Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving side dishes

I love Thanksgiving food. (except giblets)  Because my family meets at  my Uncle and Aunt's home and they are having it catered for the second time in a row (though my Aunt's an excellent cook and gracious hostess), I won't be taking anything with me......BUT, more than the turkey, I adore the side dishes and wondered if you have special recipes for any that I can dream about :-)  I have a girlfriend who's come down with a cold so bad it's keeping her from spending her typical family Thanksgiving at her cabin in Big Bear up in the mountains, so I'm thinking we'll have to make up for her missing Thanksgiving dinner and I'll either cook or we'll find a turkey dinner somewhere next week!    Any ideas you'd like to share with us?   My blog friend, Silverlady, has provided what she calls "an infallibly good recipe for turkey."  She adds that "you might want to add it to your cooking site.  I used to put the bird in the oven, go to the barn, & ride for 3 hours.  Happy Thanksgiving  & love to all."

Here it is!: 

Roast turkey in foil (Life Picture Cook Book  - 1958)

Oven- 400' pre-heated

1 twelve-fifteen lb. bird
1/4 C. dry white wine
1/4 C. brandy
1 tsp. thyme (I'd use a bit more)
1 tsp. basil (" ")
Salt & pepper

Rub the outside of the bird with salt & pepper and softened butter, then stuff.  Put on large piece of HEAVY foil in a baking pan.  Pour over the wine & brandy mixed with the herbs.  Seal the foil & roast in hot oven (400') for 3 1/2 hours, more for larger bird  (3 3/4 or 4).  Fold foil back, spoon off drippings to add to gravy, & put bird back in the oven 30 minutes uncovered to brown, leaving the temp at 400 degrees.

SO...what to serve WITH your turkey?  Please chime in!  I have to admit that I'm a DRESSING fan (cooked outside the bird because it's way less fuss) but I still call it STUFFING and if anybody's got a great recipe for that, I'd love to hear it.  Turkey stuffing rates up there with Mac 'n Cheese with me, and you know that's UP there!



Lisa said...

My favorite time of the year. My sister in law is making the turkey and she makes it really good. She melts butter,mayo(yes Mayo) and this delicious herb seasoning mix we usually pick up at the local festivals here on Long Island. Rubs it all over the bird and roasts accordingly. You would never even know there was mayo on it but it comes out so super moist. She got the recipe from a coworker that everyone calls the Turkey Lady.

I just bought today because they are hard to find,boneless turkey breasts with skin on that I prepare the same way and what I like about them is instead of carving it thin I cut it n 1/2" wide slices.

Side dishes...... fuggetaboutit! Love so many. I make the broccoli casserole and pumpkin pie.
My one sister in law makes Bourbon sweet potatoes,love those. I ove them most any way.
The one who is hosting makes an awesome cranberry sauce. She takes a raspberry jello mix and mixes whole berry cranberry sauce in it and adds oranges slices,pineapple and walnuts. So yummy.

Lisa said...

This is not related to this thread but I wanted to share what I made with Tuna the other day. It's the grilled tuna salad recipe,only I did use canned tuna but it still was pretty darn good.:


cube said...

Before we started doing Thanksgiving dinner at our house, we were always invited to his great aunt's house.

One year she went out of town to visit her sisters and we were on our own and wouldn't you know, our stove broke down and there was no way to have it looked at until after Thanksgiving. When Mr. Cube went to work, he was naturally depressed about the lack of a proper dinner.

This was back in the day before ordering a full dinner was not as common as it is today. I took it upon myself to wheedle a last minute dinner from Publix and Mr. Cube was elated when he got home. It was one of our most memorable Thanksgivings.

As far as side dishes go, we always do fresh green beens stewed in tomato sauce. They are a good compliment to the mashed potato.

Thersites said...

@cube - Add some brown ground beef to those beans/tomato sauce and mashed potatoes, and you have a shepherds pie favorite of mine... a meal unto itself.


cube said...

As far as stuffing goes, we always do it out of the bird with sausage and occasionally have added fresh mushrooms for moisture, but either way, its always been good.

Thersites said...

erratum - "browned" for "brown" above...

brown ground beef... *gags*

cube said...

@Thersites: Yum. I agree.

Thersites said...

In Maryland, adding Oysters to the stuffing (vice sausage) is considered proper "Chesapeake" Thanksgiving etiquette.

cube said...

@Thersites: I knew what you meant.

cube said...

@ Thersites: My inlaws live on Cape Cod and have used steamers (steamahs) in their dressing as well as oysters.

George said...

