Thanksgiving 2013, Part I Starters and Entrees, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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Today I’m going to start a little some thing different. I’m doing a two part series on some of the “best of” dishes for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day meal. Turkey Day is a really big deal in my family. As long as I can remember Daddy was the turkey chef.

Daddy and his turkey

Thirty-eights years later I found myself married to the gourmand turkey man and grillmaster and the rest has been history.

So, what I’ll be doing this Thanksgiving season is re-sharing some of our favorites. I’ll suggest possibilities for people who live is all areas of the country. I know many of you live in areas where heating a big hot meal on Thanksgiving day is as appealing as going to work in you pajamas.

This blog with cover appetizers or starters and the main dish. The next blog will be side dishes and desserts.

I’ll provide you with the picture of the dish and instead of making an impossibly long post, I will link back to the recipe. The name of the recipe will be in red. All you’ll need to do is click on the name to be taken to the recipe and from there you can print it out and make your shopping list.


This is a popular pre-meal category in our family. Usually it is surrounded by a bunch of hungry men and children nibbling while waiting on the grand reveal. Also on hand, we have an antipasto plate filled with crudities, dips, cheese and crackers.

A traditional around here during the holidays is Bev’s Savory Cheese Ball. Super easy to make, you can make one large cheese ball or divide it in two and have two smaller ones to carry to two different parties. Served with Wheat Thins or Triscuits. Tall & Handsome swears it’s the best he’s every had – no more store bought cheese ball for him.

Bev's Savory Cheese Ball

If you and your gang like crunchy, then this starter is for you. Once again chocked full of savory good flavor, Nuts and Bolts is the original homemade version of Chex Mix. I make this one a little easier and cost friendlier. Instead of using three boxes if expensive Chex cereal, I use the wheat Chex and the Crispx which is a cereal “pillow” like chex, but one side is corn and the other is rice. The recipe will make about 2 gallon ziplock bags full. Keeps this in mind during the Super Bowl – great food for that, too!

Nuts and Bolts

Turkey Day Entrees

I know everyone had a special Thanksgiving meal. Crown Roast, steak, lasagna, you name it. For us it’s been the traditional turkey with a ham thrown in occasionally. Tall & Handsome has taken the Turkey Man title in recent years – and he’s quite proud of the winners he’s turned out on his Webber grill. Yes, the man is like the post office – neither, rain, steel, snow, hail and maybe even an asteroid headed to earth would prevent him from using his Webber when he sets his mind to it.

He has two turkeys in particular that are outstanding – I’m Bobby Flay Throwdown good. In each recipe the turkey is placed in a brine over night, then the cavity is filled with aromatics. His grill has a tray for wood chips for smoking. If your grill doesn’t have one, you can make foil “bombs” with the wood chips wrapped up in them – just be sure to poke a few hole in the bombs for the smoke to escape. Once you have a juicy, brined turkey – you’ll have a hard time eating any other kind. Today I’m featuring Reggie’s Brined and Grilled Turkey. Be prepared to fall in love…

Reggie's Brined and Grilled Turkey

Turkey too big for your small intimate Thanksgiving dinner? Well, how about a Roasted Apple – Curry Chicken Again, T & H roasts this on his grill using Webber’s “beer can roaster”. You can find versions of the contraption in many stores including World Market, Lowe’s – just look at any place that sells grilling supplies. This is such a luscious chicken and apple juice is used in the well to add moisture to the bird. And, of  course, cooking time is a lot less than for a turkey.


Roasted Apple Curry Chicken


Poultry not you’re thing? How about pork – the other white meat?

Grilled Maple, Dijon and Garlic Pork Tenderloin may sound like an – oh, no I won’t try that combo, but I promise you – it’s awful – as my Daddy say, “That’s awful good, I think I’ll have some more.” 🙂 Marinate overnight in the fridge then grill about 45 – 50 minutes.


©2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved

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1 comment

  1. mountainmode November 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Since the brined turkey recipe is mine I just wanted to let you know that not only is this easy to do it will put any traditional or fried turkey to shame. Once you prepare a turkey using my recipe you’ll be hooked.

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