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Thanksgiving 2011: What's on the menu?

Stelmaria Nov 22, 2011 11:19 PM

It's "that time of year," as the cliche goes. What's on your menu for this Thanksgiving?

  1. woodleyparkhound Dec 5, 2011 10:05 AM

    I thought I would let you guys know the three recipes we made this TG which were HUGE hits - definitely keepers for the future.

    Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel (made 5 days ahead)

    Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole (next time I will cut by half the amount of sugar in the sweet potatoes, but the streusel in this recipe is divine

    Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (Silver Palate) - garnished with fresh chives and creme fraiche (highly recommended!

    1. peppermint_sky Dec 3, 2011 07:23 AM

      New stars of the show this year:

      *dark chocolate tart with cranberry topping and a toasty oat crust (thank you, good health gourmet, who gave me her recipe which I adapted it a little and actually made it LESS healthy, ha!) served with whipped cream

      *butternut squash gratin with rosemary and white cheddar (epicurious)

      Long-time favorites:

      roasted chicken (marinated overnight first with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Dijon) -- this one stole the show

      mashed potatoes, of course

      vegetarian -- creamy mushrooms with fresh dill in crispy delightful phyllo dough

      *roasted brussels sprouts with S and P and WF olive oil, and I roasted earlier in the day. No vanilla as in River's application -- I wasn't even allowed a squeeze of lemon or a grating of Parmesan. My family was so besotted when I first gave them simply roasted brussels (and converted them) that they refuse any other preparation or any accents.

      The meal was amazing!

      2 Replies
      1. re: peppermint_sky
        goodhealthgourmet Dec 3, 2011 12:47 PM

        hooray! i'm so glad the tart worked out well for you :)

        1. re: peppermint_sky
          River19 Dec 5, 2011 05:33 AM

          Sounds good to me.............

        2. drongo Nov 25, 2011 12:03 PM

          Here's my menu:

          Roast Turkey (Bell & Evans fresh turkey done the "dry-brined" way with sage and bay leaves)
          Cranberry Relish
          Cranberry Sauce with Cider & Cinnamon
          Cherry, Pecan and Mushroom Stuffing
          Turkey Gravy

          Creamed Onions
          Steamed Carrots
          Steamed Green Beans
          Roasted Onions Agrodolce
          Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes
          Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey, Cumin & Lime
          Grilled Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions & Mushrooms
          Rutabaga with Mustard & Scallions
          Turnips with Crispy Shallots
          Maple-Glazed Carrots
          Potatoes Parmesan
          Mashed Potatoes


          Red Velvet Cake
          Apple Tart Pie (with vanilla ice cream)
          Chocolate Cream Pie

          All homemade by me except for the last two desserts brought by guests.

          My wife took care of the hors d'oeuvre so I haven't listed them.

          1. b
            Basiorana Nov 24, 2011 06:31 PM

            My mother hosted and my sister came early to cook. We had 10 people.

            Deviled eggs
            Cheese, crackers, dried fruit
            Shrimp cocktail
            Olives and artichoke hearts
            Swedish meatballs

            Waldorf salad
            Lobster and avocado salad

            Mushroom and Barley

            Main Meal:
            Roasted turkey (30lbs!) and gravy
            Stuffing with dried cranberries
            Mashed potatoes
            Butternut squash
            Sweet potatoes
            Grilled Brussels sprouts
            Green bean casserole (all fresh ingredients, at least!)
            Peas sauteed with bacon
            Cranberry sauce

            Pumpkin cake
            Pies: Mincemeat, apple, pecan, cranberry-apple

            For wine, I brought a pear wine which was quite popular but my parents provided only Turning Leaf pinot grigio-- blah. Next year we're going to try to convince my mother to cut the menu in half-- there was an ENORMOUS amount of food!

            1. huiray Nov 24, 2011 06:06 PM

              Hainan Chicken Rice, w/ a free range chicken
              - Baby bok choy in (the gingered & salted) chicken stock
              - Chilli dipping sauce: Fresh grated ginger sauteed in veg oil then quenched w/ Pohon Cabe Sambal Istimewa & Kokita Sambal Bangkok
              - Garlic dipping sauce: chopped garlic (1 head) sauteed in oil then quenched w/ Kikkoman & light soy sauce
              - Basmati rice cooked w/ chicken fat & stock
              Roast bone-in leg of lamb, simple roast w/ sea salt, ground black pepper & fresh rosemary branches
              - roast fingerling potatoes
              - boiled Chioggia beets
              - salad of freshly-picked lettuces (various), stout-stemmed spinach, chiffonaded napa cabbage; tossed w/ Alziari olive oil & 10-year balsamic vinegar, flor de sal & ground black pepper
              Chocolate ganache tart (from scratch) w/ cherries vodka
              J&B Whiskey
              Wisdom & Warter Amontillado sherry
              Taylor Fladgate 10 year tawny port (w/ the tart)
              Stag's Leap 2009 Viognier
              - all drunk alone except the port

              8 Replies
              1. re: huiray
                peppermint_sky Nov 24, 2011 07:27 PM

                Which tart recipe did you use?

