Students who are preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the first time need recipes that are easy to follow and accurate results. For generations, newspapers have provided recipes during the holiday season that any home cook can turn to when racking their brains for Thanksgiving dish ideas. It’s these top six that always stick around.
Green Bean Casserole:
The casserole, created in 1955 by Campbell’s, is a popular side dish made with green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french fried onions. Some family recipes add cheese, bacon, or nutmeg to it as well. Here are some simple directions:
In a 13×9 baking dish, mix one can of 10 ½ ounces of condensed cream of mushroom soup with a ½ cup of milk, then pour the contents into the dish. Adding black pepper for desired taste. Then mix in 4 cups of cooked green beans (canned, frozen or fresh cut).
Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F and bake the casserole for 25 minutes. Next, add 1 ⅓ cups of french fried onions (often found in the cooking spice iles) on top of the almost done green bean mixture. Let it sit in the oven for an additional 5 minutes until the onions are golden brown.
Homemade Stuffing for a 10 to 12 Pound Turkey:
Most enjoy stuffing their turkey with seasoned bread crumbs, vegetables and butter. Others prefer to make it as a separate dish. Here’s an easy and delicious stuffing recipe that any college student can make:
3/4 cup butter
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups soft bread cubes (15 slices)
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Melt butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat (watching cautiously to avoid burning). Cook the chopped celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from the heat.
Tear up the bread into approximately 1 inch squares. Then gently toss celery mixture and the seasonings, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.
After the turkey is completely thawed and the giblets are removed from inside, stuff the turkey with the mixture. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Place stuffing in the baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Serve as a side dish.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy:
This classic dish pairs perfectly with the variety of flavors on your Thanksgiving dinner plate. Either steam whole potatoes and mash them, or mix instant potatoes with milk and heat according to packaged directions.
This appetizer is a fan favorite as families gather around waiting for the turkey to be done. Just hard boil eggs and scoop out the yolks. Mix the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar to taste. Then put the mixture back evenly into the egg whites and sprinkle paprika on top. It will be hard to save room for the main course.
Of course turkey made the list. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, never on the counter, for several days: 24 hours per 5 pounds (3 days for a 15 pound turkey). This delicious bird takes a long time to cook but is definitely worth the wait. Here’s an easy beginners turkey recipe:
12 pounds whole turkey
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices toasted white bread, torn into small pieces
1 (6 ounce) package dry bread stuffing mix
1 cup water
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse turkey, remove the giblets from inside the cavity and place the turkey in a shallow roasting pan.
Prepare the stuffing according to package directions or given recipe.
Rub the exterior of the turkey with vegetable oil, or you can also insert sliced butter under the skin for increased crispiness.
Optionally: Slice 2 apples thinly and place them inside the turkey cavity, followed by the stuffing.
Loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil and roast 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F and the interior of the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F.
Remove foil during the last half hour of cooking to brown the bird.
Make sure the turkey reaches the correct temperature before serving it. The turkey meat must reach at least 165 degrees fahrenheit interior temperature. •