tips, tricks and recipes to save the day on Thanksgiving!
Yield 2 gallons
Use this recipe even for a last-minute brine! You won't regret it. Also, reserve a portion of your brine and add any other poultry (chicken, duck) that you have for use later in the week. If kept at the proper temp (with ice or in the fridge) there is no point in wasting this liquid gold!
- Place all ingredients except the herbs in a pot. Begin to heat and stir until sugar and salt are clearly dissolved.
- Cut the heat and add the herbs for 3 minutes.
- Pour the warm liquid (including herbs) into your target brining container, and then add the ice.
- Add the turkey and brine for 24-48 hours. Add more ice (or freezer packs) as needed to maintain temperatures below 40 F.
Scalloped Corn: An Historic Recipe from Iowa
Victoria and Lynsie have much in common, the biggest probably being their love for cooking! It should be no surprise, then, that when asked for a recipe for her favorite traditional side dish, Victoria produced an old hand-written recipe that happens to also be Lynsie's favorite for her family as well!
If you think you don't like Scalloped Corn (aka Corn Pudding), then think again. This one has just the right amount of fluffiness and sweet flavor and can be made in advance and reheated in the oven.
Make your holiday cooking schedule super easy and try this family favorite out!
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 bag frozen corn
1 can creamed corn
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp each dry mustard, salt, pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup cracker crumbs (like saltines)*, crushed finely and divided
2 pinches paprika, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Saute onion in butter for 5 minutes then add into a large bowl with corn, egg and seasoning + half the cracker crumbs.*
Bake, covered, until mixture begins to bubble, about 30-45 minutes.
Remove lid for the last 20 minutes of cooking, add the rest of the crumbs and brown the top.
*You may need to add a splash or two of milk to bind all ingredients. Don't worry if it looks a little wet; the crackers will absorb extra liquid. Also, cracker crumbs can be replaced with equal parts plain panko or bread crumbs.
Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika!
MAIN Smoky Lobster Mac & Cheese
Yield 4-6 servings
Pairs well with a variety of cheeses (all of them really - delicate and nutty, strong and firm, pungent, and fresh, salty and sour cheeses). Pairs with fin fish, shellfish, white meat and cured meat.
We love Rose around here but sometimes it's important to pair it with a super simple dinner. But fret not, we added a nice helping of lobster to this "fancy" mac & cheese...so feed it to someone you love! It's filled with the good stuff.
2 lobster tails, cooked, meat removed and chopped
1 pkg regular or gluten-free elbow macaroni
1 yellow onion, grated or minced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ cup flour or cornstarch
2 cups whole milk (or nut milk if vegan-choose unflavored and unsweetened)
2 cups lobster stock (reserved from cooking lobster tails)
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg smoked gouda, grated (use about 1 cup)
1 tsp salt, divided
½ cup panko
- To cook lobster tails, defrost completely (if frozen) and place in a boiling pot of water. Cook until pink and flesh is firm. Remove cooked lobster from water, cool, remove meat and chop. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions minus 1 minute. Drain and pour into a baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large skillet, cook onion with butter and half the olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour or cornstarch after 5 minutes and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add milk and lobster stock, little by little at first, making sure to whisk after each addition to prevent lumps and create a smooth sauce.
- Add cheese and whisk to combine and melt. Add salt, taste and adjust accordingly.
- Remove from heat and pour into the baking dish over pasta, mixing gently to combine.
- Add 2/3rd of cooked, chopped lobster and stir gently.
- In a small bowl, mix panko with the rest of the salt and oil. Sprinkle over top of mac and cheese in baking dish. Scatter the rest of the chopped lobster on top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until further cooked and bubbling.
- Serve hot.
SIDE Mashed Potatoes Any Way
Tired of boring old Mashed Potatoes? We'll teach you our tricks for the best standard recipe plus ways to jazz them up with other ingredients.
4 lb white potatoes (we suggest Yukon golds)
4 cloves garlic
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp salt
1 8-oz package cream cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2-1 cup cream or buttermilk
1 Tbsp black pepper, freshly ground if possible
1 bunch leeks, sliced and cleaned
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Suggested Add-On's (add any one of the following to your potatoes while they steam)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 lb carrots, trimmed and peeled
2 lb purple potatoes + 1 bunch beets, all peeled and cubed
- Begin by prepping your potatoes and garlic. Add them to a large pot with stock + salt and bring to a boil.
- Steam potatoes with garlic until tender.
- While potatoes are steaming, cook leeks by adding cleaned leek slices to a large pan with 2 Tbsp butter. Cook over low heat until leeks are "melty," meaning they will be very softened and slightly browned.
- Once potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and mash.
- Add cream cheese, butter, black pepper, and cream. Stir to combine.
- Add leeks and mix in, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed and serve warm.
NOTE: if using one of our suggested add-on's, simply add prepped veggies to the same pot that you're steaming the potatoes in and follow instructions.
Pumpkin Apple Hot Cross Buns
Yield 16 rolls
These are your new favorite Thanksgiving rolls! They'll work for breakfast or dinner, and can be made in advance and frozen.
