Thanksgiving is not only a time to gather gratefully and feast. It’s a time to share special dishes, break out “special occasion” recipes and take on more complex kitchen endeavors, even if they require more steps than what you normally might tolerate.
But it’s all so worth it because it’s Thanksgiving, holiday of home cooks. So be brave, bold and bountiful!
In that spirit, we offer the makings of a meal composed of some of our favorite recipes.
We also offer a wish that your table be surrounded by love and laden with delicious food.
Unless otherwise noted, the following recipes are by Chef Lenore Pinello of the In the Kitchen cook space and shop in Tequesta.
Roast Tom Turkey with Sage Butter
The following recipe for roasted turkey with sage butter carries the fragrance of sage, bay leaves and onions, and the rich, round notes of butter and chicken broth.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Salt and pepper, to season
1 16-pound turkey
3 cups white and pale green chopped leeks
8 large fresh sage sprigs
3 bay leaves, crumbled
2 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth
Fresh sage sprigs
Fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and sage in medium bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Place leeks, 8 sage sprigs and bay leaves in cavity. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen. Spread 1/3 cup sage butter over breast meat under skin.
3. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub 2 tablespoons sage butter over outside of turkey. Set aside 1/3 cup butter for gravy; reserve remainder for basting.
4. Position rack in bottom third of oven. Pour 1/3 cup broth over turkey. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 180 degrees, basting every 30 minutes with 1/3 cup broth and occasionally brushing with sage butter, about 3 hours.
5. Transfer turkey to platter, tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove rack from pan.
Serves up to 8 to 12.
Pan juices, defatted
4 cups turkey broth
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup or bowl. Spoon off fat; discard. Pour juices back into pan. Set pan over 2 burners set on high heat. Add 4 cups broth. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, scraping up browned bits, about 10 minutes. Whisk in flour and butter. Season with pepper.
Stuffing with Italian Sausage, Apples
One 1 1/2-pound loaf focaccia or ciabatta bread, crust removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 13 cups)
2 pounds Italian pork sausage, casings removed
2 large onions, chopped (about 4 generous cups)
2 cups chopped celery (about 5 stalks)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
6 cups 1/2-inch cubes (about 28 ounces) peeled Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bread to very large bowl.
2. Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces with back of fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl with bread cubes.
3. Add onions and celery to drippings in skillet; sauté until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread-sausage mixture (do not clean skillet).
4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl with bread mixture.
5. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage; stir 30 seconds. Add sage butter to bowl with bread-sausage mixture; toss to blend. Season stuffing with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add broth to stuffing and toss to mix. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake stuffing uncovered until top is golden and crisp in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.
Serves 8 to 12.
STUFFED MINI PUMPKINS
Prepare 4 mini pumpkins:
1. Cut tops off pumpkins. Using a large spoon, or ice cream scoop, scoop out seeds and strings. Place pumpkins upside down on parchment-lined baking pan. Don’t forget to bake the tops.
2. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove tops and set them aside to cool. Carefully turn pumpkins upright and return to oven until flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 to 10 more minutes.
1 cup red rice or wild rice
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 cups water
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Rinse red rice in water. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pot, add rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover pot. Cook for 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
2. Heat large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add cooked rice, mix in juice, zest cranberries and onions, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Stuff rice into pumpkins, add “top hat” and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Recipe from “Gluten-Free Girl American Classics Reinvented” by Shauna James Ahern (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99)
1 1/2 pounds. green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
For the crispy onions:
2/3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
Peanut oil or lard for frying
For the casserole:
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (if you’re using boxed stock, make sure it’s gluten-free)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
1/2 cup coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Put a large bowl of ice water in the sink. Put the green beans in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. (If the beans are slender, cook for 3 minutes.) Plunge the hot green beans into the ice water. Let them sit for 1 minute, then immediately drain the water. Dry the beans with a towel and spread them out on a baking sheet to air-dry entirely.
3. Put the flour and salt and pepper for the onions into a wide bowl. Toss the onions in the flour to coat entirely. Put enough fat into a large cast-iron skillet to make a depth of 1 inch. Set the skillet over medium-high heat. When you can flick a tip-of-your-finger-full of water into the fat and it sizzles, you are ready to fry. Lower a light layer of the sliced onions into the fat and fry until they are lightly golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the onions are fried. Set them aside for later.
4. Pour the stock into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low and keep it at a simmer. Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put the butter in the skillet. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are hot and wilted, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Toss the flour over the tops of the mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms are fully coated. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot stock into the skillet, stirring constantly. When the stock is incorporated into the mushrooms and bubbly hot, add another 1/4 cup. Continue this until all the stock is added and the sauce is thick. Add the coconut milk and keep stirring until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
6. Put the green beans into a large baking dish. Pour in the mushroom sauce. Toss until everything is coated. Sprinkle a bit of pepper on top. Top with the crisp onions. Bake until the sauce is bubbly around the edges of the onions, about 15 minutes.
Kentucky Hot Brown with Manchego-Jalapeño Mornay Sauce
This recipe appears in the book “Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style” (The Taunton Press), by Anthony Lamas.
For the Manchego-Jalapeño Mornay Sauce:
4 cups heavy cream
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed, 1 cut into 1⁄4-inch dice and the other sliced, for garnish
2 cups grated Manchego cheese
For the Hot Browns:
Nonstick cooking spray, for the dishes
12 slices French bread or Texas Toast, toasted and crusts removed
1 1⁄2 pounds roasted and sliced turkey breast
12 strips bacon, cooked
12 to 18 slices heirloom tomatoes, lightly salted
Grated Manchego cheese, for topping
Position a rack in the center of a convection oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, warm the heavy cream with the nutmeg, white pepper, and salt over medium heat just until the mixture has bubbles around the edges of the pan but it is not boiling. Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour, stirring or whisking constantly to make a blonde roux; cook for 2 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Slowly add the warm cream to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps and until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add the diced jalapeños and cheese and whisk until the cheese has melted and everything is blended. Adjust the seasonings. Keep warm.
Assemble the Hot Browns:
Each Hot Brown will be assembled and cooked in an individual greased oval casserole dish. Assembling one serving at a time, place 2 slices of toast on the bottom of the dish. Top each with sliced turkey and then 3⁄4 cup Manchego-Jalapeño Mornay Sauce. Place the bacon slices on top, add the tomatoes, and top with grated Manchego. Place the dish in the oven and cook until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.