General Question

dpworkin's avatar

What's a festive but modest Thanksgiving menu for two?

Asked by dpworkin (26915 points ) October 27th, 2009

My girlfriend and I will be alone together for the Thanksgiving holiday. What should I cook that will be appropriate but not extravagant, and will leave just a reasonable amount of leftovers?

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40 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Why not do a a roasted turkey breast instead of the whole bird and just scale down on the sides? Or did you just want the whole meal to be something unique?

jackm's avatar

Get 2 cornish game hens, one for each of you. They look like little turkeys. Make some sides as well.

dpworkin's avatar

We’d love to have turkey, but we are both dark meat people. (I know. Odd.)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@pdworkin Not odd at all…most of my guests/family prefer the dark. My local store does sell turkey legs, too. You may want to call your butcher or meat dept to see if you can order turkey pieces for turkey day.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Squabs, roasted or deep fried
Steamed Artichokes
Corn & Squash- diced acorn squash. corn niblets. diced onion. cilantro. black pepper
bread crumb stuffing with mushrooms, pine nuts, dried, diced Italian linguica chunks

gemiwing's avatar

Stuffing casserole. Take a bag of stuffing, chicken/turkey stock, slices/pieces of dark meat turkey and green beans. Throw cranberries on top during baking. Voila- all the fixins and it freezes beautifully.

Except you’ll need some sweet potato casserole, just not a holiday without it.

janbb's avatar

How about stuffing and roasting a whole chicken with traditional Thanksgiving sides? That way you get the dark meat, meat juices for the gravy, etc.

Judi's avatar

Cornish game hens always seems festive for this sort of thing.

dpworkin's avatar

You guys are the best.

cookieman's avatar

Roast Duck (about 6lbs.) with cranberry-chesnut stuffing.

Maple glazed baby carrots.

Mashed butternut or Chicago-warted squash with carmalized onions and panko breadcrumbs.

Potato leek soup

Wine

Coffee

Baked apples (2) with cinnamon and oats.

dpworkin's avatar

Wow, @cprevite! Got recipes?

cookieman's avatar

@pdworkin: I should. I’ll PM you tomorrow.

dpworkin's avatar

Ooh, PMs! Lurve!

evegrimm's avatar

I’m not a big roasted turkey fan, but I do like deli meat turkey. You could always do a simple turkey sandwich (with fixings), mashed potatoes (easy enough), some veggies (a nice green salad?) and pumpkin custard or pie.

Might take all of 2 hours, if you spend a lot of time in the store. :D

forestGeek's avatar

Shepherds Pie would be good.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Ever seen “Two and a Half Men”? They have the funniest episode on Squabb

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin Make sure – whatever you cook – you put some nuts in it.

forestGeek's avatar

For some reason, I am hearing Michael Scott’s voice right now!

dpworkin's avatar

we are already nuts

cyndyh's avatar

I was going to mention game hens, too. But if you’re really into having turkey, you can actually find small ones. They aren’t all the Norman Rockwell sized things that would break granny’s back taking it out of the oven. :^> My husband and I have done this on occasion. You do have leftovers, but not as much as you might think.

Cranberry vodka martini, mulled wine and/or miniature pumpkin pie makes it swanky. Cheers!

dpworkin's avatar

Lots of good ideas here. Miniature pumpkin pie!

filmfann's avatar

don’t forget a small green-bean casserole! Best part of thanksgiving!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@pdworkin you can get mini pies and tarts or my FAV pumpkin slices at a local bakery…one less thing for you to do

cyndyh's avatar

@SpatzieLover : I was thinking of those little pre-made crusts you get in 6 packs. But getting a couple of slices someone else makes sounds even better some days.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cyndyh Mmmmmm…I love the smell of ‘em baking. But dinner for two makes me want to run out for an hour and get a bunch of stuff so all I have to do is throw one pan in the oven, sit back and enjoy the company! ;)

cyndyh's avatar

@SpatzieLover : I hear that. :^>

janbb's avatar

It’s not so bad to have turkey leftovers if you do make a small turkey. Some of my favorite meals are after Thanksgiving; hot turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pies (which can be made and frozen), etc. We go to my brother-in-law’s now and I almost regret not cooking because I don’t have leftover turkey.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@RedPowerLady: I’m not familiar with the show but I know ru2bz46 has great recipes for holiday squabs to share… where is that beaver?

avvooooooo's avatar

Did someone say cranberry sauce and I just missed it? One can (I know, but its easy!) wouldn’t be a difficult or huge addition. Actually, I think they make mini cans. :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

@cprevite – Those baked apples with cinnamon and oats were exactly how we used up the rest of the apples at our place! Good call.

cookieman's avatar

@aprilsimnel: They are yummy. I actually have some apples from picking left too. Hmmm.

it’s fun to do with kids too

Judi's avatar

I want the recipe for baked apples and oats. Not fair just PMing it!!

aprilsimnel's avatar

This is the recipe my roommate used. All I did was eat it. :D

Judi's avatar

Now to figure out how to modify that for low calorie!! The main ingredients sounded healthy!

RedPowerLady's avatar

My absolute favorites sweets for Thanksgiving that I must have are:
– Cranberry Sauce
– Pumpkin Pie
– Strawberry Pie

Yum!!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Judi they turn out just as good w/half the sugar and w/out the butter (you could use smart balance or none at all)

boffin's avatar

Grilled cheese sandwiches…..

forestGeek's avatar

@boffin – ...with tomato soup

boffin's avatar

@forestGeek
Usually it’s “Clam Chowder” but “Mato” soup works too!

Kardamom's avatar

I agree with some of the other fluthers that you should roast 1 or 2 turkey legs to get the dark meat. Then choose your sides:

Mashed potatoes with Trader Joes Gravy in a carton (just cook 2 or 3 taters).
Trader Joes Cranberry Orange Relish.
Baby greens salad with dried cranberries, sweet spicy pecans from Trader Joes, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese with Cranberry Balsamic Gorgonzola dressing from Trader Joes.
Roasted veggies with any of these combinations: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, rutabagas and Brussels sprouts.
Trader Joes Parm-iago rosemary rolls with butter.
Pie from your favorite bakery.

Here’s a few recipes you might like:
Cheesy Brussels sprouts casserole: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/cheesy-gratin-of-brussels-sprouts-684866/
Sweet potato and cranberry casserole: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/sweet-potato-cranberry-bake/Detail.aspx
Pureed roasted parsnips: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pureed_roasted_parsnips/
Green beans almondine: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/juan-carlos-cruz/toasted-almond-green-beans-recipe/index.html

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