Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes!

Just incase you missed some of my Thanksgiving recipes, here’s a quick recap if you need some inspiration.

Appetizers

Side Dishes:

Drinks:

World Famous Cornbread Stuffing (Gluten Free)

 

So, I have been seriously slacking on blogging as of late. Things around here have been a bit crazy and something had to give. But now I’m back to share one of my favorite things in the whole world; my cornbread stuffing!

 

Stuffing is so easy to make, I really don’t know why people used the boxed stuff. I came up with this recipe many, many years ago, and it has become one of the few tried and true essentials of every Thanksgiving feast I make. It has been made at Thanksgivings in 4 countries and has been a hit in all of them, hence the ‘world famous’ title. I must note though, I found it very interesting that a lot of the non-Americans/Canadians that have tried this were not a fan of the dried cranberries because they were too sweet, but also thought the actual cranberry sauce was too tart.

 

Now, a quick comment on the cornbread, I’ve made it with gluten-free cornbread mix, Jiffy cornbread mix, and cornbread made from scratch. I always make the cornbread the same day I make the stuffing. I just wait until it cools enough to handle, and break it into pieces in a large bowl, let it cool completely and then start making the stuffing; turns out perfectly every time. Since this is a recipe I made up long, long ago, there aren’t really exact measurements, and it kinda, sorta slightly changes from year to year according to taste, but it is always delicious and it is always a big hit.

Cornbread Stuffing

  • 1 package of cornbread mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Dill
  • Garlic powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter + more for greasing.
  • Dried cranberries (I like Trader Joe’s Orange Flavored Dried Cranberries)
  • Low sodium vegetable broth
  • Dry white wine (optional)
  1. Make cornbread according to directions on the package. Let cool slightly until cool enough to handle and crumble into pieces in a very large bowl and allow to cool completely.
  2. When bread is cool, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. When hot add onions. When softened, about 5-7 minutes, add garlic powder and dill, stir to coat. Remove pan from heat and add onion mixture to cornbread.
  3. Heat oven to 350 and grease a large baking dish with remaining butter, make sure it’s really well greased.
  4. Add desired amount of dried cranberries to cornbread (I generally do a good handful). Then add a bit of broth to the cornbread (start with about 1/2 cup and work up) and a dash of white wine for extra flavor (I just use the same wine I’m using to baste the turkey). Mix the ingredients together until slightly damp.
  5. Place cornbread in the greased baking dish and bake 25-35 minutes, until the top starts to turn golden.

Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Fried Capers

I love brussels sprouts. Love them. They are a very misunderstood vegetable. Most people have some sort of traumatic childhood experience of being forced to eat brussels sprouts in order to not offend some distant great aunt or something. When brussels sprouts are prepared well, they are simply delicious. This recipe is so simple and so fast and has such amazing ingredients, it’s hard to go wrong. I mean, capers, hazelnuts, and brussels sprouts together, what’s not to love?

If you have a food processor, definitely use it to shred the sprouts, there is no need to fool around with a knife or a mandoline if you don’t have to. If you don’t have a food processor, slice carefully, no one wants to lose a finger on Thanksgiving.

Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Fried Capers (From The Kitchn)
Serves 4

  • 1 pound small Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup capers, well-drained
  • 1 lemon, squeezed for juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black peppe
  1. Remove any loose or yellow leaves from the Brussels sprouts, and slice each sprout in half from top to bottom. Then chop them roughly into shreds, or hash them in a food processor.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the chopped hazelnuts. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. When the nuts are turning golden brown and smelling toasty, remove them from the pan and toss with the hashed Brussels sprouts.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pan and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the capers. (Stand back and be careful; the oil will spit and splutter up!) Fry the capers for about 60 seconds, or until they start opening like little flowerbuds.
  4. Add the Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts back in to the pan. Stir thoroughly to coat the sprouts with the oil and to mix in the capers. Pour in the lemon juice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the sprouts are tender but still snappy. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Creamed Onion Gratin

Okay, we aren’t even going to pretend that this recipe is in any way, shape, or form close to remotely healthy, but it is delicious and it is Thanksgiving, just go with it.

So, truth be told, I totally messed up this recipe from the get go, but it still turned out perfectly. On Saveur’s website, the recipe isn’t formatted all that well, so I totally missed the ‘toss onions with oil’ part of the recipe. Instead, I lightly greased the dish with unsalted butter, threw in all the onions and sprinkled with salt and peper and stirred them a couple times while they were in the oven. I really don’t thing this recipe needed the oil at all.

