Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

The start of the holiday season in my home growing up was always marked by the arrival of a substantial pile of dogeared food magazines next to both sides of my parents' bed, as they hunted for recipe inspiration in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.  That tradition has definitely lived on with me (and generally does so year-round), as well as the 2.0 version, in the form of a ever-growing file of bookmarked recipes on my computer.

As I start to put 2010's menu together, here are a few superstar Thanksgiving recipes that I return to again and again, from those treasured November issues.

Mushroom Soup with Hazelnut Gremolata.  A deeply flavored, incredibly rich, yet cream-less soup, that makes you sing the praises of all things mushroom.

Butternut Squash and Polenta Gratin.  A gorgeous, bright orange, creamy revelation.

Yeast-Raised Cornbread Rolls with Corn Kernels and Chives.  The perfect Thanksgiving breadbasket.  Would also make outstanding stuffing.

Duck-Fat Rubbed Roast Turkey.  Not only was this recipe developed by my favorite locavore chef, Bill Telepan, but it cooks in AN HOUR AND A HALF, for a 14 lb turkey.  Year after year it is the best turkey I've tasted, and I'll never use another method.  And the opening up of oven space and time is a gift from the gods.

Pear, Prosecco and Black Pepper Cocktail.  This complex, yet refreshing, holiday cocktail is totally unexpected, but not intimidatingly weird.

7 responses to “Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup”

  1. Kristen says:

    Ummm. Where do I sign up!

  2. Lauren says:

    I am debating between making the Herbed Polenta & Parmesan Gratin on Food & Wine and the Butternut Squash and Polenta Gratin you mentioned above. You listed it is as one you make again and again. How would you rate it? Any tips on making this recipe? I haven’t seen many reviews for this on the Internet but it sounds so yummy! Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Catie says:

    Hi Lauren!
    Thanks for checking out my blog.
    The polenta gratin recipe that I have here is definitely one of my favorites, Thanksgiving or not. I find it very difficult to not eat it all right out of the pan, and have enough for the baking dish. I haven’t tried the other one you mentioned, but it also looks very good. Looks though, like it is a lot higher in fat and calories, with the milk, cream and eggs, which sounds perfectly delicious, but on a day when there will be no shortage of things to eat, I’d personally opt to eliminate the calories where I can. The squash recipe is definitely rich and creamy though, and the slices of squash on the top make for a gorgeous presentation. Plus I like that you get a serving of vegetable in with it, instead of being just a starchy side dish, giving you a big helping fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. Hope you have a great holiday!

  4. Jake says:

    Great blog! I came here after searching out Bill Telepan’s duck fat recipe, which looks fantastic and I’m gonna give a shot this year. One question: one of our guests can’t eat butter, and we were gonna use duck fat as the kind of butter replacement for basting the bird. Is this going to be too much? Would just a neutral oil, like a grapeseed oil or something similar, be a better choice to sub in for butter?

  5. Catie says:

    Hi Jake!
    Thanks so much for checking out the blog.
    First, excellent choice on the Telepan recipe. We’ve done it for several years now (and made it first in a master class with Bill), and it is always stunningly good.

    I think substituting duck fat for the butter used on the outside of the bird on roasting day should be fine. The duck fat flavor shouldn’t be too overpowering, and I think the poultry richness, as opposed to just a neutral oil, would be a really nice addition. Plus duck fat has less saturated fat than butter, so think of all of the extra pie you can justify. Also, use any extra fat to saute up some potatoes, or mushrooms, for breakfast the next day. So decadent.

    Thanks again and hope your thanksgiving is outstanding.

  6. Jake says:

    Thanks for the response! One other question: saw a slightly different version of the recipe over at at Tastebook, which uses some Cook’s Illustrated technique for roasting (http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/856660-Duck-Fat-Rubbed-Roast-Turkey) — the main difference being the temp stays at 400 with the new recipe, instead of the high temperature and then lower in Telepan, and that you rotate the turkey around, I’m guessing to try to prevent the white meat from drying out. Any reason why I wouldn’t use this one? I notice it doesn’t mention making the giblet stock and turkey gravy.

    Spent a nice afternoon at work clicking around the blog some more. Really love photography. Nice work.

  7. Catie says:

    Hi Jake– I got involved with my own family and the holiday, so sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you before cooking day. The other recipe looks interesting. I’ve never had any issues with the meat getting dried out in the Telepan one, so not sure what the alterations in the newer recipe are trying to fix. What did you end up doing? How did it turn out? Thanks again!

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Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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