Years ago I made a Thanksgiving playbook. Typed up every recipe and included a timeline for what could be made when because getting AS MUCH prep out of the way before turkey day is like super important. Each year I’ve changed up the playbook a little, replacing old recipes with new ones, but this year I have been dragging my feet. Planning Thanksgiving dinner can be so overwhelming with the long shopping list and all, but time is a ticking.
To be honest, I’m not sure anyone really cares about what I’ll be serving for Thanksgiving, but this post was more of a way for me to stop procrastinating, get my sh*t together and finally write out my plan for Thanksgiving. Maybe it will give you some last minute menu ideas as well.
This year I’m trying a new turkey recipe. I usually do a wet brine, but instead I’m going with this dry-brined turkey.
Sides are really my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. I could skip the turkey altogether, really, but you know, tradition and stuff. Here’s my plan:
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes (like theeeee best mashed potatoes you will ever put in your mouth) *I’ll include the recipe at the bottom. I found the recipe years ago and can’t remember for the life of me where it came from.
- Grandy’s Sausage Stuffing (I plan on making some changes, like omitting the mushrooms and green pepper and adding dried cranberries and lots of fresh herbs.)
- Cheesy Butternut Squash Casserole from Feeding A Family
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Garlic Croutons
- Baked Corn Pudding Casserole
- Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce
- Thanksgiving Lentil Salad
I do need dessert ideas. I may not have a sweet tooth, but everyone else does. Pumpkin pie is kinda meh, but I’m sure I’ll do at least one. Any other ideas???
Phew! Honestly, this post just made me feel about 100 times more prepared than I felt this morning. Now, to do the shopping list… maybe tomorrow.
Garlic Mashed Potates
THIS MAKES A LOT OF MASHED POTATOES
9 pounds small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch chunks
3 T kosher salt
12 – 18 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 whole bay leaves
12 thyme sprigs
24oz. cream cheese, at room temp
18 T butter, at room temp
3 cups sour cream
3 cups whole milk, warmed
3 t seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 T butter, cut into bits and chilled
Generously butter a shallow 2 1/2 quart gratin dish or baking dish.
Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water to a depth of 2 inches. Add the kosher salt, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife (about 20 minutes). Do not let the potatoes break apart or become waterlogged. Drain well and let stand until the potatoes steam dry and their edges look chalky (about 3 minutes). Discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.
Press the hot potatoes and garlic through a food mill or ricer into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and milk (in batches until you reach your desired consistency) to the warm potatoes. Stir until smooth. The mixture will firm up as it chills overnight, so at this point it should be slightly softer than you want to serve it. Season with seasoned salt and pepper.
Scrape the potatoes into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Dot the top with the bits of chilled butter. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days ahead.
When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the top is golden brown and the potatoes are heated through – about 1 hour. Serve warm. (I always give them a good stir before serving.)