Best Thanksgiving Recipes for Your Holiday Table
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast. ~ William Shakespeare
Thanksgiving is just a week away. It seems that not too long ago we were saying goodbye to summer and now the holiday season is upon us.
I suppose that our recent travels combined with Beamer’s cancer surgery has made the time fly by. Now with just about a week to turkey day, it’s time to think about the dishes that I know will be perfect to serve with our turkey and are recipes that we love. I guess it’s time to prepare a menu and get cooking!
If you are still perusing your cookbooks, food magazines, or the internet for recipes for your Thanksgiving menu, here are some suggestions for a few of our favorite dishes. Celebrate with a festive bottle of bubbly (such as Champagne or Proseco) to start and then pair your menu with a nice bottle of wine or two throughout the evening for a merry feast at your holiday table. If you would like to serve a special cocktail to begin your gathering, I suggest a glass of bubbly with a Wild Hibiscus Flower and a bit of the syrup added for a really elegant drink, as shown above.
Southern Rockefellas – An impressive way to begin a holiday dinner, this appetizer and riff on Oysters Rockefeller was one of the recipes I created for the Lambs & Clams Recipe Contest with the BB&T Charleston Wine & Food Festival. If you and your guests love oysters, then you will enjoy this recipe that is truly superb in flavor. The Southern twist comes from cooked collard greens and Benton’s bacon (which has an incredibly smoky flavor). I also used cornbread crumbs instead of bread crumbs to make the cheesy topping. Clean and shuck the oysters and prepare the ingredients ahead of time. You can then quickly assemble them before baking in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Honey Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce – The combination of fresh cranberries, citrus, Grand Marnier, and Honey Creme Cranberry from Honey Ridge Farms is refreshing and bright in this recipe. It is the best homemade cranberry sauce I’ve ever made. The bit of kick from the Grand Marnier really dresses up this often overlooked accompaniment to your holiday table. If you are a jellied cranberry sauce fan, this may be the recipe that will make you a convert.
Country Potato Gratin – If you’re looking for a unique and decadent alternative to mashed potatoes or your regular potato casserole, try this impressive side dish. Country ham, Jarlsberg cheese, sliced onions, chicken broth, and heavy cream create a luscious blend of flavors that are a perfect pairing with either turkey, a standing rib roast, or baked ham. You will want to prepare this recipe again and again and not just during the holidays.
Cheesy Spinach Casserole – If you’re like me, you’ve had your fair share of creamed spinach over the years. I love spinach and we eat it raw in salads, steam it, and sauté it with a bit olive oil and garlic. Sometimes, however, we want something richer and with more complex flavors to dress up this leafy green veggie. This recipe achieves that. Sautéed mushrooms, a splash of Sherry, Jarlsberg cheese, and a creamy sauce are combined with the spinach and then topped with a crunchy Panko bread topping with Parmesan cheese. This side dish is a delightful updated version of the old and often bland creamed spinach. You will really enjoy this recipe if you like spinach as much as we do.