Theme Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Studio 5 Gourmet Today Contributor Amy Richardson has come up with three different themes, including this New England Thanksgiving Dinner.

Cran-Apple Crostata

• Tart Dough: (or use store bought puff pastry dough)

• 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

• 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 cup (1/2 pound or 2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into    tablespoon-size pieces
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1/4 cup ice water, plus additional as needed

• 4 cups Granny Smith, Pippin, or your favorite apples, peeled and    cut into 3/4-inch wedges

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/3 cup cranberry sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt

• 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
• 2 teaspoons coarse sugar

Make the tart dough: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add vanilla and water to processor, then slowly add flour and cinnamon sugar. Pulse just until a dough forms, adding a little extra ice water if necessary. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a 1-inch-thick round. Wrap 1 disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; freeze the other for future use.

Put a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before rolling to soften it slightly.

Place the dough round between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round (about a 1/4-inch thickness), flouring the round lightly as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Use the rim of a small round bowl to make 6 individual crostatas. Cut around the edge of the bowl, in the dough, with a sharp knife. Slide a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet under the bottom sheet of parchment, and remove excess dough from crostatas.

To make the filling, combine the apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl and toss well. Add cranberry sauce and salt and toss again, briefly. Paint the edges of the crostatas with egg yolk wash. Fill the center of the dough rounds with the apples (about 1/2 cup each) in an even layer, leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches. Fold the border up and over the apples to make a rim. Brush the rim with egg wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Trim the excess parchment with scissors, and press sides together.

Use the pizza peel or baking sheet to transfer the crostatas, still with parchment underneath, to the oven, sliding it, with the paper, directly onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust is nicely browned and the apples are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven with the peel or baking sheet and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm. Note: This can be made hours ahead and reheated before serving.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

• Kosher salt

• 1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes
• 1/4 cup milk
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Add them to the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Place a food mill fitted with a small disk/blade over a heatproof bowl. Pass the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, stir in the hot milk mixture with a whisk or rubber spatula. Add enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper, and serve hot. To keep the potatoes warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water for up to 30 minutes. You can add a little extra hot milk to keep them creamy.

Oh Yeah Baby Glazed Carrots

• 1 (1-pound) bag baby carrots

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup maple syrup

• 2 tablespoons orange juice

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the sauce becomes a shiny glaze, about 15 minutes.
Using an oven mitt or pot holder, remove from the heat and serve.

Parker House Rolls

• 1 1/2 cups milk

• 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1 package active dry yeast
• 1/2 cup warm water
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 6 cups all-purpose flour

Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and sugar and let cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit until foamy. Combine milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt, and 1/2 of the flour in a mixer with the dough attachment and mix until smooth. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until a smooth ball forms.

Remove from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 60 to 70 minutes. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and shape into desired shapes. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover again and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter before serving.

New England Stuffing

Recipe courtesy Georgia Downard
• 6 cups sourdough bread, cubed and toasted
• 1 pound slab bacon, cubed

• 4 ounces (1 stick) butter
• 2 onions, chopped

• 4 ribs celery, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, and    marjoram
• 1 pound fresh shucked oysters, with liquor
• 1 cup chestnuts, roasted and shelled
• 1 cup chicken stock


New England Oyster Bacon Stuffing

Sara Moulton’s Thanksgiving Sides
From the kitchen of Sara Moulton

Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: 60-120 min
Tired of the same old holiday sides? Try Sara Moulton’s New England Oyster Bacon Stuffing.

• 6 cups Sourdough bread, cubed and toasted

• 1 pound un-sliced bacon (so you can cube it 1 stick of butter)

• 2 onions, chopped

• 4 ribs celery, chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, and    marjoram)
• 1 pound poached oysters (with liquor – oyster liquid)

• 1 pound chestnuts, roasted and shelled
• 1 cup chicken stock (canned)

• salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions
Toast the 6 cups of bread cubes for 10 – 15 minutes in a 325 degree oven until golden. Transfer toasted cubes into a large bowl.

Lightly poach your oysters in 1/2 of the stick of butter, until almost done. Transfer the oysters into the bowl with the bread cubes.

In the same skillet, with the remaining 1/2 stick of butter, sauté all of the vegetables for 10 minutes, until soft. Remove vegetables and place in bowl. Using the same skillet, brown the bacon and drain the grease.

Now combine the bacon, vegetables, oysters, bread crumbs and the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the chicken stock. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

Now add just enough chicken stock to moisten the bread mixture. You do not want it soaking wet.

If packing the turkey, stuff the neck and cavity loosely with stuffing, folding the neck skin under and fastening with a skewer. If not, lightly pack stuffing into a large, shallow stoneware-baking dish.

If you bake the stuffing inside the bird, roast the bird at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound, or until the temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees and the juices run clear when thigh is pierced with fork.

If you bake in a separate dish, drizzle the stuffing with a little bit of stock (do not soak). Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton, 2001.

Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

• 1 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 1/4 bunch fresh sage, finely chopped
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 (12 to 14-pound) fresh turkey, giblets, neck, and liver    discarded
• 8 strips bacon
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.

Put the butter and sage in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the turkey breast and slip the remaining seasoned butter under, massaging the breast meat as you go. Truss the bird by crossing the legs over one another and tying with a piece of kitchen twine.

Shingle the bacon strips over the breast so it’s totally covered. Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, cover the turkey with aluminum foil, and place in the oven.

In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup with 2 tablespoons of hot water to thin. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, basting with the maple glaze every 30 minutes. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 3 hours total (15 minutes per pound). About 1/2 hour before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil so that it can brown. When done take the turkey out of the oven and put the roasting pan on the stovetop.

Transfer the turkey to a serving tray to rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Turkey Gravy

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