13 Thanksgiving Recipes to be Thankful For!

Fall is well underway, which for Washingtonians means a return to a cozier way of life. Heated seats, scarfs, red-cupped peppermint mochas, huddling indoors with friends and loved ones. It’s a season of reflection, and being thankful for the good things in our lives – family, food, health and well-being – an all round warm and fuzzy time of the year. Did I mention ‘food’? Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, here’s thirteen recipes to be thankful for – and to share with the people you are thankful for in life.

1.) Soy-Sauce-and-Honey-Glazed Turkey




  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • One 14- to 16-pound turkey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour


  1. In a very large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and half of the ginger. Put the turkey in the bowl, breast side down, and marinate at room temperature for 45 minutes. Turn the turkey and marinate breast side up for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Set a rack in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and five-spice powder. Remove the turkey from the marinade; reserve the marinade. Set the turkey on the rack, breast side up, and season it inside and out with the salt mixture. Stuff the cavity with the scallions and the remaining ginger. Turn the turkey breast side down on the rack. Add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan. Loosely cover the turkey with a foil tent.
  3. Roast the turkey for 4 hours, basting with some of the reserved marinade every hour and adding a total of 3 cups of water to the pan during roasting. Turn the turkey breast side up and baste well with the reserved marinade. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, basting once halfway through cooking. The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165°.
  4. Carefully pour the juices from the turkey cavity into the roasting pan and transfer the turkey to a carving board. Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a large saucepan and skim off the fat. Add the chicken stock to the juices along with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  6. In a medium bowl, blend the butter with the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of the hot pan juices until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan and bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened. Simmer the gravy over low heat, whisking occasionally, until no floury taste remains, about 8 minutes. Carve the turkey; pass the gravy at the table.


California’s Monterey region is an up-and-coming area for Pinot Noir, thanks to its cool, ocean-influenced climate, which gives the wines great acidity and generous fruit intensity. That balance makes them go especially well with the different flavors of the Thanksgiving feast—especially turkey.

2.) Oysters Rocafella




  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 dozen bluepoint or other East Coast oysters, shucked on the half shell
  • Crushed ice and coarse salt, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon dried egg-white powder (see Note)
  • 1 to 2 bunches of Champagne grapes or small seedless red grapes, frozen until solid, halved if large


  1. In a microwave-safe cup, combine the sugar and water. Cook at high power for 20 seconds. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then let cool.
  2. In a small stainless steel bowl, combine the sugar syrup, Champagne and citrus juices. Set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and keep cold. In another small bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot and season with pepper.
  3. Arrange the shucked oysters on a bed of crushed ice and coarse salt. Add the egg-white powder to the Champagne-citrus juice mixture and beat with a handheld mixer or immersion blender until thick and frothy.
  4. Spoon a little of the vinegar-shallot mixture over the oysters and a little of the Champagne froth on top. Garnish with the frozen Champagne grapes and serve right away.


Egg-white powder is available at health food stores and most supermarkets.


Armand de Brignac (a.k.a. Ace of Spades), with this dish. Domaine Chandon’s NV Brut Classic is also terrific and much, much less expensive.

3.) Roasted Winter Squash and Onion Turnovers




  • One 3-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling out the pastry
  • Flaky Turnover Pastry
  • Egg wash made wth 2 large egg yolks lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons whole milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Season the butternut squash with salt and pepper and place it cut side down on one of the baking sheets. Cover with foil. Spread the onion slices on the other baking sheet in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast the squash in the lower third of the oven for 1 hour, or until tender. Let cool, then scoop the flesh into a large skillet and mash until smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, roast the onion slices in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender and golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  4. Cook the squash over high heat, stirring constantly, until any excess moisture is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the onions, Gruyère and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the squash to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of the Pastry 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds as close together as possible. Stack the pastry scraps and refrigerate. Repeat with the second disk of pastry. When all the scraps are chilled, press them together, reroll and stamp out more rounds. Discard the remaining scraps.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°. Working in batches, brush 10 of the pastry rounds with some egg wash. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the squash filling onto the center of each round, fold into a half-moon and press to seal. Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges. Transfer the turnovers to the baking sheets. Brush the turnovers with the rest of the egg wash and bake for 22 minutes, or until golden all over.


The unbaked turnovers can be frozen for up 2 weeks; bake frozen.

4.) Apple Cider Cream Pie

Apple Pie



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice and chilled
  • 3 tablespoons cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine the milk and vinegar and drizzle it on top. Pulse in 1-second bursts until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick; ease it into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch and fold it under itself. Crimp decoratively and chill the crust until firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the parchment and pie weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the crust is just set but not browned. Press the bottom of the crust lightly to deflate it as it puffs; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
  4. In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it’s reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the sugar, the sour cream and salt, then whisk in the eggs.
  5. Pour the custard into the pie shell without removing the foil strips. Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly. Let the pie cool completely.
  6. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped. Mound the cream on the pie, cut into wedges and serve.


The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated for 2 days.


Baked apple slices.

5.) Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies

Hot Toddy



  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados
  • Eight 3-inch cinnamon sticks


  1. In small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy. Set a cinnamon stick in each of 8 mugs or heatproof glasses, pour in the hot liquid and serve.

