If there's one human who can coach the masses through an elegant Thanksgiving affair, it's Ina Garten. Sure, the rest of us may still be grappling with the the difference between a sous vide and a soufflé, but this culinary wiz is the authority on the finer things. So if you'll be spearheading a Turkey Day meal this year, you've come to the right place, because we've enlisted Garten's expert advice for cooking up the feast to end all feasts. With an arsenal of recipes developed by the Barefoot Contessa, herself, even the most unseasoned of kitchen warriors will look like a top chef.
Dust off those oven mitts and get ready to dive in, because here, we've rounded up Garten's favorite Turkey Day recipes. Trust us, you can do this!
Watch: Ina Garten Answers Your Top 7 Thanksgiving Questions
1. Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots
1 1/2 cups light olive oil or vegetable oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
5–6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
2 large yellow turnips (rutabagas), about 4 lbs. Kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) salted butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oil and unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220°F (use a candy thermometer to measure, says Garten). Reduce heat to low, add shallots, and cook until they are a rich golden brown, 30–40 minutes. The temperature should stay below 260°F. Stir shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the oil-butter with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out on paper towels to cool. Once shallots have dried and crisped, they can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.
2. Peel turnips to remove waxy skins and cut into generous 1-inch chunks. Place them in a saucepan with water to cover and add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer; cover and cook until turnips are easily pierced by a paring knife, about 35 minutes. Drain.
3. In a separate saucepan, heat milk and salted butter over low heat until butter has melted and milk just begins to simmer.
4. Puree turnips in several batches in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the motor running, add melted butter and milk in a steady stream. The turnips should be smooth.
5. Return puree to saucepan, season with 1 tsp salt and pepper, and reheat, stirring over medium heat. Serve piping hot, sprinkled generously with crispy shallots.
2. Roasted Turkey Roulade
3/4 cup large diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados, a French apple brandy, or regular brandy
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 cup 1/2-inch-diced celery
3/4 lb. pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 lbs.)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1. Place figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; lower heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently for 10 minutes, until browned and cooked. Add figs and cranberries with the liquid, chopped rosemary, and pine nuts; cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
3. Place stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper; stir well. (Stuffing may be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge overnight.) Preheat oven to 325 F. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.
4. Lay butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Spread stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Don't mound stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place any leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish; bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside turkey.) Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder. Place stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4–2 hours, until a meat thermometer placed in the center reads 150 F (test in a few places). Cover turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest at room temperature 15 minutes.
5. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.
3. Sausage-stuffed Mushrooms
16 extra-large white mushrooms, caps and stems separated
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tbsp Marsala, a fortified wine from Sicily, or medium-dry sherry
3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
5 oz. Italian mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Trim mushroom stems and chop them finely. Set aside.
3. Place mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of the olive oil and the Marsala or sherry. