Thanksgiving 2016 Menu

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:03pm

Fresh Tart | Sausage, Wild Rice & Chestnut Dressing (Gluten-free)I taught my Paleo Thanksgiving class at Kitchen in the Market last Friday and wanted to share the recipes with you all. I LOVE Thanksgiving, every single part of it. Planning, shopping, cooking on my own ahead of time and then with the gang on the big day, setting the table, being with my family, and of course devouring the feast. And then making turkey stock and eating the leftovers too!

I’ve enjoyed gluten-free Thanksgivings since 2010 and honestly, I so enjoy striking the balance between feasting and feeling pretty great afterward that I can’t imagine going back to the days of making myself ill. It’s not that gluten-free or even paleo meals can’t be plenty heavy. It’s just harder to feel rotten when you’re eating a meal of whole, fresh, beautifully-prepared foods.

I want to say a big thank you to the lovely class attendees – they created an incredible spread and it was so much fun. I’m sorry I don’t have many good pictures – I find it impossible to teach and take pics at the same time – but I wanted to get the recipes up before this weekend so you can shop and start prepping!

This menu is completely work ahead, including the turkey. Yep, you could make this dinner at home and carry it somewhere else if you wanted to.  Of course if you want to roast a turkey the traditional way, my favorite and very, very trusted recipe is at Minnesota Monthly. It’s well loved and fool proof. Make it gluten-free by substituting gluten-free flour for the gravy (Otto’s cassava flour, sweet rice flour, or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour). Make it dairy free by substituting avocado, chicken fat, duck fat, or turkey fat for the butter. It’s a very forgiving and adaptable recipe.

Fresh Tart | Spiced Cranberry Mold (Paleo)Oh! And one more side note. I didn’t include cranberries on the menu, because they’re so easy to make and everyone has a favorite. But in honor of my mom, and for the sake of fun and variety, I’m including a link to my mom’s recipe for Spiced Cranberry Mold. It’s old-school beautiful and adds a perfect palate-cleansing bite to the Thanksgiving table. Tart-sweet, with the kick of a bit horseradish, it’s a delight.

OK here’s how the class went down…

Fresh Tart | ThanksgivingThe Menu:
Kombucha Sangria
Turkey Leg Confit
Rich Turkey Gravy
Roasted Parsnip & Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Onions
Sausage, Wild Rice, and Chestnut Dressing
Kale-Pomegranate Salad with Citrus Dressing
Butternut Squash Custards with Toasted Meringue Curls

Fresh Tart | Turkey Gravy (Gluten-free, Paleo)My plan was to make turkey leg confit and rich turkey stock (for gravy) ahead of the class. But, I couldn’t put my hands on turkey legs and wings (for stock) quite so early so I made…chicken leg confit and rich chicken stock instead! Worked beautifully.

Why confit? Because it yields the silkiest, crispiest, most deeply flavorful turkey possible. Last year my boyfriend made confit legs and stuffed the breast with sausage – both divine – but the confit legs were the star of the show. I understand completely the desire to roast a whole bird, but having some confit legs on hand for the dark meat lovers is not a bad idea at all. (Keep in mind that the recipe below works marvelously for chicken or duck legs.)

Fresh TartEven though I made the confit and stock ahead of time, the class roasted the chicken legs crispy and made rich gravy from the stock, along with the parsnip & sweet potato puree, dressing, salad, and squash custards. They even got out the blowtorch and toasted meringue curls!

While you’re planning holiday indulgences, perhaps take a moment to register for my Paleo Reset class, January 13, 2017. The focus will be on quick paleo meals and snacks to get you back into the groove of healthier eating – think sweet potato toasts, smoothie bowls, weeknight “ramen,” on-the-go quiches, and simple treats. I hope to see you there.

Until then, my best wishes to you for a Happy and Delicious Thanksgiving!

xoxo Stephanie

Kombucha Sangria (Non-Alcoholic)
Adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 8

2 cups boiling water
2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup raw honey (or more to taste)
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 cups cranberry (or other favorite flavor) kombucha

Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags, cool to just-warm, and stir in honey to dissolve.

In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.

Just before serving, stir in kombucha. Serve in glasses over ice.

Turkey Leg Confit
Recipe by Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey
Serves 8

Note: Can be made one week ahead.

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon each whole peppercorns and coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
4 bay leaves, crumbled
8 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 turkey drumsticks or 6 turkey legs with thighs attached
9 cups fat (duck fat is traditional, but expensive; olive oil – NOT extra-virgin – works as well)

In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, combine the salt, peppercorns and coriander seeds, sage, and bay leaves. Grind until even and smooth.

Salt turkey legs liberally with the seasoned salt. Arrange legs in an oven-proof pan (a heavy dutch oven, casserole, or hotel pan) and nestle thyme sprigs and garlic in, on, and around the meat. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. 

The next morning, preheat oven to 220 degrees F.

Rinse the legs under running water, removing all aromatics and salt, and pat dry with paper towels. Return legs to dutch oven or hotel pan and cover with the fat, making sure the legs are completely submerged. Transfer pan to oven and bake for 6 hours, or until meat is very, very tender. (Alternatively, cook overnight for 10 hours in a 180-degree oven.) If you see exposed tendons when the legs are done, remove them.

Let legs cool to room temperature in the fat, then cover and store the legs in fat in the fridge for up to 1 week. To finish and serve, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pull legs from fat and arrange on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and browned.