I am happy just to have stuffing/dressing and my sister-in-laws cranberry salad (a gelatinous concoction that I have no idea of how to make).

-FJ said...

I love the regional flavours on a common tradition...

We'll be adding turnips to our potatoes before mashing, although that is more of a "family" tradition than regional one, as my wife's family grew up on Long Island and were farmers there in the days before the Great Depression. I suppose turnips kept longer than potatoes, so perhaps to them, it was a bit of an extravagance.

Lisa said...

FJ I forgot about turnips. I love them with the mashed potatoes.

Z said...

OH, what a harvest of great comments, thanks!

Cube! That string beans with tomatoes is very ARmenian; is that where you get it, from your in-laws?
I make that at home with ground turkey in it...and some oregano and thyme.........great lowfat DELICIOUS healthy dinner!
Mom steeped that with bits of lamb shank, too..fabulous.
I'm a BIG sausage in my stuffing girl, too.
Nice story about your brought-in dinner. My mother and dad lived close to Mr. Z when he was single and Mom's oven broke down THAT day. We cooked the turkey at Mr. Z's and rode it down the hill to their house and all was saved! :-)
Those are the memorable Thanksgivings, when something goes awry and fixes itself!

Lisa, it all sounds great! I made a Paris Thanksgiving when we lived there and wish you could see my table..The florist from downstairs came up to see it! YOu can almost not buy a whole turkey there so I bought turkey breast pounded and rolled them with stuffing inside.

Hi, George! You've GOTTA want mashed potatoes too, tho, no? And gravy?!! Thanks for coming by.

I'd LOVE to taste oysters in stuffing; I can't imagine it but have heard it's good.

Thersites, I ADORE Shepherd's Pie; the flavors, the textures...what's not to like, right? mmm

Leticia said...

We are also ordering out from Cracker Barrel, but I will be baking two pecan pies.

Will need to copy some recipes here. LOL! Keep them coming!

I love spending Thanksgiving with my family in Texas, but my SUV decided to act up and it wouldn't be safe for me to drive down there.

Z said...

Leticia, what are they preparing for you? Cornbread stuffing? Sides?

Sorry you can't be in TX...glad you're not taking the risk tho

Lisa said...

mmm Z that stuffed rolled turkey breast is a great idea. Rachel Ray says she doesn't do the whole turkey because who,like the breasts ad who likes the drumsticks so she justs roasts all the parts separate.

I would have loved to see your Paris table Z.

Z said...

I MIGHT be able to post a Christmas Paris table because I THINK I have those on my computer, but (ssshh!), I'm technically ILLITERATE when it comes to this stuff so I don't think I can even scan/print. But, maybe I'll try to show my Thanksgiving table, Thanks Lisa!!
I do like the legs because I love the dark meat so Rachel's a bit off there in my case, but I really do think turkey 'rolls' are SO much easier in every way and you're not missing flavor unless you do like wings or something, right?

sue hanes said...

Z - I agree with you on two counts-

the giblets :(

and I like the side dishes better than the turkey. Some years I would load up on mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing - gotta love the stuffing - and pumpkin pie - never having touched any turkey.

For the last few years though, we fry the turkey and it has always been so delicious. Plus it gets the bird out of the kitchen.

This year I tried to ignore the big article on the internet about how dangerous frying a turkey can be!

Z - I hope your Thanksgiving is great.-

Z said...

Sue, they have fryers which are apparently not dangerous at all...I'd love to try a fried turkey. I doubt if it'll happen this year.
And I do like dark meat but generally would just prefer the mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. I like vegetables, too,and like sweet potatoes but not passionately.

Te Passionate Culinarian said...


HA! I have my official Google profile! I feel so empowered! :)

So here is linkage to my article about Thanksgiving 2011. Enjoy!

Looking so forward to talking again and again with you about food!

The Passionate Culinarian

The Passionate Culinarian said...


I was so excited to let you know I now had a Google profile, I forgot to include link!

Here ya go:

Z said...

Hi, ECC!! So glad you did this! GOOD! Yes, I really look forward to talking food with you, too. AND I hope you scroll down and see all my posts; there aren't too many and I think they're fun. I hope you like them, too!

Z said...


Everybody: That's last year's Thanksgiving post and its comments. Enjoy, you might find something worthwhile in COMMENTS! :-)

sue hanes said...

Z - I dicovered through the years that dark meat was my choice.

I forgot sweet potatoes but there's still time to pick up some since they are not hard to fix.
I'll fix them instead or the glazed carrots.

