Need some Thanksgiving Dinner inspiration? I have a first course soup, a main course turkey, seven sexy sides, and five decadent desserts to share with you! I also have a few words to say about how we are celebrating during the global pandemic:
This year, because COVID19 is raging here in the United States, Fox and I are staying home and staying safe. But that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is cancelled. We plan to sip wine in the afternoon while chatting with friends and family via Zoom. Afterwards, we will light a fire in the dining room. And then, when the sun sets, we will tuck into a multi-course dinner for…two people. (We’ll have plenty of leftovers!)
And speaking of menus, here are some of the dishes that have graced my Thanksgiving table over the years. I hope you find something good to eat:
The First Course Soup:
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon, Sherry, and Thyme. I developed this soup 19 years ago, and I’ve been serving it every Thanksgiving and Christmas since. It’s a beautiful brew of caramelized butternut squash, smoky bacon, savory thyme, and smooth sherry. Serve the soup for dinner tonight, and your family will think you’re a genius. Here’s the recipe.
The Main Course
Roast Turkey with Apple Gravy. My favorite main course for Thanksgiving. Apples serve double duty here — they flavor the bird and also thicken the gravy (you won’t need flour or cornstarch). The low-carb, gluten-free gravy is beyond delicious. You’ll want to sip it out of a mug. Here’s the recipe.
Hominy au Gratin. If I could, I’d eat Hominy au Gratin every day. It’s creamy. It’s comforting. And it goes with everything. Need an accompaniment for hamburgers? Poached eggs? A Thanksgiving turkey? Hominy au Gratin is your friend. Here’s the easy recipe.
Quinoa Dressing with Leeks, Sage, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. I love wheat. I love meat. I love sugary French desserts. But I also love quinoa! It’s a “super seed” with a delightful crunch and a neutral taste. Toss it with sauteed leeks, fresh sage, and sun-dried tomatoes, as I did the other day, and BAM — you’ll have a Thanksgiving “stuffing” that even your gluten-avoiding friends can enjoy. Click here for the recipe.
Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these super spuds are the bomb! I love them alongside an omelet, a steak, or a hamburger. Unlike French fries, the little morsels retain their crispness long after they’ve emerged from the oven. Need a little snap, crackle, and pop in your life? Here’s the recipe.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Wait! Don’t run away! Mashed potatoes ain’t exactly “diet fare,” but they are devilishly delicious to eat. Need a dreamy base for your favorite gravies and stews? Need a sumptuous side dish that you can make ahead of time, and reheat on the stove top? Want some tips and tricks for getting the most flavor from your potatoes? This step-by-step recipe is for you:
Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Ginger. Oh, my. This is the cranberry sauce of my ruby-red dreams. One taste and you’ll be hooked. Here’s the recipe.
Buttermilk Biscuits. These are light, layered, and flexible. I love them hot from the oven, with or without a pat of butter and a drizzle of hone y. Of course the biscuits are marvelous for sandwiches, too, and you can’t beat ’em for sopping up gravy. Here’s the recipe.
A Gratin of Leeks. I think you’ll love this French classic. After all, who can resist a side dish (or vegetarian main course) of tender leeks, all of them gloriously suspended in Sauce Mornay (white sauce with cheese), and topped off with crisp, buttery bread crumbs? You can assemble the entire dish several hours in advance, if you wish, and then bake it off about 30 minutes before serving time. Here’s the recipe.
The Dessert Course
Cranberry Clafouti. If you’ve never tasted Cranberry Clafouti, please take note: It’s delicious! It’s delicious on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, and even Laundry Day. And would you believe this ruby-topped, cake-like creation is actually easy to make? If you can make a simple pancake batter, then you can make Cranberry Calfouti. Click here for my step-by-step recipe:
Pumpkin Soufflé. Pumpkin pie and me? We’re over. Finished. Splitsville. The pie can claim adultery, but I don’t care. I’ve fallen fast and hard for a dramatic, delicious, and naturally gluten-free Pumpkin Soufflé! Here’s the step-by-step recipe
Rustic Apple Galette. I made this apple galette the other day, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be: delicious, dramatic, and downright addicting. A brushing of melted red currant jelly gives the tender apple slices a sexy sheen. And oh, the crust! It’s crunchy, buttery, Pâte Brisée Sucrée. Need some easy elegance in your life? Here’s the recipe.
Chocolate Cabernet Sauvignon Cake. If only you could visit me today, I’d gladly offer you a slice of this Chocolate-Cabernet Sauvignon Cake. It’s as rich and decadent as you’d expect it to be. It’s exquisitely perfumed, too. It’s the kind of cake that says “Eat me.” Here’s the recipe.
Sweet Potato Pie. I wasn’t supposed to have a sweet potato-harvest this year. Not after the crop’s leaves were devoured by a woodchuck in early August. So imagine my surprise when Margarita, my garden helper, dug through the bed the other day, and turned up dozens and dozens of beta carotene-rich spuds! To celebrate, I made a pie. (Click here for recipe.)
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