Canadian Thanksgiving Recipes
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Thanksgiving goes beyond the borders of the United States. Canada has their own day to give thanks, and it occurs the second Monday in October each year. The meaning behind the holiday is similar to the American holiday: to give thanks and celebrate the harvest and blessings of the year. The menu is also similar to a traditional American feast, but with the addition of wild game, ham, and salmon on the dinner table, it's a uniquely Canada affair. Many of these dishes can be made ahead of time and easily split up to have a potluck Thanksgiving. This Canadian Thanksgiving menu will definitely give your family reason to celebrate and count your blessings.
A Uniquely Canadian Menu for Thanksgiving
It's time to give thanks for turkey, stuffing, and potatoes. This Canadian Thanksgiving menu will satisfy every holiday craving and truly let your friends and family know how thankful you are for them. Begin the night with sweet and spicy corn muffins, roasted salmon, turkey, and creamy potatoes. Then, end the holiday with a slice of cranberry-apple pie.
First up, the turkey. We like to give the featured bird a pretty finishing sheen by brushing on savory-sweet marmalade glaze. If you don't like the slightly bitter flavor of marmalade, you can substitute currant jelly for tart, bright flavor. Fresh rosemary brings the flavors of the turkey to life and will make your kitchen smell amazing. With a splash of citrus, this turkey is anything but bland, without being doused in high calorie glazes and sauces.
This oven-baked side couples the earthiness of poblanos with the sweetness of red bell peppers. Combine those with rich pumpkin and you have a new fall-weather classic you'll make time and again.
Mom's Smashed Mashed Potatoes
To keep potatoes warm until the meal is ready, place them, loosely covered, in a heatproof dish or bowl, and set them (without submerging them) in a larger pot of hot water over very low heat. They'll stay warm without scorching on the bottom.
Roasted Salmon with Thyme and Honey-Mustard Glaze
A bed of fragrant fresh thyme lends wonderful flavor to the fish. Have your fishmonger remove the pin bones from the fillet, and choose one cut toward the head end of the fish.
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
The key to flavorful gravy is a good turkey stock. In the fall, it's easy to find turkey wings, which make an especially rich stock. Try this classic gravy or one of the variations at right. All can be made ahead, cooled, and frozen up to two months. Thaw; then reheat over medium-low, stirring with a whisk.
Supersavory Wild Rice Pilaf
From the kitchen of Ann Taylor Pittman: Cooking Light Executive Food Editor
"This pilaf was always on the Taylor Thanksgiving table. I would joke that it was my Korean mom's way of sneaking some form of rice into the meal. What she served came from a box, though, and was crazy high in sodium."
Double-Crust Apple Pie
A double crust seals in the apples' natural juices as the pie bakes for full-on apple flavor. Tossing the apples with apple juice keeps them from browning as you peel and slice them, and it adds a boost of apple flavor.
Brown Sugar-Cured Turkey with Apple-Bourbon Gravy
Roasting dark-meat turkey pieces on a bed of vegetables, fruit, and herbs adds deep flavor to the produce and the gravy.
Guests at holiday gatherings will adore this autumn-inspired recipe, stuffed with diced butternut squash and flecks of crispy bacon.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Green Onions and Cilantro
"Brussels sprouts are best when caramelized," says Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable. "Tossing the roasted vegetables with rich, salty fish sauce enhances the sweet notes created by the cooking process.
Applewood chips lend a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the meat. You can also try smoking the turkey with cherry or alder wood chips for more delicate smoked flavor.
Farro Stuffing with Butternut Squash, Red Onion, and Almonds
In this nontraditional stuffing, earthy flavors and starchy comfort come from whole-grain farro, not bread. You can assemble up to 2 days ahead. Take out of the fridge, let stand at room temperature 45 minutes, then bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Cheesy Jalapeño-Sour Cream Corn Muffins
What is chili without corn muffins? Pickled jalapeños add a little extra zip and dimension without too much heat. You can omit them or substitute minced cilantro if you like. Make the corn muffins a day or two ahead and refrigerate then leave out at room temperature. The addition of sour cream makes these muffins incredibly tender—they won't dry out if made in advance. Looking for a spooky spin? Use blue cornmeal; it'll turn the muffins a greenish blue.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Gastrique
The gastrique, a tangy-sweet glaze, is Thanksgiving worthy but also simple enough to pull off on a weekday.
Chestnut, Cranberry & Leek Stuffing
The delicious mix of flavors in this side dish are sure to make an impression on your family and friends.
Cranberry Sauce with Cassis and Dried Cherries
This essential trimming can be made up to a week ahead. Cassis is black currant–flavored liqueur. If you can’t find it, substitute orange liqueur.
Oat-Crusted Pecan Pie With Fresh Cranberry Sauce
The pie and sauce can each be made up to two days ahead. Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil for the last eight minutes of baking if it begins to brown too much.
Braised Brussels Sprouts with Cider and Bacon
The sweetness of the cider complements the saltiness of bacon bits. One bite will leave you craving more (and more, and more).
Roasted Pumpkin Pie
By roasting the pumpkin whole, you avoid cutting it open and scooping out the seeds and membrane. If you'd like, serve pie with a dollop of lightly sweetened 2% reduced-fat yogurt.
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Dill Cream
Give fish time to absorb aromatic herbal and citrus essence while it cooks, in an ovenlike environment, to the perfect tenderness. And because it stays covered, the fishy odors won't fill the house.
Photo: Courtesy of Oxmoor House
Be ready for the aromas of fall to fill your kitchen as this beautiful pie bakes. We call for grade B maple syrup because it's less refined and a stronger, more "maple-y" flavor. If you use milder grade A syrup, stir in a single scrape of fresh nutmeg to boost the maple flavor.
Baked Ham with Rosemary and Sweet Vermouth
This succulent ham takes cues from the Mediterranean with piney rosemary and sweet, herbal vermouth.