Thanksgiving 2017!

Thanksgiving snuck up on me again this year - it’s just over two weeks away, and I haven’t started planning yet! I do have a preliminary guest list that includes four adults and two children, plus DH and me, but there may be additional invitees. At least two of the guests are excellent cooks so I anticipate they will want to contribute - in fact one already offered to bring an Israeli salad and a chocolate cherry trifle dessert, so those will be added to the standard menu, which includes sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce and apple and pumpkin pie. These items are non-negotiable.

However, vegetable sides and the turkey itself are always up in the air! The last few years I have made sous vide turkey thigh roulades with a prune, chestnut and gruyere stuffing because we didn’t have many white meat eaters, but since we have a larger group this year I may do a full bird. I often wind up doing simple roasted Brussels for a vegetable side, but honestly very few of them get eaten - we probably have them once a week in season anyway, and there are just too many tasty carbs on the table to want to bother with vegetables. What new and interesting vegetable recipes have you read (or invented) lately? I did a spicy butternut squash soup one year that was actually a big hit, and made for a nice addition to the leftovers as well - maybe it’s time to bring that back.

Looking forward to reading your menus!

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I’d like a pointer to the roulade recipe!

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Every year is different for me, my apartment is not set up for entertaining so i end up attending at friends’ apartments.
Since i’m vegetarian i always volunteer to bring a dish that i know i can eat in case there are minimal other options (i swear one year our friend of a friend hosted but had ordered in everything and i seriously just had salad and a roll and wine cuz nothing else was vegetarian!)
Anyways, now my friends actually ask me to bring “that pretty thanksgiving salad with fennel” which is surprisingly popular- i think because it’s fresh and crunchy and provides a nice foil to the rich dishes on the table.
No proper recipe but it’s basically a huge serving bowl, layered with:
50% Baby arugala
50% shredded nappa cabbage or mixed salad greens
Then arranged on top in stripes or concentric circles or groups (whatever is pretty):
Lots of raw fennel cut super thin on a mandolin
Lots of celery cut thin on the mandolin
Toasted salted pumpkin seeds
Dried figs cut in quarters or halves
Fresh pomegranate seeds
Lot of fennel fronds

I serve the dressing on the side, some people want hardly any and others want wet salads, also helps it stand up to sitting out for a while. For the dressing i usually use a good gob of dijon, a white wine or champagne vinegar, grapeseed oil (not a fan of olive oil flavor here), lots of cracked pepper, and sometimes a spoon of mayo to make a creamy version. Leans more acidic than not.
It’s a nice mix of textures and fresh flavors, you can prep ahead and assemble at the last minute

Another idea would be hasselback veggies- zucchini is a lot easier than carrots (and you already have potatoes covered) it just takes some knife skills but you could also prep day before and bake day of. Something like this recipe with a flavored butter you brush over it (hint! Best to cut and leave on the baking tray you will use, only transfer once done with a wide spatula and steady hand)


Like your both recipes. Do you have more tasty recipes on celery? I have a few branches left in the fridge…and running out of ideas. (Bought them for making soup stocks.)


Omfg this is a total game changer for celery- i literally buy bunches just to make this… ( had the original at bar goto and had to order another plate!) Although probably out of place at thanksgiving :wink:


That looks cool, I love furikake. I did something a bit similar with cucumber in soy sauce and sesame oil but never have thought of celery.

I’m not that familiar with furikake - but a quick web search shows multiple types of furikake. Is there a standard? One that is best in this type of recipe?

Amazon (for example)
Has a
Nori komi furikake
Wasabi fumi …
Seto fumi …

The number of vegetarians in my T day circle has ebbed and flowed over the years but one year I made a vegetarian gravy, it was so good. It was gone well before the turkey gravy was. I think it was from the Vegetarian for Everyone cookbook (Deborah Madison).


The roulade & soup recipes sound great - I love anything with gruyere in it! If you can, please share. :slight_smile:
Our Thanksgiving usually is the typical Italian-American Thanksgiving with a few contemporary yummy & quirky items thrown in.

Lasagna or ravioli (wild mushroom has been a favorite lately)
Meatballs, sausage & gravy (tomato sauce)
Roast turkey
sausage stuffing
White Castle stuffing (told you it was quirky!)
green beans almondine or green bean casserole
stuffed mushrooms
tomato salad
cranberry sauce and jelly
pumpkin pie
apple crisp
fudge brownies cut into turkeys - a la mode :slight_smile:


You can’t post an item like White Castle stuffing and not give us more details! :grinning:


There is no published recipe for these - they’re something I improvise myself! Basically, though, I chop up approximately equal parts pitted prunes and peeled, roasted chestnuts, then mix in approximately equal parts shredded gruyere cheese and chopped sauteed kale. Season with salt, pepper and plenty of fresh sage and a little thyme (or whatever other herbs you like). The filling is fairly loose and crumbly but it holds together once the roulades are cooked because the cheese melts and kind of binds everything.

Anyway, next I debone some turkey thighs (the bones are an excellent addition to stock) and butterfly any thicker parts, season with s&p inside, then stuff, roll and tie. I cook them in a sous vide bath at 165 for a couple of hours, or until I’m sure that the inside has reached 165. I have considered experimenting with a lower temperature for a longer time but I worry that the cheese in the filling might break down too much (it does tend to leak out as it is). Anyway, once they’re done in the bath, just pat them dry, season and quickly sear in a non-stick skillet (the skin really sticks to any other surface after sous vide, I find) to brown the outside. I don’t really care for turkey all that much but I do like these, and DH, who is a dark meat fan, goes crazy for them.


I have heard of this - people who love White Castle swear by it! How do you make yours?

:smile: You got it homestyle!! It’s a family favorite! I usually pick up a Crave Case of WC sliders (no cheese) and use 20 of them (double the recipe - my BIL needs this in his life!) to make this.

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I use this - from the original WC recipe files - and double it. Also - I ask for no ketchup on the sliders. :slight_smile: I adore White Castle and this stuffing is great!

My brain has just exploded. We have two White Castle junkies (or at least two who admit to it) in the family who would go crazy for this. Thank you!

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I have tried 2 or 3 types, Nori Komi and Sets (bonito), they are no so different in taste, even the ingredients change a bit.

We need to ask @Ttrockwood which one he used or he had in Bar Goto.

I used a bonito-free furikake, which is what the original bar goto serves (or at least they told me it did not have bonito)- just try whatever furikake you have on hand already and like the flavor of. I have made it with the toasted sesame seeds as garnish and also without, it’s better with them since it adds another textural element.

Oh deborah madison is The Authority on All Delicious Vegetarian Things!
I’m a gravy making amateur myself but the few recipes i have tried in the past have been mushroom gravy and they were all tasty- but then again i am a serious mushroom lover…!
also stands as further proof that delicious is delicious, vegetarian, vegan or omni, if it’s good people will want to eat it :slight_smile:


What the WHAT?!???
There’s actually a white castle location not far from my office- i’ve never been, but apparently they now offer a veggie burger… hmmmmm (((wheels churning. This may need to happen for the office potluck…!)))

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Everything on my Thanksgiving table is vegetarian except for the turkey and turkey gravy. I also make a vegetarian gravy. Our meal is easy for the vegetarians around the table to enjoy. Vegans? Not so much.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
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