I almost dream of having a holiday as necessary as Thanksgiving for Americans. Anyone who follows the American press or their regular series will have had a Thanksgiving empacho from a distance, and it is that it attracts all the attention these days. In addition to turkey, do you know what the typical Thanksgiving menu is like? We propose you to imitate it with our version through these recipes.
We have already commented that the typical dishes of today would not have much to do with what the pilgrims ate, but it matters little. Traditions evolve and settle in popular culture, becoming something special, and there aren’t two identical Thanksgiving menus. Of course, there are the “classics,” but in each house, there are variations according to the tastes and customs of the family. So you don’t have to follow any recipe carefully, but with these suggestions, you can create a delicious Thanksgiving-style menu.
The turkey, king of the function
Let’s start with the important thing: there is no Thanksgiving without turkey or a vegetarian version. It is the main dish around which the whole menu revolves, which requires more significant preparation and maximum care since, despite its simplicity, it can be easy to spoil it. It is a huge animal, perfect for satisfying the appetites of large families and of which always, there is meat leftover. Leftover turkey is another delicacy that many Americans dream of, ideal for snacks and other dishes.
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It is usually bought frozen, and that is why you also have to remember to take it out in time to start roasting it well in advance. Essential points: get it right with the cooking time, achieve juicy meat with a very golden exterior, and that is not very dry or bland. We have a straightforward roasted turkey recipe in the purest US-style, without complications. Of course, some prefer fried, although it would not be my choice.
Gravy or sauce
Admittedly, turkey meat is a bit dry, no matter how much we are the kings of the roast it well with butter, oil, or broth. Eating it alone is unthinkable in a proper Thanksgiving dinner, and gravy or gravy plays a fundamental role. It is another of those essential components of the menu for which each family keeps its secret. Although it seems that in recent years, many people prefer to go safely buying the sauce directly in the jar.
But if it is prepared well, the gravy takes its role and ends up watering all the other dishes on the table. It is a simple meat sauce that starts with a roux and is cooked with broth, without hurry to avoid lumps. Here you have the recipe to fix a roast without sauce, or you can prepare a multipurpose sauce for meats that also works with salads.
Red fruit sauce
We finish the necessary trilogy of the Thanksgiving menu with the other essential dressing, the famous cranberry sauce or cranberry sauce. Undoubtedly many of you met her for the first time watching a series or movie – in my case; it was Friends and its mythical Thanksgiving chapters – in those times when we did not know that there were red and blue cranberries. Cranberries are very typical in the United States during the fall, although in Spain, they are still challenging to find, and they are usually at exorbitant prices.
So we can go to the easiest and serve our turkey with jam or compote, red cranberries or some equivalent: currants, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. This sauce does not have as many followers as the previous one, and in many houses, they prefer to buy a boat and save the step, but I recommend you try the baked fruit jam recipe. It is a delight that combines wonderfully with roasted meats, as in this case.
The concept of “stuffing” the Thanksgiving turkey is always curious. At least it catches my attention that a dish so caloric and satiating is prepared to accompany an already pantagruélico menu, taking into account that it is served next to the turkey, and not inside. That is, the logical thing would be to fill the bird with ingredients such as fruits or vegetables with some fat, but the traditional stuffing would end up resecting it more.
In this dish, there are many variations according to the special touch of each family, although the base is thick cubes or crumbs of bread, usually corn or a rustic loaf, with bacon, sausage, nuts, or fruit, cheese, some vegetables. .. In the turkey recipe, you have the instructions to prepare a very easy classic stuffing, which is usually served in a dish as a side dish.
To open your mouth and prepare your stomach, many families in the United States make a comforting seasonal vegetable cream. In theory, it is a light dish, but I would say that it should be filled too much, considering that then there is a lot more food. The problem is that what they call creamy soup – creamy soup – is usually well loaded with cream, butter, milk, cheese, and bacon, but it cannot be denied that they are comforting.
The most used vegetables to prepare in cream at this party with cauliflower, broccoli, and, of course, pumpkin. I recommend opting for the first in a recipe that does not add too many calories, using all the creamy natural potential of the same cauliflower. And it is preferable to serve it in small portions, which, no matter how light, vegetable creams are satiating.
I doubt there is any Thanksgiving table that does not include mashed potatoes. A simple dish -in appearance, at least-, humble, and very basic, but comforting and delicious. It also reminds us of our childhood and makes an explosive couple with gravy sauce. Some people like it thicker, with a rustic texture in which the potato can be noticed, with bits of skin … Although almost everyone looks for creamy mashed potatoes.
Of course, it is not a light garnish. The perfect mashed potatoes get their succulent texture thanks to the excellent cooking of the tuber and also to the added ingredients, such as butter or cream. Surely you have your trick to give it a special touch, but if you have never made homemade mashed potatoes we have the perfect recipe to make it creamy.
Among the garrisons or side dishes more repeated in Thanksgiving are the recipes of green beans, usually in the form of a casserole. The Americans use the fine or round variety and often combine them with some fried, glazed or candied onion, bacon or vegetables, and sometimes some creamy sauce to give them more flavor.
When the oven has too much work, it is also an excellent option to prepare sautéed green beans so as not to complicate life. A good recipe is that of green beans with grapefruit and nuts, with a different and quick festive touch to prepare. Beans admit almost everything, so don’t cut yourself in innovating with various spices, an oriental sauce, some cheese, or whatever you want.
Loved and hated in equal parts, I am a strong advocate of Brussels sprouts, and I love that they are typical for Thanksgiving dinner. Cooked and bandurria are boring, bland, and unappetizing, but well prepared, they turn into a delicious light garnish that combines very well with roast turkey meat.
Again, we could enrich the dish by cooking them in the oven with cream, bacon, and a good layer of cheese, but I think it is better to dispense with fatty additives. Tasty but straightforward brussels sprouts with sage can be the ideal accompaniment to all kinds of meats, with aromas that will pleasantly surprise you.
Garnish sweet potatoes
The sweet potato competes with the pumpkin in the autumn menus and is also essential in the right Thanksgiving menu. Whether roasted, pureed, soup, or dessert, rarely, you do not have him at this party. I’ve always been struck by the traditional dish of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, a creamy gratin covered with clouds of sugar that should be a bomb.
We prefer to opt for a simple recipe for garnishing roasted sweet potatoes with spices, lighter but very tasty. The aromas of this tuber mixed with the autumnal spices make it a very comforting dish that could well be taken on its own on a cold night. And, of course, it makes tasty crumbs with the turkey and its sauce.
Tender rolls Muffins
If the family that hosts the Thanksgiving feast has also prepared the homemade bread, it will add many more points for the guests. With so many dishes to cook and so many diners, the truth is that it can be a nuisance to have to deal with kneads and raisins, but in many houses, they continue to maintain the tradition.
In the United States, a good party dinner is accompanied by tender rolls. There are many different recipes according to the tradition of each house, but in general, a single fluffy crumb format is sought, such as those in this butter rolls recipe. Cornbread is preferred in some areas, so you can also try the rich gluten-free corn muffins.
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