by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 9th, 2014
by Allison Milam in Holidays, View All Posts, November 8th, 2014
If Valentine’s Day is a day for hopeless romantics, then Thanksgiving is surely one for the chefs among us. From the crowd of company seated at the dining room table to the crowning turkey centerpiece and the 10 or so side dishes flanking the buffet, it’s no surprise that those who enjoy cooking for strangers in restaurants would love even more to cook for their families at home, and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is no exception. “It’s my favorite cooking holiday,” Alex told FN Dish of turkey day when we caught up with her recently. For her, Thanksgiving comes twice — once at her restaurant and again with her family—and she notes, “I try to make everything from scratch.”
Read on below to hear more from Alex and find out her must-have bites on Thanksgiving, plus a few of her make-head tips for the feast.
What does Thanksgiving look like at your house? What kinds of traditions do you celebrate?
Alex Guarnaschelli: I have two Thanksgivings every year. The first one I do at the restaurant with my restaurant family, and we cook a whole big spread and we sit down, no matter how busy we are, and we take the time to hang out. And then I cook for my parents. My parents like to eat out in a restaurant, which is kind of embarrassing for a professional chef to be caught, busted, in a restaurant on Thanksgiving. So, if my parents really want to go out, we go out, but then I cook a whole spread at home for my daughter and my parents. And I try to make almost everything from scratch. It’s my favorite cooking holiday of the year. It’s a time, I think, when a chef just goes nuts and just does everything, and so I want to make sure I don’t miss anything.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, November 7th, 2014
There is nothing quite like rolling into your Thanksgiving feast with a homemade, fresh-from-the-oven pie. Whether pumpkin or pecan, apple or peanut butter, a good pie ends the biggest meal of the year on a high note that can carry you through till next November. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and all that is sweet, Food Network presents step-by-step how-tos for building the perfect pie, revealing the ins and outs of everything from making the perfect crust to giving your slice a unique, unexpected touch (spoiler alert: fire is involved).
by Allison Milam in Holidays, Recipes, November 6th, 2014
Stuffing or dressing, in the bird or out, cornbread or sourdough, crispy edges or not — no matter what you call the bread-based side dish on your Thanksgiving table or how you prefer to eat it, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without it. This year, honor the traditional dish while dressing up your feast with fresh, new flavors by putting a few twists on classic recipes. Read on below for go-to recipe inspiration for stuffings and dressings from Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, Tyler Florence and Giada De Laurentiis, then check out Food Network’s Thanksgiving Central for more side dish selections.
Ina sticks to tried-and-true dish in her recipe for Sausage and Herb Stuffing (pictured above), a crowd-pleasing casserole made with the trifecta of classic stuffing ingredients: apples, onions and celery. Follow Ina’s recipe and use either white or sourdough bread to form the base of the casserole, then opt for sweet or spicy sausage, depending on your family’s tastes. After mixing in the cranberries, plus a splash of chicken stock for moisture, bake the stuffing until it’s turned deliciously browned on top.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, November 5th, 2014
From the stuffing to the mashed potatoes, there are certain sides you just can’t do without on Thanksgiving. Now, more than ever, once-unloved Brussels sprouts have eclipsed a lot of other vegetables, working to balance an otherwise heavy meal. As you begin brainstorming the must-haves for your Thanksgiving menu, be sure to work these simple yet to-die-for Brussels sprouts sides into the lineup.
1. Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts — Ina Garten’s Brussels sprouts (pictured above) are perhaps the most elegant of all, layering the flavor of salty diced pancetta with fruity, tart balsamic vinegar.
2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts — Food Network Magazine’s back-to-basics recipe may simply involve roasting, but the smart addition of red pepper flakes, white wine vinegar and honey leave every caramelized sprout layered with flavor.