Creamed Onion Gratin (adapted from Saveur)
Serves 6-8

  •  4 medium yellow onions, cored and quartered lengthwise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter plus more for greasing
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 3 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9″ × 11″ baking dish with unsalted butter. Place onions in dish and season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 1 hour; set aside. Heat oven to broil.
  2. Heat butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cream and wine, and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Pour sauce evenly over onions. Sprinkle with parmesan, dot with Gorgonzola, and sprinkle with paprika; broil until cheese is melted and golden brown on top, about 2 minutes.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

So, we already talked about Thanksgiving appetizers. It’s now time to talk about one of my favorite parts of the meal, the side dishes.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite days for many reasons, even during the 9 or 10 years of vegetarianism I threw in there. It may seem strage that a vegetarian love a day focused around turkey, but honestly, the side dishes are the best part.

Here are some sides we might be trying this year:

Some other side dishes that might be great:

 

Brie with Apples and a Balsamic Reduction

You definitely don’t need to add any extra stress or work on Thanksgiving. This appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving. It’s super simple and super tasty. The sweetness of the cooked apples (or pears) goes so well with the creamy brie and the balsamic reduction just makes everything in life better. It’s definitely an appetizer with something for everyone.

Brie with Apples and Balsamic Reduction (adapted very slightly from Living Tastefully)

  • 1 eight-ounce wheel Brie or Camembert cheese, cold
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple or Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 8 walnut halves
  1. Slice cheese wheel in half crosswise; set aside.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the diced pear, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the brandy, and cook 1 minute more.  Add rosemary, and stir to combine.  Remove from heat, and spread over bottom half of reserved sliced cheese wheel, reserving 2 tablespoons of the mixture for garnish.  Transfer cheese to serving plate.
  2. Return skillet to stove, and heat the balsamic vinegar and honey until simmering.  Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Pour half the glaze over cheese and reserved pear mixture; top with remaining half of cheese wheel and pears.  Drizzle with remaining glaze, and garnish with walnut halves and rosemary.  Serve immediately.

Lemon, Pepper, and Pecorino Dip

This is the easiest appetizer in the world. It’s a welcome twist on your usual sour cream dip. The cheese makes the dip a little more decadent, but the tang of the lemon just helps balance it out perfectly.

Lemon, Pepper and Pecorino Dip (adapted from Real Simple)

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • chips and veggies for serving
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, pecorino, lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ to 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Serve with the potato chips or veggies.

Thanksgiving Appertizers

So, let’s talk appetizers. While they are not the main focus of the day, they are still very important. They help set the mood, keep the starving masses at bay and who doesn’t like appetizers? Nobody, that’s who.

These are a couple things I’ve made recently that would be great for any kind of gathering, but they would be perfect for Thanksgiving. One’s a little more casual, but both can be made with very little effort.

Here are a few other ideas:

It’s Thanksgiving!

Now that silly birthday things are out of the way, it’s time to get down to some very serious business.

IT’S THANKSGIVING!

Well, almost, but it’s my favorite holiday of the year, so I take it very seriously. I am also more than a little peeved about the unnecessary encroachment of halloween and Christmas on T-giving’s turf. Back up off my favorite holiday, yo!

I have a habit of not being in America for great American holidays, but in no way does that put a damper on the celebration. I’m actually pretty excited to be in the States for this Thanksgiving, because the last few years, I’ve kind of been all over the place… This one year I was on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, then I was in Budapest, the next year I was in Italy, then the year after I was in London and cooking for 25 with 1 oven and a raging case of meningitis, and then I was back in Budapest again and I nearly burnt down a really important historic building owned by the US Government. True story.

My preliminary planning for Thanksgiving may or may not have begun in February of this year… Stop it right now! Don’t you dare judge me. It’s called enthusiasm!

Like every family, we have our own traditions and favorite dishes, but I always like to try out a couple new dishes every year as well. Regardless of where in the world I’ve been or who I’ve been cooking for, I have a couple steadfast rules and traditions on which I will not budge.

  • There will be cornbread stuffing and it will be awesome
  • There will be no canned cranberry sauce (unless Lauren is there and only then)
  • There will be no canned cream of something soup anywhere near my green beans
  • Turkey is not that big a deal
  • If you want pumpkin pie, you can make it yourself, pecan is where it’s at
  • And most importantly keep the g.d. celery away from the stuffing! (celery makes me want to punch things)
So, all that being said, let’s talk menu. There are some things that will always be on my menu, some things will come and go. Here’s a look at how this year’s menu is shaping up:
  • World Famous Cornbread Cranberry Stuffing
  • Dried Cherry Cranberry Sauce
  • Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Bean Casserole w Madeira Mushrooms
  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots
  • Some kind of turkey
  • Pecan Pie
This week, I’m going to share some other recipes that would also make for a great Thanksgiving.