                1. re: peppermint_sky
                  huiray Nov 24, 2011 08:35 PM

                  The one right here on Chowhound. It's a good one.
                  [I dumped the chocolate into the hot cream on the stovetop (rather than adding the hot cream to the chocolate in a bowl) and stirred continuously over a very low flame till the mixture was smooth. I also used more vodka for the cherries than the recipe called for and splashed some sherry into it as well then cooked everything down :-) ]

                2. re: huiray
                  huiray Nov 25, 2011 06:18 PM

                  After Thanksgiving dinner:

                  Deep Fried chả giò chay (Vietnamese spring rolls w/ pork)
                  Deep fried tofu slices
                  The chilli dipping sauce from the day before.
                  Lingham's Hot Sauce.
                  Nuoc mam pha san

                  Fried rice
                  with the chicken rice , chopped roast lamb - both from the day before; and chopped baby kale.

                  1. re: huiray
                    alkapal Nov 26, 2011 06:25 AM

                    next thanksgiving, i'm going to your place, huiray!

                    1. re: alkapal
                      huiray Nov 26, 2011 06:50 AM


                      Oh, I forgot to say that the chili dipping sauce (for the chicken) also had Rice vinegar and a splash of nước mắm in it.

                      1. re: huiray
                        alkapal Nov 26, 2011 06:55 AM

                        i am also a fan of the lingham's hot sauce. it is good on scrambled eggs, too!

                        1. re: alkapal
                          RUK Nov 26, 2011 07:17 AM

                          Not always easily available here. When I see it in a store, I grab a couple of bottles.

                  2. re: huiray
                    huiray Nov 28, 2011 01:12 PM

                    Cybermonday late lunch/early dinner:

                    Brunoise of white onion, shallots, red onions, sauteed in veg oil till well caramelized
                    Roast lamb, chopped into smallish chunks, sauteed w/ the onions
                    Heinz 57 tomato ketchup
                    Remainder of canned whole tomatoes w/ juices (ex sour mustard soup - see above)
                    Finely chopped celery
                    Splash of light soy sauce
                    Well-smashed garlic (2 cloves), finely chopped
                    Water, Bay Leaves, generous rice vinegar
                    Dollop of Sambal Terasi
                    Mushroom stems & pieces
                    Simmer 2+ hours, break up lamb, etc.
                    Gernerous dash of dried thyme towards the end.

                    Fresh red-leaf lettuce
                    Steamed broccoli florets

                    Cipriani Egg Noodle Tagliarelle

                  3. Jpan99 Nov 24, 2011 09:20 AM

                    Going to brothers house, here's what I think the menu is

                    Spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms
                    Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato spread with crackers

                    Pumpkin soup
                    Roast turkey
                    Herb stuffing
                    Gluten free stuffing
                    Albanian stuffing
                    Sweet potatoes
                    Brussel sprouts prepared some way
                    Green beans with brie and walnuts
                    Crustless quiche (for me, the veggie)
                    Homemade apple cranberry sauce

                    Apple pie
                    Gluten free squash pie
                    Pumpkin cheesecake pie
                    Custard pie
                    Cherry cheesecake pie

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jpan99
                      Athena Nov 24, 2011 02:18 PM

                      @Jpan99 - would really appreciate a recipe for the gluten free stuffing. I was trying to help out one of my co-workers yesterday with ideas on how to do that.

                      To everyone - I have so enjoyed reading all your amazing menus - I am not American, but love reading about TDay menus - and poach ideas for Christmas dinner...

                      1. re: Jpan99
                        peppermint_sky Nov 24, 2011 07:26 PM

                        Jpan --

                        How was the pumpkin soup? Pumpkin and squash soups are personal favorites in chilly weather... I usually roast the squash/pumpkin and transform it into a creamy puree with shallots/onion, garlic, homemade broth, and something like rosemary. Toasted squash or pumpkin seeds to adorn :)

                      2. c
                        ChiliDude Nov 24, 2011 05:20 AM

                        Everyone at the dinner table has some Italian genes, from 25% to 100%, except me. If you know anything about an Italian holiday meal, you know that there are several courses served in a particular order. After the antipasto comes 'il primo piatto', the 1st course...pasta. I will not partake of pasta when there is stuffing (dressing) to be had. I see pasta so often during the year. Stuffing is on the menu only once a year.

                        BTW, I made fresh cranberry relish without water. The liquid used was pomegranate cranberry juice and Marsala.

                        Buon giorno ringraziamento tutti! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ChiliDude
                          avandelay Nov 24, 2011 05:51 AM

                          A mix carnivore/vegetarian thanksgiving so hopefully something for everyone. All the dishes except for the real turkey and its gravy are vegetarian.

                          Spiced pecans
                          Parsnip soup with caramalized apples
                          Lemon roasted green beans with Marcona almonds
                          Brussel sprouts with red wine vinegar and candied pepitas
                          Vegetarian stuffing
                          Mashed potatoes
                          Sweet potatoes
                          Glazed carrots
                          Dry brined heritage turkey
                          Gravy from chicken stock fortified with turkey drippings
                          Homemade unturkey with its own gravy and stuffing
                          Biscuits with compound butters
                          Candied mandarin oranges
                          Cranberry sauce

                          Maple pecan pie
                          Apple pie
                          Chocolate cream pie

                        2. alkapal Nov 24, 2011 04:48 AM

                          …and a last minute desperate plea from the turkey lobby:

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: alkapal
                            Veggo Nov 24, 2011 04:54 AM

                            A pavo-vian reflex?

