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Come Party With Me: Budget Thanksgiving — Menu

An easy way to cut the budget of your Thanksgiving feast is to make the dinner a potluck. You supply the appetizers, turkey, and one side, then ask the guests to fill in the blanks. Not going overboard on side dishes is another great way to trim costs. When there are too many side options guests can feel overwhelmed and may end up over-eating. Do them a favor and don't offer more then four side dishes.

Keep in mind that even on a limited budget, you can still create a delicious and elegant meal. Have goat cheese stuffed mushrooms with breadcrumbs waiting for your guests to arrive. Purchase a frozen turkey instead of a fresh one. Most supermarkets have sales around Thanksgiving on frozen turkeys and you can find one for $10 or less. Season the turkey with everyday ingredients like red onions and oranges. Make simple mashed potatoes as a side.

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Goat Cheese–Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs

Goat Cheese–Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs

Goat Cheese–Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs

Ingredients

24 large cremini mushrooms (1 1/2 pounds), stems discarded
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, plus one 3-inch sprig of rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fine bread crumbs
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 24 pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with 3 tablespoons of the oil and the rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet, rounded side up. Roast for about 30 minutes, until tender and browned around the edges. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the rosemary sprig and cook over moderately high heat until the leaves are crisp, 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels, then strip off the leaves.
  5. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the rosemary oil and reserve it for another use.
  6. Add the bread crumbs to the skillet and toast over moderate heat until golden and crisp, 2 minutes. Stir in the fried rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Gently press a piece of goat cheese in the center of each mushroom, sprinkle with the bread crumbs and serve.

Serves 8.

Make Ahead: The goat cheese–filled mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with the bread crumbs just before serving.

Per Serving 138 cal, 11 gm fat, 3.9 gm sat fat, 5 gm carb, 0.6 gm fiber.

Roast Turkey with Oranges, Red Onions, and Pan Gravy

Roast Turkey with Oranges, Red Onions, and Pan Gravy

Roast Turkey with Oranges, Red Onions, and Pan Gravy

Ingredients

For turkey
1 (12- to 14-lb) turkey (preferably kosher), any quills removed if necessary and neck and giblets (excluding liver) reserved for making stock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 navel oranges, each cut into 8 wedges
3 small red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
5 bay leaves (not California)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For gravy
Pan juices from roast turkey
About 4 cups turkey stock (page 198)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Garnish: 4 roasted onions, each cut into 8 wedges (optional); fresh bay leaves (do not eat)

Directions

  1. Roast turkey: Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Sprinkle turkey inside and out with salt and pepper, then fold neck skin under body and secure with small skewer. Stuff large cavity with oranges, 1 onion, and bay leaves. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen string and secure wings to body with small skewers.
  3. Put turkey on a rack set in a large flameproof roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 30 minutes.
  4. While turkey is roasting, toss remaining 2 onions with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Brush remaining 1/4 cup butter over turkey and roast 30 minutes more.
  6. Baste turkey and scatter buttered onion wedges around it, then roast, basting turkey every 30 minutes (add a little water to pan if onions get too dark) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into fleshy part of a thigh (do not touch bone) registers 155°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours more (total roasting time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours).
  7. Transfer turkey to a platter (do not clean roasting pan) and let stand 25 minutes (temperature will rise to 165°F).
  8. Make gravy: Transfer pan juices with onions to a 2-quart glass measure, then skim off and reserve 1/4 cup fat. Add enough turkey stock to pan juices to make 4 1/2 cups total.
  9. Set roasting pan across 2 burners, then add 1 cup stock mixture and deglaze pan by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Add remaining stock mixture and bring to a simmer.
  10. Pour stock through a fine sieve back into glass measure and discard onions.
  11. Whisk together reserved fat and flour in a large heavy saucepan and cook roux over moderately low heat, whisking, 3 minutes. Add hot stock mixture in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  12. Stir in any additional turkey juices accumulated on platter and season gravy with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve turkey with gravy on the side.

Serves 8-10.

