What’s Cooking: Getting It Together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving "Eat Pork" photo 0008_zps26f112b7.gifFor those of you who haven’t realized Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, snap out of it! Time to get on the road, into the grocery store and buy the bird. Id you can find a fresh turkey, good luck. With Avian flu hitting the.poultry industry fresh turkeys are a rarity. A frozen boulder is going to take 2 – 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. I was lucky enough to score a free bird and paid just 49 cents a pound for the others. We have a huge family get together that requires at least three 18 pounders.

If your brining, you’ll need one that’s thawed or fresh at this stage. So. wake up, get thee to the grocery store. NOW!

For those who aren’t doing the big family bash and are spending the evening alone or with one or two others, here are a few recipes from the New York Times for a small scale Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey Cutlets Marsala

If you can’t find turkey cutlets, buy a boneless turkey breast, cut into cutlets then lightly pound them into shape beneath a sheet of plastic wrap.

TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes


4 turkey cutlets, approximately 1 1/4 pounds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour for dusting

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup Marsala wine

1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium


1. Place the cutlets on a wooden board, and season them aggressively with salt and pepper, then lightly dust them with flour.

2. Melt the butter in a large sauté or frying pan set over medium-high heat, and when it begins to foam, add the turkey cutlets to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook, gently, for 3 minutes a side, being careful not to allow the butter to blacken

3. When the second side is just about done, pour the Marsala over the cutlets, and allow it to bubble and combine with the butter. Now do the same with a splash or two of the chicken stock. Cook in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes more.

YIELD: 2 servings

Vegetable Risotto

TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes


1/2 ounce dried mushrooms

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 green leaf lettuce leaves, shredded

1 leaf of a fennel bulb, finely diced

1 small onion, finely diced

1 cup arborio rice

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Kosher salt



1. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, and pour hot water over them. Allow them to steep for 20 minutes, then squeeze them out and mince. Reserve the mushroom broth for another purpose.

2. Put four cups of water in a pot, and set it over high heat to boil. Keep it hot.

3. In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter and when it foams, cook the lettuce and fennel until soft. Lift them out of the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon of butter if necessary, and cook the onion until translucent. Add the rice, and stir until it is glistening and hot.

4. Add a cup of the hot water to the mixture, and stir it until the liquid is absorbed, approximately 5 minutes. Add another cup of the water, and stir again until it is absorbed. Add the mushrooms, and stir again, then add a pinch of salt and another half cup of the hot water. When the liquid has been absorbed, taste the rice to see if the grains offer the slightest resistance to your teeth. If not, add the rest of the water, and stir again to combine.

5. Stir in the lettuce, the fennel, the Parmesan and any remaining butter, then grate nutmeg generously over the mixture.

YIELD 2 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

TOTAL TIME 40 minutes


3/4 pound fresh brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or bacon fat

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Red-pepper flakes to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400. Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, and remove all yellowing exterior leaves. Put the sprouts in a large bowl, and toss with the oil or bacon fat, and season well with salt and pepper.

2. Pour the sprouts onto a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to brown the vegetables evenly, until crisp on the outside and tender within. Sprinkle a little more salt on them and, if you like, red-pepper flakes.

YIELD 2 servings

All recipes are easily doubled.

Bon appétit