November 5, 2007

Best Thanksgiving Day Dinner Recipe Cards

With the guest list materializing, Thanksgiving Dinner 2007 is on many of our minds. I'm somewhat of a Thanksgiving novice, usually being an invited guest instead of the hostess but reality must be faced. I'm going to have to make my first Thanksgiving dinner someday. I thought everyone could share one or two of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes here so that we have a quick guide to the best of the dinner table on Thanksgiving day and add the menu to your recipe cards. You know my rules though, nothing too difficult (unless it's REALLY worth it) and preferable something that doesn't take all day to prepare.

What is your best or favorite Thanksgiving recipe? I'll start:

Scalloped Potato Gratin Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, Food Network

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or substitute any kind of milk - whole down to skim)
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling (you can substitute any cheese here - cheddar is a fan favorite. Also, feel free to mix cheeses. I like to mix cheddar and Parmesan.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg.

While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Make SURE to slice potatoes thin enough that they'll be able to cook in the pan in the allotted time. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.

Trust me, the turkey will get jealous. The nutmeg is the secret, awesome ingredient.

What's your winning recipe going to be this year? Please leave it in the comments section.


AzĂșcar said...

Here are a couple that are big hits at our house:

Cranberry "Salad"

1 Bag of cranberries frozen
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of red grapes halved
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 pint cream, whipped (not sweetened.)

Place FROZEN cranberries into blender or food processor. Blend into very small pieces/bits. Mix sugar and cranberries together. Place mixture in a fine sieve or strainer lined with cheesecloth/paper towel. Let drain for two hours (most of the sugar will go down the drain with the cranberries.) Press cranberries to release last of syrup. Fold whipped cream, grapes, and walnuts into the cranberries. Serve. Recipe is easily doubled.

Corn Pudding:
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can regular corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
Mix ingredients
Pour into greased 1 1/2- 2 quart casserole. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Lindsay said...

Last year, completely wiped out and miserable from morning sickness, I choked down the turkey dinner for tradition's sake only. My husband (who's not a big turkey fan anyway) and I decided that that was the last time we'd do that. The next time we cook a Thanksgiving feast, it will be steak all the way. We figure it'll cost about the same, but will taste SO MUCH better. That said, though, we can still whip together my favorite mashed potatoes:

-Idaho Potatoes, washed, UNpeeled (because it's easier, tastes fine, AND looks gourmet), and quartered
-cream cheese

Boil the potatoes till soft. Drain. Whip potatoes using a hand mixer. Add milk and cream cheese to desired consistency, and butter, salt, and pepper to desired taste. Mix some more, and voila! Deee-licious mashed potatoes!

Teah said...

We had an Enrichment Activity last year that was similar...we all brought our favorite recipe, and a bit to sample, and went to town. I made my Dad's cranberry sauce. Put a bag of fresh cranberries in a sauce pot, with just a few tablespoons of water. Simmer until the berries have all popped (the juices will come out of the berries). Sweeten with REAL maple syrup (I tried Mrs. Butterworth's last year....not pretty, folks. Costco has it at a pretty good price.) The pectin from the berries will be all the jellin' power you need. Done!

AzĂșcar said...

Oh, a note on the corn pudding, you can halve the butter if you want; not quite as luscious, but still pretty tasty.

Add more walnuts or grapes to the cranberry salad if you like.

Melinda said...

I agree with Azucar for once*. Corn pudding. UMMMMM

*see gun control discussion.

Adrienne said...

I'd post my DIVINE (seriously, ask the people who eat at my house every year) apricot glazed turkey recipe, but it involves A LOT of bourbon. Some of it even goes on the bird. ;)

Hollywood said...

Adrienne, go ahead and post your recipe - not everyone who reads this blog turns into a pillar of salt if they knock back the bourbon. And doesn't alcohol cook out anyways? So what's the recipe?

chanel said...

oh my are you ready....
first you take about three cans of corn and you open them. For further indulgence you warm them up.

Oh oh oh, and there is this magic concoction called Stove Top, its an old family secret, but I think if you really search hard you can find it at your local market.

To top it off and really wow them, you take a frozen pumpkin pie out of the box and bake it.

Nothing says Im Thankful like a modren woman's Thanksgiving meal.
For more of my delictable recipes, see the frozen food section of your grocery store.

kadusey said...

According to several sites I've read online, the idea that alcohol all cooks out when you use it in cooking is one of those commonly believed kitchen myths.

That site's got cooking times and percentage of alcohol left, which I thought was nifty.

I've never done Thanksgiving on my own. I've helped with others though. Rosemary Deep Fried Turkey is delicious (I think we just googled a recipe). Mashed potatoes are quick and easy with milk and butter and salt and pepper (and garlic for the more adventurous). That's about all I've tried making so far.

