We’ve been outspoken about our mixed feelings on Thanksgiving. We generally spend the holiday at the home of family friends who are excellent cooks, but really, with the exception of sweet potatoes, we’re just not that into Thanksgiving food. We have a fantasy of having our own Thanksgiving next year with a menu full of exciting new foods and no turkey in sight. Until then, we’ll settle for telling you what we would make (and thus, what you should make). Who knows? Maybe you’ll get inspired. Send us pictures and if you make the lobster stew, feel free to messenger over a sample.
Salad: Our mother has many strengths as a cook, but salad making is not among them. Her salads are usually filled with boring vegetables (just lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes) and blue-cheese dressing, which we hear is very good, but personally cannot stand. We’d much prefer this shaved fennel and apple salad. You can’t go wrong with fennel and it pairs so nicely with citric fruits.
Soup: We’ve actually never had soup at Thanksgiving, but it sure sounds nice! If you’re staying in town for Turkey Day, why not try this chunky lobster stew from none other than Summer Shack’s Jasper White? It’s delicious and quite authentic, since the first Thanksgiving almost definitely had a whole lot of seafood involved.
Mains: We made these bacon-wrapped quail stuffed with goat cheese for our boyfriend’s birthday and they were amazing. The bacon flavor permeates the entire bird and the goat cheese adds richness. If possible, we would eat it every day. If you must make a turkey, we recommend a bacon-roasted one. Moral of the story: you can’t go wrong with bacon.
Sides: For whatever reason, sage is the king of Thanksgiving herbs. Delicata, meanwhile, is the queen of winter squashes, so it’s no surprise that the two come together beautifully in a side of Delicata squash with rosemary, sage, and cider glaze. Stuffing is, of course, the best part of any Thanksgiving meal. We like this wild mushroom whole wheat stuffing from No. 9 Park’s Barbara Lynch for its rustic heartiness.
Dessert: Let’s all just admit it. Pumpkin pie is not anyone’s favorite part of Thanksgiving. Spice things up with pumpkin cake with caramel-cream cheese frosting. The texture is much more pleasing and the flavors are out of this world.