Do you have your Thanksgiving menu planned yet? This year I will be at my mom’s, and she and I are splitting most of the cooking duties. If you need ideas, both Serious Eats and NYT Food have great menu planners. Sam Sifton and Melissa Clark (both of NYT Food) were on On Point today discussion The Big Day. My favorite new piece of advice was to use a bit of stock to warm the turkey after carving and right before serving. Sam Sifton has many other great ideas (and even more opinions) in Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well, which is worth seeking out as much for the writing as it is for the recipes.
Breakfast (Don’t forget breakfast!!!!!!!)
- Bagels, cream cheese, and lox. This pleases everyone in the house, and doesn’t require actual cooking (there is enough of that going on).
Appetizers (all cooked multiple days in advance)
- Bit and Pieces Party Cheese Ball: Mom made this for our wedding, but neither Will nor I actually got a chance to eat it. The reviews were great.
- Shrimp cocktail: A classic, in case the rest of our experiments fail.
- Hummus Masabacha: A new hummus variation (at my request).
- Chicken Liver Pâté: I’ve never made pâté, but I thought a meal with many other stars would be a good time to try it (so if everyone hates it, they will have many other options).
- Spatchcocked Turkey (prepped and cooked day of): Flat and fast!
- Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce (cooked many days ahead): My mom has made this before and really liked it.
- Dressing (not stuffing, because we NEVER put it inside the bird) (prepped the day before, cooked day of): I’m wavering between the one I linked to, and the dressing in Thanksgiving (which I made last year and is very similar, just sans sausage plus apples).
- Giblet Gravy (cooked day of): I make the gravy after the turkey roasts with the drippings and giblets, following the recipe in Thanksgiving.
- Mashed potatoes (cooked day of): Maybe now is a good time to tell my mom that I got some purple potatoes to include in here…
- Brussels sprouts (prepped the day before, cooked day of): I may go with Sam Sifton’s recipe (also in Thanksgiving…have you bought a copy yet?), which has bacon and cream. If not, I may go with a simple roast.
- Cranberry Pie (prepped and cooked the day before): I’m sure this is considered Thanksgiving blasphemy, but apple and pumpkin pie don’t really excite me. This cranberry pie is the only pie I crave annually. Last year I made it for myself the week after Thanksgiving just because I wanted it that much. (The photo above is this beloved pie over Greek yogurt for breakfast, or, my dreams come true.)
- Cranberry Black Pepper Shrub (cooked many days before): Shrubs are excellent for non-alcoholic cocktails with just some sparkling water, or with sparking wine.
- Four Roses (perfect, as is): Because, as Sam says, the day should end with a glass of whiskey.
If you need even more inspiration, this is my game plan from a couple years ago. And don’t forget to be creative with your leftovers! Above are mashed potato cakes, Brussels sprouts, and an egg.