What's cooking in our home kitchens | Thanksgiving edition

Mouth-watering buttermilk brined turkey made by Samin Nosrat. Photo courtesy Romulo Yanes for the New York Times. Food stylist: Vivian Lui.

The weather is cooling, the leaves are falling, and the holidays are now upon us. Thanksgiving is here and this year, it may look different for many of us with the pandemic now moving into a new heightened phase. While gatherings may be smaller or moving to virtual platforms, it is still a holiday to be celebrated because ‘tis the season for food and nothing is more comforting than food. We’ve gathered up some of our favorite holiday “go-to’s” from the BARTable team (and beyond) that are so full of goodness – well, let’s put it this way - most of us can only justify making them (and enjoying them) at this time of year. Wherever you are and whoever you are with this Thanksgiving, we hope some comfort will be had from these mouth-watering additions to your recipe books.

Samin Nosrat | Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey

The star of the day on Thanksgiving is always the turkey. There are countless ways to prepare and cook a turkey; roast, braise, grill, BBQ, spit-roast, deep-fry, wet-brine, dry-brine, stuffed, not stuffed, etc., etc. The New York Times calls this recipe the “Buttermilk-Brined Turkey of Your Dreams” by Samin Nosrat and we can’t resist! Taking a beloved recipe for chicken, and after some tinkering, Nosrat successfully took it to the test on turkey. (If you'll have too much left over from cooking a full turkey this year, there is also the turkey breast version of this recipe.) It’s simple in ingredients, but the picture of the outcome looks nothing short of A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!

Emeril's bread pudding

Once you try this bread pudding, you may never go back to regular stuffing. Photo courtesy Emerils.com.

Emeril Lagasse | Savory Spinach and Artichoke Bread Pudding (with Brie!)

When it comes to recipes and cooking, Emeril Lagasse never disappoints. This bread pudding (aka decadent stuffing) from Emeril’s repertoire will become a new favorite as it has ours. If you can force yourself to put some aside on Turkey Day and save it for leftovers to have for breakfast or add to your turkey sandwich on the day after, we guarantee you’ll be so happy you did. Yum!

Gulliver's corn

This creamed corn has a long-time Bay Area history. Keep that history alive and give it a try on your Thanksgiving table. Photo courtesy Food.com.

LonghornMama on Food.com | Gulliver’s Corn

This one came to us with the comment, “This isn't an everyday recipe - too many calories! It has to be Thanksgiving for me to justify it.” Gulliver’s was a famous Prime Rib house here in the Bay Area and their creamed corn was a favorite side dish. The restaurant is no longer open, but many have published recipes trying to capture the delicious-ness of the corn the restaurant once served. This version is as good as the original and is sure to be a new “go-to” at holiday meals.

Sticky rice

Start a new tradition by adding Sticky Rice to your menu this year. Photo courtesy TheWorksofLife.com. 

The Woks of Life | Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

This recipe is a tradition for one of the BART Marketing team’s family that has provided many wonderful family moments in the making of it. This sweet + savory recipe is a delicious dim sum favorite, is exceptionally easy to make at home and is sure to be a delight and huge hit all around. It just might become a favorite with beautiful moments for you and yours too!

Green bean casserole

The classic green bean casserole - let the memories roll. Photo courtesy Food.com.

Campbell's Kitchen on Food.com | Quick Classic Green Bean Casserole

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this classic. Maybe you have a memory of an aunt, uncle or maybe a grandparent (or next-door neighbor) bringing this as their holiday dinner contribution. This “green beans made with soup and fried onions on top” dish always brings a little giggle to the conversation at the table, but it serves up a spoonful (or two) of nostalgia and is usually pretty cleaned off by the end of the meal.

Roasted brussel sprouts

Never have brussel sprouts tasted so good. Photo courtesy Epicurious.com.

Gourmet on Epicurious | Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta

Traditionally, Brussel sprouts have been the vegetable on the Thanksgiving table that went untouched. Whatever meal where they were offered, they were usually boiled with no takers. Enter butter, garlic, pancetta (plus a different cooking method) and “boom” – no more. This recipe takes that old stuffy vegetable and turns it into something we now order in restaurants as culinary cuisine. The crispy outside, the flavors of the butter and decadent ingredients – need we say more?

Epicurious mashers

A favorite staple on Turkey Day - the mashed potatoes. Photo courtesy Epicurious.com.

Rhoda Boone on Epicurious | Mashed Potatoes

It might seem that mashed potatoes shouldn’t need a recipe; a few potatoes, a stick of butter, some milk, a little salt, etc., what more should you need? To get the true experience of mashed potato perfection, it’s a little trickier than that and is a bit more of an art (we promise, not much more). If you’re looking for an “OMG-osh” moment from the second you fork a taste into your mouth, look no further than right here. Impress your taste buds and put this as the MUST mashed potato recipe for your holiday table. We promise, you won’t be sorry you did.

Sweet potato casserole

Did someone say "yum?" Give these sweet potatoes a try. Photo courtesy Today.com.

Katie Lee on Today.com | Sweet Potato Casserole with Mini Marshmallows

Another classic on the Thanksgiving table – sweet potatoes – we couldn’t leave them out. We’ve tried roasted, mashed and baked but nothing screams holidays like this recipe with marshmallows on top! Try this yummy take on the classic and if there happens to be leftovers, a batch of sweet potato pancakes could be your decadent day-after breakfast.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce is a favorite treat that compliments its savory counterparts. Photo courtesy of MomOnTimeout.com.

Mom on Timeout | Best Ever Cranberry Sauce

Did you used to think that cranberry sauce only came in a can? Not! Homemade is the only way to go. Cranberry sauce is the perfect palate cleanser on your Thanksgiving table and not only pretty on the table and on your plate, it adds a pop of citrus and flavor to every bite. This version adds a little orange and cinnamon to give it that extra holiday flare. Zing!

Pumpkin pie

You don't want to miss out on this surprise of a find. Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com.

Libby’s via Food Network | Pumpkin Pie

One member of the BART Marketing Department has family who owned a long-standing Bay Area wholesale bakery – one that made and delivered pies. Believe it or not, the taste test from that infamous crew says the best pumpkin pie recipe is on the back of Libby’s pumpkin in the can. What?! Who knew?! They actually said it’s the “best kept secret” … and now you’re in on it. If you’re making pies this year, including the seasonal favorite pumpkin, here you go. You’re welcome (and enjoy)!

What’s on your table?

What’s cooking in your kitchen for Thanksgiving? Let us know and share pics with us via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable. Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (in person and virtual) events, places to eat (or grab take out from) and have fun (socially-distanced inside and outside) around the Bay. 

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