Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday, by far! We do it friend’s-style, and not the sitcom, but with our own real, live friends. In the morning, with one set of friends, we run the Denver Turkey Trot 5K before we stuff our yaps with tryptophan. After the run, we hit a local bar to start our Thanksgiving libating. After that, we clean up at home and then either host Thanksgiving dinner or head to our friend’s house for a tradition with another set of friends, friend’s Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a laid back, easy day and we traditionally have the best food and laughs of the year. Oh, and we wear sweat pants. Sweat pants are of critical importance.
David loves traditional Thanksgiving dinner so much, he’s already dreaming about it and wants to share his food fantasies with you. One of his dishes, in fact, is famous and we’ve shared the recipe with friends and family who make it year-round. So, in honor of Thanksgiving and because we love to eat, here are three of The Debt Free Guys’ favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
The best part is that all of these dishes can be made in advance, except don’t mix the salad and salad dressing until just before serving. Some of the dishes are actually better made in advance.
Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lbs Brussels sprouts
- ½ C Shallots, finely chopped
- 2 T “Better Than Bullion” (beef flavor-low sodium)
- ¼ C Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 C Warm water
Mix the bullion with the warm water and set aside. Rinse and clean the Brussels sprouts. Don’t cut or pierce the base, like your mother told you.
In a large covered skillet, bring the olive oil to a high temperature and add the sprouts. Let the sprouts fry on each side until dark brown, till they’re nearly burnt and you’re nearly turnt, stirring regularly.
Once the sprouts are thoroughly dark on all sides, reduce the heat to low, add shallots and mix for approximately 2 minutes until shallots are lightly brown. Then, add the bullion and water mixture and stir.
Cover the skillet and let simmer on low for approximately 35 minutes (the length of time it takes to drink a glass of wine, maybe two . . . three) or until the sprouts are extremely tender and as easily pierced with a fork as your high school BFF stabbed you in the back. Check every 5 minutes to ensure the water does not completely boil down. Add water as needed.
Thanksgiving Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
- 2 – 1 lb Bags cranberries
- 1 ½ C Sugar
- 1 Orange
- ½ T Ground cinnamon
- ½ t Ground nutmeg
- ¼ t Ground cloves
- 3 C Water
- 1 C Cheap red wine (Trader Joe’s $6 Albero Tempranillo works well)
Sit down and drink a glass of wine and then pour another glass to drink as you cook. Rinse and strain the cranberries. Take a sip of wine. Rinse then grate the rind of the orange and set remnants aside. Sip your wine. Cut the orange in half and juice. Sip wine.
If you drank all your wine, now’s a good time to send your partner to get another bottle. Who are we kidding? Have them get a box of cardbordeaux.
In a medium size sauce pan, combine the water, sugar, wine, orange rind and spices. Simmer on medium, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the cranberries and cover. As the liquid simmers the cranberries will start to burst. Stir frequently to prevent the sauce from boiling. Once the bursting slows, like microwave popcorn, completely smash and mix the cranberries into the sauce with a potato masher.
Do not taste or you’ll kill your taste buds. Allow the sauce to cool before serving, while you drink another glass of wine or two. I prefer to make this early in the day or even the day before serving to let the spices and flavors settle.
Thanksgiving Golden Beet with Arugula Salad
- 2 Large gold beets boiled and diced
- 8 Ounces of arugula
- 1/4 C Sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 C Walnuts, toasted and hand crushed
- 1/4 C Dried cranberries
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 C Olive oil
- 1/2 C Lemon juice
- 1 T Crushed garlic
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add all salad ingredients to a salad bowl and mix
- In a separate bowl mix all the dressing ingredients and whisk
- Add dressing to salad to taste just before serving
This is what we’ll start cooking throughout the week next week, as I massage my bird in its brine each night. Writing this almost makes me want to run to Boston Market, but I’m fancier than that so I’ll just drink my wine.