Thanksgiving Recipies

By: | Post date: November 24, 2009 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Food

Okay, I’m a foody. Now you know. We have a family tradition (fifth year, so it must be a tradition) to get together with friends that are also foodies and cook it up for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, we have developed a list of favorite, “must have” dishes, that I end up having to re-find every year. Enough is enough. Here they will be captured so I can just retrieve, print, shop and cook in the future.

Brine for Turkey

Brining your bird is the key to delicious flavor and tender, evenly cooked meat. My favorite write up for brining is at

I use a hybrid buttermilk / Old Bay recipe based on “Part B – BUTTERMILK BRINED CHICKEN”

BRINE (portions)

1/2 gallon of water

1/2 gallon of buttermilk

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

2-4 oz per gallon Old Bay seasoning

I like to brine the birds for 18-24 hours before cooking. This works great for frying, smoking or baking your turkey.

Sausage Fennel Stuffing

This dish is incredible. It goes well with a nicely fried turkey.

Original recipe is at:

Approximately 12 servings


1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing discarded

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

2 medium-large onions, chopped fine

1 1/2 pounds fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise, about 2 medium), stalks trimmed flush with bulbs and bulbs chopped fine (about 4 1/2 cups)

2 teaspoons fennel seeds, chopped fine

1/4 cup Pernod or other anise-flavored apéritif

2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled

2 teaspoons dried tarragon, crumbled

5 cupscorn bread for stuffing or packaged corn bread stuffing


  1. In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet cook sausage over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps with a fork, until no longer pink.
  2. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
  3. Add butter to fat remaining in skillet and cook onions, chopped fennel, fennel seeds, and salt to taste over moderate heat, stirring, until fennel is softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add apéritif, thyme, and tarragon and cook, stirring, until most liquid is evaporated.
  5. Add mixture to sausage with corn bread or packaged stuffing and toss to combine well.
  6. Season stuffing with salt and pepper and cool completely.
  7. Stuffing may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.
  8. (To prevent bacterial growth do not stuff turkey cavities ahead.)

Raisin-Studded Apple Stuffing

Two stuffings may seem excessive, but this one is excellent as well.

The original recipe is here:

Approximately 18 servings


1 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups orange juice, divided

2 cups chopped celery

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup butter or margarine, divided

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

1 (16 ounce) package crushed herb-seasoned stuffing

4 medium tart apples, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a saucepan, bring raisins and 1 cup orange juice to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat; set aside (do not drain).
  3. In a skillet, saute celery and onion in 1/2 cup butter until tender.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. In the same skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  6. Add sausage, stuffing, apples, pecans, remaining orange juice and remaining butter; add broth, thyme and pepper.
  7. Pour over stuffing mixture; mix well.
  8. Place in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dishes.
  9. Cover and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour.
  10. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
  11. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Pumpkin Pot De Creme

Possibly one of the best Thanksgiving desserts ever. Discovered this at

6 Servings


2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 teaspoon dark rum

5 egg yolks

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Combine the whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin puree, and the vanilla bean pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a simmer; stir in the rum.
  3. Remove from the heat cover and stand 15 minutes.
  4. Beat together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cream mixture.
  6. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the cream mixture to make a custard; stir; simmer 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Arrange 6 ramekins in a shallow baking dish. Pour the custard evenly into the ramekins. Pour boiling water into the baking dish to half-way up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the custard is nearly set with a dime-sized circle of jiggly liquid remaining in the center of each ramekin, 25 to 40 minutes.
  9. Allow to sit, loosely covered with aluminum foil, another 30 minutes.
  10. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator overnight.
  11. Top each custard with pecans and maple syrup (or whipped cream)to serve.


This one comes of the cranberry package. Simple, but delicious.


1 quart cranberries

1 cup water

1 3/4 cups sugar

citrus for flavoring (optional)


  1. The general rule is: Use 1/4 as much water as cranberries. Add 1/3 as much sugar as cranberries.
  2. Wash and pick over cranberries, discarding any that are soft.
  3. Bring water to a boil; add berries. Cover and cook over medium low heat until berries have burst outer skin.
  4. Add sugar and boil a few minutes longer.
  5. If desired, cranberries may be strained before sugar is added.
  6. A few tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice may be added along with a little grated citrus peel, if desired. A tablespoon of frozen orange concentrate is also a nice addition.

Things we’re trying this year

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers

Original recipe is at

6 Servings


Canola oil, for deep-frying

1 clove garlic, minced

4 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, filleted and minced

1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating, whisk together the garlic, anchovies, serrano, red wine vinegar, honey, scallions, walnuts and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all of the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Keep the bowl near the stovetop.
  4. Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussels sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 minutes.
  5. Drain brussel sprouts as they are removed from oil.
  6. To the last batch, add the parsley and capers (stand back-the capers will pop and sputter!).
  7. Give the contents of the pot a stir. When the color of the parsley becomes a deeper, more saturated shade of green, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, remove the contents of the pot with a skimmer and place directly in the bowl of dressing.
  8. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom Casserole

Original recipe at:

4 to 6 servings


3 pounds sliced porcini mushrooms

1 pound sliced leeks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

8 ounces butter

8 ounces heavy cream

8 ounces bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a casserole, place 1 layer of mushrooms and leeks.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley.
  4. Cover with 2 ounces of butter and cream.
  5. Repeat process three more times and cover with bread crumbs.
  6. Bake until mushrooms are tender and crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

The original recipe is here:

8 Servings


8 medium sweet potatoes or yams

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 sticks butter, chilled

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound pecan pieces

1 cup packed light brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes and roast in the oven on a baking sheet guntil soft, about 50 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle and peel.
  3. Transfer to the bowl of the food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth.
  4. Add 6 tablespoons of butter a little at a time.
  5. Add the whipping cream in a thin stream and process until fully incorporated.
  6. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and smooth out the top.
  7. Make the streusel topping as follows: Spread the pecans on a baking dish and toast for 10 minutes.
  8. Let cool:
  9. Place the pecans and brown sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process with an on/off motion until almost ground.
  10. Cut the remaining butter into pats and add, one at a time, to the pecan mixture
  11. Spread evenly over the sweet potatoes and bake until heated through and golden, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Other considerations

Here are some interesting recipes that probably won’t make the cut to try this year due to time constraints.