I hope I’m not posting this too late. Perhaps you already have your menu down for Thanksgiving. But just in case, it occurred to me today that I should share my Thanksgiving favorites with you. These are the dishes I make every year:
Sweet Potato Apple Puree
I should make this more than once a year, it is so irrestible: a sweet/tart, smooth puree of baked sweet potatoes and apples, seasoned with lime juice and a little honey, enriched with a little butter and crème fraîche or yogurt.
Mushroom Ragout “Gravy”
I call it mushroom ragout “gravy” because I’d rather spoon that over my turkey than actual gravy. It’s a savory stew made with an assortment of mushrooms cooked in a rich, deep porcini broth.
Savory Cornbread Stuffing
I don’t make it every year (see the next stuffing) but it is definitely a favorite. First I make a wonderful rustic cornbread, which I crumble and season with sage, onion, celery – the usual. You can keep it separate and warm it in a baking dish, or stuff the turkey with it. Try using Anson Mills cornmeal for an exceptional cornbread.
Wild Rice Stuffing with Almonds and Mushrooms
Another favorite, I’ll be making this one this year. It’s savory, great in or out of the turkey. Vegetarians at the table will appreciate it but meat eaters will love it too.
Wild Rice Salad with Celery and Walnuts
Another option for wild rice, a grain I love to include in my Thanksgiving buffet, is this salad, with a lemony vinaigrette, lots of thinly sliced celery, and walnuts. I love the contrast of textures.
Cranberry Sauce with Chiles
If you want to add a spicy twist to your cranberry sauce, try this.
Cranberry Orange Relish
Otherwise, here’s my age-old recipe for an uncooked, honey-sweetened cranberry sauce with oranges and pecans. We call it “pucker up cranberry sauce.” I eat leftovers with yogurt.
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without pecan pie. I make this one, but I also make it with honey only, without the Lyle’s golden syrup called for in this recipe. It’s not overly sweet and cloying; it’s all about the nuts.
In addition to these, we usually start with a salad. I like bitter greens, such as endive, or arugula or chicory or frisée. Something simple, and not too much of it.
I also include a simple green vegetable on the buffet, really simple. Blanched green beans are a favorite. But steamed or blanched broccoli also works. Keep it light.