A few Thanksgiving ideas for all tastes

Cranberry Gingerbread.
Cranberry Gingerbread. The New York Times

Recipe: Sticky Cranberry Gingerbread

Time: 1 1/2 hours plus cooling

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


2 cups/8 ounces/266 grams fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar

1 stick/4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter

2/3 cup/133 grams dark brown sugar

1/2 cup/120 milliliters whole milk

1/2 cup/120 milliliters maple syrup

1/4 cup/60 milliliters molasses

1 1/2 cups/185 grams all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon/5 grams ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon/1 gram ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon/3 grams baking powder

1/2 teaspoon/3 grams kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon/1 gram baking soda

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon/14 grams grated fresh ginger (from 1-inch piece)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch square or round baking pan with parchment.

2. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together cranberries, granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Stir the cranberries over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and cranberries form a sauce that is syrupy and bubbling thickly, about 10 minutes. Aim to have about half the cranberries broken down, with the remainder more or less whole.

3. In a separate saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup and molasses over medium heat. Bring it to just barely a simmer and then remove it from the heat. Do not let it come to a boil, or the mixture may curdle.

4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. Beat in the butter-maple syrup mixture and then beat in the eggs. Stir in the ginger.

5. Scrape the batter into the pan. Drop fat dollops of cranberry sauce onto the surface of the cake batter. Drag a long, slender knife through the batter in a swirly design, as if you are marbling a cake. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake it until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire baking rack and let the cake cool completely before eating it.

Recipe: Fiery Sweet Potatoes

Time: 2 hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


5 pounds sweet potatoes

1 cup canned coconut milk

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on sheet pan until very soft, about 75 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.

3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty, checking often to prevent scorching.

Recipe: Rosemary and Citrus Turkey for a Crowd

Time: 3 hours, plus overnight dry-brining

Yield: 20 to 24 servings


1 (10- to 12-pound) whole turkey

8 pounds bone-in turkey parts (see note)

4 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

6 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane or minced

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (save the oranges for juicing)

2 bunches rosemary

1 bunch thyme

3 white onions, peeled, halved and sliced

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch coins

3 celery stalks, sliced 1/2-inch thick

2 apples, cored and sliced

Dry white wine, as needed

3/4 cup melted butter or olive oil


1. Remove giblets from inside the turkey; reserve for stock or gravy. Pat meat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, allspice, garlic and citrus zests. Pat mixture all over turkey and turkey parts (including inside the whole turkey cavity). Stuff one bunch of rosemary in cavity of whole turkey. Strew remaining rosemary and the thyme all over turkey and turkey parts. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

2. Remove whole turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before you plan to cook it so it can come to room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange oven racks so the pan with the whole turkey will fit on top rack, and the two pans with parts will fit underneath.

3. Place whole turkey (with herb branches clinging to it) on a rack in a roasting pan. Take parts out of the fridge and place the breasts in a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan. Place the legs and wings in a separate 9-by-13 roasting pan.

4. Distribute onions, carrots, celery and apples into all three pans, scattering them on the bottom of the large roasting pan under the whole turkey, and tucking them in among turkey pieces. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons wine over each pan of turkey parts and pour 1 / 2cup wine in the bottom of the whole turkey pan.

5. Transfer whole turkey to the oven and roast for 1 hour (let the parts come to room temperature while the turkey starts roasting).

6. Add parts to the oven underneath the rack with the whole turkey on it, and roast for an additional 30 minutes.

7. Squeeze the juice from the two zested oranges. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and sprinkle about a third of the orange juice into the bottom of each of the three pans.

8. Drizzle the butter or oil all over the whole turkey and the pieces. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat registers 165 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes more for the whole turkey, and 15 to 45 minutes longer for the parts. (Note: The turkey breasts may cook faster than the dark meat, so keep your eye on them.) If the breast of the whole turkey starts to look too brown before the bird is cooked through, cover it loosely with foil.

9. When cooked through, cover whole turkey with foil and let rest for 20 minutes while the parts finish cooking.

10. When all the turkey parts are cooked through, adjust oven temperature to broil. Broil turkey parts until skin turns golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Let parts rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving. If you want to use the drippings for gravy or stock, strain or use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables first.

Notes: You can use your favorite cuts here – all dark or all white meat depending upon what you prefer. Or use a mix. Just make sure your breasts are on the bone. You can substitute two boneless breasts for the bone-in breasts, but they will cook more quickly. Start checking after 30 minutes total cooking time, though it could take up to 50 minutes.

If you can’t buy parts, buy another whole turkey and cut it into 8 pieces. To do so, slice the turkey legs away from the body at the joint where the thigh connects to the body. Separate each thigh from the drumstick by slicing through the joints. Separate wings from the breast by cutting through the joints. Place limbless turkey, breast-side up, in front of you. Using a sharp knife or poultry shears, cut along sides of ribs to remove the entire breast. Turn breast upside down. Cut through the center of the breast bone to separate the two breasts completely. Save backbone and any other scraps for stock or gravy.