                            1. re: Veggo
                              alkapal Nov 24, 2011 05:27 AM

                              good one, man! happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

                              remember, don't let the pavos get you down.

                              1. re: alkapal
                                Veggo Nov 24, 2011 05:52 AM

                                A tuyos tambien, feliz!
                                I'm setting up for the roast duck, chestnuts are cooling, oysters are next. Enjoy the parade!

                                1. re: alkapal
                                  Barbara76137 Nov 24, 2011 03:15 PM

                                  Yesterday I finally realized what "pavo" was in Spanish. I knew pato was duck, didn't know pavo was turkey. And of course I know pollo is chicken. What other poultry is this gringa missing?

                                  1. re: Barbara76137
                                    Veggo Nov 24, 2011 03:23 PM

                                    The other most widely eaten birds are codorniz (quail), paloma (dove), and faisan (pheasant). If you get to Playa del Carmen in Mexico, try El Faisan Y el Venado - the pheasant and the deer - an old school Mayan restaurant.

                                    1. re: Veggo
                                      Barbara76137 Nov 24, 2011 05:29 PM

                                      thanks, Veggo.

                            2. alkapal Nov 24, 2011 04:47 AM

                              Peking Duck! LOL

                              And here's my Happy Thanksgiving shout out to you all! **
                              These chickens are happy because Mr. Turkey is on the dining table today. ;-).

                              **(Selected in honor of Gonzo winning the Tournament of Muppets):

                              1. m
                                MAH Nov 23, 2011 11:53 PM

                                This year we are hosting my husband's family for the first time in our new home. We spent years traveling to be with far away family on the holidays and are pleased to finally be able to host. On the menu:

                                Free Range Turkey brined in Alton Brown's veggie stock concoction, then dried and rubbed with herbed butter (sage, rosemary & thyme) amplified with a bit of truffle oil -- massaged under the breast skin and on the skin elsewhere.

                                my attempt at recreating my Mom's sausage apple stuffing
                                mashed potatoes made with a bit of roasted garlic
                                whipped maple sweet potatoes
                                green beans with bacon/shallots
                                roasted asparagus
                                gravy made from 16hr slow simmered turkey stock
                                fresh cranberry/orange relish

                                Apple ginger pie
                                Pumpkin cheesecake

                                1. DuchessNukem Nov 23, 2011 11:04 PM

                                  It's Thanksgiving weekend for us this year. Going out tomorrow with friends for steaks but we had a mini-Thanksgiving tonight (and will bring leftovers in a cooler for the friends).

                                  So tonight:
                                  Dry champagne
                                  Turkey liver pate (my first time! and fab!) on water crackers

                                  12# turkey (in stages, in small convection oven)
                                  Mashed potatoes
                                  Stuffing with cashews
                                  Steamed sweet potato rounds
                                  Gravy with shallots and mushrooms
                                  Green beans

                                  Ginger poof (chocolate wafer/whipped cream log recipe)
                                  Pumpkin pie and whipped cream

                                  Later this weekend (Thu-Sun):
                                  Cranberry sauce
                                  Butter tarts (Canadian style)
                                  Goat cheese/tomato tarts
                                  Roasted hazelnuts

                                  1. s
                                    SeoulQueen Nov 23, 2011 09:57 PM

                                    Am cooking for husband, in-laws, my parents, my brother and his wife plus niece so here's the menu (no apps as everyone wants to just do heavy damage to the main meal):

                                    Honey maple pork roast with bacon
                                    Herbe des provence roast turkey
                                    Apricot cranberry sauce
                                    Roast caramelized carrots and zucchini
                                    Arugula salad with lemon dressing
                                    Garlic and rosemary roast potatoes
                                    Twice baked sweet potato mash
                                    Herbed shallot stuffing
                                    Steamed corn

                                    pumpkin pie
                                    double crust apple pie
                                    vanilla ice cream
                                    chocolate ice cream
                                    fresh homemade custard

                                    all washed down with numerous bottles of wine and cocktails (sparkling apple juice for the niece)

                                    1. BananaBirkLarsen Nov 23, 2011 06:54 PM

                                      It's just me and my boyfriend this year, and possibly a neighbour and maybe another friend. Nevertheless...

                                      warm sourdough bread
                                      Swiss cheese
                                      home cured olives
                                      oil and balsamic for dipping

                                      a 20lb turkey (we're looking forward to the leftovers)
                                      sourdough stuffing
                                      mashed potatoes
                                      cranberry sauce with orange, pomegranate and cinnamon
                                      sweet potatoes with maple syrup and chipotle
                                      green beans with bacon
                                      creamed corn with peppers and onions
                                      more wine

                                      pear pie with maple and ginger

                                      If other people come, they might bring something as well.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                        suburban_mom Nov 23, 2011 08:36 PM

                                        You really must like turkey. I'm only making a 12 lb turkey for my family of 5.

                                        1. re: suburban_mom
                                          BananaBirkLarsen Nov 23, 2011 09:42 PM

                                          We actually bought this one because it was on sale for 1/3 the price of the smaller turkeys -- $10 instead of $30. But I'm sure we'll find a ton of good things to do with the leftovers!

