Tried and True Thanksgiving Menu

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As promised, this is my tried and true thanksgiving menu with recipe links and personal notes. Each one of these recipes are the exact links I personally use myself. They have never let me down. It always feel safer using a recipe recommended by a friend. Monday is the big shopping day to stock up on ingredients, so add one or all these recipes to your menu plans.

Cornbread Stuffing. This recipe has several variations. Each year I opt for whole cranberries, cubed butternut squash and hazelnuts. I stuff it in the bird, though you must be sure to check the internal temperature. The whole cranberries and butternut squash in the stuffing help meet the requirement to have those two flavors on the table. Make the cornbread three days ahead so it can get stale.

Greenbean Casserole. A fancier version of the family favorite casserole. This features a homemade sauce and fresh mushrooms. It’s extra work and I admittedly only make it once or twice per year. When the recipe first debuted it featured sliced water chestnuts and I still include a small can of those.

Sweet Potato Casserole. This version is a fluffy almost soufflé style dish. It simply cannot be beat. You can make it or buy it. I often buy it and it is just as delicious as when I make it.

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash. As a wild card recipe, I tried this last year and it was a crowd favorite. The presentation is elegant and it is worth the effort. It can also replace stuffing all together if you want to create a smaller spread. The recipe version I linked to is savory with a Parmesan cheese garnish. I have made it many times since as a main course for supper.

Scalloped Potatoes. For several years I made the NY Times recipe of roasted fingerling potatoes with figs. This version of Scalloped Potatoes by Alice Waters is far tastier and easier to make. I recommend taking a few extra moments to use a mandolin to slice the potatoes. It makes for a prettier presentation. And honestly any cheese is delicious, including a white sharp cheddar. Gruyere isn’t always available where we live.

Another important note, all these side items – except the stuffed acorn squash – can be prepped the day before and kept in the refrigerator. It goes with out saying that you have to wake up in the middle of the night to put your turkey in the oven. Guests bring dessert. It is not easy and it is not a simple process but it is a successful plan I have refined over ten years. Chianti or Syrah go best with this menu. Next year I plan to try out a new dressing and a Cajun turkey recipe. I look forward to sharing that. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

“I enjoy cooking with wine.. Sometimes I even put it in the food!”

– Julia Child

 

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juliska wine

{Photos used with permission from Juliska}

 

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