The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada is a large meal, generally centered on a large roasted turkey which is only enjoyed once per year.
The majority of the dishes in the traditional American version of Thanksgiving dinner are made from foods native to the New World, as according to tradition the Pilgrims received these food from the Native Americans.
But, how do you cook them? And what else can you make to enrich your table?
Let’s have a look!
– Turkey is the most common main dish of a Thanksgiving dinner, to the point where Thanksgiving is sometimes colloquially called “Turkey Day.”
– Most Thanksgiving turkeys are stuffed with a bread-based mixture and roasted. Sage is the traditional herb added to the stuffing (also called dressing if NOT cooked inside the bird), along with chopped celery, carrots, and onions.
Rosemary Roasted Turkey
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper salt to taste
1 (12 pound) whole turkey Add all
4 h 45 m
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
- Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.
- Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.
- Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
– Non-traditional foods other than turkey are sometimes served as the main dish for a Thanksgiving dinner. Ham is often served alongside turkey in many non-traditional households.
– Goose and duck, foods which were traditional European centerpieces of Christmas dinners before being displaced, are now sometimes served in place of the Thanksgiving turkey.
Honey Glazed Smoked Ham
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6,5 hours
Yield: Serves up to 12
1 6-pound (2.7 kg) “ready to eat” ham
1 cup (240 mL) pineapple juice
3/4 cup (180 mL) chicken stock
1/2 cup (120 mL) honey
2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) black pepper
1 tablespoon (15 mL) paprika
1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
2 teaspoons (10 mL) dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) cayenne
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cloves
- The night before you smoke, mix together the pepper, paprika, sugar, salt, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard and cayenne. Rub over the surface of the ham, wrap in foil and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, remove the ham from the refrigerator and let it sit for 1 hour. Remove foil. In the meantime prepare the smoker. You will be smoking at about 210 degrees F/100 degrees C for 6 hours.
- Mix together the chicken stock, 3/4 cup (180 mL) of pineapple juice, vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dry mustard, and cloves. Warm over medium heat until completely mixed.
- Place ham in smoker and baste with sauce once every hour. While the ham is smoking, prepare the glaze by mixing together the honey, 1/4 cup (60 mL) on pineapple juice, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dry mustard and a pinch of ground cloves. Brush generously with glaze a couple of times during the last hour of smoking.
1 (40 ounce) canbruce cut yams, drained
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 (16 ounce) bag miniature marshmallows
- Butter 1 quart baking dish.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mash yams in a large bowl and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, and melted butter.
- Mix well.
- Place 1/2 mixture in baking dish.
- Top with a layer of marshmallows, then add remaining mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with remaining marshmallows.
- Bake for another 10 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.
– Other commonly served dishes include winter squash and sweet potatoes, usually candied and sometimes served topped with marshmallows.
– Fresh, canned, or frozen corn is popular and green beans, often served as green bean casserole are frequently served.
– A fresh salad may be included, especially on the West Coast. Bread rolls or biscuits and cornbread, especially in the South and parts of New England, are served.
– For dessert, various pies are usually served, particularly pumpkin pie, though apple pie, mincemeat pie, sweet potato pie, and pecan pie are often served as well.
2 h 20 servings
1 (15 ounce) can canned pumpkin puree
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
5 tablespoons butter, softened 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 teaspoons milk 1 cup chopped walnuts
- In a mixing bowl, beat pumpkin, 2 cups white sugar, and oil. Add eggs, and mix well.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat until well blended. Pour batter into a greased 15 x 10 inch baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter or margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, and mix well. Add milk until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Frost cake, and sprinkle with nuts.
Toffee Apple Pound Cake with Spiced Caramel
1 large Granny Smith Apple peeled, diced (1/8″)
1 8 oz. bag toffee bits, divided (Heath Bits O’Brickle Toffee Bits)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened,
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
Easy Creamy Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 – 3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and generously spray all surfaces of a 12 CUP (no less!) nonstick bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR, OR grease and flour the inside. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss 1 cup apples (any remaining diced apples will be garnish) with 1 tablespoons flour until evenly coated. Set aside. Remove 1/4 cup toffee bits from package. Set aside for garnish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Remove 1 teaspoon (this will be added to caramel sauce) and add the rest to a large bowl. To this same bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to evenly combine.
- Beat the butter until creamy then add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just the yellow disappears after each egg.
- Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk in between each third. Beat until just combined.
- Stir in toffee bits in package and flour coated apples just until combined then spoon batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 70 – 85 minutes or until a wood pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean, You may need to cover the top of the cake with foil near the end of cooking time to prevent excess browning.
- Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Prepare 1 Recipe Easy Spiced Caramel Sauce according to directions (below). You can make in advance and reheat in the microwave/stove or prepare when ready to serve cake.
- Spoon caramel over cake and garnish with remaining diced apples and toffee bits.
Easy Spiced Caramel Sauce
- Add butter, brown sugar, water, and salt to medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes (it will bubble a lot!), stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup evaporated milk, vanilla and reserved teaspoon spices.
- Add additional evaporated milk if desired to thin to desired consistency.
- Caramel Sauce will thicken upon standing so if it becomes too thick, reheat and stir in additional evaporated milk.
- Serve warm.