Thanksgiving - From Appetizer to Dessert

This week we have more Thanksgiving recipes for you, from appetizer to dessert.

If you have a favorite recipe, send it in! Recipes, with photo (and a short story/history), if available, can be submitted to


Baked Brie with Fig Compote


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 30 min

Active: 30 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1/2 c. dried Mission figs, stemmed & chopped

2 wide strips orange zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)

2 sprigs thyme

3 T. brandy

2 T. sugar

2 T. balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

1 piece refrigerated pie dough (half a 14 oz. package)

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 (7-8 oz.) wheel brie cheese

1 lg. egg, lightly beaten


Combine the figs, orange zest, thyme, brandy, sugar, vinegar, a few grinds of pepper and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is syrupy and the figs are softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, discard the zest and thyme and let cool, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or mini chopper and pulse until mostly smooth.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll the pie dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the outer 2 inches of dough with a rolling pin to make the edge slightly thinner than the rest of the dough. Put the cheese in the center of the dough and top with the fig compote. Trim about 1 inch off the outer edge of the dough. Pull the dough up and over the cheese, folding and pleating the dough all the way around until the cheese is covered. Pinch the dough together at the top to seal.

Transfer the wrapped cheese to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board to slice. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Perfect Roast Turkey


Level: Easy

Total: 3 hr 5 min

Prep: 15 min

Inactive: 20 min

Cook: 2 hr 30 min

Yield: 8 servings


1 (12 pound) fresh turkey

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch fresh thyme

1 lemon, halved

1 Spanish onion, quartered

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

4 tablespoons unsalted (1/2 stick) melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, onion, quartered, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with pan juices, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve hot.


Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Mascarpone Cheese


Level: Easy

Total: 45 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 25 min


3 lbs. Idaho potatoes, peeled & cut into large dice

Kosher salt

1-1/2 c. whole milk

6 cloves roasted garlic cloves, pureed

1/2 stick unsalted butter

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

Freshly ground black pepper


Place potatoes in a large saucepan, add cold water just to cover and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender. Drain well and run through a food mill set over a large bowl.

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk, garlic puree and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir the milk mixture into the potatoes until combined. Fold in the mascarpone and season well with salt and pepper. Keep warm over in a bain marie or double boiler until serving.


Italian Sausage Stuffing


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 25 min

Active: 35 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 T. chopped fresh sage

3 c. low-sodium turkey or chicken broth

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

2 lg. eggs

1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

16 c. 1/2” stale country white bread cubes (1-1/2 lbs.)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 6 minutes.

Add the celery and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage. Add the broth, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper; bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley, bread cubes and sausage-broth mixture and stir until combined. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small cubes and scatter evenly over the stuffing. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden, 20 to 30 more minutes.


Spinach Gratin


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 35 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 45 min

Cook: 40 min

Yield: 8 servings


4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

4 c. chopped yellow onions (2 lg.)

1/4 c. flour

1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 c. heavy cream

2 c. milk

3 lbs. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, 5 (10-oz.) pkgs.

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 T. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. grated Gruyere cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.


Green Bean Casserole With Crispy Shallots


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 25 min

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 55 min

Yield: 8 servings


1/4 c. olive oil

6 med. shallots, sliced into rings (about 1 c.)

1-1/2 lbs. thin fresh string beans, trimmed

1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced

6 lg. cloves garlic, minced

1 T. chopped fresh thyme

3 c. low-fat (1%) milk

3 T. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. plus 2 T. freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Olive oil cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1/4 cup shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining shallots, cooking 1/4 cup at a time. Reserve the oil in the skillet.

Place the green beans in a steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid is evaporated and they begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl. Whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the mixture to the skillet and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green beans, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, the parsley, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the green bean mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the top with the crispy shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until golden on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.


Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce


Level: Easy

Total: 45 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 20 min

Cook: 15 min

Yield: 12 servings


2 c. cranberry juice

1 (6 oz.) bag sweetened dried cranberries

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

1 c. sugar

2 Gala apples, peeled, cored & diced

2 tsp. corn starch


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture (slurry) to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon


Level: Easy

Total: 45 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings


4 sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1” cubes

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked

1/4 c. honey

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.

Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.


Cranberry-Pear Crisp


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 40 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 lb. cranberries (thawed if frozen)

1 c. dried cranberries

1-1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled & cut into 1/2” pieces

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground allspice

1 c. plus 2 T. all-purpose flour

1 c. pecans, chopped

1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the fresh and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water and the vanilla and toss to coat. Lightly smash with a potato masher or fork to burst some of the cranberries. Add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish.

Make the topping: Mix the remaining 1 cup flour, the pecans, oats, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the melted butter. Use your fingers to pinch the topping into small clumps and sprinkle it over the fruit.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Quote of the Week:

“A wise man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the uninstructed goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” 

~ God (Proverbs 22:3)



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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