Recipe: Soft Herb Salad

Adapted from “Ottolenghi: The Cookbook” boy Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 to 8 servings (can be doubled)



2 cups cilantro leaves

1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 cup small dill sprigs

1 cup basil or mint leaves

1 cup arugula leaves

2 cups purslane, mâche or hearts of Boston lettuce leaves


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sliced almonds

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1 / 4teaspoon red chili flakes or 1 / 2teaspoon crushed pink peppercorns (optional)

3 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil, more to taste


1. Up to two days before serving, wash the herbs and greens: Fill a large bowl or clean sink with plenty of cold water. Immerse the leaves, swish around to loosen any dirt, then gently lift out. Dry in a salad spinner or by spreading them on clean kitchen towels. (When dry, refrigerate in sealed plastic bags or containers. Add a paper towel to each bag to absorb excess water.)

2. Melt butter in a frying pan until it sizzles. Add almonds. Sauté over low heat, until the almonds are golden and the butter is browned. Lift out almonds and drain on paper towels, reserving butter. (Butter can be kept for 1 day. Melt and cool again before assembling salad.)

3. When ready to serve, place greens in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes, almonds, cooking butter, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently and season to taste, then serve immediately.

Recipe: Classic Mashed Potatoes

Time: About 45 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



2 1/2 pounds potatoes (about 6 large potatoes), preferably a combination of russet (baking) potatoes and large Yukon Golds, or all Yukon Golds

4 tablespoons butter, more for dotting

1/3 cup whole milk


1. In a large pot, bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil over high heat. Peel and quarter potatoes and keep in cold water until ready to cook. (This can be done up to 4 hours in advance.) Add potatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 to 20 minutes, until soft; a knife should go in with almost no resistance. (It is better to overcook than to undercook.)

2. In a saucepan or a microwave oven, heat butter and milk together until butter melts and mixture steams. Drain potatoes well and return to pot. Using an extruding masher or a ricer, mash hot potatoes until smooth. Lightly mix in about half of hot butter mixture, just until blended. Taste for salt and add more butter mixture until seasoned to your liking.

3. Stop here for fluffy potatoes. For creamy potatoes, keep stirring potato mixture, using a sturdy spoon to press it against sides and bottom of pot. Mix until dense and thick. For whipped potatoes, use a stand mixer to mash hot potatoes just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add all the butter mixture and salt to taste, pulsing machine in short bursts at medium speed. When light and creamy, stop mixing immediately. (Potatoes can quickly become sticky.)

4. To keep hot until ready to serve, transfer to serving bowl, dot top with butter, cover tightly and keep in a warm place, like the back of the stove. Potatoes will stay hot for at least 30 minutes. To keep longer, place covered bowl in a pan holding about an inch of gently simmering water. Before serving, mix well.

Note: This recipe can be doubled, tripled and more.

Recipe: Cranberry-Orange Jelly

Time: 20 minutes, plus at least 3 hours’ chilling

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


1 1/2 cups Lillet

1/2 cup orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons juniper berries (optional)

2 12-ounce bags fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 cups; frozen can be substituted)

Nonstick cooking spray (if chilling in a mold)


1. In a heavy saucepan, combine Lillet, liqueur, sugar and juniper berries if using. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until all the cranberries burst and are very soft, at least 10 minutes total (or use a candy thermometer and cook mixture to 210 to 215 degrees). The mixture should be reduced and thickened, like a very loose jam.

2. Strain the sauce into a bowl through a sieve, pushing on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids. Stir the liquid and transfer to a pretty serving bowl or a mold. (If using a mold, spray the insides first with nonstick cooking spray.) A funnel or liquid measuring cup with a spout can be useful for transferring without splashing the sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours, or up to several days. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

3. If you chilled the jelly in a mold, turn it out by placing the mold in a large bowl. Carefully pour hot water into the bowl so it comes up the sides of the mold, melting the jelly just enough to release it from the mold. After 3 minutes, try unmolding the jelly onto a serving dish. If it doesn’t come out, return to the bowl and try again 2 minutes later. Repeat until the jelly is released. If necessary, return it to the refrigerator to firm up before serving.

Note: Two cups of red wine, port, Madeira or orange juice can be substituted for the Lillet and the liqueur.

Recipe: Lard Pie Crust

Time: 15 minutes, plus 4 hours’ chilling

Yield: 1 (9-inch) single pie crust


1 1/4 cup/160 grams all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon/2 grams fine sea salt

6 tablespoons/85 grams/3 ounces unsalted European-style butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 tablespoons/57 grams/2 ounces chilled rendered leaf lard, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 to 5 tablespoons/30 to 75 milliliters ice water


1. In a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour and salt. Add the butter and lard and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses). Or, if making by hand, stir together the flour and salt. Use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter and lard into the flour mixture until you get slightly smaller pieces, the size of green peas.

2. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse or mix until the mixture is just moist enough to hold together. Form the crust into a ball, wrap with plastic and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before rolling out and baking.

