Thanksgiving Feast Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. This year it was really special because it was the very first Thanksgiving for our new daughter who was born on November 17th. Thus, the holiday which we shared with just the closest immediate family took on a special meaning which inspired all of us and created an incredibly warm and close atmosphere. I chose to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving fare that would complement the conviviality of this gathering albeit still with some of my spin on traditionalism like the roasted bell peppers, broccolinini with red pepper flakes and tiramisu for dessert. I must say that the meal turned out phenomenal and our family and I could not be happier to be together and sharing this delicious meal at such special occasion!
Photographed by Gary Flom. Roasted Bell Peppers with Green Olives & Nuts. Roasting accentuates the natural sweetness of bell peppers. Use all three colors- yellow, red and orange for an amazing presentation for either your antipasti with warm burrata cheese or as a delicious side dish. I used some green olives and chopped pistachios to garnish the dish. Sautéed Broccolini with Garlic & Red Pepper Flakes is another vibrant, delicious side dish. Shave the fibrous stalks for some really tender results and blanch them in salted water for few minutes until soft but still crisp then shock them in ice cold water. Drain on paper towels and at this point you can refrigerate them for up to 3 days. Sautee broccolini in some olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes for some spicy kick and serve hot! Herb-Roasted Turkey with Mushroom Gravy was the start of the show. I like to dry brine mine in spices for up to 2 days before the festive meal. Rub the dry brine onto the turkey to lock in moisture and flavor. I swear by this method, it really ensures tender flavorful meat throughout. Rinse off the dry brine and smear the bird with herb butter of parsley, rosemary and thyme, along with some lemon zest and plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Basting is another important step in roasting a succulent, juicy turkey. Pour all those delicious drippings over the bird every half an hour and you are guaranteed to have an incredible result! Decorate the serving platter with lemon leaves, fresh figs, apples and pears for some stunning presentation and top it with turkey on top. Cranberry Sauce with Pear & Cointreau liquor is absolutely delicious, with a right amount of spicy kick and orange flavor to it. My friends and family were raving about this stuffing. This year I used a recipe that combined spicy pork sausage & country bread with finely diced vegetables, drippings from cooked sausage, stock and eggs. Spicy Pork Sausage & Country Bread Stuffing had a nice crisp top and moist inside and served as a perfect complement to a roasted turkey at our holiday table this year! Mushroom gravy, herb-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce and roasted hasselback potatoes with flaky sea salt and chives. Classic Tiramisu was my choice of dessert. Decadent mascarpone filling infused with Kahlua liquor, layered with coffee-soaked lady fingers is my family’s absolute favorite dessert. Add pumpkin puree to the mascarpone mixture to make this dessert even more holiday like!