Give your guests a Thanksgiving they will never forget with three days of specially prepared Traeger Feasts!
THANKSGIVING EVE SUPPER
This casual menu has several things going for it. Not only can you do much of the preparation (and even smoking) ahead of time, but it is an accommodating menu, too – especially important if you are expecting out-of-town guests who might be arriving at different times. You can easily keep the pulled pork and the beans warm if you keep your Traeger on a low setting. Cold beer is a given.
- Up to three days before: If desired, prepare the Smoke-Roasted Almonds and the Traeger Pulled Pork. Refrigerate the pork. (Be sure to pull it first before refrigerating.)
- Up to a day ahead: Assemble the Jalapeno Poppers, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook. Combine the ingredients for the Maple Baked Beans, cover, and refrigerate. Bake the Chocolate Chipotle Brownies and store at room temperature covered tightly with foil.
- Before your guests arrive: Bake the Maple Baked Beans and Jalapeno Poppers. Gently reheat the Pulled Pork at 225 degrees F on your Traeger. (You can also keep it warm in a slow cooker, if desired.)
THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER
We love the combination of food, family, and football that defines a traditional American Thanksgiving. Thanks to Traeger, the cook can enjoy any or all. No need to become a kitchen slave, especially with a little advance planning. The appetizers can be prepared several days ahead, as can the cranberry sauce. Feel free to tailor the menu to your guests’ preferences. For example, if cornbread stuffing would make the adults nervous and the children cry, substitute a traditional bread stuffing (see www.traeger.com for a recipe).
- Up to two days before: Make the Roasted Olives, Smoked Pumpkin Soup, Do-Ahead Mashed Potatoes, the Smoke-Roasted Cranberry Sauce, the herbed butter for the turkey, and the Maple-Cinnamon Butter. Cover and refrigerate. Bake the cornbread for the dressing. Let cool, then cover and store at room temperature.
- The day before the dinner: Traeger the bacon for the Brussels sprouts and dice. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. Assemble and bake the Pumpkin Pie. Let cool, then refrigerate.
- Thanksgiving Day: Cube the cornbread and finish assembling the stuffing. Prepare the turkey for roasting, stuff if desired, and put it on the Traeger. (Calculate in advance how much cooking time the bird will need and add 30 minutes of resting time. Count backward to determine when you should preheat your grill.) Use your Traeger to cook or reheat the remaining hot dishes. If space is at a premium (bet you wish you’d bought a bigger Traeger…), use that neglected appliance in your kitchen – your oven. Check it for cobwebs first!
BLACK FRIDAY BRUNCH
There are two kinds of people: Those who think it’s an adventure to leave the house just hours after the big Thanksgiving dinner in pursuit of bargains…and those who would rather hunker down under the covers to sleep off the day’s excesses. Hopefully, you or someone in your household who’s Traeger savvy belongs to the latter group and is perfectly content to stay home and prepare brunch for the intrepid shoppers. They will likely be starving after their quest. Put on the coffee before you expect them home, and if desired, set up a Bloody Mary bar with various condiments, including Traegered jerky: Dried meat makes a great cocktail stirrer. Also offer assorted juices.
- Up to four days ahead: Smoke the salmon on your Traeger. Cover and refrigerate. Bake the pumpkin bread. Let cool completely, then wrap tightly and freeze.
- The morning of the brunch: Thaw the pumpkin bread. Cut up fruit for the salad and refrigerate. Assemble the Smoked Salmon platter and refrigerate, covered, until serving time. Make the biscuits and bake on your Traeger. Meanwhile, prepare the bacon and the quiche, but do not cook yet. Have one of the shoppers call you a half hour before they expect to return to the house. Bake the quiche. Do not worry if the guests have not returned yet; the quiche can be served at room temperature, if necessary. Once the crowd is together again, put the pan of bacon and the sausages on the Traeger. They will both take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.