Recipe: Whole-Roasted Stuffed Delicata Squash

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Yield: 6 to 12 servings


6 small delicata squash, about 1 pound each

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for the baking sheet

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, diced

1 bunch red kale (about 1 pound), trimmed and chopped

6 ounces whole-grain bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups), from a good-quality loaf

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish


1. Cut 1 inch off the top and bottom of each squash. Use a melon baller or small spoon to scrape out the seeds. Sprinkle the inside of the squash with salt and pepper, then stand them upright on an oiled baking sheet.

2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. When it foams, add onions to pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and turn translucent, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Add kale to pan and continue to cook, tossing, until kale begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and put vegetables into a large bowl.

3. Meanwhile, place bread cubes on a sheet pan and toast in the oven until they begin to crisp on the outside, approximately 7 to 9 minutes. Add bread cubes to the bowl with the vegetables, and then add blue cheese and cranberries. Stir to combine.

4. Put pecans in a dry sauté pan set over medium heat and toast the nuts until they begin to darken and turn fragrant, approximately 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scrape into the bowl with the rest of the stuffing and toss to combine. Taste and season the mixture with salt and pepper.

5. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Divide the stuffing between the squash. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into 6 pieces, and top each squash with a dot of butter. Roast squash until the flesh has softened and you can easily pierce it with a fork, approximately 45 minutes. If the squash is browning too quickly, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top to prevent burning.

6. Sprinkle parsley over the squash. Serve 1 whole squash per person as a main course, or 1 / 2squash or less as a side dish.

Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Make-Ahead Gravy

Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 1 / 2cups


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

4 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (1 cup)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 to 5 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade, as needed

1 teaspoon soy sauce, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in vegetable stock, a little at a time, until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Serve as is, or pass it through a fine mesh strainer.

Recipe: Wild Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


1 pound wild mushrooms, cut into large bite-size pieces (a mix of chanterelles, oyster mushrooms and maitake is nice)

1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, as needed

2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick

6 ounces chestnuts (1 cup), crumbled

1/4 cup brandy

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar, more as needed

1/4 cup chopped soft herbs, such as dill, tarragon, chives and parsley


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread mushrooms on one rimmed baking sheet; toss with 1 / 4cup oil, 1 / 2teaspoon salt and 1 / 4teaspoon black pepper. On a separate rimmed baking sheet, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 / 2teaspoon salt and 1 / 4teaspoon black pepper.

2. Roast both pans of vegetables, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are well browned and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. (The mushrooms may be done before the sprouts, so keep an eye on them.)

3. While the vegetables cook, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, cinnamon stick and a pinch of salt; cook, tossing occasionally, until shallots are caramelized and tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Toss chestnuts into pan and brown lightly, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in brandy. Return pan to medium-high heat and cook until liquid has evaporated. Discard cinnamon stick.

5. In a large bowl, toss together vegetables, chestnut mixture and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Toss in herbs and serve at once.

Recipe: Rosemary-Roasted Winter Squash Casserole

Time: 3 hours

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


2 medium-size winter squash (such as butternut, delicata, Hubbard or a combination) peeled, seeded and cubed (about 8 cups cubes)

1 / 4cup all-purpose flour

1 / 8teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

1 / 2teaspoon black pepper, more to taste

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

1 / 2cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place squash cubes in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch, then whisk in ginger, salt and pepper. Add half the dry ingredients to the squash and toss gently but thoroughly to combine. Add remaining dry ingredients and toss again until evenly coated. Add garlic, parsley, rosemary and 1/3 cup oil. Toss gently but thoroughly to coat.

3. Transfer squash to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1 / 2hours, until tender. Uncover and bake until very soft, another 45 to 60 minutes. (The casserole can be cooled and refrigerated at this point for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before resuming.)

4. To finish, brown the top: Turn oven to 350 degrees. (Alternatively, turn oven to 325 degrees with convection, or use the broiler.) Heat squash until sizzling on the bottom and crusty on the top, about 10 minutes. (If reheating from room temperature, it will take longer, 20 to 30 minutes.) Serve immediately.

Recipe: Garlic-Parsley Potato Cakes

Adapted from “Recipes from Home” by David Page and Barbara Shinn

Time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour’s chilling

Yield: 8 servings (can be doubled)


2 1 / 2to 3 pounds medium-starch potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and quartered

12 whole garlic cloves, peeled

Kosher salt

1 / 2cup fine yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons whole milk

1 tablespoon olive oil, more for frying

Black pepper


1. Place potatoes, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in a pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are just tender all the way through, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to the pot, and shake over medium heat for 1 minute to dry them out.

2. Add 3 tablespoons cornmeal and the parsley and mash everything together with a potato masher, leaving the mixture chunky.

3. Whisk together egg, egg yolk, milk and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Stir mixture into potatoes and season with 2 1 / 2teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Form potato mixture into rounds about 3/4-inch thick. Put remaining cornmeal in a shallow dish.

5. Working in batches, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Coat potato cakes on each side in cornmeal, brown on both sides in the skillet and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining potato cakes, adding more oil as needed between batches. (At this point, cakes can be set aside at room temperature for up to 4 hours.)

6. Bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.