When Twitter and meme culture get together, things like Hanksgiving are born. What is Hanksgiving you ask? The time of year to celebrate Tom Hanks and all that he has brought to the big screen and into our hearts. Today, we are going to show you how to create the perfect Hanksgiving meal for your family and friends. Tune in, suit up, it’s time to get cooking.
“No Crying in Butterball”
If you want your Hanksgiving dinner to be in a league of its own, then you need to be prepared. The biggest mistake you can make is not giving yourself enough to prepare with a properly thawed turkey. Unlike a frustrated Jimmy Dugan, keep your cool and follow these simple steps.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, and then season the turkey with salt and pepper, inside and out.
- Pick some aromatics to put in the turkey – things like chopped onions, carrots, apples and herbs, and rub/brush the bird down with butter and place it in the roasting pan.
- Tent the bird with foil and roast for about 2 hours. If your bird is bigger than 10 pounds, add an extra 15 minutes per pound.
- After 2 hours, take the foil off and brush on more melted butter and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F. Continue roasting for an extra hour or until the thigh meat at registers 165 degrees F.
- Let it rest, make your gravy, and enjoy.
No turkey wants to be stranded on a plate all its own. A delicious side of mashed potatoes and gravy are the perfect complement to any Hanksgiving dinner. Castaway the old, traditional potato recipe and step up spud special with this tasty recipe.
- 4lb. bag of potatoes
- ½ a package of cream cheese (4 ounces) softened
- 1 stick of butter softened
- 1-2 tbsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes in a large pan – water full up to 1 inch over the potatoes, with 1 tsbp of salt
- Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft, but not crumbly.
- Drain the water, and get your mixer ready
- Add the cream cheese, butter, and beat until fluffy
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Catch Me if You Yam
Just like lovely Leo, Hanksgiving sides take many forms, but it’s up to you to stay hot on the trail to find the perfect yam recipe. The key is to use your seasoned skills to spot the difference between a sweet potato and a yam. Often used interchangeably, sweet potatoes are commonly sweeter, moister, and hold an orange hue while true yams are more dry with light/whiter cores and bark-like skin. Use your investigative skills this holiday season and toss in the mix for a nice spread.
- 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1.5 lbs of sweet potatoes (3-4 large ones)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter/spray your baking pan.
- Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Boil them for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain and let the potatoes cool.
- Mash the potatoes with your mixer (or by hand if you’re old school).
- Then whisk together the rest of the filling ingredients with the sweet potatoes and add to a baking dish.
- To make the filling, mix all of the ingredients together and spread it out on top of the sweet potatoes.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes and serve right away.
The Green (Bean) Mile
Just like The Green Mile, green bean casserole is a dish that stands the test of time. Touted by delish.com, green bean casserole is the number one staple dish for any Hanksgiving meal. These two icons collide to make your Hanksgiving one surely not to be forgotten easily. The homemade version is best – trust us, you don’t need that cream of mushroom in a can.
- 2 lbs green beans
- Kosher salt
- 2 tsbp olive oil
- 1 lb your favorite mushrooms (We suggest cremini mushrooms)
- 5 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp of dried thyme
- 1½ tsbp flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 3 garlic cloves – grated or minced
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- Pepper to taste
- ¾ cup French’s fried onions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil, and drop your green beans in. Cook them until they are about halfway tender and bright green (about 3-5 minutes). Drain and let cool.
- Saute your mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown. Add in 2 tbsp of butter, thyme, and some salt. Cook until trender.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms, without stirring, until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes.
- Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until roux is golden brown and smells mildly nutty, (about 4 minutes). Now whisk in your milk and cream.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer. You’ve got a bechamel going – keep cooking until it is thick, or about 5 minutes.
- Add in your garlic, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add your green beans and mushrooms into a baking dish (like a 9×13 pan) and pour the sauce on top. Cover this with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook until the edges are brown (about 15 minutes).
- Our favorite part – take it out of the oven and top with the classic French’s fried onions. Put it back into the oven until they are nice and toasty (about 3-4 minutes).
- Let it cool slightly and dig in!
No magical Hanksgiving journey is complete without a big basket of rolls. Butter them up, dip them in gravy, or eat them plain if you like. Think of these rolls as the hot cocoa to the Polar Express ride – delicious and impossible to do without.
No recipe for this one – just load your instacart up with Sister Schubert’s rolls. We all know everyone will eat too many of these, and you don’t want to spend 10 hours in the kitchen just on rolls alone.
“Reach for the Pie”
In this case, it’s positive encouragement, not a threat from your favorite cowboy toy. This classic pie recipe would even make Sid place nice for a slice. Sure to be among many childhood favorites, pumpkin pie has definitely solidified its place on the menu, just as Toy Story has cemented its place in Tom Hanks & Disney history.
- 1 15 oz. can of Libby’s canned pumpkin
- 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pie shell
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- Whipped cream (optional, but highly suggested)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.
- Beat eggs in large bowl.
- Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
- Pour into pie shell.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
- Let the pie cool. You can either serve it immediately or refrigerate it and serve later. Top with whipped cream before serving.
You’ve got every recipe you need for an epic Hanksgiving meal here. At the very least pop some popcorn, grab a box of chocolates, and kick off your Thanksgiving festivities with some of the best movies of our time.