You’ve been asked to come bearing
something to accompany the turkey.
Jennifer Rubell’ s hit parade of sides and a
dessert will help the decision-making
process. Better still, tote your contribution in
a dish that’s cute enough to serve in and
cheap enough to leave as a gift for the host.
for the cranberry sauce: In less than 20
minutes, you’ll have a zesty twist on the
all-important turkey partner.
The last few Thanksgiving dinners I’ve been invited to—from suburban cousins’ free-for-alls to butlered Park Avenue sit-downs—all have one thing in common: potluck. The era of one person slaving away, soup to pie, is officially over. In our harried, wired modern lives, the only thing a holiday host is absolutely required to cook (or, at the very least, procure) is the turkey itself, which generally leaves guests in charge of sides and dessert. How perfect—the parts of the meal I love most. I like presenting them on handsome platters that can go right on the table and then be left behind—a simple, elegant way to give thanks to the poor soul who roasted that giant bird. Note to hosts: You might want to forward these pages to your invitees.
Serves 8 to 10
- 2 clementines
- 2 packages (12 oz. each)
- fresh cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
Cut clementines in half and, leaving on the skin,
slice as thinly as possible. Place in a saucepan
with the cranberries, sugar and 1 ½ cups water.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer
and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let
cool before serving.
bacon and scallions
Serves 8 to 10
- 2 tbsp. butter, plus 4 tbsp. melted
- 8 slices bacon, cut into 1⁄4" pieces
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 ½ tsp. double-acting baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 425o. Grease a 10" cast-iron skillet (if it’s new, season first according to the manufacturer’s instructions) with 2 tablespoons butter. Heat a medium-size frying pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until it begins to get crispy, about 6 minutes. Add the scallions and continue to cook, stirring often, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large bowl, combine the milk, egg, maple syrup and 4 tablespoons melted butter. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir with a fork. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir gently to combine. It’s okay if some lumps remain—do not overmix. Pour the batter into the buttered skillet, sprinkle the cooked bacon and scallions on top, and bake until set in the middle, about 25 minutes.
favorite stuffing’s flavors into a pan
of corn bread. (The bacon is key,
so if you’re going to a vegetarian
gathering, opt for something else!)
in the bread crumbs—a modern riff on a holiday classic.
sweet bread crumbs
Serves 8 to 10
- 2 medium acorn squash
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp. dark-brown sugar
Preheat oven to 450o. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise into four wedges, and arrange on a sheet pan, with a cut side facing down. Drizzle with half the olive oil, and sprinkle with half the salt. Flip and repeat. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 50 minutes, or until the pointed edges appear golden brown and crisp. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring continuously, until they are completely toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove to a small bowl, let cool and toss with the brown sugar. Arrange the cooked squash on a platter, and sprinkle with the bread-crumb mixture.
Circle Horn ServersJayson Home
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 tbsp. butter, plus 6 tbsp. melted,
plus 5 tbsp. melted
- 1 package (7 oz.) shortbread cookies
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 375o. Grease a 9" pie plate with 1 tablespoon butter. Place the shortbread cookies in a food processor, and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer mixture to the pie plate, and press firmly and evenly to form a crust. Place the plate in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt, corn syrup, chocolate, 5 tablespoons melted butter and pecans; stir until the mixture is fairly uniform. Take the pie plate out of the freezer, and place on a baking sheet. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie plate, and put in the oven. Bake for 55 minutes, remove and let cool completely before serving.
edge off the pecan filling, and the
shortbread-cookie base is ideal for
those who would never think of
baking a crust from scratch.
brussels sprouts–haters at the table. Don’t
be afraid to let the vegetables get deeply
colored—the darker they are, the more
caramelized (and tasty) they are.
Serves 8 to 10
- 3 pints brussels sprouts
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 15 thyme sprigs
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 10 roasted chestnuts*
- (about 4 oz.), peeled
and roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375o. Trim root ends of brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Add olive oil, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer, pick out and discard any loose leaves, and place the pan in the oven. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until sprouts are deep golden brown in places. Transfer mixture to a bowl and sprinkle with chestnuts.
*You can buy roasted, peeled chestnuts in a jar (eurogrocer.com). Or to roast them yourself: Preheat oven to 425o, and cut an X into the top of each chestnut. Place in a single layer on a sheet pan, and roast for 20 minutes. Peel while still warm.
if the host says,
“just bring wine...”
Always bring at least two bottles. If no type is specified, I’d suggest Peju Provence, made in the Napa Valley. A rare mix of white and red wine varietals, it’s something like a lighter, more floral pinot noir, dry yet fruit-forward, with notes of cherries, strawberries and even cranberries. It won’t overpower the turkey yet can hold its own against Thanksgiving’s more assertive dishes, even notoriously hard-to-pair cranberry sauce. $22 peju.com