By the Editors: This Turkey Day, we thought it would be fun to share recipes from our writers, as well as some of our favorite/local foodie blogs. Be sure to bookmark their sites, and check out the other fun recipes: Sac Foodies’ stuffing and Cake Grrl’s Thanksgiving in a cake, and Awake at the Whisk’s green tomato cake. Gobble gobble!!
By Lisa Page
From pumpkin spice lattes to ice skating to deep shopping discounts, there is so much to love about the holiday season. Indulging in delicious food happens to be one of my favorite things about this time of year. I like to start planning early for those special meals. So the other day, I put on some Christmas tunes (yes, I’m one of THOSE people who listens to holiday music BEFORE Thanksgiving) and pulled out my food-stained collection of fave holiday recipes.
Let the meal planning begin!
When deciding what dishes to make each year, I try to make sure they reflect our family traditions but aren’t so old school that they’re stale and boring. Take the green bean casserole, for example. I decided few years back that I couldn’t take another year of it. The recipe either needed to be totally revamped or tossed altogether. Then I found a simple version by Nigella Lawson and added a few twists of my own, giving a fresh and citrusy update to the ho-hum 1950s casserole. Below is that recipe along with a couple of other favorites of mine.
What’s your favorite holiday dish? Post your recipes, and we can all try something new for the holidays.
If you want to be technical, this isn’t a casserole, but you can serve it as one!
- 2 lbs slender green beans
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- few drops olive oil
- 1 lemon (note: some thought the dish was too lemony so you may want to try ½ lemon for the first time to see how you like it)
- Lisa’s add: ¼ cup pine nuts or slices almonds, toasted (you can toast a day in advance)
- sea salt and fresh pepper
Bring a big pot of water to the boil, while you trim the beans. Once the water has come to the boil, salt it and cook the beans until they have lost their rawness (about 6 minutes after the water comes back to the boil), but retain a bit of crunch.
Strain them, and put the pot back on the stove over a low heat with the butter and olive oil. While the butter melts, chop up the lemon. Put it on a chopping board, cut a slice off each end, just enough to remove skin and pith, and then cut downwards, turning the lemon as you go, to peel the fruit fully.
Don’t worry if in order to remove all the pith you cut into the fruit a bit: just take the pieces of fruity peel over to the pan and squeeze in any juice you can. Then cut the lemon up on the board. Add the lemon pieces and all the juice that collects to the melted butter and stir well with a wooden spoon, adding the drained beans and toasted nuts.
Swirl the pan vigorously and turn the beans in the lemony butter. Add salt to taste and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Remove to a warmed casserole making sure you don’t leave any lemony, buttery juices behind.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Sweet Potato Casserole
This is one of the few recipes with the word “casserole” in it that I like. With all the sugar, it could well be desert. It’s a great way to get the kiddos to eat sweet potatoes, too (you can even add more sweet potatoes and cut down on the sugar you put in to make it a little less unhealthy for the younger crowd).
- 4 to 5 cups mashed fresh cooked sweet potatoes (depending on the ratio you want of potatoes to other ingredients, like sugar)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
In large mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat well. Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350⁰ for 30 minutes.
While casserole is baking, make topping. Combine brown sugar and flour. Add butter and pecans. Remove casserole from oven. Sprinkle topping over potatoes and return to oven for 10 minutes.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
A shout out to my friend Sheri for this recipe, which is a family fave and the most requested dish every year. I dare anyone who says they hate sweet potatoes to try it.
I’ve tried dozens of gravy recipes and this one from Real Simple has stuck. It’s the perfect consistency. Sometimes gravy is an afterthought, but the right kind can enhance your turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing like no amount of lumpy or watery gravy can.
And if you’re looking for something to spruce up your mashed potatoes, try buttermilk and cream instead of regular milk.
- Pan dripping from turkey
- 1/3 cup sauvignon blanc, or other dry white wine
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt and pepper
Strain the pan drippings into a fat separator or large measuring cup. Let stand for 10 minutes. Skim and discard the fat from surface.
Place the empty roasting pan over 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping to dissolve any bits stuck to the pan. Remove from heat and pour into the cup with the pan juices.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Still stirring, slowly add the broth, then the reserved pan juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
BONUS TURKEY TIP: If you haven’t tried a free range bird before, make it on your shopping list this year. They have great texture and a heartier turkey flavor than coop-raised ones.
Time Saving Tips
- Use the freezer – you can make dishes in advance and freeze them
- Use the fridge – prepare apps and salads the day before
- Use the grill and stovetop to give the turkey the space it needs. But since it should cool for 30 to 45 minutes, you still have some time to use the oven for biscuits, desert, etc.
Table Decorations & Centerpieces
Looking for the perfect centerpiece and table decorations to complement your decorating style and enhance your delectable dishes?
Check out Better Homes & Gardens numerous harvest and fall-inspired options to find the perfect one for you.
Don’t forget to post your favorite recipes!