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SamIAm's avatar

It's that time of the year. Share your FAVORITE Turkey Day dishes and recipes?

Asked by SamIAm (8698points) November 20th, 2010

I’m sure this has been asked but I want fresh ideas!

Being 3,000 miles away from family for the first time, I’m hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner in my teeny tiny apartment this week. I personally will be making: wild mushroom and herb crustinis, some sort of (hopefully baked) cheese, creamed spinach, roasted carrots and onions, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Does anyone have a KILLER stuffing recipe or any other great recipes you care to share??

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22 Answers

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crisw's avatar

My favorite is stuffing; mo recipe needed really. I make my stuffing with homemade buttermilk cornbread baked with lots of butter. As the cornbread cools a bit, sauté in butter in a big saucepan a bunch of celery with lots of leaves and a couple of onions, chopped. Add a good amount of dried sage and a bit of rosemary, savory and thyme- or use poultry seasoning, and add salt and peper to taste. Crumble in the cornbread and add just enough vegetable broth to moisten. I sometimes add roasted chestnuts or browned veggie sausage. Pack it into a greased baking pan and bake at about 350 until crispy on top.

Coloma's avatar

I make my grandmothers 150 yr. old cranberry apple relish.

Converts even the most diehard cranberry sauce haters. lol

Soo easy.

Boil 2 cups water & 2 cups sugar til dissolved.
Add 3 peeled, cored and diced large apples, granny smith are good but any variety is fine.
Add 4 cups rinsed and sorted fresh cranberries.

Bring to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes ( stirring frequently ) until skins split on cranberries and a nice pink foam is happening. Pour into jars and seal or into bowls.

Serve chilled.

Mmmm good, and goes great with all poultry and pork. :-)

nicobanks's avatar

Oh no no, stuffing must be cooked inside the bird! It’s called “stuffing” for a reason! Get whoever is cooking the bird to do the stuffing – you can take one of that person’s other dishes, if necessary for fairness.

crisw's avatar


“stuffing must be cooked inside the bird”

Not if you’re a vegetarian!

ram201pa's avatar

@Coloma sounds deelish…gonna try it.

Kardamom's avatar

Roasted vegetables are really yummy and super easy. This year I’m combining butternut squash, portobello mushrooms, asparagus and orange-colored cauliflower. But you can use any kind of veggies you like (other squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, beets, rutabagas, turnips, sweet peppers etc.) Some vegetables cook more quickly than others, like the mushrooms in my mix, so I’ll throw those on the baking pan a little later than the others. They may only need to roast for about half the time as the others that I chose.

Wash and peel any veggies that need peeling, cut the veggies into 2 to 3 inch chunks (carrots can be sliced long or cut into chunks and asparagus can be left long) then put all of them into a large mixing bowl and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the veggies(about a Tablespoon for one cookie sheet’s worth of veggies) and add about ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix well to make sure everything is coated evenly. Spray a baking sheet (or roasting pan) with non-stick spray and bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. You may have to stir them around the baking pan once or twice during cooking. Roast until fork tender, but not mushy. I usually start checking with my fork after 15 minutes and I stir at least once after the first 10 minutes.

Smashley's avatar

@crisw – and not if you like a moist turkey!

Kardamom's avatar

@crisw I agree that “stuffing” or “dressing” or whatever you want to call it should not be cooked inside the turkey. Partly because you can’t make it edible for the vegetarians, but the main reason is that for the stuffing to be cooked to the correct and safe temperature of 165 degrees (which is necessary to kill the salmonella which soaks into the stuffing while it cooks inside the bird) you must, by default, overcook the turkey. Most people like their bird nice and juicy, which means that the stuffing never gets cooked to the proper temperature.You can read more about the safety issue on this site with Alton Jones the science cooking guy here Here’s a good site that discusses several other food safety tips, in addition to the one about avoiding stuffing cooked inside the turkey.

thekoukoureport's avatar

I have been cooking thanksgiving turkey for over 20 years. I have also stuffed my bird every year. You do not have to overcook your bird to make sure it’s done thats ridiculous. If you want a way to keep your turkey moist throughout the cooking process rub the bird with mayonaise prior to cooking. As for vegetarians cook a batch in the oven separately, but then it’s not stuffing, it’s dressing. ugh

My entire life I have eaten stufiing from inside the turkey. Maybe the science cook should learn how to properly cook a turkey before spreading this stupid fear.

