A passion for food + fashion

Thanksgiving Countdown

In Food, Media on November 5, 2009 at 3:25 pm
Photo by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Photo by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is a mere three weeks from tomorrow? I was reminded of such while reading a great article in today’s Los Angeles Times by Russ Parsons, which compares how all the food magazines are handling Thanksgiving. Over at The Foodinista’s, here’s how we’re handling the menu, and it’s looking a lot like this:

Roast Salted Turkey: Known in foodie circles as The Judy Bird, this recipe was published several years ago in the LA Times by Russ Parsons, who was inspired by his friend chef Judy Rodgers of Zuni Café in San Francisco. It’s a dry-brine technique that results in the world’s juiciest bird. Parsons suggests three days of dry brining in the fridge, but we will have to settle for two since our Heritage Turkey arrives on our doorstep on Tuesday, 11/24. So excited!!!

Cornbread and Escarole Stuffing: Indulgent and rich, with fresh ricotta, prosciutto and parm balanced by bitter escarole and toasty pine nuts.

Gravy: I usually do a simple pan gravy, but this year I might go easy on myself and pick up some house-made gravy from the Larchmont Larder. Sacrilege or smart?

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes: A dollop of mascarpone adds creamy decadence to the classic.

Butternut Squash Purée: My mother makes this comforting classic, which has been featured on her family table for more than half a century.

Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts with Fennel and Shallots: A recipe from my super-talented friend Carolynn Carreño, who wins James Beard Awards and authors cookbooks with the likes of Nancy Silverton. We’ve been using this recipe of Carolynn’s at our Thanksgiving table for almost the past decade. I’ll post it soon.

Cranberry Sauce: We’ve never quite settled on one we love, and so this year I’ve charged my friend Vincent, who is joining us!, with finding the ultimate in tartiness, a challenge to which he will undoubtedly rise and surprise.

Pumpkin Pie: My sister is a genius with piecrust. With a little coaxing, perhaps she will share her secret before the big feast. What I can tell you is that she makes beautiful leaves from leftover dough and uses them to decorate the edge of the piecrust.

Bourbon-Pecan Tart: From the November issue of Bon Appétit, this looks amazing. My husband’s family only serves pecan pie (two versions of it) at Thanksgiving, so this one’s for him—unless, that is, I can get my mother-in-law to part with her excellent recipe.

Okay—one final question. Do I need another veg? I hate salad at Thanksgiving. Ditto on peas. Plus, in addition to the Brussels sprouts dish, I figure the stuffing has escarole. But should I be thinking along the lines of adding sautéed kale or broccoli rabe? Maybe green beans and shallots?

  1. I make an absolutely divine cranberry horseradish relish every year. Very easy, and unbelievably fabulous on turkey sandwiches the next day. It also keeps for weeks.

    Put one pound of washed raw cranberries through the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of horseradish, and one teaspoon of lemon juice.

  2. I’ve been making that turkey ever since Russ published that recipe! the best ever!

  3. Try some steamed baby carrots, s&p to taste them top with a mixture of melted butter and maple syrup. Super quick and totally yummy!

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