The dinner I cooked for this year’s Thanksgiving was definitely the best one we’ve ever had. With the exception of sauces and dessert, which I will probably vary in the future, I’ve worked out recipes I plan using again and again in the future.
1. Roast Turkey
The third time’s the charm! I prepare and roast my turkey using a combination of methods gleaned from the November 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living and the 2006 edition of Joy of Cooking, as well as personal taste. After two years of brining the bird, I’ve finally worked out the perfect ratio of salt to liquid. This time around, I rubbed spice butter under and over the skin of the turkey before roasting―the amount of crushed pepper flakes was, of course, halved. Brining the turkey pretty much guarantees perfectly seasoned and moist meat.
2. Mushroom and Walnut Stuffing
Not wishing to repeat the disaster that was the sweet potato stuffing from last year, I decided to give the traditional mushroom and nuts combination a try. It was a resounding success and is now my stuffing of choice.
3. Fluffy Mashed Potatoes with White Wine Gravy
I pretty much just eyeball my mashed potatoes―half russet potatoes and half white sweet potatoes boiled until tender, mashed with a fork, and whipped with an electric mixer with about half a pint of heavy cream. It is important not to salt the mashed potatoes though; since the gravy is made from drippings of a turkey that was brined, it turns out much saltier than one would expect.
4. Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish
While skeptical about putting cranberries, pomegranate, sugar, and shallots together, I still decided to give this sauce a try, and I’m glad I did! It tasted amazing with the turkey.
5. Mulled Cider
The grocery store decided to hide all the jugs of Martinelli’s, so I just used regular apple juice for this. It is simply heated with a couple sticks of cinnamon and a dozen crushed pods of cardamom, giving it a wonderful hint of spice.
6. Frozen Maple-Mousse Pie with Candied Cranberries
Although it is closer to soft maple ice cream with pieces of pecan, this pie is nonetheless absolutely heavenly, with the added benefit of not requiring the use of an oven. Word of warning about topping it with candied cranberries: all the sweetness might make your teeth stick together. ;)