Janell said...

Cranberry Upside-Down


Libby's Pumpkin Pie (though if you have a Costco near you get a super-big Libby-recipe pie for $5 and only the time it takes there to get there, get in, get to the back, get to the front, check out, exit, and get back home. . . which, depending on your location and number of children that come along, may or may not be quicker than the 1.5 hours to make the pie)

Natalie said...

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. A tip for your turkey -
Coat the inside of a large paper bag (maybe 2 depending on how large your turkey is) with butter. It's messy - but worth it. Put your turkey inside & seal the bag with staples. Roast your turkey according to your directions.
mmm mmm mmm Moist!

elaine flake said...

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
Elaine Flake

3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (or yams or some of both)

½ teas salt

1/3 stick butter or margarine, melted

1 teas vanilla

½ cup sugar

2 eggs slightly beaten

½ cup milk

Mix together. Spoon into greased baking dish.


1/3 stick butter/margarine melted

1/3 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans (walnuts can be used)

Sprinkle topping on sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes

Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad

Elaine Flake

12-16 oz. raw cranberries ground up (or chop very fine)

3 or so apples diced and peeled (use crisp, tart apples)

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup chopped walnuts

½ cup chopped celery

Mix all above ingredients

Whip a half-pint size carton of whipping cream

Add 2 teas. Vanilla

Add 1 cup sugar

Put cream mixture over the salad. Let stand in refrigerator for

24 hours.

This next recipe may not qualify as easy enough, but oh, man is it good, and really, not TOO hard. You're usually in the kitchen while the turkey is cooking anyway, and you can do this to the turkey very quickly.

Flake Family Basted Turkey

Elaine Flake

1. Rub the bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill with peeled onions and stalks of celery. (Stuffing the bird is a lot of trouble and the stuffing is just as good baked separately.)

2. Cut up the heart, gizzard, and liver, and put them with the neck in a 2-quart sauce pan. Never mind if your turkey didn't come with all those parts. Just put in whatever they gave you.

3. Cover these usually wasted parts with 5 cups of water and one cup of apple cider. Add a clove of garlic sliced, a couple of bay leaves, 1/2 teas. coriander and 1/2 teas. salt. Let it simmer on the stove. This is the basting fluid.

4. Make a paste of the yolks of 4 eggs, 1 teas. hot dry mustard, a crushed clove of garlic, 1 Tbls. onion juice (or 2 Tbls, blended onion--add just enough water to blend), 1/2 teas. of cayenne pepper, 1 teas. lemon juice and enough flour to make a nice paste you can spread on the bird.

5. Turn the oven on to 500 degrees. When it is read hot, put the bird in, breast down, in a rack if possible. Close the door. Wait until the bird has begun to brown all over. Take it out and paint it all over with the paste. Put it back in the oven and turn the heat down to 325 degrees and wait until the paste sets. It may work better breast side up this time to keep the paste on. Pull it out paint it again using up all the paste.

6. Now, baste the turkey with the fluid every 15 minutes. Bake about 5 hours for a 16-20 pound turkey.

It's the most tender, flavorful turkey you'll ever eat!

Rynell said...

I make these rolls every Thanksgiving. They are a hit with our family.

Crescent Rolls

2 pkg. Yeast (I use 2 heaping Tbsp. Dry active yeast)
2 c. lukewarm water
1 lb. real butter-- (Half the butter is used when mixing dough and half is used when rolling rolls out. Melt 2 cubes at a time.)
6 beaten eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 c. sugar + 2 Tbsp. Sugar
8 cups flour

1. Pour water and 2 Tbsp. Sugar into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add melted, (but not) hot butter—1 cup or 2 cubes
3. Add sugar and eggs. Mix well. Still in flour and salt.
4. Mix in the cups of flour one cup at a time. It is a very soft and sticky dough.
5. Let dough rise for 2 hours in bowl on counter top covered with a cloth dish towel.
6. After dough rises, punch down the dough once or twice. Place the bowl of dough (still covered with towel) into the fridge over night.
7. The next morning, (or at least 6 hours later) separated dough into 4 equal parts.
8. Spread some flour on your counter top. Melt 2 remaining cubes of butter.
9. Roll out first dough ball. Roll it into a circle (or at least a rounded shape).
10. Brush with melted butter. Cut with a large knife like a pizza into 12 equal triangles,
11. Roll each triangle up starting at wide end.
12. Place on greased cookie sheet, tail end of crescent down.
13. Repeat for all dough.
14. Rise on pans covered w/ dish towels until double in size. (about 5 hours)
15. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Watch them carefully. Take them out when they are barely a golden brown color.

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