Without a doubt, the Thanksgiving feast is the all-time favorite meal in the Cavehold. The combination of good times with family and friends; the enticing colors, aromas, and flavors of the Fall season; and to be able to celebrate all that we are thankful for all makes for a memorable and savory Holiday. With that in mind, we are going to share most of the recipes and tips that help to make our Turkey Day such a favorite for us and our guests.
First, unless you will be cooking a fresh bird or some other type of main course, you need to consider when to start defrosting your turkey. Click here to discover how to safely and effectively thaw the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving dinner. We describe both the Refrigerator Method (preferred) and the Cold Water Method (acceptable). Once you have your bird returned from it’s frozen state, you’ll want to check out our famous T-day Turkey Brine to ensure your fowl is juicy, tender, and full of flavor. It’s so good, I’ve been threatened with great bodily harm if I ever change the recipe.
You can’t have a Holiday Turkey without some tangy-sweet cranberry sauce. Unfortunately, far too many modern homo-sapiens are good with the canned variety of the berry relish. We strongly advise you to adopt the Neanderthal way of thinking and give our Cave’s Cranberry Sauce a go. It only takes an extra 20 minutes in your meal’s preparation, and you will end up with a C-sauce that will forever have you shunning the pre-made type in the future. Plus, it’s easy … just the recipe on the package with some molasses and either wine, port, cognac or brandy added. Best of all, you can make it a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it until chow time – which actually also helps it to set up better, both, flavor and consistency wise. The only problem with early prep is keeping everyone away from it until the big meal … the Cavewoman is our biggest offender on that!
Another essential feature of the T-Day meal, that can also be prepped ahead of time (something we recommend doing whenever possible for this labor intensive repast), is the all important gravy. Our Cavey Gravy is readily prepared the day before the big meal. Then, all you need to do on Thanksgiving is add some turkey drippings and reheat. Best of all it is a flavor filled moisture making sauce that goes good on the bird, mashed potatoes, stuffing … you name it!
Unfortunately, we have yet to post our delicious Focaccia Bread Stuffing recipe. But, we promise to take pictures next week and post the recipe before Christmas. Though, another side dish considered a staple on the Thanksgiving plate is the mashed potato. We have long used our scrumptious Garlic Mashed Taters for this crucial purpose. They are loaded with flavor, easy to make, and are sure to be a hit with your Turkey Day crowd. BTW, you can also see our video version of this recipe … it’s a hoot!
Another fun and flavorsome player in our Turkey Day lineup are Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys. These unique, colorful, and tasty yam birds have become a real favorite of the Cavekids … not just to eat, but to make as well. They really look forward to working in the kitchen on these with their Cavenana. Put one of these on your guest’s plate, and we guarantee they will be ooing and cooing about how cute they are. That is, until they taste it and start oohing and awing about how delicious they are! Yams, orange, pineapple, nuts, marshmallows, butter … what could be bad about that, right?!?! Plus, they are real hit with the vegetarians in your life.
This next dish has become a regular for just about all of our Holiday meals, no matter what time of year we are celebrating. The Cavewoman’s Super Spinach Soufflé is a warm, zesty, delicious dish that you probably won’t have any leftovers on, since everyone always wants seconds, and even thirds, on. While it is plainly obvious that this is not a healthy dish, we try to cut out some of the fat by using non-fat milk and light sour cream. It works great, and there is plenty of other fat in there to more than make up the difference!
Of course, every T-Day in the Cavehold is filled with football, family and friends. Which means we are together for an extened period of time. So, we always have plenty of apps, from shrimp cocktail with Cave’s Quick Cocktail Sauce to our scrumptious Baked Brie with Peach Sauce. Post-dinner, we somehow always have room for the Cavewoman’s apple pie and pumpkin pie. But, one of her biggest winners in the dessert selection are her incredible Pumpkin Whoopie Pies … a unique and welcome change to the usual T-day sweet treats. Give these a try and we promise you will be smiling with delight as they melt in your mouth.
We hope that the above recipes help inspire you to create a fantastic feast for your Holiday crowd. Whether you employ these or concoctions of your own, we wish that your Thanksgiving is filled with the warmth of family and friends; the flavors and aromas of the occasion; and, most importantly, the spirit and essence of the season. In other words, Happy Thanksgiving!
©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.