I'm glad you reminded me of them.

thanks Z

Z said...

I just got this recipe in a Thanksgiving Wishes email from a dear friend...sounds fabulous! (Make sure you use frozen already peeled baby onions, it's way easier than peeling!)

Boil 2 kg of baby onions for 5 minutes (mine were already peeled, and in fact I could have probably skipped this and gone straight to carmelizing.).
Then carmelize those onions over the stove in a large pan on high heat in a couple Tablespoons of butter and sugar (I did about two each).
Separately, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. When melted, add 4Tablespoons of flour. whisk and let cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add 4 cups whole milk and whisk furiously, turning up the heat. Add 3/4 cup of very good sherry (mine is Spanish, expensive, very flavorful and is dark brown in color), 3 teaspoons of worschestire, 1 teaspoon salt and a heavy sprinkling of nutmeg.
Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often until it thickens up.
Turn off heat. Grate gruyere cheese (get it from a reliable cheese source, not supermarket) and stir in (I used about a cup maybe a touch more) and let it melt naturally. Add 1 cup slivered almonds (I toasted mine first for extra flavour).
Pour sauce over onions.
At this point, you either put in a casserole dish, cover with grated gruyere and broil in oven for 5 minutes if you want to eat ASAP.
Or you refrigerate to eat the next day for thanksgiving. When ready to re-heat, bring to room temperature. Then put in oven 400degrees for 20 minutes to reheat, then do 5 min broil with cheese topping. (I learned this last trick from a website on creamed onions).

Z said...

Sue, you've moved states, moved houses, and you've been blogging and going to the opera and are cooking Thanksgiving dinner already!
Hard to believe!
have fun

Thersites said...

Those onions sound FANTASTIC! I am getting SO hungry! :D

Thersites said...


*Drooling Smilieface*

Z said...

Thersites, don't they?
I'd personally add a pinch of dried Thyme....mmm

Debbie said...

Mac N Cheese with bacon seems to be the new big thing in some restaurants. My grandson calls the mac-n-cheese I fix "heaven in a bowl", my hubby wants me to fix it with bacon this year. Not sure it will be that great.

Right Truth

sue hanes said...

Thanks Z .

I've worked hard - it is true - but it is blogging on the breaks that has kept me going!

Z said...

Sue "but it is blogging on the breaks that has kept me going!"

That's partially what saved me when I lost my Mr. Z, too......a kind of normalcy and warmth from my readers really helped and still does, particularly in the evenings.

Debbie...I like mine unadulterated but let us know! Once even crispy bacon is put in mac and cheese, it goes soggy, I'd have thought.
Do you just sprinkle it on top so it stays crispy, or??

Z said...

Debbie, by the way, if it's "heaven in a bowl", I'd SURE like the recipe :-)

sue hanes said...

Z - I can only imagine how much blogging helped you when you lost Mr. Z.

But I've found that not only the warm friendliness is encouraging - but how often the comments come just when I need them the most.

Z said...

From my friend who sent me the onion recipe:

Correction on Baked Onion Casserole. The amount of small white onions is 4+ lbs, not 2.2 as I think I told you. Sorry.

cube said...

Z, I learned the stewed green bean recipe from Mr. Cube's grandmother on the Lebanese side, but his mom makes the same dish. Sitee (spelling?) - it means grandmother in Lebanese and that's what we all called her - lived near us and taught me many of her dishes, including the kibbee (spelling?) that I made last night.

Add some salad, pita bread, and yogurt and I had a meal that pleased everyone.

That's not easy to do with my finicky eater daughters... although, to be honest, their palates are broadening as they get older.

Z said...

Hi, Cube, I'm so glad your daughters are getting to be better eaters; eating is such a joy and I hate to see so many kids finicky. I had some nieces like that but they seem to be getting better now, too.

I LOVE that green beans dish and have adapted one for myself with sauteed onion, ground turkey ....then the beans, then tomato sauce and some garlic power, a little Oregano and Basil....let that steep for a while and it's magic!
My mother's has little chunks of lamb shank in it and she adds some lemon to the tomato sauce; outstanding.
This dish is great with pilaf, too!

You mentioned yogurt; your Armenian/Lebanese family members really made a convert out of you, didn't they! Most Americans only eat flavored yogurts and for breakfast !! Welcome to the breed, Cube!!

cube said...

Your green bean recipe sounds yummy. I guess it would work as well with ground beef too.

I'm not one to turn up my nose at something so delicious. The first time I tried these foods, I knew I had to learn to make it. It was the food that converted me and I was happy to go along.