Roasted Parsnip & Sweet Potato Purée with Caramelized Onions
Recipe by Stephanie Meyer, Fresh Tart
Serves 8–10

Note: Can be made up to two days ahead.

4 pounds parsnips, peeled, woody cores trimmed away and discarded, remainder cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup avocado oil, divided
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish (optional)
2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Arrange the racks in the middle of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add the parsnips and sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the oil and season with kosher salt. Toss to coat the parsnips and sweet potatoes thoroughly with the oil.

Spread the parsnips and sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheets. Don’t crowd the pans—if you have smaller baking sheets, use another one or more and roast in batches. Roast two pans at a time for 15 minutes. Turn the parsnip and sweet potato pieces over, rotate the pans in the oven, and roast for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and just browning at the edges a bit (the goal is tender but not deeply browned vegetables).

Working in batches, purée the parsnips and sweet potatoes in a food processor, adding water as needed to achieve a smooth, thick purée. Transfer the purée to a large bowl and stir in the horseradish and salt to taste. Spread the purée into a 9×13-inch baking pan or other similarly sized casserole dish.

While the vegetables roast, start the caramelized onions. Heat a large (14-inch) skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil and when the oil is hot, add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Stir the onions to coat them in the oil and sauté slowly, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes or until the onions slowly caramelize and become very tender. Don’t try to rush the process by turning up the heat.

When the onions are done, scatter them over the top of the purée. If serving immediately, bake uncovered at 350 F for 15-20 minutes until hot. If make ahead, cover and chill for up to two days. To serve, bring the dish to room temperature for 1 hour and bake uncovered at 350 F for 30 minutes.

Rich Turkey Gravy
Adapted from Epicurious
8-10 Servings (Makes about 4 1/2 cups)

Note: can be made up to two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Otto’s cassava flour (or sweet rice flour)
4 cups rich turkey stock (made with wings), warmed in a saucepan
1/4 cup dry white wine, Port, or apple cider
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soy sauce; optional)
Chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme or parsley; optional)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook, whisking, until roux is a deep golden brown. Still whisking, gradually ladle hot stock mixture into roux and simmer (still whisking!) until thickened; add wine and vinegar. Stir in soy sauce and/or herbs, if using; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Sausage, Wild Rice, and Chestnut Dressing
Stephanie Meyer, Fresh Tart
Serves 10-12

Note: Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

2 cups wild rice
4 cups chicken broth
kosher salt
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
2 cups diced button mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons dried rubbed sage (to taste)
16 ounces of roasted, peeled and roughly chopped chestnuts (fresh or vacuum packed)

Put the rice in a mesh colander and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Add rice to a large saucepan with the broth and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Bring broth to a boil, turn heat to low, cover pan, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20-25 minutes (or longer, timing can vary pretty widely). Drain rice and add to a large mixing bowl.

While the rice cooks, in a 14-inch skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the sausage to the rice.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted and hot, add the celery, onion, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute until vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, sage, and chestnuts and cook for another 5 minutes. Add more salt and/or sage if needed.

Add vegetables to the rice and sausage and mix thoroughly. Serve hot or transfer the dressing to a buttered 9×13 baking pan. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to two days. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 30 minutes or until hot.

Kale-Pomegranate Salad with Citrus Dressing
Serves 8

Note: dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For the salad:

2-3 bunches (for about 6 cups) lacinato kale, ribs removed, very thinly sliced into ribbons
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup toasted pepitas

For the dressing, adapted from a gorgeous salad recipe (consider this salad for your Thanksgiving table!) by Laurie Jesch-Kulseth of Relishing It:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine kale, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat orange juice over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

Place juice and remaining dressing ingredients except salt and pepper in the bowl of a blender. Process until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over kale and toss. Season with more salt and pepper. Serve within 30 minutes.

Butternut Squash Custards with Toasted Meringue Curls
Serves 12

Note: Custards can be made up to 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Top with meringue the day you plan to serve them. They can sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours. In lieu of meringue, the custards can also be served with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

For the custards:

4 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 cups roasted butternut squash
2 cups heavy cream (can substitute full fat canned coconut milk if avoiding dairy)

Preheat oven 325 degrees. Set out 12 4-once ramekins on a baking sheet.

In the bowl of a large blender or mixer, combine all of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Divide batter among ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes or until set and lightly brown on top.

Cool for 15 minutes, then finish with meringue, below. (Can be made 2 days ahead; top with meringues the day you plan to serve them. Can also be topped with whipped cream instead.)

For the Honey Swiss Meringue, recipe courtesy of Zoe Francois of Zoe Bakes:

1 cup egg whites
1/2 cup honey
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the meringue:

Heat the egg whites and honey in the bowl of your stand mixer, over a double boiler, until the mixture is hot and thin when you lift the rubber spatula from the mixture.

Place it on the stand mixer and beat with the whip attachment until it is fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks.

Spread a thin layer of meringue on each custard. 

Then take a glob of the meringue in your hand and press it onto the layer of meringue on the custard. 

Pull that glob away from the custard…and it will break off in a wispy curl. The more of a glob you lay down as a foundation on the custard, the bigger your curls will be. This may take a few times to get the hang of it, but then you’ll be off and running.

Once you have the custard fully set with curls you will need a Torch to toast the meringue. Hold the blow torch a ways from the cake and touch the flame down between the curls. The curls will set fire, not as scary as that sounds, and you need to blow them out as you go.

Can be topped with meringue the day you plan to serve.

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