At Simple Thread we are huge fans of Thanksgiving (who isn’t?). Nothing we love more than getting to spend time with family and friends over some turkey, stuffing, and maybe a bit of football. We also have a handful of our folks who enjoy doing a bit of cooking, so we thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
Perfectly Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Team Member: Al Tenhundfeld
I like this recipe because it consistently coaxes out a delicious, pure Brussels sprout flavor. People often ask if I add sugar, but it’s just the natural starches from the mini cabbages, getting released by the steam and then caramelizing. On a table full of rich delights, a clean, bright brassica provides a welcomed respite for the palate. They’re great with just salt and pepper; tossing with toasted pecans & bacon, parmesan & lemon, or a sriracha-tahini drizzle can be nice too.
- 2 – 3 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 3 – 4 T neutral oil (or bacon fat)
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 T water, optional
- Preheat oven to 500º.
- Rinse and trim sprouts. Cut in half. Note: if sprouts are exceptionally large, quarter instead.
- Toss halved sprouts in oil, salt, and water. Note: if sprouts still wet from washing, don’t add water.
- Arrange sprouts cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover very tightly with aluminum foil, to trap in steam.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, longer for larger ones.
- Remove foil cover and return to oven to roast for 8-14 minutes. Sprouts should be tender in the middle and crispy on the outside, nicely browned.
- Serve immediately, with salt and pepper to taste.
Kiningham Macaroni and Cheese
Team Member: Stephen Kiningham
- 2 cups – Elbow macaroni (or shells, penne, etc.)
- 1 tbsp – All-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp – Ground pepper
- ½ tsp – Salt
- ½ tsp – Ground mustard
- 1 tsp – Dried onion flakes
- ¾ to 1lb – Sharp cheddar cheese blocks
- 1 can (12oz) – Evaporated milk (with 4oz water to make a full 2 cups)
- 2 tbsp – Butter
- 1 slice – Bread cut into crouton size and shape (any bread will work)
- 1 tbsp – Butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook the macaroni according to package directions (or however you want to). Drain and place in a 2qt casserole dish.
Sauce: In a double boiler, melt the butter and then add the flour, pepper, salt, mustard, and onion, stirring frequently until well mixed. The result should be paste-like. Slowly add the evaporated milk/water to the mixture, stirring frequently. Allow the mixture to heat and stir until mixed uniformly. Add the cheese into cubes to the mixture, slowly. Save enough (a piece about the size of an egg) to use for the topping. Stir occasionally until the cubes have melted and the sauce is thoroughly mixed. The sauce should thicken slightly as the cheese melts. Stir up the cooling macaroni in the casserole dish to loosen it. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni (usually no need to stir it in).
Topping: Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the cut bread pieces and coat with the melted butter. Grate or slice the remaining cheese and apply it evenly to the top of the sauce-covered macaroni in the casserole dish. Then sprinkle the bread pieces over the top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling a little and the top is browned in places.
Cranberry Sauce Two Ways
Team Member: Brian Bassett
Where I grew up in the Northeast non-canned based cranberry dishes are rather popular, but I was surprised once I moved to Virginia how many people loved fresh cranberry dishes yet had never had them prior to my bringing them.
The first dish is a jelly-like variety. It can be molded if you like or just thrown into a bowl. If your family and friends crave the can, then mess with their minds by form-molding it back into an empty can! The second recipe is more of a crumbly and runny relish, but is a super sweet and tangy childhood favorite of mine.
No-Can-Do Cranberry Sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup cranberry juice (100% juice like L&A)
- 1/2 cup honey
- ½ cup sugar (white sugar is fine, but turbinado is preferable)
- 1 pound fresh cranberries (about 4 cups)
- Drop cranberries into a full sink of cold water to easily sort and remove soft, rotten or wrinkled berries.
- Combine the juice, honey, and sugar in a two-quart saucepan set to medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat simmering for 5 minutes.
- Add cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Listen for cranberries popping, that’s when the mixture will thicken. Help the cranberries along with a ricer or wooden spoon to crush berries.
- Remove berries from heat after 15 minutes.
- Allow berries to cool for 5-15 minutes.
- Spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold or serving bowl. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
- When molding: at serving time, remove from refrigerator, overturn mold and slide out sauce. Slice and serve.
Dead-Simple Cranberry Relish
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 orange cut into slices, with the peel ON (try to remove any obvious seeds)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Drop cranberries into a full sink of cold water to easily sort and remove soft, rotten or wrinkled berries.
- Slice the very top and bottom ends off of the orange, until the flesh of the fruit is showing. Leave the rest of the skin on the orange and slice it into 8 pieces. Remove any obvious seeds.
- Put cranberries, orange slices and sugar into food processor and process until you see no large chunks.
- Refrigerate at least one-hour until ready to serve.
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Team Member: David Leyden
Originally from Ina Garten at Food Network Magazine
- 3 pounds unpeeled red potatoes
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- ¼ pound unsalted butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Put the potatoes in a pot, cover them with cold water, and add salt.
- Boil for 25 to 35 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain the pot.
- While the potatoes are boiling, heat the half-and-half and butter in a saucepan.
- Use a potato masher to break down the potatoes while slowly adding the half-and-half and butter.
- Add the sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Team Member: Derek Heilman
My grandmother used to make this dish every year and we’ve kept the tradition of an incredible amount of butter, sour cream, and cheese being lovingly thrown on top of potatoes going.