                                      2. Barbara76137 Nov 23, 2011 06:29 PM

                                        Thanksgiving for one here, so I'm deboning a turkey thigh and will butterfly it and stuff & roll it. I'll braise the bone in the oven with some carrot, celery & onion and that will be the base for my gravy.

                                        Sides will be a pureed sweet potato with chiles en adobo, a cauliflower, mushroom, goat cheese casserole, and a crisp, green salad with dried cranberries, bleu cheese & balsamic will start the meal.

                                        Not very exciting, but I really need to lose some weight and I can only eat so much. I'm trying to incorporate all of the "flavors of the season" and also keep a tight budget.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Barbara76137
                                          Sushiqueen36 Nov 23, 2011 06:56 PM

                                          I think it sounds wonderful!

                                          1. re: Barbara76137
                                            peppermint_sky Nov 24, 2011 08:05 AM

                                            Barbara, Could you share the recipe for the cauliflower, mushroom, and goat cheese casserole? Sounds great.

                                            And that menu does sound exciting, to me

                                            1. re: peppermint_sky
                                              Barbara76137 Nov 24, 2011 12:54 PM

                                              It's a Bobby Flay recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...

                                              He doesn't use mushrooms but how can some sliced criminis be bad?

                                            2. re: Barbara76137
                                              Jen76 Nov 24, 2011 08:06 AM

                                              Wow, I think your menu sounds amazing! I love the idea of a deboned stuffed turkey thigh!

                                              1. re: Jen76
                                                Barbara76137 Nov 24, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                Here is the braised bone & veggies out of the oven as well as the stuffed thigh going into the oven:

                                                1. re: Barbara76137
                                                  Barbara76137 Nov 24, 2011 02:44 PM

                                                  almost opened a bad can of chiles en adobo! that's what I get shopping at discount stores!

                                                  Dinner smells wonderful!

                                                  1. re: Barbara76137
                                                    Jen76 Nov 24, 2011 09:12 PM

                                                    Looks fantastic. I hope it was! I'm totally going to try the stuffed turkey thigh sometime. Yum!

                                              2. s
                                                sweetpotater Nov 23, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                Just six of us at my place:
                                                Champagne brandy cocktail
                                                Shrimp cocktail
                                                Wild mushrooom and parsnip soup
                                                Uncured ham with molasses bourbon glaze
                                                Sausage fennel stuffing
                                                Mashed potatoes
                                                Spiced cranberry sauce
                                                Thomas Keller's green bean casserole
                                                Pumpkin bread pudding
                                                Secret treat I don't know about

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: sweetpotater
                                                  foodie06 Nov 23, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                  Apple Cider Sangria
                                                  Cheese Plate-three cheeses, fig spread, crackers, grapes and pears
                                                  Artichoke Dip
                                                  Puff Pastry Cups with Mushroom Duxelles

                                                  Turkey with Gravy
                                                  Cranberry Conserve
                                                  Green Beans
                                                  Mashed Potatoes
                                                  Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Brulee

                                                  Chocolate Cream Pie
                                                  Pumpkin Pie
                                                  Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

                                                  1. re: foodie06
                                                    Jerseygirl111 Nov 24, 2011 05:33 AM

                                                    Apple cider Sangria? Sounds yummy! Recipe please.

                                                    1. re: Jerseygirl111
                                                      foodie06 Nov 24, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                      The Apple Cider Sangria was fantastic. I made it with a reisling and substituted cognac for the brandy.


                                                  2. re: sweetpotater
                                                    suburban_mom Nov 23, 2011 06:42 PM

                                                    Champagne brandy cocktail? Can you share the recipe? I'm intrigued.

                                                    1. re: suburban_mom
                                                      sweetpotater Nov 24, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                      It's actually called a Thanksgiving Sparkler, from Chow: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10522-tha...

                                                      1. re: sweetpotater
                                                        suburban_mom Nov 24, 2011 09:30 AM


                                                  3. goodhealthgourmet Nov 23, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                    i'm keeping it uncharacteristically simple this year as it's only 3 of us instead of the usual army:
                                                    - herbed roasted turkey breast
                                                    - garlic green beans
                                                    - spiced cranberry compote/relish
                                                    - turnip souffle
                                                    - baked sweet potatoes
                                                    - pumpkin custard
                                                    - apple pie (the only thing i'm not making - Mom requested her fave from Balthazar Bakery)

                                                    1. s
                                                      sparkareno Nov 23, 2011 04:38 PM

                                                      Apps: crab legs and shrimp w/ cocktail sauce & cilantro garlic sauce
                                                      cranberry martinis
                                                      Dinner: Dry brined turkey with some kind of apple cider glaze (on the Weber if no rain)
                                                      Cornbread, chorizo, roasted corn dressing
                                                      Sweet Potato souffle w/ chipotle and bacon
                                                      Cranberry & Pineapple sauce with jalapenos and cilantro
                                                      Shredded brussel sprouts w/ shallots
                                                      Mashed Potatoes
                                                      Gallons of Gravy

                                                      Dessert: whatever someone brings
                                                      Champagne & Pinot Noir to drink
                                                      It will be a spicy thanksgiving at my house.

                                                      And I too want the pumpkin martini recipe!!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: sparkareno
                                                        amyatkendall Nov 23, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                        Another vote for the pumpkin martooni recipe, please!