Filled with unusual ingredients, like chopped apples, raisins and pumpkin puree, these are the perfect accompaniment to any fall meal, but will work best as a beautiful centerpiece for Thanksgiving, or placed out for a pre or post-Thanksgiving breakfast spread.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 red apple, cored and diced (not peeled)
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 1/2 cups heavy cream and buttermilk, equal parts or one or the other
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (reserve egg white for egg wash)
1 stick butter at room temp
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of ground cloves or allspice and nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
For the Egg Wash
reserved egg white (see above)
2 Tbsp cream or milk
1 tsp sugar
For the Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup cream (add a little at a time to achieve desired consistency, see recipe for more details)
- Combine all ingredients in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. *Make sure to test your yeast first if you haven't used it in awhile by adding it to a separate bowl with the sugar and milk called for in this recipe. Wait five minutes and you'll know it's alive if it begins to bubble.
- Knead using a dough hook (or do this by hand) until all ingredients come together and begin to form glutinous strands around the dough hook. It should be well-combined but will still be slightly sticky.
- Cover in the bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.
- Remove dough to a floured work surface and sprinkle the top with a bit of flour.
- Shape into a rectangle or square, and cut equal portions by slicing dough in half top to bottom, then in half again. Repeat crosswise until you have 16 squares altogether.
- Shape each square into rolls and place in an oiled baking dish, just barely touching and evenly spaced.
- Cover again and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- At this time, preheat oven to 375 F, using the convection function if you have it.
- Use your leftover egg white and combine with 2 Tbsp cream or milk plus 1 tsp sugar.
- Brush egg wash (the mixture you just made) onto each roll.
- Next, use scissors (very clean kitchen shears if possible, I always keep an extra cooking-only set in my drawer) and cut a cross on top of each, about 1/2 inch deep.
- Place in your preheated oven and bake until golden brown and puffy, about 25 minutes.
- While rolls are baking, prepare your icing by whisking together powdered sugar and cream until thick and smooth. The consistency should be pourable, not spreadable. Keep adding milk until you get the texture right.
- Remove and allow to cool, then drizzle with icing following the cross pattern that you cut on top of each roll.
Courses side, breakfast
Stuffed Delicata Squash for Breakfast
Yield 1 serving
Soft insides with a crunchy and flavorful topping, these egg-stuffed delicata squash slices are heavenly, easy and inexpensive to make and can be done it advance of Thanksgiving so all you need do is reheat and serve to your guests during food prep.
1 delicata squash, ends removed and sliced into three or four 2-inch rounds
2 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half
1 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp pepper or red pepper flakes
1 slice Swiss cheese, cut or torn into 4 equal squares
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp melted butter or olive oil
1 pinch each of salt, pepper and dried parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, raw
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Prep squash by slicing off just enough on each end that the rounds can sit flat but flesh still remains (read, you can't see the seeds). This will help prevent egg spillage during cooking. If you are not able to achieve this, don't worry: I have a trick. Read on...
- Whisk eggs with cream, onion salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Use a small teaspoon to remove seeds from each round. Place the rounds from either end closed-side down, and then the middle rounds flat-side down in a glass pie plate.
- Make the breadcrumb mixture by mixing breadcrumbs with melted butter or olive oil, salt pepper and dried parsley.
- Fill the middle rounds with a bit of bread crumb mixture to seal them, then pour egg mixture evenly into each, allowing a little bit of space at the top of each for the eggs to expand while cooking.
- Cover each top with a small square of torn Swiss, followed by the breadcrumb mixture and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove and top with raw pine nuts. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until pine nuts are browned.
- Enjoy hot, warm, or cold. Freeze and reheat when ready as needed!
Don’t forget to check out this awesome suggestion for using leftovers:
Turkey Tex Mex Salad
Yield 4-6 servings
Looking for ways to make the most of your Turkey Day Leftovers? Check out this new and fun way to enjoy a healthy meal after the Thanksgiving holiday. This one is especially fantastic because you'll be serving up your turkey in such a different way and even better: you'll be enjoying it on top of a huge salad filled with tons of other healthy stuff like black beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocados!
This recipe is also a really great way to use up any leftover crispy onions that you had on your Green Bean Casserole.
For the Turkey Leftovers
Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, shredded or chopped
2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
For Tex Mex Salad
1 bottle ranch dressing (or your favorite)
1-2 bags butter lettuce or 2 heads bibb lettuce, washed and chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 jar roasted red bell peppers
1 pkg crispy onions (the kind that go on top of Green Bean Casserole)
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 pkg grated cheese
- Begin by preheating oven to 375 F. Coat turkey in spice mixture and oil, place on a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until turkey is warmed and slightly crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Add salad greens to a large bowl, making sure to only use what you’ll be eating for that day (as greens get soggy overnight with dressing). Top with all listed ingredients.
- Arrange crispy turkey on top of salad.
- Serve with dressing on the side and top with avocados and cheese.