One of the best gifts a cook can receive right now is the New York Times Food section Thanksgiving issue.It has hints, suggestions and recipes for how to have any kind of holiday from turkey centric to total full on vegan. This is a keeper issue, because it has everything to create a good dinner that can be carried from Thanksgiving to the winter holidays.
Everyone has weighed on these pages, from Sam Sifton to Julia Moskin to Melissa Clark with an input about what to drink from the Times wine expert , Eric Asimov.One of the most important articles is the shopping list.Of course home chefs will buy the obvious, the turkey and sweet potatoes, but also butter for pie crusts and rolls along with stock and fresh herbs. There should be also sweets like maple syrup and brown sugar along with - surprisingly- sorbet for vegans and as a palate cleanser on the turkey day shopping list .There are also suggestions such as making the stock because t's vital not just in making gravy but also in deglazing pans.Another strong recommendation is cooking ahead of time so there is not a lot of prep time the day of. Of course the last recommendation is dessert. Try baking a few days before, and branch out to include cakes , ice cream mousses and flans to name a few. However if you get a late start , no big deal. They suggest cut up or spatchcock the turkey so you can have room to roast veggies too. Make the gravy from pan dripping and outsource the pie to the guests.
Vegans are also addressed in this issue. after all they can be the roadblock to having a good Thanksgiving.If you're not serving a turkey , you should be serving something big and attention getting. The issue recommends two large beets or better yet a roasted cauliflower or a platter of stuffed squash.There is a recipe for the last and it combines traditional Thanksgiving flavors such as cranberries and the sharp surprise of blue cheese. Kale and whole grain bread croutons round out the stuffing . Pecans are added for protein and maple syrup for flavor. A perfect side with this is the wild mushrooms and Brussels sprouts with chestnuts in a kind of hot salad.There's also a mushroom make ahead gravy for those who want to dip their rolls into something.It is seasoned with soy sauce and the faux meaty flavor comes from Portobello mushrooms. Home chefs could also make the rosemary roasted winter squash casserole/It's even an easy bake for inexperienced chefs or novices too.The issue also recommends stick with your level of expertise. Don't try anything too complicated or over reaching. stick to your comfort zone and run with it.
Please keep or print out the Times Food Thanksgiving issue, This is a great read that can help in creating a memorable Thanksgiving. It is a keeper issue that home chefs can use through out the holiday season.