                                                        Menu for us:

                                                        Football game appetizers:
                                                        bloody mary's
                                                        relish tray: gherkies, dill pickles, deviled eggs, pickled okra, pickled tomatoes, pickled cauliflower, black olives, green olives
                                                        salmon pate

                                                        roasted turkey
                                                        sage stuffing
                                                        cranberry orange sauce
                                                        Paula Deen's green bean casserole
                                                        sweet potato bake
                                                        seasoned sauerkraut (Baltimore tradition)
                                                        turkey gravy

                                                        pumpkin pie with pecan/hazelnut crust
                                                        cranberry apple crisp
                                                        pecan pie bites (figs stuffed with pecans)
                                                        assorted cheeses
                                                        red grapes
                                                        Port, Coffee

                                                        1. re: amyatkendall
                                                          Mattkn Nov 23, 2011 06:16 PM

                                                          We always have sauerkraut salad at TG as well. Way out here in Oklahoma!

                                                      2. s
                                                        suburban_mom Nov 23, 2011 04:33 PM

                                                        It is just my family of 5 - so a small celebration.


                                                        Queso and chips
                                                        Spinach dip and carrots
                                                        Cheese, sausage, slice apple and crackers


                                                        Brined and fried turkey
                                                        Cornbread dressing with chorizo
                                                        Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and chili pecans on top
                                                        Brussels sprouts gratin
                                                        Cranberry sauce with cilantro, green onions, and jalapeno
                                                        Cherry Coke salad
                                                        Pillsbury crescent rolls


                                                        Costco Pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: suburban_mom
                                                          peppermint_sky Nov 23, 2011 07:10 PM

                                                          Which recipe are you using for the brussels sprouts gratin?

                                                          and -- what is cherry coke salad?

                                                          1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                            suburban_mom Nov 23, 2011 08:34 PM

                                                            Cherry Coke Salad: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bing-Che... . This is a recipe my MIL has always made so I make it for my husband and kids.

                                                            The brussels sprouts gratin recipe is one I got from a friend. I'm not sure the origin. Here it is in the original form she gave me:

                                                            2 lb. Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and outer leaves removed; sprouts cut in half through the stem end

                                                            3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

                                                            Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

                                                            1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or Panko

                                                            1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese

                                                            1-1/4 cups heavy cream

                                                            Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the Brussels sprouts in a shallow baking dish that will hold them in a snug single layer (I use a big, high-lipped cookie sheet). Toss with 2 Tbs. of the melted butter, 3/4 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Spread them evenly in the dish and roast, tossing once or twice, until browned in spots and tender when pierced with a knife, 25 to 30 minutes.

                                                            While the sprouts roast, combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 Tbs. melted butter and 1/8 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Mix in the Gruyère.

                                                            When the Brussels sprouts are tender and browned, pour the cream over them and continue baking until the cream has thickened to a saucy consistency and coats the sprouts, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven (because I roast them on a cookie sheet, at this point, I put them in a 9x13 or casserole dish).

                                                            Set the oven to broil and position a rack to 6 inches below the broiler. Sprinkle on the breadcrumb mixture. Broil the gratin until the crust is deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Makes 8 side dish servings.

                                                        2. Will Owen Nov 23, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                          Looks like I get the shortest menu this year! Because our family gathering is down to five, and Mrs. O has gone veggie on us, I decided that only the bird itself should be non-vegetarian. We will have a baked bread dressing with no critters or sausage in it, the potatoes (since there's no gravy) will be a sort of gratin Dauphinois with a layer of marinated artichokes between the two layers of potatoes and cheese. Brussels sprouts will be steamed, then cooked in a gratin dish with plenty of butter, and since Mom can't handle corn, and has hated any kind of squash soup since having to eat it during WW2, the other veg will be haricots verts, also with almost enough butter. Sorbet for dessert. No cranberries, no oysters, no pie. Plenty of wine, though!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                                            TorontoJo Nov 23, 2011 04:17 PM

                                                            Wha...wha...what? No gravy? But that (and stuffing) are the best part of Thanksgiving!

                                                            Tell you what, I'll consume extra gravy in your honor... :)

                                                            BTW, sorbet sounds perfect for dessert. As does the "plenty of wine" part.

                                                            1. re: TorontoJo
                                                              gmm Nov 23, 2011 07:58 PM

                                                              I loove turkey gravy. I think making the stock this year will be the most time intensive part of the meal. I'll be cooking for my parents at their home, and none of us like dark meat turkey, so I butterflied the turkey and lopped off the legs and wings and roasted those pieces before simmering with veggies for around 8 hours. Honestly, if I had stuffing, mashed potatoes and good gravy, I probably wouldn't even care if I had turkey.

                                                              1. re: gmm
                                                                Will Owen Nov 24, 2011 10:03 PM

                                                                To all who have expressed concern, please note: nobody missed gravy (or if they did they were too polite to mention it), but gravy IS in the offing. This stunning tiny Diestel bird had giblets to die for, and left really good goop on the floor of the roaster, which got carefully scraped out into the gallon Zip that the carcass went into. All of these things will make a nice batch of gravy, which will be used to make a big batch of my beloved turkey hash (gravy, dressing and chopped meat). This will be parcelled out, labelled and frozen, so that whenever I'm feeling sorry for myself I can thaw some, pat it into a cake and fry it, then top it with an egg, and be all better right away.

