November 14, 2014 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas
Thanksgiving doesn't always have to be an elaborate event; it can be the perfect excuse to relax and spend quality time with a special someone (or two or three). When making a meal for a few, rather than a crew, preparing a whole turkey can seem like a waste. (I, for one, am sick of turkey by the next day.) If you're hosting an intimate affair this holiday, why not try something a bit smaller for your Thanksgiving feast?
My Thanksgiving for Two menu features half the food and half the amount of work, but all the traditional smells and flavors, and the feeling of a true celebration.
The turkey: A boneless turkey breast butterflied and stuffed with a simple “stovetop” style stuffing is easy to make and impressive on the table -- and will still allow for leftovers the next day. If your butchering skills aren’t Iron Chef caliber, have your butcher butterfly a breast for you (or study one of the many how-to videos online, like this one from Martha Stewart).
The stuffing: Do NOT reach for that red box. Flavorful homemade stuffing is easy! You can make this stuffing recipe your own by adding cooked wild rice or soaked dried fruit, changing up the herbs, substituting turkey sausage for the pork, or leaving the sausage out all together.
The gravy: instead of the flour-thickened variety that can get a bit heavy, try adding a splash of white wine and thyme and letting the pan drippings shine.
The sides: For me, mashed potatoes are a must…but they don’t have to be plain! I added flavorful sautéed mustard greens to create a creamy, spicy colcannon -- it’s two side dishes in one!
The dessert: In my opinion, dessert is almost as important as the turkey itself. My recipe for pumpkin panna cotta with gingerbread crust has all the flavor and texture of pumpkin pie, but is simplified. No pie crust or ovens needed!
The spirit: Whatever you make this holiday, do not lose sight of the true meaning of the day. Yes, Thanksgiving is about the food…but it is also about family and friends and taking some time to say thanks for all that we have. Happy Thanksgiving!