Starting in 2009 when Molly Yeh launched her blog My Name Is Yeh, she has been “inviting” fans into her home for the holidays. And since 2018, she’s been welcoming viewers into her current home via TV as part of her Food Network show, Girl Meets Farm.
That home, by the way, is a farm on the North Dakota and Minnesota border, which she shares with her fifth-generation farmer husband, Nick, and their two kids. And although she’s based on that Midwestern farm, Yeh’s culinary creations span the globe. In a beautiful melting pot of flavors, Yeh takes a scoop from her Chinese and Jewish heritage, adds a spoonful of international flavor from her young adult years in New York City and finishes with a generous handful of Midwestern coziness.
All of that can be found in fine form in a handful of recipes that Yeh has shared the last two weekends in Thanksgiving episodes of her popular TV show.
“One of my very favorite things about filming Girl Meets Farm is getting to have two (2!) Thanksgivings, one in the summer when we film it and have family fly in and go all out with the plating and the fireworks and I wear makeup, and the one on actual Thanksgiving when I wear sweatpants and care only about hoarding leftover stuffing and watching the rockettes,” Yeh shares on Instagram.
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Molly Yeh’s Thanksgiving Menu
Feeling inspired by four recipes from Yeh’s Family Thanksgiving menu from 2020 (that resurfaced this weekend on Food Network and is as craveable as ever) and four brand-new recipes highlighted as part of her Chinese Thanksgiving menu, all of these dishes are strong contenders to make an appearance on my Friendsgiving table this year.
Five-Spice Turkey with Sweet and Sour Glaze
“Pay no attention to appetizers or salads, no one will miss them,” Yeh boldly says on Instagram in her guide for “little ways to make thanksgiving better but not (that much) harder …” If you really must have a pre-meal nosh, “dump a jar of jalapeño jelly over a block of cream cheese and put it out with crackers,” she suggests. (Or follow Julia Child’s lead and set out bowls of Goldfish crackers!)
Then turn your attention to the real star of the show: turkey. Yeh’s 2022 twist on turkey is a nod to the warm Chinese flavors she remembers from her grandma’s steamed buns. Sweet-tart citrus and a beautiful blend of ginger and five-spice flavors star in the dry brine, while tropical fruit flavors and soy elements spike the glaze. After roasting, the lacquered skin is almost too beautiful to eat.
Orange Marmalade Glazed Raw
If you don’t want to ante up a lot more this year for your holiday turkey, aren’t married to the idea of the traditional centerpiece, or are hoping to serve a couple of different proteins, try this easy raw recipe that one Yeh fan says is “amazing!!! Will not use another glaze ever. What a difference a few ingredients can make.” Round up a few ground spices, some brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and orange marmalade, and you’re all set.
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Sticky Rice Stuffing
Instead of cornbread or regular bread stuffing/dressing this year, try rice. According to Yeh’s recipe teaser, “This will be your real Thanksgiving MVP, so turkey—watch your back!” It’s loaded with umami by way of soy sauce, mushrooms and Chinese sausage, along with a dose of nuttiness from sesame oil and chestnuts. “My grandma’s sticky rice stuffing … is the one and only reason why I am finally kind of coming around to the idea of cooking with mushrooms,” Yeh admits on Instagram. “It’s sooo sticky and salty and goooood.”
Twice Baked Potatoes
To round out the starchy sides, Yeh suggests serving these cheesey potatoes that highlight one unexpected ingredient. A fan who gave the recipe a try says she “NEVER thought to put pickled jalapeños in my potatoes, but I am a changed woman and I will never eat them any other way. Diehard jalapeño fan here.” In tandem with the blank-slate potatoes and the many creamy elements—butter, half-and-half, sour cream, Gruyère cheese—a hint of kick sounds like the perfect foil.
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Greens with Crispy Onions and Chili Crisp
Now turning to all things green, I’m officially sold on this speedy and spicy side dish that showcases hearty winter greens—and plenty of spice. In a hat tip to green bean casserole, Yeh garnishes the vegetables with crispy onions. But from there, this recipe goes its own way. “You have to have veggies at your Thanksgiving table, but they should be cozy, steamy and warming (salads take note, you’re not 100% welcome),” Yeh believes. “This recipe is a quick stovetop side to free up oven space and deliver on flavor.” In addition, this features one of our go-to condiments that you can buy or DIY: chili crisp.
Brussels Sprouts Casserole
And speaking of casseroles, this one delivers all the cream of (fill in the blank) soup vibes, just with a simple from-scratch method. The crispy onion topping and thyme-scented cream sauce will likely convince even the pickiest of eaters to dive in. One home cook who tried it this fall says, “While I love Brussels sprouts any which way, my husband is not a big fan. But he really likes this casserole. And so do I! Yum! And easy to make.” (PS If you like this recipe, then you’ll love our Cheesy Baked Brussels Sprouts.)
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream and Cinnamon
If you, too, can always find room for dessert, then this is the one that definitely deserves a spot at your table this year, Yeh says. Earning nearly unanimous five-star reviews from more than 60 bakers who re-created it at home, this pumpkin dessert idea is the one that will coax gourd-avoiders to change their tune. “The perfect pumpkin pie. I don’t like pumpkin pie, but it’s my son’s favorite, so I searched high and low for a good recipe to try something new, maybe with some different flavors or a different technique and came across this gem, ” a fan raves. “Wow! Even I loved it! No more Costco pumpkin pies for our house.” So what makes this so special? A mix of brown and white sugar, a splash of maple syrup and a couple of extra egg yolks in the custard filling—along with a can of pumpkin puree, of course.
Mandarin Meringue Pie
These refreshing citrus slices are “loosely inspired by a combination of don tot, Chinese egg custard tarts, and the classic lemon meringue pie, but flavored with mandarin oranges,” Yeh explains. It stars a shortbread cookie crust that’s not only easier than homemade pastry, but is also “extra buttery and indulgent for the holiday.” Plus, the meringue is showy and a savvy way to make good use of the egg whites you didn’t use in the aforementioned pumpkin perfection!
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