Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Thanksgiving Edition

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

It is one week until Thanksgiving, the greatest food holiday on the planet!

But this year my family will not have extended family for the big day so we are contemplating not having a Thanksgiving feast at home.

Last year on Tantalizing Thursday I posted the 187 Family Thanksgiving Menu available in the archvies.

This year I want to offer alternative recipes for families who want to shake things up or for those, like my family, who have no set plans.

What makes Thanksgiving so special and delicious is the multitude of side dishes that accompany the main course of roasted (or fried or grilled) turkey.

Classic green bean casserole with the French fried onions is a mainstay on many tables, but sometimes something different – and lighter and healthier – is appreciated. Try this one from Rachel Ray.

Green Beans with Stewed Tomatoes
Recipe found in Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals Get-Togethers ©2003


1 large bag (16 ounces) whole frozen green beans
1 can (14 ounces) stewed tomatoes
2 scallions, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil (evoo), for drizzling (about 2 teaspoons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a microwave-safe bowl, combine beans and stewed tomatoes, scallions, and a drizzle of evoo. Loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high, 5 minutes. Stir and microwave on high 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

This recipe is far less caloric than its traditional cousin and also frees up the oven for other dishes. It is flavorful, colorful, healthy, and fast. Definitely worth a try!

From Ray’s same book there is a recipe ideal to serve as well.

Butternut Squash with Thyme
Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals Get-Togethers ©2003


½ cup chicken broth
2 boxes (10 ounces each) frozen cooked butternut squash
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a medium pot, bring chicken broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add squash and cook together until squash is warm through and loose. Stir in thyme, salt, pepper, and cheese, and cook over low heat to combine flavors. Place in a serving bowl and serve.

Two of the most important sides on any Thanksgiving spread are mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. I will admit that I have used potato flakes and canned cranberries for most of my culinary career and am thrilled with them. But, if you have the time and inclination here are a couple of simple recipes that should yield huge taste and bring on the compliments to the chef.

Company Potatoes
Recipe found in Gooseberry Patch Old Fashioned Country Christmas ©1995
Contributed by Valerie Bryan


5 lbs. potatoes
2 c. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
¼ lb. margarine or butter


Wash, peel, and cook potatoes until soft. Turn in to an electric mixer and add sour cream, cream cheese and margarine. Mix until smooth. Spoon into a greased 2-qt. casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. The depth of the casserole dish may cause a variance in the baking time. Company potatoes can be made days ahead of time and refrigerated. Perfect for a family gathering!

Lastly the cranberry sauce. It is always necessary to have the canned stuff – both jellied and whole berry – on hand for the “purists” among your guests, but this recipe may convert those who are adventurous.

Cranberry Sauce
Recipe found in Gooseberry Patch Old-Fashioned Country Christmas ©1995
Contributed by Linda Crowley


2 lb. whole berry cranberry sauce
6 T. orange liqueur
6 T. lemon juice
1 t. dry mustard


Mix all the ingredients. Boil until reduced one-fourth. This will make your holiday turkey unforgettable.

These recipes can be used for the big Thanksgiving Day meal but can also be filed away for other dinners.

Wishing you all a very blessed, happy, healthy, and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving!

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