A Twist On The Thanksgiving Classics

Walnut, Cranberry & Herb Dressing + Cranberries with Orange Peels & Cinnamon
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

A Twist on the Thanksgiving ClassicsThanksgiving Recipes via Waiting on Martha A Twist on the Thanksgiving Classics via Waiting on Martha Thanksgiving turkey and monogrammed turkey platterThanksgiving stuffing with cranberries and pom seeds

You know, there’s really not much straying from the usual dishes on Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, etc.) but every year, I try to do a different take on the classics.  Especially when it comes to the stuffing and the cranberry sauce (I’m really obsessed with cranberries right now).

I always really enjoy a good crunch with soft bites, and I’ve found that Thanksgiving stuffing is the perfect dish which to add a little crunch.  By adding cranberries, walnuts, plenty of fresh herbs and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds to the stuffing, the dish welcomes another depth of  flavor and texture. 

But I’m sure you have someone around the table that wants their dishes how they like it, year after year, no changes (in my case: my entire family).  Luckily, my Thanksgiving stuffing recipe doesn’t change much even with my addition of cranberries and pomegranate seeds.  Per the recipe those are added at the end making it easy to incorporate those to just half of the dish, while leaving the other classic. 

A quick way to elevate your cranberry sauce, another Thanksgiving classic, is to add freshly grated orange peels, juice from the orange and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  The cinnamon adds a level of warmth while the orange adds a new crisp bite of citrus.  And I like to think my cranberry sauce is even more gorgeous atop with fresh orange peels.  Don’t the colors just pop!? 

This year I also traded out our standard dinner rolls for the buttery, melt in your mouth, croissant roll.   And no I didn’t slave away for hours in the kitchen making them from scratch, instead I opted for the taste-like-made-from-scratch-but-really-they’re-frozen croissants from Williams Sonoma.  These guys, including the chocolate, have always been a Christmas morning tradition for my family so I thought why not enjoy them on Thanksgiving as well.

Lastly, I’ve found that pre-cutting your turkey to serve makes it so much easier for guests to help themselves (not to mention it’s such a more gorgeous presentation!). After all, nobody wants to stare at a turkey carcass while they dig in for seconds. Oh, and a brass serving set and fresh eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s (for only $5) instantly elevates the turkey platter to impress everyone around the table.  TRULY, MKR

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Walnut, Cranberry & Herb Stuffing
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 TBS. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
  2. 1 YELLOW ONION, DICED
  3. 3-4 HALVES OF GARLIC, DICED
  4. 4 CELERY STALKS, DICED
  5. 1 TSP. KOSHER SALT
  6. FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, TO TASTE
  7. 2 CUPS walnuts, rough chopped
  8. 1 HERBED BREAD STUFFING MIX
  9. 1 CUP DRIED CRANBERRIES
  10. 4-6 CUPS VEGETABLE, TURKEY OR CHICKEN STOCK
  11. Fresh THYME, Sage & Rosemary Chopped and additional for garnish
  12. 3 TBS Unsalted BUTTER
Instructions
  1. PREHEAT AN OVEN TO 375°F.
  2. IN A LARGE PAN OVER MEDIUM HEAT, WARM THE OLIVE OIL and butter. ADD THE GARLIC, ONION, CELERY, SALT AND PEPPER AND SAUTÉ UNTIL SOFT AND TRANSLUCENT, 10 TO 12 MINUTES.
  3. STIR IN THE CHESTNUTS, CRANBERRIES, 1 tablespoon chopped sage and thyme, 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and TRANSFER THE ONION MIXTURE TO your preferred baking dish.
  4. Add stuffing croutons. STIR IN THE STOCK 1/2 CUP AT A TIME, MAKING SURE IT IS COMPLETELY ABSORBED INTO THE CROUTONS AND DOES NOT POOL IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOWL.
  5. TASTE A CROUTON; IT SHOULD BE MOIST THROUGHOUT BUT NOT CRUNCHY OR MUSHY. YOU MAY NOT NEED ALL OF THE STOCK depending on how "wet" you like your stuffing.
  6. COVER the dish WITH ALUMINUM FOIL AND BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES. REMOVE THE FOIL AND CONTINUE BAKING UNTIL THE TOP IS GOLDEN BROWN AND CRISP, 15-25 MINUTES MORE. LET REST FOR 10 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING. GARNISH WITH additional THYME, sage, rosemary and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
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Cranberries with Orange Peels & Cinnamon
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 (8 OUNCE) PACKAGES FROZEN (OR FRESH) CRANBERRIES
  2. 1 ORANGE, ZEST CUT INTO THIN STRIPS, JUICE RESERVED
  3. ½ CUP SUGAR
  4. 1 tsp. cinnamon plus additional for garnish
Instructions
  1. IN A SAUCEPAN OVER MEDIUM/HIGH HEAT BRING THE CRANBERRIES, ¾ OF THE ORANGE ZEST, CINNAMON, SUGAR, AND 2 TABLESPOONS OF ORANGE JUICE TO A SIMMER.
  2. STIR OCCASIONALLY AND CONTINUE COOKING UNTIL CRANBERRIES BEGIN TO BURST AND THE SAUCE BEGINS TO thicken. REMOVE FROM HEAT AND REFRIGERATE FOR UP TO 24 HOURS.
  3. GARNISH WITH ADDITIONAL ORANGE ZEST and a sprinkling of cinnamon BEFORE SERVING.
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ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

Photography, Rustic White 

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