P.S. My birds are usually 20 to 25 pounds. I will be feeding about 15 people this year as more and more people want to come eat my turkey.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, it seems from what you are already making that you are going for a liitle bit of a nouveau twist on the meal rather than traditional home cooking. For stuffing I usually do a simple stove top turkey or corn bread stuffing bought in the store, and I add unsalted cashews. Unsalted can be hard to find, so light salt and making the stuffing low sodium (meaning either a low sodium packaged mix, or if it calls for cooking with broth use low sodium broth) can balance the saltiness of the dish. I agree, do not stuff the bird, not worth the risk. I personally know someone who one thanksgiving everyone at her family dinner wound up with food poisoning, it was awful. It is rare, but horrible when it happens. Plus, as others pointed out it can be a vegetarian option.

I get a lot of compliments on my green bean casserole. I basically follow the recipe on the French’s onions, but I cut the milk about half, so it isn’t runny. If you use frozen beans, defrost them on the stove on a medium heat, stirring the veggie so they defrost evenly. You can add the soup and milk to begin the cooking process before putting it into a casserole to bake. Don’t boil it, it is just a head start.

For cranberry, I basically make a jello full of berries and some pineapple. I hate when the cranberry dressing is runny or mushy. I use one can whole cranberries, Jello brand black cherry jello, and half of a small can (I’ll check the ounces if you are interested in this recipe) crushed pineapple. I make the jello on the stove with slightly less water. So you boil it as the directions say, then add the can of refridgerated cranberries from the can, and then drained well pineapple. The cold cranberries help the cooling and setting up of the jello, the pineapple must be strained, I even dry it a little more with paper towel, because the acid from pineapple can inhibit the setting of the jello.

In my gravy I usually add sauteed mushrooms and a little white wine. The wine is especially helpful if you are extending the gravy with some store bought packaged powder gravy.

Kardamom's avatar

I was just at Trader Joe’s yesterday and they have their own brand of Portobello mushroom soup that sounded like it would be great for the green bean casserole (rather than the regular Campbell’s cream of mushroom).

Here’s a pretty simple recipe that sounds delicious for Brussels sprouts with Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and pine nuts here

And here’s a nice alternative to mashed potatoes. It’s roasted red potatoes with lemon here

And here’s a recipe for another alternative to potatoes, parsnip puree. You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you want to make it vegetarian, here

nicobanks's avatar

I’ve also never been sick from eating stuffing from the bird nor heard of anyone getting sick from it. So long as you keep basting the bird regularly, you won’t dry it out.

I guess if you’re vegetarian and still want “stuffing” you’ll have to cook it separately, but then it’s not really “stuffing,” is it?

Personally, I’ve never understand the vegetarian foods that mimic non-vegetarian foods. In my experience, dressing cooked outside the bird is drier and less flavourful than proper stuffing. If you want to eat vegetarian, why not make foods that are good in their own right, instead of a lower-quality mimic food? What do you serve vegetarian stuffing with? Tofurkey? I’ll take a veggie stew over that any day!

But, it’s all a matter of personal taste, I suppose. Enjoy what you enjoy!

JLeslie's avatar

You all who are not concerned with salmonella, I bet a whole bunch of people who got sick from those eggs a few months ago used to say, “I have never been sick from a sunny side up egg before.” or, “I have never been sick from a med rare hamburger before.” Why risk it?

thekoukoureport's avatar

@JLeslie I am not risking anything, I understand how to achieve the proper temperature necessary to kill any and all bacteria that may have been present in my food. Plus have the most tender and moist bird you have ever tasted. Enjoy your dry baked bread dressing, why even bother?