6.) PART ONE: Vanilla-and-Cider Panna Cottas with Spiced Ginger Cookies

Panna Cotta

  • SERVINGS: 12


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 plump vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked
  • 4 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin (from 2 envelopes)
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • Spiced Ginger Cookies, for serving (See ‘PART TWO’)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk with the cream, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the vanilla beans and seeds and cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and return it to the saucepan.
  2. In a small bowl, sprinkle 3 teaspoons of the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Scrape the gelatin into the saucepan and whisk until dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher and pour about 1/2 cup into each of 12 small glasses. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
  3. In a clean saucepan, boil the cider with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water and let stand until softened, about 2 minutes. Whisk the gelatin into the cider mixture until dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher and let cool completely (but don’t let the gelatin set), about 30 minutes. Gently pour 2 tablespoons of the cider into each panna cotta over an inverted spoon and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Serve with the Spiced Ginger Cookies.


The panna cottas can be covered tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

PART TWO: Spiced Ginger Cookies



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup turbinado or coarse sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice and white pepper. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and the light brown sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and honey. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until combined. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the turbinado sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll generously in the turbinado sugar. Transfer to the baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Using a flat-bottomed glass, press each cookie to a 1 1/2-inch round. Working with one baking sheet at a time, bake the cookies for 15 to 16 minutes, until they are deeply golden and the tops are cracked. Cool the baking sheets on wire racks.


The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

7.) Crab Imperial with Red Pepper Crab Dip



  • 1 stick unsalted butter—6 tablespoons melted, plus more for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Hot sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Toasted baguette slices, for serving


  1. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the flour to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, until no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from the heat.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until thickened, 2 minutes; remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter until a smooth sauce forms. Fold in the béchamel and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Set one rack 6 inches from the heat and another rack 10 inches from the heat. Butter a 9-by-9-inch ceramic baking dish. In a bowl, combine the crabmeat, onion and bell pepper. Gently fold in the sauce. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Broil on the upper rack for 3 minutes, until browned. Transfer the baking dish to the lower rack and broil for 4 minutes longer, until hot throughout. Serve with baguette toasts.


The recipe’s sweetness and rich texture make it an ideal companion for a Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

8.) Caramelized Onion Dip

Onion Dip



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Potato chips, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 25 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, stirring, until the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Let the onions cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the onions to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream with the cream cheese, parsley, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Stir in the onions and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.


The onion dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Potato chips.

9.) Hot Mulled Cider

Mulled Cider



  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 quince—peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • One 4-inch rosemary sprig
  • Two 3- to 4-inch cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  1. Combine the cider, wine, honey, quince, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and lemon zest in a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Strain the mulled cider and discard the solids. Serve the mulled cider warm.


The strained mulled cider can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.

10.) Bourbon-Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cane, sorghum or dark corn syrup, or honey
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups unsalted pecan halves (1/2 pounds)


  1. MAKE THE PIECRUST In a bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Stir in the butter until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer the dough to a deep 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Using your fingers, press the dough over the bottom and up the side of the plate to the rim. Crimp the edge with your fingers or a fork. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 3 days.
  2. MAKE THE FILLING Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, whisk both sugars with the flour, salt and eggs until smooth, then mix in the syrup or honey. Add the bourbon, butter and vanilla and fold in the pecans.
  3. MAKE THE FILLING Pour the filling into the chilled crust and transfer the pie to a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the filling is nearly set. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.


Orange-and-nutmeg-scented Italian dessert wine.

11.) Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing Bites




  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 4 ounces white country bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease two 12-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until toasted. Transfer the croutons to a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and celery and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and sage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until no trace of pink remains, 5 minutes. Mix the sausage, apple, eggs and broth into the croutons; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Pack the stuffing into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 5 minutes. Loosen the muffins with a sharp paring knife and lift them out. Serve warm.


The muffins can be refrigerated overnight in the pans. Rewarm before serving.

12.) Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallow Swirls

Sweet Potato

  • SERVINGS: 10-12


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (4 pounds), scrubbed but not peeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and put them on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the orange juice with the honey and brown sugar and bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the honey syrup cool.
  4. In another medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with the corn syrup and water and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar syrup registers 240° on a candy thermometer.
  5. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Turn the machine to medium-high and drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites in a very thin stream down the side of the bowl; beat until stiff peaks form and the marshmallow is cool. Scrape the marshmallow into a pastry bag fitted with a medium straight tip.
  6. Cut off and discard the ends of the warm potatoes, then cut them crosswise into 2- to 3-inch sections. Arrange on a platter. Spoon some of the honey syrup over the potatoes and on the platter. Pipe the marshmallow topping onto the potatoes and, using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the tops. Alternatively, you can pipe the marshmallow onto a greased foiled-lined baking sheet and broil, then 
use a cake spatula to transfer onto each sweet potato section. Sprinkle the pecans over the top and serve.


The honey syrup can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using. The roasted potatoes can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before proceeding.

13.) Buttery Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes


  • SERVINGS: 10-12


  • 4 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In the same saucepan, melt the butter in the milk over moderate heat, then add the pumpkin puree. Press the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl and mix in the pumpkin mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


The pumpkin mashed potatoes can be refrigerated for 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Source: Food & Wine



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