This French Canadian Thanksgiving menu celebrates the autumn harvest with seasonal recipes. Indulge in apples, cheese, onions, potatoes, squash, turkey, and everything else that is in season during the cooler months. This list is something of an extreme menu, one that you would serve if you had forty guests coming and several days to prepare. The beauty is that you can pick your favorites, mix and match, and stay within a budget because these dishes are made with inexpensive seasonal ingredients. More potatoes, anyone?
This mulled apple cider recipe is a great example of a classic French Canadian recipe. Put the pan on to heat and steep while you put the final touches on the appetizers. Serve up steaming mugs of the aromatic brew with the delicious pastries, and people will clear the kitchen to allow you final preparations on your grand feast.
Pastry is a delicious way to stretch a food budget - small cuts and strong flavors go a long way with appetizers! Pissaladiere is a savory, Provencal onion tart layered with olives, anchovies, and herbs. Serve it cut into little rectangles for a fabulous appetizer.
Citrus, an incredible seasoning ingredient, begins arriving in markets during the cold months. My childhood holiday table was never without olives; try this easy recipe and see why! The brilliance of making your own marinated olives is that you alone customize the flavor of the dish. Take out an ingredient here and add one there… you have your own special blend! This recipe can use black or green olives – or both.
Gougeres are little cheese puffs, usually served as an appetizer with wine or cocktails. They're so easy to make. Simply whip up an egg and cheese batter, pipe it onto a baking sheet, and bake the gougères until they are puffed and golden. The little pastries fill the kitchen with a fantastic aroma and are perfect for a cozy holiday gathering.
The mild sweetness of butternut squash soup is perfectly offset with a trio of fresh, savory herbs. Add heavy cream to the already velvety texture of pureed squash and you have rich, thick bisque to serve for a first course or a light main dish.
Stretch the budget with onions. Gratineed onion soup is an ultimate comfort food. Butter-soft, caramelized onions are cooked down into a rich, seasoned beef stock. Top it off with fresh garlic croutons and melted, bubbly Gruyere cheese and you have a rich soup, indeed.
Easy to make during busy holiday preparations, roasted cauliflower soup is a great soup recipe when you need something delicious, fast, and healthy. Because of the heavy cream used in the recipe, it is not low fat. If you desire a lower fat soup, substitute equal parts half and half and milk for the cream.
This dish is perfection for a holday menu! It's inexpensive, nutritious, easy to make, and appeals to most palates. Apples and cider are still fresh from the autumn press and carrots are readily available throughout the cool, post-harvest months. The secret to making this French Canadian side dish special is browning the butter before adding it to the spiced cider reduction.
Oranges and sweet spices really perk up the already bracing flavor of tart, fresh cranberries in this spiced cranberry relish. Serve it as a refreshing, palate-cleansing side dish or a light dessert to accompany a big meal.
All the ingredients in this recipe are easy to find and inexpensive. Sage and onions are aromatic, flavorful enhancements to flaky baked potatoes. This classic dish is a favorite in rural France and sure to be a hit on your holiday table. The best thing about this recipe is that it requires no busy work; simply toss the vegetables and herbs together and bake them while you prepare the rest of the meal.