Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu 2010

I am so excited about Thanksgiving next week!  It ended up that we aren't hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year but that doesn't stop me from wanting to plan a menu.  So I thought I would share some of my favorites for you!

The turkey is the centerpiece for any Thanksgiving meal so you've got to get that right!  I whole heartily believe in brining your turkey.  It creates such moist meat even for white meat! I know it adds a whole other step but it's totally worth it! Alton knows what he's talking about - so I would use his recipe or maybe even Pioneer Woman's recipe.

Now onto the dressing / stuffing.  Now we don't actually stuff our turkey so we call it dressing.  Which is still a weird word for what is in essence a savory bread pudding but I digress...  I love having some little nuggets of goodness in stuffing - mushrooms, craisins, nuts, caramelized onions, etc.  This Fruit and Pecan Stuffing looks super yummy.  And what about this funky twist on the traditional - Bacon and jalapeno Stuffing!?!  Not 100% on that but it would be something to talk about over the table!

For the main starch I'm a mashed potato kinda gal.  Simple & classic.  Potatoes, butter, milk/cream, S&P and done!  Don't get me wrong I love some garlic mashed potatoes or loaded mashed potatoes but on T-Day there's already so much going on for your palate!  And you don't want any flavors messing up the glorious gravy!!  Along with mashed potatoes you must have some sweet potatoes - it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!  I like them so sweet you're not sure if it's dessert for the main course or not!  This looks like a super yummy gooey option! 

But these look good too!  Oh the decisions!

Now to balance out all those starches we must have some veggies. Here are a couple different options:

Brussel sprouts with bacon and more                Corn Pudding     
Oven roasted asparagus simple and delish!       Creamed spinach

What other vegetables do you have? 
Is a Green bean casserole a must on your table - for me it's not my fav.

The accent dishes - cranberry sauce - gravy - and  bread!  In the past few years I have fallen in love with cranberry sauce.  It just makes the perfect bite:  a little turkey, mashed potato/gravy, and cranberry sauce = YUM.  And yes I can get that all on one fork! 

I've made this cranberry sauce twice now and I am planning on bringing it to our family Thanksgiving for my contribution.  I love the ginger and citrus combo.  Try it and let me know what you think!

Gravy is an art that I am very thankful my husband has mastered - cause that stuff if like crack!  It's goooooooood!  Like pour it all over your plate good - sop it up with your roll good - make open face sandwiches everyday til it's gone good.  The key components that must be present for a good gravy:  pan drippings, roux, and good stock.  Here's Tyler Florence's version.

For rolls I love me some Parker House rolls and yes we go with the frozen kind.  But if you're feeling adventurous you could try PW's No Kneed Rolls or these Parmesan Rosettes look yummy!

Now on to the sweet stuff!  Granted you may have to wait a couple hours before there's room but it's totally worth it.  A varied selection is also needed - you must please all your guests!

  • We must have something pumpkin flavor and after hearing /reading multiple times this year that people aren't loving pumpkin pie - Paula's Pumpkin Gooey Bars are a perfect substitute.  These things ROCK the party!  Promise!
  • At least one pie is required - and knocking off the chocolate and the pecan in one fell swoop is this Chocolate Pecan pie!  It's another Paula Deen recipe - it must be good.
  • This Italian Cream Cake would be a nice balance to all the richness going on @ the dessert table.
Well there you have it!  Anyone want to run with this menu and let me know what time to bring the wine?!?!  I'm looking forward to my stuffed dilirious -ness. 

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