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The Cookstr 10: Ten Recipes for Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010

Before we segue into the first verse of “We Gather Together,” or any other Thanksgiving-appropriate ditty, we have one more song to sing. It’s Happy Birthday…to us! Today is our second birthday, and what we are thankful for is you, and all of our extraordinary contributors. We’ve relished the pleasure and the ongoing process of building Cookstr into a place where great home cooks and great recipes from cookbooks can make each other’s acquaintances. So, many thanks for reading the newsletters, and visiting the site, and for giving us so much welcome and helpful feedback over the past two years. We are truly grateful.

Sara Foster's Classic Mashed Potatoes

Some people don’t like having their birthdays during the holiday season…understandably, folks might feel like their special day gets lost in the hustle bustle of the celebrations. We, however, love it. What other time of year prompts more get-togethers, more feasts, more reasons to spend time in the kitchen? The fact that our birthday coincides with the beginning of the cooking-est time of the year seems just about perfect to us.

Judy Rodgers' Mixed Lettuces with Roasted Cherries, Hazelnuts & Warm Saint-Marcellin

So, Thanksgiving, here we come. We hope the following 10 dishes give you some inspiration for your gatherings, and there are plenty more recipes where these came from. And don’t forget to peruse last week’s issue of The Cookstr 10, dedicated to joy in a crust, pies and tarts. As for us, we’ll be putting a birthday candle in our pumpkin pie.

1. Rick Rodgers’ Perfect Roast Turkey with Best Ever Gravy. This is a great blueprint for a sensational turkey. Stuffed with your favorite stuffing, with foil covering the breast to keep it juicy, the whole dish is very unfussy. While the cooked turkey rests, you get to work making a simple gravy, and turkey nirvana is achieved.

2. Anna Thomas’s Bread Stuffing with Apples and Walnuts (for Turkey or for a Casserole). Making a stuffing on the side allows you to get a nice crust on top, which many people love, and also allows you to have a robust dish for those who chose to skip the meat at Thanksgiving. It can certainly be stuffed inside the turkey as well, and is nicely textured with apples, raisins, and walnuts.

3. Christopher Idone’s Candied Sweet Potatoes. Any time you are making a big feast, it’s a good trick to have one or two dishes that look and taste great, but are ridiculously easy on the cook. This enables you to show off a bit, but not end up running out of the house weeping. Sweet potatoes are boiled in water infused with a hefty dose of sugar, and then all that’s left to do is dot the potatoes with butter and serve.

4. Leslie Revsin’s Green Beans with Radicchio. Green beans are often the vegetable drafted to the Thanksgiving menu, and these are blended with the beautiful color and hint of bitterness that radicchio offers. A squeeze of lemon gives it a ping at the end.

5. Sara Foster’s Classic Mashed Potatoes. Once, and only once, did my (Katie’s) family think about skipping the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, thinking we had enough starches on the table. My sister walked in, took one look, and marched out to the supermarket to buy a bag of potatoes. We shan’t make that mistake again.

6. Anne Bramley’s Citrus Bacon Brussels Sprouts. We’re not even going to address the ongoing conversation about who likes Brussels sprouts and who doesn’t and why. These are marvelous, firm and meaty, and coated with a luscious sauce made from shallots, broth, ale, orange, brown sugar, and bits of crispy bacon.

7. Judy Rodgers’ Mixed Lettuces with Roasted Cherries, Hazelnuts & Warm Saint Marcellin. This is a fine-looking salad for sure. Your choice of lightly dressed young lettuces (and have fun picking out different kinds and colors) are topped with seasoned and roasted cherries and toasted hazelnuts, and served with a warm wedge of creamy cheese alongside. This is the kind of salad that pretty much demands to be served solo, as a course on its own, which is nice to keep in mind if you have vegetarians at the table.

8. Diane Morgan’s Cranberry-Orange Relish with Mint. The cranberry sauce may not be the centerpiece of the meal, but, for most of us, without the cranberry Thanksgiving would be just another turkey dinner. The food processor makes short work of crushing up the berries and the orange, and the sparkle of fresh mint is a nice lift to a mostly heavy meal.

9. Linda and Martha Greenlaw’s Peas and Turnips with Dill Butter. Another great veg option for your T-Day spread. Earthy turnips and frozen peas are enhanced with a spry dill butter, and you can keep this dish veggie, or add the optional bacon for extra flavor.

10. Sara Moulton’s Thanksgiving Hens. If you are having a smaller crew, or are interested in something a little more sophisticated, check out this recipe for Rock Cornish game hens, which allow you to serve each guest their very own bird. They take only about an hour to prepare, each comes with its very own stuffing, and you avoid any haggling over the drumsticks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    November 28, 2010 9:59 am

    Happy 2nd Birthday! I love you guys…;0)

  2. increase pinterest followers permalink
    March 6, 2013 5:31 am

    HEy hey that’s pretty amazing article, well done, well i am in between of writing an ebook which will go for sale on amazon, i was wondering if i could use article with proper credits ofcourse, only if you allow

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