Thanksgiving is so close! Are you hosting? Are you excited? Do you still not know your menu? Are you just going to put something in the F@*%ing oven and call it a day?
From experience, my Thanksgivings have benefited from some dorky planning. This is the time to embrace your inner nerd and make a list, schedule, or go crazy with an excel spreadsheet.
If you are still trying to set your menu now, The New York Times has this helpful interactive guide and recipes for menu planning. They boil it down to this:
turkey + gravy + cranberry sauce + stuffing + something orange + green & snappy vegetables + pies =THANKSGIVING
And in case you need some more ideas (Lauren, I'm looking at you), here are some favorite recipes I have made/found/altered in the past:
- Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
- Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
- Chestnut Leek Stuffing I completely alter this, but I love the combo of chestnuts and leeks as a starting point
- Candied Yams - I'd decrease the amount of sugar, and skip the white sugar, and do a combo of maple syrup and brown sugar. You could also swap coconut oil, or Earthbalance for butter
- Or do this awesome looking Ottolenghi recipe for roasted sweet potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce - homemade cranberry sauce is the easiest part of Thanksgiving
- If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can do the Tofurkey thing, but even better, just go nuts with all the side dishes. I would make marinated and grilled portobello mushrooms with vegan gravy
As for the schedule, these are the things I usually ask myself:
- How long will things take to prep?
- How long will things take to cook?
- How many things can fit in the oven with the bird?
- At what temperature do those things need to cook?
- What can be made on the stove-top instead of the oven? (r.e. You can make mashed potatoes, and then keep them warm with a double boiler)
- Hot dishes should be ready at the same time
- What dishes can I make that can be room-temp?
- The bird will need to rest for at least 30 minutes
- While the bird is resting, the oven is totally free... is there a casserole or gratin I want to make ahead and heat up while the bird is resting, or do I want to roast some veggies instead?
Evidence - Former Thanksgiving cooking and prep schedule:
Whatever you do, Happy Thanksgiving!