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Flutherites may all your jellies be sated. Remember the true meaning is family and friends and food. So eat drink and be merry… at least for one day. ;p

JLeslie's avatar

@thekoukoureport You’re not, but most people only check the temperature of the turkey. If you’re checking the temp of the stuffing you have my permission :) lol. Have a great thanksgiving.

JLeslie's avatar

@nicobanks Vegetarian stuffing is not like fake turkey in my opinion. I too don’t like when vegetarian dishes try to mimic animal dishes either, but stuffing can stand on it’s own made with veg stock to moisten it. I am not a vegetarian, but I hate mushy foods. Soaking wet bread is disgusting to me. I don’t like croutons in the bottom of my French onion soup, or gravy on a bisquit, or to dip my steak sandwich into jus. Blech. So very wet stuffing is not appealing to me anyway. I hated stuffing until I was much older and found out it did not have to be so soggy. But that’s just me.

And, I would guess my stuffing is less full of fat and cholesterol, just a separate bonus.

nicobanks's avatar

@JLeslie Well, I can’t judge without trying the stuffing. If you like it, I’m happy for you! (Seriously.)

But about rare hamburger meat or raw egg – are those not handling issues, more than inherent issues in the product? If you take care to eat good food and to handle it properly yourself, are you really at risk of these things?

E.g. I only eat dairy and meat products that I know the origins of – I’m talking, I contact the farm and interview them about their practices. Organic, local, free-range, etc. Assuming people aren’t lying to me, I know every step that meat/dairy has taken, where it’s been, how long it’s been there, so on and so forth. No freezing and thawing and refreezing of the meat, no factory-type situations, etc. I was under the impression the risk in contaminated food is this context is practically non-existent. I always eat my meat medium rare, and I often drink raw egg in the summer (in the form of an ingredient in sour mix for cocktails). In your opinion, this is not safe?

JLeslie's avatar

@nicobanks Well, sort of. Chickens can carry salmonella, and so the bacteria can be on the eggs, and the bacteria can mulitply quickly if the eggs are not quickly refrigerated, or the egg might be free of bacteria, but the conditions of the farm, butchering, or packing, or handling as you say, can infect the eggs. The cleaner the facility the less likely there is for a problem of course. Ecoli in meat is contamination, ecoli us a bacteria from the intestines and fecal matter, not a bacteria found in the muscle itself. When you eat a piece of steak that is rare, there is no concern if it has ecoli, because the bacteria, if present from cross contamination, is on the outside of the meat, and is killed when the meat is seared, even if the inside is raw. If an infected piece of meat is ground for hamburger, now the bacteria is throughout the grond beef, and so hamburger needs to be cooked through. You can seer the outside of the meat, cut it away, ground the meat, and then safely eat raw hamburger meat.

I never panic when I hear of a meat, chicken, or egg recall, because I know I cook those things through. I actually have no idea what brands were recently recalled during the egg scare, I never paid much attention.

If you are getting your eggs from a trusted farmer it probably is fairly safe. Even from commercial farms contamination is still very rare, but I won’t risk it for myself. My husband does have raw yolk sometimes in sunny side and over easy eggs, but I lecture him that he should not do it unless they are pasturized eggs, he still ignores me sometimes.

You might be interested in this information on organic vs conventional regarding bacteria.

Coloma's avatar

I kept my own hens for years and goose eggs too, ate them and used them in all sorts of dishes and never, ever, had the slightest issues.

Let me tell you half pound Embden goose eggs. boiled and halved and deviled make quite a presentation! And, you can’t bake a fluffier cake than a goose egg cake!

You should always wash fresh eggs in cold water if even necessary, as warm water causes the pores of the shell to expand and suck in any bacteria. ;-)

emeraldisles's avatar

Definitely greenbean casserole with roasted turkey, sweet potato, vegetables and fudge for dessert.

kritiper's avatar

When making pumpkin pie, add at least a pinch more salt. (I add 1/8 tsp. more.)

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