This menu was originally created for Thanksgiving in 2000. We've used it ever since in one form or another. In 2005 we added Dom's vegetarian stuffing. In 2010 we added a mean cornbread stuffing, though we substituted sourdough. In 2012 we went back to basics with a three-ingredient brined turkey and simple gravy.

Future Contenders


http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=21026
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/creamed-onions-with-crispy-bacon-recipe/index.html
http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/11/creamed-onions-with-bacon-and-chives/
http://nymag.com/listings/recipe/creamed-pearl-onions/

Menu


  • Carrot Soup with Corriander
  • Mixed Greens with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cherries
  • Creamed Corn Cornbread
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Roast Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • New England Stuffing
  • Sausage Apple Stuffing
  • Gravy with Optional Giblets
  • Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnuts

Recipes


Carrot Soup with Coriander


4 to 5 tablespoons coriander seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 pounds sliced carrots
3 quarts or six 13 3/4-ounce cans chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup plain yogurt or creme fraiche, for garnish

In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the coriander seeds until golden, about 3 minutes. Shake the seeds constantly until they begin to give off a strong fragrance. Cool and process in a blender or mortar and pestle, into a fine powder. Reserve.

In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. If the carrots are not sweet, add sugar at this time. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Process the soup in a food processor until smooth.

Just before serving, stir in the fresh mint and garnish each bowl with a dollop of yogurt or creme fraiche.

Mixed Greens with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cherries


4 hearts of Romaine lettuce
2 Gala apples
1 bag chopped walnuts
1/4 lb. dried sweet red cherries
1 small block aged parmesan cheese
olive oil
balsalmic vinegar

New England Stuffing


12 ounces fresh white bread (14 slices)
1 medium onion, very coarsely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, halved
2 ribs celery, peeled, cut into 1-inch
pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup Giblet Stock (see recipe)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 120 degrees F. Using on/off turn, coarsely crumble bread in food processor. Arrange bread crumbs in single layer on baking sheet. Bake until bread crumbs are dry, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Increase oven heat to 350 degrees F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch ceramic casserole. Combine onion, mushrooms, and celery in food processor. Using on/off turns, coarsely chop vegetables. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coarsely chopped vegetables and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Combine bread crumbs, sauteed vegetables, sage and thyme in large bowl. Add enough stock to moisten dressing. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer dressing to prepared dish. Bake stuffing until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot.

Sausage and Apple Stuffing


2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups water
2 large bags of your favorite cornbread stuffing crumb
1 pound pork sausage (not links)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 medium apples, cored, sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large pot melt 2 sticks butter in water. When melted add dry cornbread stuffing stirring to incorporate liquid, set aside.

In a large saute pan set over medium high heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and add sausage. With a wooden spoon break up pork and saute until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove sausage to paper towels to drain. In the same saute pan melt remaining butter and saute onions with the garlic and celery until onions are translucent and
celery is crisp tender. Add walnuts and saute for 1 minute. Add apples and saute for one minute more. Remove from heat. Combine cornbread stuffing with sauteed ingredients and stuff turkey. Roast turkey as usual. Alternatively: fill a 9 by 13 by 2 inch pan with the stuffing and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, covered with foil for 1/2
hour. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more.

Mashed Potatoes


2 lb floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
salt to taste
3/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches grated nutmeg

Bring water to a boil in the lower part of a steamer. Put the potatoes in the steamer basket and sprinkle with salt. Place it over the boiling water and steam for about 15 minutes, until very soft.

Heat the milk in a large pot over medium heat. Process the potatoes through the fine disk of a food mill, into the pot. Mix, using a spatula to lift the mixture rather than stirring. Add the oil in a fine stream, lifting continuously.

Salt the puree to taste and add the grated nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Creamed Corn Cornbread


2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup creamed corn
2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven.

In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk together to combine well.

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and creamed corn, whisking together to combine thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. If the batter will not pour, add more buttermilk to the batter.

Add 2 tablespoons canola oil to the cast iron skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back upon the touch, about 20 minutes.

Roast Turkey


1 (14-16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 Tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 Tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the aromatics:

1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves of sage
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of
roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Green Beans with Toasted Hazelnuts


1 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon walnut oil, or hazelnut oil
2 tablespoon hazelnuts, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and set aside. Dry the pot; add oil and heat over low heat. Add hazelnuts and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Return the reserved beans to the pot and toss. Season with salt and pepper.