For the last several days, everyone at Great Garden Supply has been chatting about their Thanksgiving plans and particularly about what Thanksgiving recipes they are planning to make and eat. We wanted to share a few of our favorite recipes with our readers…some classic and some with a modern twist but all delicious and not too difficult to make. Enjoy!
A big turkey is so spectacular you hardly need to do anything to embellish it. But brining can be that extra touch that makes it so juicy and flavorful that you’ll remember it for years to come. Brining the turkey takes 3 days so you’ll need to plan ahead, but the lengthy brining time really pays off with fabulous flavor. Make sure you start with an all-natural bird without any added water and sodium solution. (Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.)
Total Time: 3 Hours Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes Yields: 10 servings plus leftovers
- * 3 gallon(s) water, divided
- * 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- * 1 cup(s) kosher salt
- * 2 carrots, chopped
- * 2 large onions, chopped
- * 2 leeks, dark tops trimmed off, chopped
- * 1 stalk(s) (small) celery, chopped
- * 4 bay leaves
- * 2 tablespoon(s) black peppercorns
- * 2 tablespoon(s) coriander seeds
- * 1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
- * 1/2 teaspoon(s) fennel seeds
- * 4 star anise
- * 5 sprig(s) fresh thyme
- * 1 (12- to 14-pound) naturally fed, free-range turkey
- * 1 sprig(s) rosemary, for basting
- * 3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, for basting
- Bring 1 gallon water to a boil in a large nonreactive pot that will hold your turkey and fit in your refrigerator (see Tips & Techniques). Stir in sugar and salt until completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in carrots, onions, leeks, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander, crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, star anise, and thyme. Add the remaining 2 gallons water. Place the turkey in the brine and weight it with a plate, if necessary, so it stays below the surface. Refrigerate for 72 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Remove the turkey from the brine, brush off any briny bits and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (discard the brine). Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey until the skin starts to brown, about 40 minutes. Use rosemary sprig to baste the turkey with oil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting the turkey, basting with more oil about every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more, depending on the size of the turkey. If the skin begins to darken too much, cover it loosely with foil.
- Carefully transfer the turkey to a large, clean cutting board; let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before removing the string and carving.
The key to these perfectly creamy mashed potatoes is not over stirring them once the half-and-half has been added.
Total Time: 40 minutes Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 6
- * 2 1/2 pound(s) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-1/2-inch cubes
- * Kosher salt
- * Freshly ground pepper
- * 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted
- * 3/4 cup(s) half-and-half, heated
- In a large pot, cover potatoes with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.
- Drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander and return to the pot. Add melted butter and, using a potato masher, mash potatoes to desired consistency. (For a smoother texture, pass potatoes through a ricer instead.)
- Stir in half-and-half and 1 teaspoon salt to combine and until potatoes are creamy. Do not overstir or potatoes will become gluey. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. To punch up this classic dish with savory add-ins, see above.
Add a little life to your Thanksgiving green beans with this fun use of gremolata. Even your pickiest eater will enjoy the bright, cheesy flavor of this updated classic.
Total Time: 30 minutes Prep Time: 20 minutes Serves: 8
- * 2 pound(s) French green beans (haricots verts) or regular green beans, trimmed
- * 1/3 cup(s) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- * 1/3 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- * 1/4 cup(s) toasted pine nuts
- * 2 tablespoon(s) (from about 2 lemons) grated lemon peel
- * 4 teaspoon(s) (from about 4 cloves) finely chopped garlic
- * 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
- * Kosher salt
- * Black pepper
- Heat covered 7- to 8-quart sauce-pot of water to boiling on high. Add green beans and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. While beans cook, fill large bowl with ice and cold water.
- Drain green beans well and transfer to bowl of ice water; stir until beans are completely cool. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Green beans may be refrigerated in resealable plastic bag up to 3 days.
- Prepare gremolata: In medium bowl, combine parsley, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon peel, and garlic.
- To serve, heat oil in same sauce-pot on medium-high. Add green beans; cook 2 minutes or until hot and coated with oil, tossing. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with gremolata, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teasppon pepper; toss until well coated.
Oven Temp: 375 degrees Serves: 6 to 8
- * 2 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- * 1 pound(s) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- * 4 ounce(s) (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- * 2 1/2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh sage
- * 1 1/2 cup(s) whole milk, warmed
- * Coarse salt
- * Freshly ground pepper
- * 1 cup(s) fresh breadcrumbs, from 3 slices white bread, crusts removed
- Place sweet potatoes and potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water, and season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 9 minutes. Drain; pass through a ricer into a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt 1 stick butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add 2 tablespoons sage. Stir butter mixture and milk into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. (Mixture can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
- Combine breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sage. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Top potato mixture with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around edges and breadcrumbs are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Total Time: 30 minutes Prep Time: 30 minutes Serves: 8
- * Roasting pan with turkey drippings, neck, and giblets
- * 1 cup(s) dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- * 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- * 2 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- * 1/4 cup(s) bourbon
- * 1/4 cup(s) heavy cream
- * Coarse salt
- * Ground pepper
- Discard neck; coarsely chop giblets, and return to roasting pan. Place pan on stove across 2 burners (if using a disposable roasting pan, scrape contents into a medium saucepan). Bring drippings to a boil over medium-high; cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is brown and syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes (if bottom of pan is about to scorch, lower heat).
- Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until very syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add broth, then 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy reaches desired thickness, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in bourbon; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in cream. (If gravy is too thick, add water as necessary.) Pour gravy through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan; discard solids. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm; whisk before serving.
Check out this “real” cranberry sauce that has chunks of whole fruit, unlike the smooth canned-and-jellied kind.
Total Time: 25 minutes Prep Time: 5 minutes Yields: 4 Cups
- * 1 pound(s) fresh or frozen cranberries
- * 1 1/2 cup(s) apple juice
- * 1 cup(s) sugar
- In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries with the apple juice and sugar. Simmer over low heat until the berries burst and the sauce is jammy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a heatproof bowl, let cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
Total Time: 2 hours Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 10
- * 30 small gingersnap cookies, (about 7 1/2 ounces)
- * 2 tablespoon(s) raisins
- * 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
- * 1 cup(s) canned pumpkin puree
- * 1/3 cup(s) packed brown sugar
- * 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
- * 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
- * 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly grated nutmeg
- * 2 cup(s) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened (see Tip, below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
- To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Tip: To soften ice cream quickly, microwave on Medium-Low for 30 to 60 seconds.