So, I decided to take on the task of serving Thanksgiving dinner to both my parents and sister AND my husband’s parents and his brother and sister-in-law. Yikes!
The most important thing to take away from planning a meal for a group is to plan ahead. I wrote down all the recipes and elements I would need for the dinner and I pulled out all my plates and put together my table to visually see what it would look like.
Here was my dinner menu:
Butternut Squash Soup
Garlic Mash Potatoes
Stir Fried Vegetables
My father – the FOOD GURU he is, brought Roasted Pineapple Ham, Pumpkin Pie and Leche Flan.
The dinner rolls and cranberry sauce were bought, so that’s why they aren’t included in this.
First off, the Butternut Squash Soup.
I love making this soup, especially during this time of year and my dad and husband loves my soup so I make it pretty often. Plus, its really easy to make. Its a BIG deal when my dad actually WANTS me to make something because usually he’s pretty picky.
1 Onion (Medium-Large)
1 Celery stalk
1 Butternut Squash (medium-large)
1 small can of Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons of oil (olive or canola)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup of Milk (OPTIONAL)
**You need a blender/food processor, otherwise this isn’t gonna go anywhere!
Cube all the vegetables and stir fry with the oil. When the onions are clear, add the can of Chicken Broth. Add water or more chicken broth to cover the vegetables completely. Let the vegetables boil in the broth until they are easily broken up with a fork.
In batches, transfer some of the soup into the food processor and blend until you get a thick consistency. You may add milk for a creamier texture, or just leave it as is.
Once the entire pot has been blended, put back onto the heat and add salt & pepper to your liking.
I love the soup warm but my husband prefers it cold. It also tastes great after a day in the fridge!
Defrost your bird, dependent on its weight. My bird was about 14 pounds so it took 4 days in the fridge to defrost (and it wasn’t fully defrosted on the day of! PANIC!)
Don’t panic. Worst case scenario is to let it soak in room temperature water for a bit. This was my first turkey I’ve ever cooked, so it was quite an experience! First off, it was a good thing my dad told me that there was a neck and a bag of giblets inside the turkey!
I used my dad’s recipe to prepare the turkey – using an onion and some celery stuffed inside the bird, I placed it in a pan. I sprinkled some salt and rubbed butter all over that baby like it was about to go for a sun tan. My dad also told me to add an inch or so of water to the pan to keep the turkey moist.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake accordingly to your turkey’s weight (my turkey cooked for about 7 hours).
Check on your turkey after two hours and use a baster to use the water you put in the pan and squirt all over your turkey. It should start turning colour.
When you have about two hours left to cook, brush the turkey with some butter.
When you have one more hour to cook, remove the covering and let it bake.
As you can see, I used onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and baby carrots. I ended up rushing to finish these since my guests were already arriving – but properly, I would’ve stir fried garlic and onions first and then add the vegetables. Add a little bit of salt to taste and then place a lid over your pan/wok to let it steam a bit. Do NOT oversteam! Your veggies should be brighter in colour than they were to begin with and they should be ready by then . However, depending on your company, you may want to cook your veggies a little longer for anyone who cannot digest/chew harder vegetables.
Garlic Mash Potatoes w/Red Onion
I’m an absolute lover of garlic. It’s so good for you and makes everything taste so good!
Use 2-3 potatoes per person you’re cooking for. So since I had 8 people, I used 16 potatoes – Russet potatoes are fine but I prefer the softer golden spuds or the purple ones.
Chopped fresh garlic cloves – go wild. I used almost one whole garlic head.
Half a red onion, chopped – set aside for later.
3/4 cup milk/heavy cream
Use a big pot and add some water to boil your potatoes. Depending on how many you’re making it may take 30 mins to an hour to cook.
Your potatoes will be done when you can cut through a spud with a fork. Strain the water out of the pot.
Mash the potatoes with a masher or fork, and add garlic, onions and milk. Depending on how creamy you want your potatoes, add more milk.
You’re supposed to use the smaller yams but I couldn’t find any, so I got stuck with this megalo-yam. Make sure you get sweet yams!
I used two huge ass yams, but if you’re lucky to find the smaller ones, I say go with the same ratio as the potatoes: 2-3 per person.
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup margarine/butter
1 cup of mini marshmallows.
Boil your yams in a big pot with water until you’re able to pierce it with a fork – DO NOT OVERCOOK!
When they aren’t too hot to handle, remove the skin and slice them.
Using a pan for baking, make one layer of sweet yams. Sprinkle brown sugar and some margarine over top of the yams. Then add another layer of sweet yams and sprinkle again with margarine and brown sugar. Do one more layer.
After, add marshmallows on the top and spread evenly.
Bake at about 350 F until the marshmallows are melted.
Good luck! <3