Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to go shopping for fresh, local ingredients to make this your best Thanksgiving ever! This year we bring together some of our favorite traditional dishes like herb-roasted turkey, combined with sweet potato gratin, sautéed Brussel sprouts, and horseradish mashed potatoes. Finish with ginger pumpkin pie and old-time apple pie. Savor this Thanksgiving, and enjoy with your friends and family.
1 ½ cups salt
4 cups brown sugar
4 sprigs of rosemary
6 sprigs of sage
2 lemons, halved
2 gallons boiling water
1 fresh or thawed turkey (about 18-20 lb.)
2 pounds of butter, melted
2 sprigs rosemary, thyme and sage, chopped
Salt and pepper
Place turkey in brine for 10-12 hours in a container large enough to cover the turkey with brine, and keep it cool in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry with paper towel and place in a roasting pan. Combine melted butter, honey, and herbs and rub butter over turkey skin. Insert several sprigs of sage and 1 rosemary sprig inside of turkey (along with stuffing, if using). Place turkey, uncovered in oven. Every 30-40 minutes, baste with herbed honey-butter. When the thickest part of the thigh is 160 degrees then the turkey is done. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it cool from about 20 minutes. Garnish with Rosemary and sage, dressing, or roasted vegetables.
Sweet Potato Gratin
6 Sweet Potatoes
1 pint of cream
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 shallots finely chopped
Combine shallots, garlic and rosemary sprigs with cream. Peel potatoes and slice on a mandolin, then place directly into the cream. Layer a casserole dish with sweet potatoes, salt, cracked pepper and cheese mixture. Repeat layers until you reach ¾ up the casserole dish. Pull out rosemary sprigs and pour cream over top. Finish with cheese mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until firm. Gratin should be golden brown on top.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Pancetta
2 lb Brussels sprouts
2-3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. shallots, chopped (about 2 large shallots)
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
3-4 slices of Pancetta, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil Brussels sprouts in 8 cups salted water until tender, then place into ice water bath. Sauté pancetta and garlic in butter for several minutes over medium heat. Remove Brussels sprouts from ice water and cut (vertically) in half. Next, add Brussels sprouts and shallots to pancetta and garlic and cook over high heat until brown on sides, adding more butter if needed. Add chopped thyme, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serves 6-8.
Rustic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
6 red or new potatoes
3 tbsp. Sour cream (optional)
1 cup (low-fat optional) milk, buttermilk or whole whipping cream
½ stick butter
3-4 tbsp. prepared (creamed) horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot of salted water, boil potatoes until very tender, leaving skins on for a more rustic texture. Smash potatoes in pot and add (warmed) milk or cream, and butter. Blend until creamy, and add sour cream, horseradish, and salt and pepper. Serves 6.
1 unbaked and chilled 9-inch pie shell (use basic pie crust recipe below)
1 medium pumpkin, cooked and pureed, about 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla
Turn oven down to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixer, combine the pumpkin and the brown sugar. Then add eggs, evaporated milk, spices salt, flour, butter, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Next, pour the filling into the chilled pie and place on the center oven rack. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Check after about 35 minutes. When the filling is set, place the pie on to cool.
Old-Time Apple Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
¼ cup ice water
Sift flour and salt together. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into small bits and add to the flour. Work flour and butter together. Add ice water slowly to the pastry, and press pastry together into a ball.
About 9 apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp. butter, cubed
Make pie crust pastry according to directions. Roll out on to floured surface and place into a 9 inch pie plate and crimp edges. Place sliced apples inside pie crust, sprinkle with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and dot with cubed butter. Roll out remaining pie crust and cut into leaf shapes with a cookie cutter or traced leaf shapes and cut with a knife. Brush with oil or melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Cover pie with pastry leaves and place pie in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in oven for around 45 minutes, or until crust is brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Recipes by Chef Emily Buller and Karen Grimes