- 1 – 2 lb. package of frozen hash brown potatoes
- 1 can of cream of chicken soup
- 1 can of cream of celery soup
- 8 oz. of sour cream
- 1 lb. of shredded Velveeta cheese
- 2 cups of corn flakes
- 1 stick of melted butter
- Mix together frozen hash brown potatoes, cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, and sour cream.
- Pour into a 9″ x 13″ dish.
- Cover with shredded Velveeta cheese.
- Spread corn flakes on top.
- Pour butter on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Cover for the first hour.
Weaponized Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Team Member: Justin Etheredge
This stuffing recipe is just a cheat code to fire off every chemical receptor in your brain. It is probably illegal in a few states. If you’re a fan of stove top, you might want to stick with it, because this stuffing might cause you to lose sleep. At it’s base it is just a simple herb stuffing, but by the time you’re done, it packs more herby and umami goodness than any stuff recipe I’ve ever found.
- 2 pounds of good quality bread. I like a boule of some kind, but really any slightly crusty and dense bread will do. You can usually find plenty at your grocery in the fresh bread section. If you’re feeling extra crazy, here is a recipe for a classic French Boule. If you don’t want to dry your own bread, some grocery stores like Whole Foods will sell bread cubes made from their good quality bread around Thanksgiving!
- 2 pounds of sage breakfast sausage – I know, it is a lot of sausage, but honestly once you mix it in with the bread the ratio works out nicely. If you don’t want quite so much, cut it back to 1.5 pounds.
- 2 medium yellow onions – You want a good amount of onion, all of the sweetness in this comes from the onion, so don’t skimp.
- 4 cloves of garlic – Mashed. You want a paste, you don’t want chunks of garlic in your stuffing. You can use store bought refrigerated garlic paste, just make sure to increase the amount.
- 1/4 cup fresh sage – Yep, it is gonna be herby. If you don’t like sage, cut it way back, or go elsewhere.
- 1/8 cup fresh thyme – Yep, herby.
- 1/8 cup fresh rosemary – Did I say herby? This recipe used to also have marjoram in it, until I decided it was just too much.
- 4 cups chicken broth/stock/bone broth – 75% of the flavor of stuffing comes from the stock. You really need some good homemade stock. If you don’t want to make it yourself, then check out a local farmers market or artisanal food supplier. If you only have access to store bought chicken broth, then I would recommend looking for Kitchen Basics chicken stock (recommended by a number of places), or Bonafide Provisions Chicken Broth (I have also seen this highly recommended.
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce – Yep, you probably think I’ve lost my mind. I usually use Red Boat fish sauce. If you’re not quite this brave, then use a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce instead, it has a similar umami kick.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt – less if you’re using store bought chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Dry the bread (if you didn’t buy it pre-dried) – Cube your bread, some folks like big chunks, others like it small. Depending on the size it’ll dry out faster or slower. Put it in the oven at a low temp, around 250 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Cut a cube in half and make sure the center is nice and dry.
- Cook sausage in a hot pan, you probably need to do it in batches. You don’t want to sausage to steam, you want it hot because you want to make sure the sausage browns and is cooked through. Set sausage aside to cool.
- In the same pan (leave the grease/butter) cook the onion, garlic, sage, thyme, and rosemary. You want to cook it until the onions are translucent.
- Add half of the chicken stock and the fish sauce to a large bowl and add the onion/herb mixture and sausage. Stir together and let cool for a few minutes.
- Separately, whisk together the rest of the chicken stock, eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Then pour the stock and egg mixture into the sausage/onions/herbs. You want to make sure that everything has had a chance to cool, you do not want the egg to cook at all when stirring the mixture together.
- Fold the bread cubes into the mixture.
- Put into a large baking dish that has been greased thoroughly with butter, cover with foil, and transfer to the refrigerator to sit overnight.
- Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour. You want to make sure the stuffing mixture reaches 150 degrees at the center of the dish.
- Take the foil off and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top. If you like it really browned on top, consider using your broiler on low to get a nice crust.
Hennessy Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
Team Member: Chris Dixon
- 2 medium or 3 small sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup Hennessy
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 pie crust
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 cup crushed pecan halves
- ¼ cup butter
- Heat oven to 450 degrees.
- With a fork, pierce sweet potatoes, and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until soft, about 1 hour.
- Cool, peel, and mash until smooth with a potato masher to make, give or take, 2 cups of puree.
- Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk puree and all other pie filling ingredients to combine. Pour into prepared crust.
- Crush pecan halves with your fist. Mix together corn syrup, pecan halves, and remaining butter.
- Place pie plate onto a cookie sheet, and bake until filling is just about set, about 25 minutes. Then remove from oven.
- Put topping mixture on top of pie and put back into oven for 25 minutes or until knife can be placed in and comes out clean.
- Cool pie on wire rack to room temperature.
Grandma’s Spicy Pumpkin Pie
Team Member: Mike Hartman
Most pumpkin pies come off as bland and flavorless to me. The trick here is in the spices, although the fresh whipped cream also makes a big difference.
- ¾ cup sugar (plus a bit more for whipped cream)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 2 eggs
- 15oz can pumpkin pie filling
- 12oz can evaporated milk
- Unbaked 9” deep-dish pie crust
- Heavy cream
- Preheat to 425
- Mix sugar and spices in small bowl
- Beat eggs in large bowl
- Stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture
- Gradually stir in evaporated milk
- Pour into pie shell
- Bake @ 425 for 15 minutes
- Reduce temp to 350
- Bake another 40-50 minutes until knife comes out clean
- Cool for 2 hours, then refrigerate.
- Mix whipped cream (heavy cream + a bit of sugar)