November is the perfect time of year to be a foodie, especially since there's so many Food Network Thanksgiving specials to tide you over until the big Turkey Day feast. Ahead of the holiday, some of the network's biggest stars shared their favorite Thanksgiving dishes with us.
Food Network Thanksgiving favorites: Molly Yeh - Pretzel Stuffing
The Girl Meets Farm star has a special stuffing recipe in store for her upcoming Thanksgiving episode on Sunday Nov. 18. "It's basically a spin on the classic Thanksgiving stuffing that has the added bonus of pretzel flavor and just the right hit of mustard!"
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-10 heaping cups cubed pretzel rolls
-1 16-ounce package bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 medium onion, chopped
-4 celery ribs, chopped
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1 1/2 cups chicken broth
-1/2 cup beer
-1/4 cup Dijon mustard
-2 tablespoon honey
-2 large eggs
-Nonstick cooking spray or butter, for greasing the casserole dish
-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Spread out the pretzel cubes on baking sheets and bake, flipping cubes halfway through, until the bread dries out, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Fry the bacon until crisp in a large saute pan. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Drain off 1/4 cup bacon grease from pan; set aside. Add the onion and celery to the pan with the remaining bacon grease and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Whisk together the chicken broth, beer, mustard, honey and eggs in a medium bowl.
Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, then gently combine the bread cubes, bacon, parsley and onion/celery mixture in the dish. Pour the broth mixture over the top and toss gently to coat. Pour the reserved bacon grease over the top; bake until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Yields 6 to 8 servings.
Food Network Thanksgiving favorites: Christian Petroni - Fried Brussels Sprouts with Apple Gastrique and Candied Pumpkin Seeds
The judge on Food Network's Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge puts quite the spin on brussels sprouts with this epic side dish. "I love this dish because who doesn’t love fried brussels sprouts? The crunchiness and the saltiness from the sprout combined with the sweet tanginess of the apple cider gastric really bring it home for me! The nutty finish of the pumpkin seeds add another layer of flavor that’s just really nice."
-1 lb. brussels sprouts
-3 cups vegetable oil
-1 recipe apple gastrique (see recipe below)
-1 recipe candied pumpkin seeds (see recipe below)
Prepare the brussels sprouts: trim the stem end of the brussels sprouts and cut a cross about 1/8th inch deep in the top of the sprouts.
Cook the brussels sprouts: Heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pot until a drop of water sizzles in the oil. Fry the brussels in 2 batches until very crispy. Drain brussels on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Immediately put brussels in a mixing bowl with the apple gastrique and toss until the brussels are well coated with the sauce. Divide the brussels onto 4 plates and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top.
-¼ cup finely chopped shallots
-½ cup apple cider vinegar
-¼ cup honey
-¼ cup apple cider
Combine shallots, vinegar and honey in a sauce pot. Cook over medium heat until reduced by ½. Add apple cider and cook until the mixture is thick and syrupy.
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
-1 cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup water
-½ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pumpkin seeds out on baking sheet and put in preheated oven. Bake pumpkin seeds until nicely toasted (about 10 minutes). Combine sugar and water in a medium sized sauce pot and mix well. Place pot on stove over medium heat and cook stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add pumpkin seeds to the syrup and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Drain pumpkin seeds out of syrup and spread out onto heavily greased baking pan. Put seeds back in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are very crunchy.
Food Network Thanksgiving favorites: Anne Burrell - Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
Another interesting take on stuffing, the Worst Cooks in America host takes things up a notch by adding sausage to the fan-favorite dish. "This sausage and cornbread stuffing is a huge crowd pleaser! It’s sweet, savory and finishes up with a great herbiness - a little something for everyone. And it can be made ahead!"
-Extra-virgin olive oil
-1 large onion, small dice
-3 ribs celery, small dice
-1 pound spicy sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks
-3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced
-3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
-10 sage leaves, finely chopped
-3 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped
-10 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
-2 cups dried cranberries
-3 to 4 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute over to medium heat. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables start to become soft and are very aromatic. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread is very moist, actually wet. Taste to check for seasoning and season with salt, if needed and transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Bake the stuffing until it is hot all the way through and is crusty on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. MMMMM...stuffing!