I rarely do themed Thanksgiving dinners, instead preferring to mix and match different ideas and get a little of everything on the table. I’ve noticed that there are plenty of magazines and TV shows out there that do choose to do more of a theme, which is why I thought I’d give it a try for this year’s dinner. I went with a garlic theme.
Roasted garlic, as I pointed out in my Roasted Garlic Stuffing recipe, is very easy to make. All you need to do is wrap some garlic in aluminum foil and stick it in the oven. Since your oven is going to be on for a while on Thanksgiving Day anyway, it is a great time to roast a few heads to be incorporated into other recipes. I like garlic and it would probably make an appearance in most of my savory dishes anyway, so roasting the garlic to intensify its natural sweetness is just a bonus. The menu will include:
- A turkey, high heat or traditionally cooked, brushed with garlic and butter just after coming out of the oven.
- Roasted Garlic Stuffing
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Crescent Rolls with Roasted Garlic Butter (recipe below) and Pear Butter
- Green beans, corn and carrots as side veggies
- Blackberry Cranberry Sauce, which is not garlicky but very tasty anyway
For dessert, I’m dropping the garlic theme even if they’ve done garlic ice cream on shows like Iron Chef and going a more traditional route with pies and cakes.
- Sweet Potato Coffee Cake with Dried Cranberries will be on the am menu, a snack to tide us over until dinner.
- Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie and Apple Butter Pie are good pie options, but Snickerdoodle Pie is high on this year’s list as well.
- A Classic Apple and a Maple Pecan will probably sneak in, too.
- Pumpkin Chiffon Cake will stand in for pumpkin pie as a lighter-textured dessert.
Roasted Garlic Butter
This recipe couldn’t be easier if you have already roasted a head of garlic. Once mixed up, it will keep in the fridge for at least a week or two, so make some extra to keep around for spreading on rolls and veggies. Feel free to increase the amount of garlic to taste.
3 large cloves roasted garlic (1 tbsp)
large pinch salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
Mash roasted garlic cloves in a small bowl with the salt. Stir in butter until garlic is well-distributed. Transfer to a small bowl or butter dish and serve. Butter can be chilled if made in advance and softened before serving.
Makes about 1/3 cup.