Dark meat — but just the turkey legs. Sweet potatoes, only they must be in casserole form. Biscuits, never rolls. Pumpkin pie or apple? Both. If there’s one meal where we can get away with being a bit picky, it’s Thanksgiving; after all, everyone has their favorites when it comes to dinner trimmings. Just in time for this morning’s all-new turkey day-themed episode of The Kitchen, FN Dish checked in with each of the five co-hosts to find out what their Thanksgiving plates will look like. Read on below to hear from all five cast members and learn what they’ll be eating and drinking on Thanksgiving.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’d like to give a little shout out to the mashed potato. While the internet will likely now be debating the best way to ensure a juicy turkey (easy: Alton Brown’s brined turkey recipe), or whether stuffing should be cooked inside the bird (I say no), I want to send a little love to the one that really brings it all together; the one item on the Thanksgiving plate that gives gravy its own little well, clearly recognizing that it is far too delicious to be merely drizzled over things. Thank you, mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are the perfect comfort food. Eaten alone, they are rich, creamy and earthy. And paired with roasted meats or stews, they become the supporting player, letting the meat shine. At Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes share their space on the plate with an interloping carb, stuffing. And still, the meal seems somehow to make sense. All this, and they are cheap, too! (A tip: Potatoes are usually a much better deal in the 5-pound bag than loose.)
Sweet potatoes are good, and good for you. Most comfort-food recipes absolutely drown them in butter and sugar. I haven’t always been fond of sweet potatoes. Then, I realized it wasn’t the sweet potato I didn’t like; it was the insane amounts of granulated sugar, brown sugar, marshmallows, maple syrup, vanilla extract and butter Southerners traditionally heap on top of them. With all that added flavor, it’s impossible to taste the naturally sweet and earthy essence of the actual sweet potato! In regard to marshmallows, frankly, I prefer them in a steaming cup of cocoa or sandwiched with a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers! This down-home-comfort fall dish is certainly sweet enough and is topped with a seasonally appropriate partner of chopped pecans. Read more
by Cindy Augustine
One of the busiest pizza nights of the year is — wait for it — the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It makes perfect sense: With most Americans prepping turkeys, chopping veggies and baking pies, who has time to make dinner? Fortunately, a hot and tasty meal is only a phone call, and sometimes just a delivery, away. Here are some of the best independent pizza spots across the country — no reservations required. Check out the full gallery to find the best pies near your Thanksgiving destination. Read more
Next to the turkey, the potatoes, stuffing and vegetables often compete for the spotlight on your Thanksgiving table, but there’s one tangy side that’s not to be forgotten: cranberry sauce. This year, instead of opting for the jellied stuff from a can, make your own cranberry side dish from scratch. Most recipes call for only a few ingredients and can be made ahead of the feast, so the dish will likely be one of the easiest you make all season long. Read on below to find go-to cranberry sauces from Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay and more chefs, then check out Food Network’s entire collection of top cranberry sauces for more inspiration.
A tried-and-true classic you can count on, Tyler’s Cranberry-Orange Sauce (pictured above) boasts the subtle warmth of fragrant cinnamon, which he balances with bright, refreshing orange juice.
With less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, you have likely ordered your turkey by now and are beginning to craft the rest of your menu. But as you plan for the feast, it’s a good idea to consider what you’ll need to host the holiday at home beyond a bird and pumpkin pie, like table-setting inspiration, seasonal decor, and timesaving tools and tricks that will make meal prep easier. Read on below to find Food Network’s top-five entertaining guides and learn how much food to shop for depending on your guest list, plus simple tablescape ideas and nice-to-have gadgets to make cooking a cinch.
5. 20-Second Place Setting — All it takes is a few seconds and classically finished flatware to create an elegant place at the table. Make your guests feel extra special by gifting them personalized name cards at their set spots.
4. DIY Kids’ Table — Let your little ones put the finishing touches on the kids’ table with paper placemats they can color, handmade pinecone crafts and a quick-fix apple dessert.
A 2 a.m. Wake-Up, Dozens of Dinner Guests and a Rescue Ingredient: Thanksgiving According to Bobby Flayby Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 10th, 2014
With less than three weeks until Thanksgiving, the countdown to all things turkey, potatoes and gravy is officially on. If you’ve begun to fret about how you’re going to execute the meal with ease this year, there’s reason to take comfort: At least you’re probably not cooking for 50 people. That’s how many guests are expected to show up at Bobby Flay‘s house on Thanksgiving, though in true Iron Chef fashion, Bobby has a surefire plan to approach the day. FN Dish recently checked in with Bobby on set and at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to learn more about his holiday traditions and find out what the trickiest part of meal prep is for him. Read on below to hear from Bobby in an exclusive interview, and learn the go-to ingredient he uses in five key ways on Thanksgiving (hint: you likely have it in your pantry now).
What does Thanksgiving look like at your house?
Bobby Flay: On the holiday, there are usually 50 people at my house that I cook for. It ranges from family to friends to … Basically, it’s just a tradition every year where I cook two 30-pound turkeys, and I usually theme the Thanksgiving. I actually haven’t thought about what it’s going to be this year …. But we usually pick a theme that has to do with an occurrence that has taken place in the world.
When it comes to preparing the Thanksgiving bird, everyone has an opinion. We all have our favorite turkey, whether it’s Aunt Sally’s or Alton Brown’s 5-star fan favorite. There are some words of wisdom, though, that apply no matter what turkey recipe you choose. Chef Ariane Daguin, cofounder of D’Artagnan, a leading gourmet food purveyor, shared her essential tips for what NOT to do when it comes to the turkey. With these in your back pocket, your beloved bird will taste better than ever. Read more
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.