Chive Mashed Potatoes

Chive Mashed Potatoes

Chive Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

4 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, softened and cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives, snipped, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large pot of salted water, bring the potatoes to a boil. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; reserve the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or a microwave, heat the half-and-half until steaming. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Keep warm.
  3. Using a sieve or food mill, press the potatoes, a few pieces at a time, into the empty pot.
  4. Whisk the cream mixture into the potatoes and heat over low heat until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the chives.

Serves 8.

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Join The Conversation
TahitiMoo TahitiMoo 7 years
Last year I saw many grocery stores giving away free 20lb turkeys to anyone who spent over 50$. Maybe they will again this year!
milosmommy milosmommy 7 years
The potluck is a great idea if it's organized. We have one with friends every year and the girl who hosts it sends us a list like 2weeks before letting everyone what their responsible for. It's nice not to have to worry about what to bring.
Kat-E Kat-E 7 years
Mmm goat cheese. Trader Joe's is definitely the way to go for at least half of these ingredients. Add sweet potatoes to this list! Most people have brown sugar and cinnamon in their pantries already. Add a little cream and some marshmallows and tada! Cheap and tasty ;)And don't forget the green bean casserole staple. In college, my friends and I used to make it in the dorm kitchen as a cheap comfort food.
Kat-E Kat-E 7 years
Mmm goat cheese. Trader Joe's is definitely the way to go for at least half of these ingredients. Add sweet potatoes to this list! Most people have brown sugar and cinnamon in their pantries already. Add a little cream and some marshmallows and tada! Cheap and tasty ;) And don't forget the green bean casserole staple. In college, my friends and I used to make it in the dorm kitchen as a cheap comfort food.
goodolmary goodolmary 7 years
Can't wait to try the goat cheese stuffed mushrooms. No really, I can make them this weekend. I looooove goat cheese. I have a goat named Joseph.
OliverCakery OliverCakery 7 years
Potlucks are good - if you know WHO should bring what!
mtiger mtiger 7 years
We always do a potluck dinner...everyone brings a couple of dishes. Of course, we always have waaaay too much food!
corrinne corrinne 7 years
Try Chavrie Fresh Goat Cheese! It's reasonably priced and can be found in almost any grocer. Enjoy!
suziryder suziryder 7 years
I get goat cheese at Trader Joe's, it's very reasonably priced.
wren1 wren1 7 years
Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms? Yummy, I'll make those this year! :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
i think that when you suggest potluck - most people think about bringing dessert or they bring some type of yam/sweet potato thing. i think that doing an 'organized' potluck is a great way to go that way you know that you're not going to end up with things that you don't necessarily want but that everyone will be happily and nicely full rather than overfull.
DarlingDA DarlingDA 7 years
We can't do potlucks with my group of friends (idiots? in an affectionate way of course), since no one ever brings what they've said they will - we usually end up with way too many bottles of booze and two or three of the same couple dishes.My bf and I have a Thanksgiving dinner for our friends every year and just cook everything ourselves. Plus, that means no cutting into an undercooked turkey and arguing about whether it's safe to eat with the offended 'chef'.
DarlingDA DarlingDA 7 years
We can't do potlucks with my group of friends (idiots? in an affectionate way of course), since no one ever brings what they've said they will - we usually end up with way too many bottles of booze and two or three of the same couple dishes. My bf and I have a Thanksgiving dinner for our friends every year and just cook everything ourselves. Plus, that means no cutting into an undercooked turkey and arguing about whether it's safe to eat with the offended 'chef'.
aphill4 aphill4 7 years
I think Potluck is a great idea to save money. Gosh, I spend over $200 every time I have friends over for a regular dinner party, I couldn't imagine hosting thanksgiving by myself.
DCStar DCStar 7 years
Just use a small amount of the goat cheese. It's not that expensive. Even living in the city, I can buy the above amount for $6-8.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
:feedme:
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
:feedme:
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
:feedme:
mtiger mtiger 7 years
I think you could probably use any kind of cheese...crumbly ones would be best.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Can someone provide an actual budget-friendly alternative to goat-cheese stuffed mushrooms? Goat cheese is pretty pricey!
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
Can someone provide an actual budget-friendly alternative to goat-cheese stuffed mushrooms? Goat cheese is pretty pricey!
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