Planning a Thanksgiving menu requires a good deal of deliberation. Once you know how many people you need to serve the real planning begins. How can you manage to pull off this big dinner within the constraints of your kitchen? Will you ask your guests to bring a dish? Are your guests adventurous eaters? Do any of them have dietary restrictions? Are there traditional Thanksgiving dishes that you need to make?
For the last few years, I have made Thanksgiving dinner for my family. At first it seemed daunting, but now I look forward to scouring magazines, Pinterest, and blogs for new ideas. I find more good ideas than I can possibly use for a single dinner. When I start searching for new Thanksgiving recipe ideas, I always start at The Bitten Word. Clay and Zach post an annual index of the recipes from the big food magazines. (This year they have done a clever overview of the trends in Thanksgiving recipes for 2014.)
When I plan my menu, there are a few things that I must make or people will be disappointed. Every year I try at least one new recipe, though I always want that recipe to be a variation of something that I know my guests might like. Each of these dishes adds a fall ingredient that’s a little bit unexpected to riff on a Thanksgiving classic. Here are a few ideas I am eager to try.
- Brined Herb-crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy (from Anne Burrell of the Food Network)
- Caramelized Vidalia Onion Mashed Potatoes (from Serious Eats)
- Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples (from FOOD52)
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage (from Closet Cooking)
- Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions (from Serious Eats) — I made these beans and they were a big hit!
- Maple Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce (from Baking Bites)
- Brown Sugar-Cranberry Tart (from Food & Wine)
- Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie (from Crumbs and Chaos)