This year’s Thanksgiving dinner table conversation could turn from a mild meet-up to a combative melee depending on one’s beliefs. Why? Here’s one reason why.

Turkey Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese from foodicrush.com

Thanks for the stimulating conversation but I’ll be staying far from the fracas.

Thanksgiving brings out opinions aplenty in areas other than current events or whether the Redskins or Cowboys will take the turkey honors. Some of the strongest are tied to food and the stalwart stands we each take when it comes to defending our turkey day dinners.

I suppose we all take it so seriously because it’s a hallmark dinner, a noble meal where tradition rules and YOU like best eating what YOU grew up with: what grandma made resulting in what mom made because grandma did and now you make because it’s in your genes and you do what mom says.

So what about those perennial stand-offs for the lovers and the haters? Which camp do you fall into?

  • Light meat or dark? (light, please although I’ve become a bit of a dark meat novice in the past few years)
  • Stuffing: In the bird or cooked separately? (in the bird, mushy!) Savory or sweet? (I’m a stuffing purist, don’t be messing with my stuffing by adding dried apricots to my perfect, moist, sage-ified bread chunks)
  • Sweet potatoes with or without marshmallows? Or just plain gross? (spiced up with chipotle puhhhhllleeez)
  • Gravy with or without giblets? (wihout, thank you very much)
  • Homemade rolls (I am coveting this recipe) or storebought? (homemade by someone other than me)
  • Pumpkin or pecan? (I’ll take both)

Turkey Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese from foodicrush.com
The one item that is the simplest on the table—besides the butter that’s not so simple after being molded into a turkey— the one item that has no business outshining the turkey or mixing in with the mashed potatoes, is also the one that places a cavernous divide as unwavering within family lore as the line that divided the back seat between siblings on family vacations.

Cranberry sauce.

I’m with Jessica on this one (see #4)  and am happy to go with the canned—full berry please, not the gelatinous jelly version—although I certainly enjoy the homemade recipe and covet it when it’s in my oh so happy if that happens midst.

But sometimes it’s all about convenience. And time. And cravings.

Want to know an easy way to spruce up the canned variety? With a few zests of orange added to the mix, canned takes on a whole new flavor-flav level. Like good!

So what to do with the extra cranberry sauce once the day is done? I specifically buy an extra can just for sandwiches. And just like my Turkey and White Cheddar with Caramelized Onion and Grape Grilled Cheese, this sandwich has moved into my favorite turkey creation rotation.

You won’t find any more arguments here.

Turkey Cranberry and Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices cranberry walnut bread
  • 6 slices brie, rind removed
  • 4 slices turkey breast, about 6 ounces
  • ¼ cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium. Butter one side of each piece of bread. On unbuttered side of 2 slices of bread layer half of brie, half of cranberry sauce, 2 slices of turkey and a few avocado slices. Place slice of bread on top, buttered side up, cover with a lid and grill in skillet until bread becomes golden. Flip sandwich once, cover again with lid and cook until cheese melts and bottom piece of bread becomes golden. Cut in half and serve hot.

Following are a few stellar homemade cranberry recipes, plus adaptations on how to put them to work in every arena of dinner. And dessert. Duh!

Alton Brown’s Cranberry Sauce (Only Better) from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks has my number: She’s making a double batch for turkey sandwiches.

Jezebel’s Cranberry Sauce from Sandy of The Reluctant Entertainer is perfectly poised as a DIY hostess gift or holiday party favor.

Cranberry Chutney from Maya of Alaska from Scratch is so worth the few extra ingredients that creates it’s complex flavor.

Quick Sparkling Cranberry Sangria by Marina of Yummy Mummy showcases fall’s best: wine, cranberries and sliced apple.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies by Ali of Gimme Some Oven has put Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss straight into the corner thanks to a white chocolate cream cheese frosting draping tart cranberries.

Cranberry Almond Wedges from Naomi of Baker’s Royale puts a BHG recipe to the test and it looks like a complete success.

Fresh Cranberry Tea Cake made by Liren of Kitchen Confidante is simple and delightful and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a photo of cranberries sliced in half more!

Cranberry Apple Stuffing from Elsie of A Beautiful Mess  is veggie friendly but can easily be adapted for meat lovers.

Rosemary Pork Chops with a Cranberry Juniper Glaze from Eva of Adventures In Cooking kicks turkey to the curb thanks to her enhanced pine-ey flavored sauce.

Cranberry Wild Rice from Taylor of the appropirately named Taylor Takes a Taste blends basmati and wild rice with apple juice and fragrant aromatics. And yes, cranberries.

Friday I have some news on what’s up with FoodieCrush, a new holiday eCookbook launching on Cyber Monday and my usual Friday Favorites. In between stuffing your face and doing some damage at the mall, make sure to check back in, would ya’? XOOX

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