Thanksgiving Meal Stars: Mashed Potatoes and Sausage Stuffing, the Game-Changers for Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving Meal Stars: Mashed Potatoes and Sausage Stuffing, the Game-Changers for Thanksgiving 2016
(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

Thanksgiving 2016 lands on Nov. 24 this year in the U.S, as the holiday will always fall on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a time for three F’s: Family, Football, and definitely Food. Thanksgiving in America often includes cranberry sauce, turkey, gravy, and, of course, pumpkin pie. However, what is a Thanksgiving meal without mashed potatoes and stuffing? Want to try a new recipe a sausage stuffing or Jose Andres’ mashed potatoes?

The following are some new Thanksgiving recipes you can try that give a new spin on mashed potatoes and stuffing. Trust me, your guests will certainly thank you for trying something new for Thanksgiving! These sides will be the stars of your Thanksgiving meal…

Game-Changing Sausage Stuffing

Do you want a dish that is an absolute game-changer for your guests? Although stuffing is a staple to any Thanksgiving meal, the following is one recipe your guests likely haven’t tried. It might take about an hour to prepare, but your guests will definitely be glad you took the time to assemble this sausage stuffing dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of gluten-free bread, cubed
  • 12 oz. breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 8 oz. of provolone cheese, cubed, or goat feta as an alternative
  • 3 ribs of celery with stalks chopped, leafy green tops chopped and saved for later
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On a large baking sheet, spread the gluten-free bread cubes in an even layer and toast them until they are dried out. It will take about 10 minutes; then transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl.
  • Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned for about five minutes, and then add the celery and sauté until it is slightly softened for about three minutes. Let it cool; then add the cheese and sausage mixture to the bread.
  • Add the chicken stock and stir until the bread absorbs the liquid. Pour it into a baking dish, and then transfer to the oven until it is browned on top for about 40 minutes.

Jose Andres’ Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving should always contain some form of mashed potatoes as a side dish with your turkey. Mashed potatoes are comfort food, and what better time to eat them than Thanksgiving? Here is a recipe for mashed potatoes adapted from a recipe by chef Jose Andres on the website for Food & Wine magazine. The recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated for three days before the big meal. Simply reheat in a heatproof bowl when you are ready to eat. The following recipe serves 12 people:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of garlic with the top third of each cut off
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, and more for drizzling
  • 6 pounds of baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cups of coconut cream
  • 8 oz. of young Manchego cheese, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • Cheese alternative: Goat feta

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle garlic lightly with oil, and then wrap garlic head with foil. Roast for one hour or until garlic is soft. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins into a bowl, and mash with a fork until the mixture becomes  paste-like.
  • Place the potatoes in a large pot, and cover them in a few inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and add some salt. Cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Heat the coconut cream in a separate saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot over medium-high heat and cook for a minute; then mash with a potato masher. Add half the heated cream, and mash until well incorporated. Add the remaining cream, and stir in the cheese until melted.
  • Gradually stir in the mashed garlic and three tablespoons of oil until it is also well incorporated. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.
  • Just before serving, transfer the potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with more olive oil and your choice of fresh herbs like basil, dill, or parsley.

Mashed Faux-toatoes

Are you interested to an alternative to mashed potatoes that doesn’t include potatoes? After all, potatoes are high in the glycemic index, and there are healthier foods available. For instance, cauliflower is the perfect replacement for potatoes. Check out this recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (about four cups)
  • 4 tbsp. of ghee, butter, or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of dried sage, thyme, rosemary, and lemon peel, plus some course sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Choice of fresh herbs like dill, basil, or parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

  • Chop the cauliflower into roughly two to three inches pieces.
  • Steam the cauliflower until it is fork-tender, and place it in a high-quality food processer.
  • Add the butter, herbs, and spices, and puree until it is smooth and creamy.

Sources:

Sanfilippo, D., Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole Foods Lifestyle (USA: Victory Belt Publishing Inc., 2012), 344.

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Judkis, M., “These mashed potatoes are so good they’ll be the star of Thanksgiving dinner,” The Washington Post website, Nov. 15, 2016; https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/these-mashed-potatoes-are-so-good-theyll-be-the-star-of-thanksgiving-dinner/2016/11/14/6476a23e-9ad0-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html, last accessed November 16, 2016.

Spence, S., “This Cheesy Sausage Stuffing Is a Thanksgiving Game-Changer,” People Food website, Nov. 10, 2016; http://people.com/food/stuffing-recipe-sausage-cheese-easy-thanksgiving-side/, last accessed November 16, 2016.