I hate that this didn’t get posted before thanksgiving 😦 My computer had a hiccup and I didn’t get it up in time. So keep this in mind for next year!
I’ve put A LOT of time, research, and thought into this year’s thanksgiving. I’m cooking for 11 which is a great number because you don’t have to make obscene quantities. A lot of magazines, websites, etc. have recommended picking only 3-4 sides but that just doesn’t seem right to me. Thanskgiving isn’t thanksgiving without all the good stuff.
Here’s the menu:
People are always freaking out about the turkey but that’s usually the easiest part. Buy a good, chemical-free turkey. We brine ours in Williams Sonoma turkey brine. The price tag is a little hefty but it’s worth it. Williams sonoma also sells brining bags that are great. We keep the turkey in an ice water cooler for 12 hours. Take it out and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Rinse all the brine off and pat dry. Brush with oil and stuff with thyme, lemons, garlic, and onions. Then roast! 1 hour at 400 degrees and 1 hour at 325 degrees.
Some highlights that I highly recommend for your thanksgiving meal:
- Alton Brown’s Green Bean Casserole I love this recipe because it doesn’t use canned cream of mushroom. You make your own mushroom cream sauce which is much more flavorful. It can be assembled in advance and then popped in the oven until bubbly. He makes his own fried onions but using French’s fried onions from the can are much better.
- Mac and Cheese This doesn’t usually come up as a traditional side at thanksgiving but it fits the thanksgiving mold pretty well (high fat and high carb). This is a grown up version of mac and cheese that is fabulous. It calls for 12 oz of gruyere and 8 oz of sharp cheddar but I switch he amounts around because gruyere is not only expensive but I like cheddar to be the more prominant taste. You can assemble ahead of time and then bake but do not bake and reheat.
- Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart I haven’t made this without getting amazing reviews. It can be made days ahead of time. Don’t worry about the banana- it’s only a subtle taste. It’s so much better than pumpkin pie for multiple reasons. Be careful with the removable bottom tart shell. Pick it up from the sides. I’ve picked it up supporting only the bottom and the whole thing fell through. Serve cold with extra whipped cream.
- Pecan Pie with Whiskey Cream Sauce You’ll be licking the cream sauce off of your plate.