5 Little Known But Yummy Thanksgiving Dishes
Ashburn, VA: I went from making “okay” Thanksgiving side dishes to making “mouthwatering” Thanksgiving side dishes after taking a one-day Thanksgiving cooking course. Here is what I learned.
1. Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you like pumpkin and cheesecake, then you will LOVE this recipe. The best thing about making this dish in the slow cooker is the cheesecake will be creamier and moister than if you made it in the oven. Plus, using the slow cooker frees up oven space so you can cook other dishes at the same time. Also, the slow cooker keeps the cheesecake from cracking or drying out.
- 1 cup gingersnap crumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese at room temperature
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ⅔ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- Whipped cream to top
- Caramel sauce to top
- Grease a 6 inch springform pan and place on top of two sheets of heavy duty foil. Fold and wrap the foil up to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Pour water into the slow cooker, about 1″ deep. Tear off about 4 feet of aluminum foil. Fold in half. Take the doubled-over 2′-long sections and roll them, longways, to create a long, thick foil rope. Shape the foil rope into a spiral or coil shape. This will serve as the rack to keep your springform pan above the water. Make sure the water does not go above the coil.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Mix well. Press the saturated crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan to create an even crust, pressing the crumbs about 1″ up the sides of the pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree. Then, beat in the eggs and pumpkin spice until just combined. Pour the mixture into the springform pan.
- Place the pan on top of the foil coil, making sure that the pan does not touch the edges of the slow cooker or the water. Cover the top of the slow cooker with paper towels, and then put the lid on over top.
- Cook on high for 2½ hours. Don’t remove the lid. Turn off the slow cooker and let the cheesecake sit in the covered slow cooker for an hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the slow cooker and take off the foil from the bottom of the pan. Let cool to room temperature. Run a knife along the outside of the cheesecake to separate the edges from the pan. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill at least an hour or overnight.
- Remove the rim from the springform pan and slice the cheesecake. Top with whipped cream and serve with warm caramel sauce.
2. Sweet & Tangy Glazed Shallots
This dish is a consistent hit for me. The finished dish looks nice, the tangy sweetness pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving food, and this dish can be made ahead of time.
Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (see notes)
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled, root end trimmed but left intact.
- Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Stir in vinegar, add thyme, and simmer until a glaze forms, about 1 minute.
- Add shallots, season with salt, and stir, turning to coat with glaze.
- Transfer to oven and roast until shallots are browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Serve shallots right away, or refrigerate up to 3 days and reheat before serving.
Note: You can use different types of vinegar and sugar. You can use sherry, balsamic or apple cider vinegar. You can also use granulated and demerara sugar.
3. Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
This is one of the most unique and delish Thanksgiving dishes you will find. Also, you can use some of your leftover shallots from the recipe above.
- 12 oz cranberries, chopped
- 2 Jalapeño, chopped
- 4 Scallions, diced
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lime for juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 pack cream cheese
- Spread cream cheese thin and evenly on a serving plate
- Mix remaining ingredients in a food processor lightly then spread over the cream cheese.
- Serve with crackers of your choice.
Note: If you don’t like spicy but like Jalapeno flavor, be sure to remove the Jalapeno seeds before you chop them up.
4. Thanksgiving Hot Pockets
This is not a recipe, but it is one of the best Thanksgiving tips I’ve ever received.
- Take your cooked Thanksgiving food.
- wrap it in crescent roll dough.
- Bake according to crescent roll directions.
Note: Experiment with the combinations. For example, turkey, stuffing and little gravy or cranberry sauce and cream cheese, etc. Also, this tip is perfect for leftovers but can also be used for Thanksgiving day.
5. Pommes Puree
This dish is so yummy. It has been the star of the show whether I cook Thanksgiving at my home or bring it to someone else’s Thanksgiving. It’s richer, creamier, smoother, and just flat better than regular mashed potatoes.
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 3 pounds of yukon gold potatoes. Rinse & scrub.
- 1 ¾ cups of whole milk
- 2 cloves of garlic, halved
- 1 pound of butter, cut into 1 inch chunks
- ½ teaspoon of white or black pepper
- 1 Table Bald Buck: Bold Taste
- Place the potatoes in a single layer in a large pot. Cover with at least 1-inch of water. Season with one tablespoon of Bald Buck: Bold Taste. Place over medium heat and let simmer for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Once cooked, remove the potatoes from the water to an ice bath and let cool slightly. Discard the water from the pot and wipe clean with a kitchen towel and set back on the stovetop.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to remove the skins from the potatoes. Put the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the milk into the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add the garlic and let it steep for a few minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to soften slightly. Discard the garlic and turn the heat to low. Using a whisk, whisk in the butter a few chunks at a time until the butter is well incorporated. Once the butter is melted, add in the riced potatoes and, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir to incorporate. Once smooth, season with two teaspoons of Bald Buck: Bold Taste and white or black pepper.
- Pour the potatoes into a serving dish and serve hot. If serving later, pour into a casserole dish, cover with foil, and keep warm in a 250°F oven until ready to serve.
Some people lose their minds over this dish. They will tell you it’s the best-mashed potatoes they’ve ever had and they WILL ask you for your secret. I usually tell them they basically ate one million sticks of butter 😂. However, I think the seasoning makes a big difference.
Note: If you are cooking a savory recipe, use Bald Buck Seasoning as your “salt.” It will give your dish a unique flavor people will love but be unable to figure out. There are reviews about it on YouTube, but the video below is the best one.
Hope this helps!