The H.O.W. Behind Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Every family has their own traditions, whether it is pretending to enjoy grandma’s green jell-o or making sure the stuffing is made just right. One of our favorite parts of Thanksgiving is getting to share those family traditions with other people. This year we want to share with you our favorite Thanksgiving recipes and the stories behind them. Maybe this year you can adopt one our family traditions. Cheers!

Kat’s Thanksgiving Recipe

In the House family, tradition means change.  While turkey is a staple of our Thanksgiving meal, the dishes that surround the main course vary each year.   Thanksgiving is a time to try new things and be thankful of the opportunity to do so.  As a kid I can remember leafing through the seasonal Bon Appétit magazine and drooling over the lavish meals.  Each year my dad would try at least one recipe.  Now as an adult and a parent, we look to create our own traditions and I’ve followed in my father’s footsteps.  While some years I’m more ambitious than others, at least one new dish is made each holiday.  If it’s successful, we’ll have it in the recipe rotation of winter dishes.  If it’s a flop, well, then, it’s happily left off.   This Butternut Squash Gratin recipe was happily gleamed from epicruious.com (my favorite recipe site), and enjoyed last year during our two Thanskgiving meals with dear friends.  Goat cheese and butternut squash were meant to be paired and this recipe proves that beyond a doubt.  We ate it with all of our post-Turkey day leftovers and didn’t get tired of it until the bitter end, which is a feat.    In practical terms, I love this recipe because it isn’t overly complicated, can be made a day ahead, is perfect for transporting and has wonderful seasonal flavor.  Plus, it pairs so well with Chardonnay or a classic Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blend that it’s hard not to love it!

Butternut Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
  • 3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butternut squash cubes and olive oil in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and ground pepper and toss to coat. Spread out squash cubes on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced leeks and chopped sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Coat 11×7-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Spread half of leek mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of squash and half of cheese. Repeat layering with leeks, squash, and cheese. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour cream evenly over gratin. Sprinkle with toasted chopped hazelnuts. Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if previously chilled).

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Justina’s Thanksgiving Recipe

“Red or Green?” If you have ever been to New Mexico you will be asked this question at every restaurant. No matter what the type of food is, New Mexicans love to add red or green chile to it. Whole peppers, chopped, turned into sauce, it doesn’t matter what form our chile comes in, we will eat it all day every day. Like many New Mexican families, my family took a traditional Thanksgiving recipe and put our spicy twist on it. My all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipe is green chile stuffing.  If you are someone who loves spicy food then this stuffing will be the perfect way to excite your dinner. This recipe can be as simple as adding chopped green chile to your existing stuffing recipe (You can find frozen chopped green chile in the grocery stores) or you can follow my basic recipe below. Stuffing is one of those things that everyone likes differently, so feel free to add your own twist to it! Lastly, I had this last year with a dry Riesling (such as Coiled) and it was amazing; strong recommendation from me for this pairing.

Green Chile Stuffing

Ingredients:

  • Two boxes of stuffing (one cornbread stuffing)
  • Bag of carrots (chopped or shredded)
  • Bag of celery
  • Can of water chestnuts
  • White wine
  • Lots of butter
  • Two 8oz containers of frozen green chile (I get hot but if you want it milder pick whatever level is best for you)

Prepare it however you normally prepare your stuffing. Enjoy!