My Thanksgiving Menu

This year, for the first time ever, I had to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Here’s what was on the table for two:

  • Lemon & Herb Turkey Cutlets, loosely based on this recipe from Ina Garten — I’ve actually never cooked turkey before (in any form), so the cutlets were a great way to have turkey without the pressure of preparing a whole bird. Also, one package of cutlets (about 5 pieces) was already more than enough for the two of us. The turkey was moist and tasted great when topped with gravy and cranberry sauce.
  • Pan-Seared Lemon and Dill Salmon — Coat the salmon flesh with sea salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, and dill. Add olive oil to skillet and place over medium heat, then add the salmon fillet skin-side down. After 3-5 minutes, the skin should be golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and carefully flip over the fillet. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until barely pink in the center.
  • Trader Joe’s Braised Beef Roast with Demi Glace — I saw this while grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a go in place of traditional ham. (I don’t think you can find a ham that’s suitable for just two people, anyway.) The beef was incredibly tender and flavorful. It really stood out as one of the best dishes of the day. I highly recommend it.
  • Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing Mix — I usually make stuffing from a box. It’s safe and easy. It was my first time trying this particular stuffing mix and I really enjoyed it! To enhance the flavor, I substituted water with turkey gravy.
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes — To make these mashed potatoes: Boil peeled whole baby red potatoes until soft. Leave the potatoes in the pot. In a sauce pan, combine butter, turkey broth, several cloves of chopped garlic (about half a head), and dried parsley. After the the broth mixture has come to a boil, add 1-2 tablespoons of cream and stir. Once the cream has been fully incorporated, turn off the heat. Drain boiled potatoes and mash, then add in broth mixture. Fluff and serve.
  • Turkey Gravy — I didn’t have turkey drippings to make gravy from scratch, so I used a can of Campbell’s turkey gravy and added turkey broth to bring it to the desired consistency.
  • Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce — This stuff tastes good as is, which is how I served it. For an added twist,  heat in a saucepan and add orange peel (remove afterwards) and cubed apple.
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Roast Duck — I’m not sure why brussel sprouts have such a bad rap, because I love them. For this side dish, I bought some Chinese roast duck and chopped it into small pieces (about 1 cm cubed). To make: In a skillet, heat the roast duck and any drippings. Add olive oil, if necessary. Add cleaned and halved brussel sprouts and cook until edges start to brown.
  • Herb Salad with Cranberries and Pecans — Herb salad mix from Trader Joe’s, topped with dried cranberries and chopped raw pecans. Serve with dressing of choice. I used Trader Joe’s Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.
  • Herb-Roasted Beets and Turnips — Boil beets and turnips until soft enough to piece through with a fork. Cut into slices (about half a cm thick) and lay on baking sheet. Brush with garlic olive oil, then generously sprinkle sea salt, ground black pepper, chopped fresh sage, and chopped fresh rosemary. Bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes.

Yup, so I made all of that for two people… We’re going to have leftovers for days and days. I didn’t even make the green bean casserole yet!

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