It’s always nice to have an extra day to be grateful and whether you partake in Thanksgiving or not, many enjoy the traditional recipes associated with it. I love the food, everything from the roasted turkey, and stuffing to the delicious pies. Today, I’m sharing some staple recipes like Best Roasted Turkey and Chocolate Pecan Pie, and also some new trendy items that people have been requesting, like Fried Turkey (can you imagine I received over 100 requests for this technique) and horseradish dill mashed potatoes. These recipes include fall flavors at peak season and are perfect for a meal with family or friends on Thanksgiving or anytime. Find more Thanksgiving recipes at www.gourmetkoshercooking.com.

Slow-Cooker Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Photo by Taste of Home

Serves 5

This soup gets its “zing” from ginger and cinnamon and an extra creaminess from the non-dairy cream cheese. I make it in a slow cooker just to save space and time to make the other dishes below.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Tofutti cream cheese, softened and cubed

In a small skillet, heat margarine until melted. Add onions and cook until softened.

Place cooked onions in a 5-or 6-quart slow cooker. Add squash, broth, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon and stir. Cover and cook on low until squash is tender, 6-8 hours.

Cool slightly. Discard cinnamon stick.

With an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Return all to slow cooker. Whisk in cream cheese; cover and cook until cream cheese is melted, about 15 minutes longer.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Cornbread Bites

Makes 12

These fun alternatives to traditional stuffing are not only adorable but very moist and yummy. They can be made with homemade or store-bought croutons instead of cornbread but I love the texture and taste of the cornbread.

 

  • 10 oz. cornbread, cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. crumbled sweet Italian sausage or kielbasa
  • 2 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread cornbread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast, tossing halfway through until golden and crisp, about 12-13 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add sausage and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Return skillet to medium heat and melt margarine. Add onions, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add broth and cook, stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and scrape into the large bowl with the sausage. Cool slightly.

Stir toasted cornbread, cranberries, parsley, and eggs into bowl with cooked vegetables, tossing until bread absorbs liquid and everything is coated but do not overmix. Season with salt and pepper.

Line muffin tins with 12 paper liners. Fill each with stuffing.

Bake until cooked through and golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm.

Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Gremolata

 

Photo by Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6

Caramelized cauliflower topped with garlicky, lemon toasted breadcrumbs.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds or 16 ounce bag frozen cauliflower, defrosted and dried well)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

To roast cauliflower: Heat oven to 400°F. Scatter cauliflower florets evenly over pan and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Place in oven and roast until cauliflower is lightly browned, about 20 to 30 minutes.

To make the gremolata: Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until softened. Add garlic and breadcrumbs, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook until crumbs are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest and juice and remove from heat. Add fresh parsley.

Place roasted cauliflower in a serving dish and top with gremolata.

Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

Traditional and sweet. This is a classic recipe and definitely a keeper for all year long.

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting pan. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender and lightly browned.

Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Serve warm and sprinkle with sea salt.

FRIED Turkey

 

Photo by Mike Thompson

Serves 10

You asked for it! You got it! Here are the official instructions for brining and frying a whole turkey. This is best done in a fryer (if you have one? I borrowed one to create this recipe) and I did it outside on the BBQ for safety. .

  • 6 quarts hot water
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 5 pounds ice
  • 1 (13 to 14-pound) turkey, with giblets removed
  • Approximately 4 to 4 1/2 gallons peanut oil* (See Note)

Place the hot water, kosher salt and brown sugar into a 5-gallon upright drink cooler and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Add ice and stir until mixture is cool. Gently lower the turkey into the container. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure that it is fully immersed in the brine. Cover and set in a cool dry place for 8 to 16 hours. Note* kosher turkey is essentially brined in the kashering process. I’ve included these instructions because most people do this additional brining to add flavor before frying.

Remove turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Place the oil into a 28 to 30-quart pot (or fryer) and set over high heat on an outside propane burner with a sturdy structure. Bring the temperature of the oil to 250° F. Once the temperature has reached 250°F, slowly lower the bird into the oil and bring the temperature to 350°F. Once it has reached 350, lower the heat in order to maintain 350°F. After 35 minutes, check the temperature of the turkey using a probe thermometer. Once the breast reaches 155°F, gently remove from oil and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes prior to carving. The turkey will reach an internal temperature of 165°F due to carry over cooking. Carve as desired.

*In order to determine the correct amount of oil, place the turkey into the pot that you will be frying it in, add water just until it barely covers the top of the turkey and is at least 4 to 5 inches below the top of the pot. This will be the amount of oil you use for frying the turkey.

Perfect Roast Turkey

Serves 12

Easy, amazing, and just how it is titled, Perfect Roast Turkey.

  • 1 (12 pound) fresh turkey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme or assorted herbs, sage, oregano, whatever you like
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4 tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity (use some of the salt and pepper). Stuff the cavity with the thyme, lemon, onion, quartered, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 2 1/2 hours (roast 20 minutes per pound, some people use 325°F and 16 minutes per pound but I like it at 350 better), basting from time to time with pan juices, until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with foil; let it rest for 20 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve hot.

Turkey should register 165°F for appropriate doneness.

Horseradish Dill Mashed Potatoes

Serves 10

For years I was totally loyal to my Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, which you’ll find in my first cookbook, Celebrate. Although I still love that recipe, I’m very excited about this savory and gorgeous alternative. Specks of dill run through these creamy potatoes, and there’s plenty of flavor in every bite. White horseradish is the perfect savory secret ingredient in mashed potatoes.

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup prepared white horseradish or fresh grated horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup soymilk, non-dairy milk or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover and bring pot to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil, covered, until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add horseradish and sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes to soften. Add dill, broth, and soy milk, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 8 minutes.

Drain potatoes into a colander, then return them to the original pot. Add the horseradish mixture and mash the potatoes thoroughly until somewhat smooth with some chunks. Add salt and serve warm.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

Serves 10 - 12

The pecan pie that appears on every Thanksgiving table has nothing on this souped-up

chocolate caramel version. In fact, you may never go back to that boring plain pecan pie

again! To make cookie crumbs, grind approximately 40 chocolate cookies, like tea biscuits

or chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor, using on and off pulses. If using sandwich

cookies, reduce the margarine to 3 tablespoons. This pie freezes well.

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate tea biscuit cookie crumbs or chocolate sandwich cookie
  • crumbs (see above)
  • 5 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) margarine
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons pareve whipping cream
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • Pareve whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Store-bought or homemade caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the crust: In a food processor, blend cookie crumbs, margarine, and vanilla. Press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust for 5 minutes. Cool Completely. For the filling: Combine margarine, brown sugar, and corn syrup in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil 1 minute. Stir in nuts and whipping cream. Boil until mixture thickens just slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is well blended. Pour hot filling into crust and distribute Evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until filling bubbles all over. Let cool. Serve with pareve whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream. Drizzle caramel sauce over pie or on the dessert plate under the pie.