                                                                The potato thing did not turn out as well-organized as it was supposed to, coming out of the oven as a pan of potato cream soup. I just shovelled the solids and some cream out into a bowl, and it was delicious and well received. And of course it seems I put twice as much food back into the refrigerator(s) as I'd spent the day cooking, as always.

                                                          2. biondanonima Nov 23, 2011 01:54 PM

                                                            Here's the scoop chez moi:

                                                            Olive-Cheddar Balls
                                                            No-Knead Bread and Anchor butter
                                                            Cheese ball/crudites/hummus (brought by a guest)

                                                            Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey
                                                            Roasted Shallot, Fennel and Sausage Stuffing
                                                            Turkey Gravy
                                                            Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Caramelized Onions
                                                            Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts
                                                            Cranberry Sauce with Port and Figs
                                                            Butternut Squash and Kale with Olive Vinaigrette
                                                            Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel (another guest contribution)

                                                            Sour Cherry Pie
                                                            Apple Pie
                                                            Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
                                                            Chocolate-Salted Caramel Cake (guest contribution)

                                                            I've got pretty much everything prepped - all I have left to do is bake the pies tonight, then I'll assemble and bake/reheat most everything else tomorrow. In addition, we're having a "leftover" Thanksgiving on Saturday to include a friend who will be out of town on Thursday, and she's bringing Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, Creamed Onions and Chicken Liver Pate. I'm almost more excited about Saturday than I am about tomorrow!

                                                            1. Euonymous Nov 23, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                              Apps: Spanakopita I made last week and froze.

                                                              Roasted turkey
                                                              Sausage and apple stuffing
                                                              Mashed sweet potatoes
                                                              Fresh cranberry orange sauce

                                                              My friends are bringing vegetables and desert, but I don't know what they'll be. It should be good!

                                                              1. m
                                                                MissusLisa Nov 23, 2011 12:12 PM

                                                                I always host, I love to and the ladies in my family were happy to pass the torch.

                                                                Goat cheese roll, rolled in smoked paprika
                                                                Variety of water crackers
                                                                Grapes, apples and pears
                                                                Veggie tray
                                                                Homemade Ranch dressing for dipping
                                                                Artichoke and jalapeño dip

                                                                Roasted turkey
                                                                Sourdough stuffing
                                                                Cornbread dressing with apple sausage and pecans
                                                                Salad with cranberries, feta cheese and pecans
                                                                Steamed green beans
                                                                Mashed potatoes, trying Yukons instead of red this year
                                                                Turkey gravy

                                                                Pumpkin pie
                                                                Apple pie
                                                                Pumpkin cheesecake
                                                                Real whipped cream

                                                                Asstd. Merlots and Chardonnays
                                                                Sparkling cider
                                                                Asstd. Italian Sodas and waters

                                                                I think that is it, but I probably forgot something.

                                                                1. s
                                                                  Sushiqueen36 Nov 23, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                  I should be shopping right now instead of sitting on CH. There's only going to be 5 of us though I keep trying to find "strays" to join us. Going very traditional this year!

                                                                  Cheese plate - haven't decided which yet. I have a small cheese shop and will bring home some of what doesn't sell today. Brillat Savarin will definitely be one of them (not because it hasn't sold - because it's a treat).
                                                                  Great local salami

                                                                  Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey
                                                                  Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Dressing (have made every year for about 8 years- love it)
                                                                  Cranberry Sauce - haven't decided on recipe yet
                                                                  Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
                                                                  Mashed Potatoes
                                                                  Gravy (made turkey stock last night for the gravy - a first for me)
                                                                  Winter Fruit Salad (apples, pears, dried cranberries, romaine, cashews, poppyseed dressing)

                                                                  Dried Apple Tart - (another family favorite and makes the house smell amazing)
                                                                  Mud Pie (mom's bringing)

                                                                  Lots of wine!

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Sushiqueen36
                                                                    hto44 Nov 23, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                    Love the sound of Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Dressing. Wanna share the recipe? :o)

                                                                    1. re: hto44
                                                                      peppermint_sky Nov 23, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                                      I would really like to peek at that recipe, too. I am not really a big fan of old-school stuffing. Theidea of this appeals to me, though.

                                                                      1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                        Sushiqueen36 Nov 23, 2011 06:53 PM

                                                                        Here you go - it was in Sunset Magazine years ago. Hope it's not too late I was working and didn't get back to CH til just now!


                                                                        1. re: Sushiqueen36
                                                                          peppermint_sky Nov 24, 2011 07:58 AM

                                                                          Thank you, Sushiqueen. I might try that for Christmas, or even for a Sunday dinner before then. It reminds me of all of the goodness of a hot artichoke dip, but as a side dish.... yum! Thank you :)

                                                                          1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                            Sushiqueen36 Nov 25, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                            It is my favorite and I've never been a real stuffing fan either. It's my favorite dish now. It never goes into the bird - I like it crusty. I also like it best with a rustic sourdough bread rather than a softer one that gets too mushy.

                                                                            1. re: Sushiqueen36
                                                                              peppermint_sky Nov 25, 2011 10:50 AM

                                                                              Sushiqueen -- You might like this butternut squash gratin -- based on your comment about the crusty bread. I caramelized the squash per the recipe, used my own homemade broth, and roasted all of that on Thanksgiving Eve. Then yesterday I added the topping: rosemary bread (cut into 1/2-inch cubes and toasted in the oven until crunchy) and white cheddar cheese and some dried thyme. It was a HUGE hit and just one of those dishes where the result is a transformation of all of the individual ingredients.


