

                2. Last year I did a butternut squash ravioli with sage butter! It was delicious, but unfortunately, lost on most of my family : ) They could not understand the concept for using this at Thanksgiving : )

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mtleahy

                    I LOVE that dish. Sage butter is the best! How did you do the filling?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      I used the Emeril's recipe from this link: However, I cheated and used pre-made pasta dough, as I had enough other things to make for Thanksgiving.

                    2. re: mtleahy

                      Funny, because squash is one of the Three Sisters, the basis of the diet of the Iroquoians and other farming peoples of Northeastern North America, and of course just as important farther south in what is now the Southwestern United States, and Mexico… You can also make squash gnocchi - there is a great recipe in "The Vegetarian Epicure".