In the spirit of Thanksgiving approaching, I am dedicating the next two Final Four Fridays to this holiday and what I love the most about Turkey Day…food.  This week I’m sharing my four favorite dishes to eat.  Next week, my four favorite desserts (you won’t want to miss out!).

4) Green Bean Casserole – This might be the most genius way that someone came up with how to get kids to eat their green beans.  And the reality is the primary ingredients don’t sound all that appetizing: green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy onions (or potato chips if you’re a poser).  The medley of those ingredients working together is an amazing explosion of flavor.

3) Stuffing – an oldy but a goody.  I love stuffing in a variety of forms.  You’ve got your Stove-top, corn bread based, stuffing with apples in it, made from scratch with stale bread that mom used to collect for months leading up to Thanksgiving…I just dripped drool on my laptop.  Awesome!  But my all time favorite stuffing?  The real McCoy featuring clams and oysters.  Don’t knock it until you try it!

2)  Turkey – The original.  Now I’ve had turkey more ways than I’ve had stuffing so I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites.  My dad taught me how to brine a turkey…soak it in a water, sugar, salt mixture (1 gal of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt enough times over to fill a 5 gallon cooler).  The result if one of the most moist turkeys with an amazing crisp and sweet and savory skins that you’ve ever eaten.  This is edge out only by frying a turkey as I did for the first time 3 years ago.  I almost set our house on fire – true story, but another blog for another day.  However my favorite turkey was the one I cooked last year.  I brined it, of course.  Then I smothered and stuffed it with a butter and herb mix (1 1/2 or 2 sticks of butter worth) and then I sliced an orange and slid them in between the skin and meat.  Unbelievable, I’m just sayin!

1) Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar – A border line dessert, but a side dish nonetheless.  And of course it’s my mom’s recipe.  On that note, I’m extremely thankful God has blessed me with a wife who is able to cook these sweet potatoes as good as my mom does.  Get rid of your potatoes with marshmallows.  That recipe is old school and child’s play.  This is the major league of sweet potato recipes.  The potatoes are pureed with condensed milk and the topping is a stellar mixture of brown sugar, butter, and pecans.  Seriously, these are smack your grandmama good!

So here’s the deal.  It’s not quite a week before Thanksgiving.  I’m looking for you to share your top 4 all time favorite Thanksgiving dishes…or even just one.  I’m looking to expand our menu this year and I’m hoping you’ll take a minute to inspire me.

2 thoughts on “Final Four Friday: Thanksgiving Dishes

  1. Hmmm.

    4. Pie. Too general? Psshhh. It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day – cherry, pumpkin – even apple. Fill me up some crust – throw me on some ice cream – stick me in the corner. Last year, Katie made some kind of pumpkin pie with a gingerbread crust that rocked my face off. (She tries a new recipe every year at Thanksgiving – I’ve never once been disappointed.)

    3. Sweet Potato Rolls – like regular rolls, only holier and more righteous.

    2. Rice – we don’t do stuffing because Katie doesn’t like it…and if I have to make that sacrifice in order to get the pie, I’m OK with it. Katie makes a wild rice ‘stuffing’ with sausage, pecans, and 746 spices that I beg for at every holiday meal. I almost made this number one because, if push came to shove, I’d probably rather have this than the turkey…and maybe the pie.

    1. Turkey – Listen, I don’t know all the secrets to cooking turkey and making it amazing. All I know is last year, Katie made ours on a bed of bacon. ‘Nuff said.

    Happy Thanksgiving buddy!!

  2. Darren, I hear ya on the pie, which is why next Final Four Friday is dedicate to my top 4 favoriate Thanksgiving Day desserts!

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