We all have a dish that absolutely must make it to the Thanksgiving dinner table.
For some, it’s a casserole of sweet potatoes topped with melting marshmallows or a casserole of green beans with crunchy onions. Others require a special dessert or an antipasto platter.
Because holiday dishes hold a special place in our hearts, we at The Tribune thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite Turkey Day recipes. Each of these dishes has a revered role to play in our festive meal.
Editor-in-chief Joe Tarica swears by this recipe, which has been a staple in his house since The Tribune published the recipe on a Thanksgiving food page in 1997. He says the key is homemade whipped cream. .
1 cup of whipping cream
1 8-ounce pkg. Of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup ginger ale
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup pecans
Whip the cream; put aside. Place the cream cheese in a bowl with the ginger ale and beat until smooth. Stir in the pineapple and walnuts. Incorporate the whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For 12.
Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Tribune journalist’s mother Sara Kassabian developed the recipe herself, and it has been a family favorite ever since.
Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
1 head of garlic
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and quartered)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk (shaken at room temperature)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top third of a head of garlic, drizzle the exposed stems of the cloves with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal in a foil pouch. Bake for about 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, press the cloves from the peels into a bowl and set aside.
While waiting for the garlic to roast, bring about 4 liters of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and let it boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender with a fork (about 15 to 20 minutes). Meanwhile, melt the butter in the whole milk, set aside.
Once tender, drain the potatoes and return to the hot pot. Mix with butter in whole milk and roasted garlic. When smooth as desired, stir in buttermilk to thin. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pro tip: You can prepare these potatoes ahead of time and gently reheat them over low heat with a puddle of milk at the bottom of the pan to prevent them from burning.
10th Street Grill Sage Stuffing
He’s a favorite of Tribune photographer Laura Dickinson, who knows a thing or two about restaurant-quality food as a former co-owner of 10th Street Grill in Los Osos.
10th Street Grill Sage Stuffing
2 loaves of plain white bread, toasted and cubed (can replace a giant bag of croutons)
1 bunch of medium whole celery, finely chopped
4 large onions, finely chopped
2 sticks of unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons of sage
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of salt
2 eggs, whipped
1/2 cup to 1 cup fresh turkey offal
1 to 2 cans of low sodium chicken or turkey broth (if using regular broth, reduce the amount of salt added)
Toast the bread in the oven and let cool or let dry overnight. (If using seasoned croutons, skip this step, but reduce the added salt.)
Boil the turkey giblets in water for 15-20 minutes, cool and cut into pieces. In a large pot, add the butter to melt it over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion and celery and glaze while stirring for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked giblets and stir, then the sage, thyme, pepper and salt and stir again.
In a separate large bowl, add the bread cubes, the mixture of whipped eggs and giblets and fold together. Add the chicken broth and fold the mixture until moist, but do not over-moisten.
Bake in a buttered glass pan covered with foil for about 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Corn pudding from Tangier Island, Virginia
This recipe has been a staple in journalist Mackenzie Shuman’s family for “many, many years,” she said. “It always goes fast.”
Corn pudding from the island of Tangier, VA
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Mix the first three ingredients. Add milk and corn and mix well. Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and pour melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or until set.
Tip: If after cooking it does not appear to be fully cooked, microwave it for another 15-20 minutes.
Fried green beans and mushrooms
Cambrian reporter Kathe Tanner said she loved this take on a classic green bean casserole because it mixes the traditional and the trendy – plus “the spiciness of cheese and lemon add so much.”
She noted that this recipe is easy to customize if you don’t like an ingredient or want to try something new.
Sautéed green beans and mushrooms
1 ½ pound green beans or fine green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup minced shallots (3 large)
1 ½ pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
8 slices of thick-sliced bacon (optional)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh marjoram, basil, thyme or mint
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
4 ounces of goat cheese with herbs (can use feta, parmesan, etc.)
Flaky sea salt and crushed black pepper
In a 4 to 6 quart saucepan, blanch the beans in lightly salted boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes or until bright green and crisp. Drain; immerse the beans in an ice bath. Drain well. Coldness.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper. Add the shallots; toss to coat. In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 cup of canola oil over medium heat. Add shallots in batches; cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Using a skimmer, remove the shallots onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Optional: instead of frying the shallots, you can also cook them instead in the next step with the mushrooms.
In a very large skillet, cook mushrooms over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and golden; remove from the pan. Then add the bacon to the pan and cook until golden and crisp; remove to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking juices in the pan. Crumble or chop the bacon.
Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the cooking juices in the pan. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, mushrooms, bacon, chosen herbs, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a dish.
Thinly slice or crumble the goat cheese and add to the vegetables; mix gently to melt. Garnish with flaked sea salt, cracked black pepper and crispy shallots.
Pumpkin and bee sting pie
To top our list, here’s a pie recipe from our unofficial pastry expert, editor Sarah Linn. She cut this recipe from paper years ago and has continued to use it ever since.
Pumpkin Bee Sting Pie
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (no pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cloves
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
9 inch uncooked pie shell (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons of butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, cream, honey, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Bake in the preheated oven until the center is almost completely set, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the almonds and coconut. In a small saucepan, combine the honey and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted. Pour over almonds and coconut and toss until well coated. Sprinkle almond mixture evenly on top of partially baked pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the filling is golden brown. Let cool before serving.