This is the 1st ever Thanksgiving dinner I have prepared/hosted at home. It was a low key, fun evening with our now family of 5, my mom who’s visiting from Finland and her friend Kendall (who took the family photo of us below), and of course LOTS and LOTS of yummy, almost all ultra local food made with veggies from our CSA (just 15 miles away)!
Most of these recipes are modified from our CSA’s blog.
The main course:
Baked Acorn Squash with Herbed Stuffing
1 medium to large acorn squash
1 cup rice, cooked
3-4 slices bacon, baked in the oven till crispy
handful ground up pecans
handful dried, sweetened cranberries
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
Preheat oven to 350?F. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place squash halved, cut side down, in a covered baking dish. Add several tablespoons of water to the dish, and bake until tender, approximately 40-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Mix rice, herbs, nuts, cranberries and bacon (chop it up first) in a big bowl. Heap filling into the squash shells. Cover, and return to oven for another 20 minutes or until heated through. Each half can be cut in half lengthwise. Serves 2-4.
Sage and Kale Cornbread Dressing (Stuffing)
5 cups coarse crumbled cornbread (See recipe below for Black Pepper Cornbread, below)
7 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
5 large kale leaves, center spine removed, slivered (about 6 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups ground up, raw walnuts
1/4 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1 egg, beaten to blend
Crumble cornbread coarsely onto large cookie sheet. Let stand uncovered at room temp overnight to dry. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add kale and cook until kale wilts, about 5 min. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Mix in sage, salt and pepper. Add cornbread crumbs and walnuts to vegetables. Mix stock with egg in small bowl. Stir into dressing. You can stuff into the turkey and/or cook in a ovenproof dish and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes to and hour. Makes about 10 cups.
Black Pepper Cornbread (enough for 5 cups as called for above)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbs butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Mix together first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Mix milk with egg and butter, and pour over dry ingredients, stir until just moistened; do not over mix. Spoon batter into pan, bake until light brown, about 15 min.
Sweet and Sour Glazed Brussels Sprouts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through core if large
12 small shallots, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400?F degrees. Melt butter and sugar together in microwave. Toss Brussels sprouts, shallots, butter mixture, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Scatter on rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 30 minutes, shaking pan every 10 minutes to redistribute vegetables. Serves 8.
Parsnip Oven-Fries with Yogurt-Curry Dipping Sauce
1 pound parsnips
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tbsp Garam Masala
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 small green onion, minced
Peel parsnips. Cut into 2 inch x 1/2-inch sticks. In bowl, toss together parsnips, oil, and spices. Bake on greased baking sheet in 425? F oven, turning occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until browned and tender. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, curry, and green onion. Serve sauce with parsnip fries.
Raw Cranberry Apple Relish
2 lbs raw cranberries
6 apples, peeled and cored
1 large orange
Mix all ingredients in food processor to the consistency of coarse apple sauce. Serve chilled.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3-6 cloves of garlic, squashed and minced very well
2-3 slices of yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 or 6 white mushrooms, sliced
Measure the vegetable oil into a small saucepan. Cook the garlic and onion in it for about two minutes on medium or medium-low heat, until the onion is a bit tender and translucent.
Add the flour, yeast, and soy sauce to make a paste. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly. Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly — the gravy has to boil for it to thicken. (Grandma always told me to cook gravy for a full five minutes at a boil to make sure you kill the bugs in the flour, but I don’t always bother.) Add pepper. Stir in the sliced mushrooms, if desired. Add salt, if desired.
If the gravy is too thin for your taste, add one or two tablespoons of flour or small amounts of cornstarch to thicken it and add home-made-looking lumps. Use a wire whisk to eliminate lumps.
Serve piping hot.
Pumpkin Pie (made from a real pumpkin)
Dan also made a sausage gravy and mashed potatoes. It was all delicious, if I may say so myself!