Thanksgiving is around the corner and everyone is beginning to salivate like Pavlov’s Dogs because they know they’re about to dig into that one special, favorite dish that waits an entire year be served again. The following three recipes are my absolute favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

If you are looking for something new to try this year, you can’t go wrong with these options.

Whipped Peas

Recipe from Yours Truly (me)

whipped_peas

I’ve been making this for so long, I have no idea what the original recipe called for because over the years I’ve adapted it to my liking. Some people will add mint or onions or other fancy stuff, but I like mine served simple and easy.

Disclaimer: This dish resembles bright green mashed potatoes and, to some people, looks rather odd. I happen to think it’s a beautiful color and tastes even better. Even my kids eat it!

Ingredients (serves ?, maybe 6)

  • 1 bag frozen peas (not canned! never canned!)
  • heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook peas on the stove top according to package directions. Dump strained, cooked peas into a blender or food processor. Add in about 1/3 heavy cream to start. Add more cream based on desired consistency. Add in salt and pepper. Done.


Potato Gratin

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa

I’ve have NEVER met anyone who wouldn’t offer to eat the entire tray of this tasty alternative to mashed potatoes. Even the kids have second and third helpings. Beware: It’s highly addictive.

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 2 small fennel bulbs (ps: I always omit the fennel and it still comes out awesome!)
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (4 large potatoes)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.

Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.

Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.

Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.


Sausage, Cranberry & Corn Bread Stuffing

Recipe from Epicurious.com

Historically, my experience with stuffing has been spoonfuls of beige mush that tastes like a buillon cube, so it’s no wonder this favorite recipe of mine only slightly resembles the traditional one. I like it because it has great flavor AND texture. It’s a winner in my book.

Ingredients (makes 12 cups)

  • 1 1/2 loaves Corn Bread
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 7 leeks (about 1 pound; white and pale green parts only)
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)
  • 2 cups fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Preheat oven to 325° F.
  • Cut corn bread into 1/2-inch cubes and in 2 large shallow baking pans bake in middle of oven until just dry, about 20 minutes. Transfer corn bread from 1 pan to a large bowl and in pan toast pecans in oven until insides are golden, 10 to 20 minutes.

Directions

Halve leeks lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Chop celery. In a 12-inch skillet cook leeks and celery in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until leeks are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove sausage from casings and break into small pieces. Add sausage to leek mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through.

In a small heavy saucepan cook cranberries with sugar over moderately high heat, stirring, 5 minutes, or until some begin to burst. Chop parsley.

To bowl of corn bread, add remaining corn bread cubes, pecans, sausage mixture, cranberries, parsley, broth, and salt and pepper to taste and toss together. Cool stuffing completely. Stuffing may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring stuffing to room temperature before proceeding.

For cooking stuffing inside poultry:
Any frozen poultry destined for stuffing should be completely thawed, and the stuffing itself brought to room temperature before it’s put into the turkey. Do not stuff your bird the night before you cook it; such a seeming time-saver can have dangerous results. Instead, it is best to loosely fill the bird’s neck and body cavities immediately before roasting. And always use a meat or instant-read thermometer: The meat is done when the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh (be careful not to touch the bones) reaches 180°F.; the stuffing baked inside the bird is done at 160°-165°F. After roasting, let your stuffed poultry stand 15 to 20 minutes, a double assurance that the requisite temperatures for food safety have been reached.

For cooking all or part of stuffing outside poultry:
In a shallow baking dish bake stuffing in preheated 325° F. oven 1 hour (for moist stuffing, bake covered entire time; for less moist stuffing with a slightly crisp top, uncover halfway through baking time).

*Be sure to check out the reader reviews on this recipe—great tips on circumventing mistakes to ensure the recipe comes out perfectly!


Roasted Mixed Vegetables

Recipe from Martha Stewart

mixed_vegetables

By skimming the ingredient list, this one seems like a pain already—it’s not!

The great thing about this recipe is you can alter it to include only the vegetables you prefer and add as little, or as many, different varieties as you like (I usually only use red and white onion, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and butternut squash) and is super easy to prepare. Most of the time I skip the herbs all together and it’s still great.

And no word of a lie, this dish is even better the next day.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 small turnips, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 pound butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Olive-oil, cooking spray

Directions

Heat oven to 450 degrees.with two racks centered. Spray two 12-by-14-inch roasting or jelly-roll pans with cooking spray. Arrange onions, rutabaga, turnips, carrots, squash, and brussels sprouts evenly in the two pans. Drizzle all with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss lightly to coat vegetables. Sprinkle each pan with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle rosemary and thyme evenly over each pan, and roast for 25 minutes; turn vegetables with a spatula for even browning. Cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 25 minutes more. Brussels sprouts may cook faster than other vegetables; if so, transfer to a serving platter, and keep warm until remaining vegetables are tender.

* You can substitute any fresh vegetables for the ones in this recipe; adjust the cooking times accordingly.

What are your favorite recipes? Share with us and inspire other families to try out something new this Thanksgiving!

 

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