                                                                              1. re: peppermint_sky
                                                                                Sushiqueen36 Nov 25, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                                That does sound really good! Might have to give it a try in the next week or two...

                                                                  2. j
                                                                    jarona Nov 23, 2011 05:34 AM

                                                                    We will be having mykids, my ex-husband and his girlfriend for over for dinner. Fiance's daughter, husband and child will be on hand for dessert.

                                                                    The menu:
                                                                    Kir Royale

                                                                    Onion & Mushroom confit with Goat Cheese Tartlets
                                                                    Spinach and Artichoke Dip with crackers and crudites
                                                                    Good Old Trashy Pigs in a Blanket.

                                                                    Roast Turkey
                                                                    Sausage Stuffing
                                                                    Mashed Potatos
                                                                    Sweet Potatos
                                                                    Green Bean Casserole
                                                                    Chowhound's Butternut Squash/Celery Root Gratin
                                                                    Brussels Sprouts, sauteed and topped with Candied Bacon
                                                                    Mashed Turnips
                                                                    Jellied Cranberry Sauce

                                                                    Cheese Platter
                                                                    Milky Brie
                                                                    Brie with Grand Marnier and Citrus
                                                                    Stilson with Cranberry
                                                                    Brie with Cranberry

                                                                    Pumpkin Roulade
                                                                    Pumpkin Pie
                                                                    Pecan Pie
                                                                    Nutella Tart

                                                                    Lots of good, "tastes like dirt" red wine,

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jarona
                                                                      Dcfoodblog Nov 23, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                                      Wow. That's the testament to a very functional set of relationships. And the menu looks delish.

                                                                      1. re: jarona
                                                                        Mattkn Nov 23, 2011 06:04 PM

                                                                        We have the super extended family gathering as well. My parents who have been divorced for 30 years will be there with their respective spouses. Also, my Uncle's ex wife will be joining us my Aunt's house. Just one big happy family. I think its awesome.

                                                                        The onion mushroom tart sounds just wonderful.

                                                                        1. re: Mattkn
                                                                          Barbara76137 Nov 23, 2011 06:16 PM

                                                                          I guess the mutual love of good food can be stronger than any other "incompatibilities" . Maybe we should deploy a bunch of chefs instead of troops wherever there is conflict :)

                                                                      2. m
                                                                        magiesmom Nov 23, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                        We're going to friends
                                                                        not sure of the apps, but they will be minimal as we are all turkey focused.

                                                                        Turkey with oyster stuffing and giblet gravy

                                                                        cornbread dressing

                                                                        Sweet and sour cippolini onions

                                                                        Sauteed brussies with candied pecans

                                                                        Garlic mashed potatoes

                                                                        Baked yams

                                                                        Several kinds of cranberry sauce

                                                                        pumpkin/sweet potato pie

                                                                        Cranberry tart with shortbread crust and a layer of dark chocolate

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: magiesmom
                                                                          peppermint_sky Nov 24, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                          magiesmom --- That tart sounds similar to the one I am making (good health gourmet's recipe) -- toasty oatmeal crust, dark chocolate and the cranberries. I'm so excited -- my first time making a tart! How do you make yours?

                                                                        2. f
                                                                          ForFoodsSake Nov 23, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                                          Hosting it at my house for the first time this year! Here is our menu:

                                                                          Deviled Eggs
                                                                          Brie en Croute with Apples

                                                                          Turkey Breast
                                                                          Honey Baked Ham
                                                                          Spaghetti w/ Marinara (my husband won't eat ham or turkey)

                                                                          Salad with pear, pecans, and gorgonzola
                                                                          Corn Chowder
                                                                          White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
                                                                          Carrot Soufflé
                                                                          Apple and Sweet Potato Roast
                                                                          Stuffing Cups
                                                                          Roasted Brussels Sprouts
                                                                          Cranberry Sauce
                                                                          Parker House Rolls

                                                                          Pecan Pie
                                                                          Apple Pie

                                                                          Speaking of, I guess I better get off of Chowhound and on to my prep work. Happy Thanksgiving!

                                                                          1. r
                                                                            River19 Nov 23, 2011 05:16 AM

                                                                            Heading up to our cabin after work today…….

                                                                            Nice cheese plate along with some outstanding smoked meats
                                                                            Seared woodcock breast on a crustini with fresh goat cheese and mushrooms
                                                                            Pumpkin Martinis……..

                                                                            Dinner (nice and simple):
                                                                            Stuffing with apple and sausage
                                                                            Smashed Taters
                                                                            Brussels Sprouts with bacon and vanilla
                                                                            Boatloads of Gravy
                                                                            Crescent Rolls (my wife loves these) and homemade bread
                                                                            Corn in butter sauce for my friends who are on the fence on sprouts

                                                                            A few good growlers of beer…..plus some bottles of wine available….

                                                                            Dessert is whatever our friends bring…….

                                                                            Word is about 6-10” of snow today up there, wood is stacked and ready for the woodstove. Tomorrow will consist of a nice morning hunt with the dogs, cooking, football, beverages and a nice fire in the woodstove……….sounds perfect to me.