3. Brussels Sprouts Gratin — This cheesy veggie side takes only five ingredients, including a topping of Gruyère cheese that instills a creamy nuttiness in every bite.
by Rupa Bhattacharya in Holidays, November 5th, 2014
While you want your Thanksgiving dinner guests to have something to munch on when they arrive at your house, you don’t want them to fill up on snacks and ultimately be too full to enjoy the feast. So, when it comes to dishing out appetizers on turkey day, less is more; think small bites of crunchy nuts, a simple soup or a creamy cheese. These fuss-free starters will satisfy the crowd and leave them craving the main event, but — as a bonus for you, the host or hostess — most are quick to prepare. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving appetizer recipes to find ideas fit for the feast, then check out Thanksgiving Central for more appetizer inspiration.
5. Devilish Eggs — Ready to eat in less than 25 minutes, these classic deviled eggs are lightened up with the help of tofu, which stretches the traditionally indulgent mustard-laced yolk filling.
4. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — Follow Alton Brown’s lead and save time in the kitchen by starting with frozen spinach and frozen artichokes to make his quick-fix dip. He mixes tangy sour cream with cream cheese, plus a dollop of mayonnaise and a pinch of garlic powder, for over-the-top richness.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, November 5th, 2014
Butter is back — though depending on whom you ask, it never went away — and there’s no better time to celebrate it than on one of the most butter-friendly holidays of the year.
We’re starting to see more and more varieties of butter in stores — not just the regular salted and unsalted sticks, but local butters, grass-fed butters, cultured (sometimes called European-style) butters and even goat butters. Here’s what you need to know for your butteriest Thanksgiving yet.
by Sara Levine in Holidays, Restaurants, November 4th, 2014
The Thanksgiving turkey: It’s the centerpiece of your holiday table and perhaps the most-craved component of the feast. But for many, turkeys are also the trickiest part of the menu to make, thanks in part to the fact that it’s likely been a year since you’ve cooked a bird of this size. This holiday season, however, tackle your turkey fears once and for all with the help of Food Network’s go-to turkey-roasting guide; all it takes is a few good-to-know tips and simple steps to turn out your juiciest, crispiest-skinned bird yet. Read on below to learn the basics of cooking a turkey, then check out How to Roast Turkey to get all of the details.
by Maria Russo in Holidays, Recipes, November 4th, 2014
Would you try turkey-flavored ice cream? Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey, to be exact – made with turkey-fat caramel and speckled with fried-turkey skin brittle? Bacon has already crossed over into dessert territory, and now at one adventurous ice cream shop, poultry is getting in the game.
This month at Portland’s Salt & Straw, the Thanksgiving feast has been reimagined as a five-course menu of ice cream flavors. Co-owner Tyler Malek and R&D manager Kat Whitehead fine-tuned their seasonal flavors for months, and when FN Dish visited Portland over the summer, they gave us a sneak peek at the process of turning the classic holiday meal into a sweet, creamy flight. Read more
by Caitlyn Callegari in Holidays, Recipes, November 3rd, 2014
One of the trickiest parts of pulling off Thanksgiving dinner is ensuring that each of the (many, many) components of the meal are ready to eat — and are warm — at the same time. For many, deciding when and how to delegate the precious oven and stove spaces becomes a puzzle as they make mental notes of how long the turkey ought to rest, how quickly water can boil for the potatoes and at what temperature the rolls should bake. This year, however, with the help of Ina Garten, the ever-together hostess, you can tackle one key element of the feast ahead of time: mashed potatoes.
The success of mashed potatoes depends on a super-creamy finished product, and sure enough, when you follow Ina’s boil-and-bake method for her make-ahead Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes from Food Network Magazine, pictured above, the results are soft, smooth spuds. Instead of simply mashing potatoes and letting them rest until dinner — which would likely cause them to turn tough — she assembles the rich, cheesy dish up to three days in advance, refrigerates it, then bakes it with a Parmesan cheese topping before eating.
There’s no denying it, Thanksgiving can be a hectic holiday. If you’re longing for a new homemade recipe to add to your menu, then we’ve got the perfect solution. This year, leave those canned rolls on the store shelves. Yeast Rolls are the ideal authentic side dish that you can prepare intermittently as you’re doing the important prep work for the more-intricate dishes like the turkey. The appeal of this dish goes beyond its minimal degree of attentiveness; while you’re letting the Yeast Rolls do their thing, the nostalgic and delightful aroma of yeast will waft through your kitchen, making everyone feel at home at your Thanksgiving feast.