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: River19
                                                                              rabaja Nov 23, 2011 06:10 AM

                                                                              Sounds perfect to me too! Enjoy!
                                                                              Hope to celebrate like that one day with my family. Cabin, snow, dogs, fire....good food and friends.
                                                                              Gobble, gobble!

                                                                              1. re: River19
                                                                                Sushiqueen36 Nov 23, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                Curious about those pumpkin martinis. I am not a pumpkin fan but maybe it's because I haven't tried drinking it yet...

                                                                                1. re: River19
                                                                                  RUK Nov 23, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                                  "Brussels Sprouts with bacon and vanilla"
                                                                                  Now that sounds interesting! Vanilla? It is good, yes?

                                                                                  1. re: RUK
                                                                                    River19 Nov 27, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                                                    Roasted the sprouts in the morning in olive oil S&P like we normally eat them, then before dinner I cooked down some bacon and then scraped in some fresh vanilla and a drop or two of extract.........damn good. Go light with the vanilla as it can quickly overpower things. The little amount was perfect, worked well with the saltiness of the bacon. Will do again.

                                                                                    1. re: River19
                                                                                      RUK Nov 27, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                                      Thanks so much, River :-)

                                                                                      1. re: River19
                                                                                        alkapal Nov 29, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                                        what inspired vanilla?

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                          River19 Nov 29, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                                          I had done something like this about 10years ago with greens and it turned out alright but I was too heavy on the sweet and abandoned the idea. I have come a long way since then in the kitchen and I recently saw something Flay did with the same types of flavors and it reminded me of my semi-successful attempt. So I busted out the idea again for Thanksgiving.

                                                                                          Since I roasted the sprouts ahead of time, I was able to chuck one in a bowl and drop a touch of vanilla in to see if the flavors worked as well as I thought they would. It also allowed me to figure out what a light touch with the vanilla was necessary, you can always add.

                                                                                          The bacon’s saltiness was a perfect complement to the sweet.

                                                                                          I’ll do it again sometime…..came out well.

                                                                                          1. re: River19
                                                                                            alkapal Dec 1, 2011 03:41 PM

                                                                                            interesting. i would never have thought of that combination. but then again, i am not bobby flay. ;-).

                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                              River19 Dec 2, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                              One of the best appetizers my wife and I ever had was an excellent execution of fresh lobster meat with a vanilla crème fresh served on the side……..sometimes vanilla and flavors similar to that can be a great accent. I’ve used a lavender powder as well before with decent results. Not sure where I scored that stuff, but it was cool to use……gone now….

                                                                                              1. re: River19
                                                                                                alkapal Dec 2, 2011 05:35 PM

                                                                                                hmmm…well…the vanilla is possibly doable and i shall consider it next time i create a shellfish dish. i cannot do lavender, however, even though i love it in other applications -- just not my food. my first experience with lavender in food was a lavender creme brulee in the napa valley grill in yountville, ca, several years ago.

                                                                                                i just two weeks ago bought some nice salami with an herbs de provence rub, but had to be sure that it didn't have lavender in that version. (delicious salmi, by the way, and for locals, i got it at arrowine in arlington).

                                                                                  2. h
                                                                                    hto44 Nov 23, 2011 04:59 AM

                                                                                    I will spending it at my parents. Here is the menu:

                                                                                    onion dip
                                                                                    cheese & crackers
                                                                                    shrimp cocktail

                                                                                    Roasted turkey with gravy
                                                                                    Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                    Sweet Potato
                                                                                    Roasted Potato
                                                                                    Classic Herb stuffing
                                                                                    Green bean casserole
                                                                                    Roasted butternut squash with pears & cranberries
                                                                                    Creamed onions

                                                                                    *Can you believe we are having (3) types of potatoes?! Gotta please everyone...lol!

                                                                                    Apple pie
                                                                                    Chocolate caramel pie
                                                                                    Lemon meringue

                                                                                    A variety of wines. I am brings a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir (Erath and Wild Horse)

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: hto44
                                                                                      Athena Nov 23, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                                                      @hto44 I would love to hear more about the roasted butternut squash with pears and cranberries!

                                                                                      1. re: Athena
                                                                                        hto44 Nov 23, 2011 02:46 PM

                                                                                        Here you go!

                                                                                        Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Cranberries
                                                                                        ~8-10 side servings

                                                                                        2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
                                                                                        1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
                                                                                        1/8 teaspoon allspice
                                                                                        2 pinches of kosher salt
                                                                                        4 cups butternut squash chunks (roughly 1″ cubes)
                                                                                        3 cups pear (Bosc) chunks (roughly 1″ cubes)
                                                                                        1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
                                                                                        2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

                                                                                        Instructions -

                                                                                        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                                                                                        2. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.

                                                                                        3. In a large bowl, toss together butternut squash, pears, and dried cranberries. Pour butter over it and sprinkle with sugar/spice mix. Toss until well distributed.

                                                                                        4. Spread into a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and toss or stir. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the squash and pears are for tender. Check seasoning and serve hot.


                                                                                        This dish can easily be made ahead of time, cooled, and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. When you want to serve it, heat it up in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot.

                                                                                        1. re: hto44
                                                                                          Athena Nov 24, 2011 03:10 AM

                                                                                          @hto44 - thank you so much for taking the time to post the recipe! I have cut and pasted it.

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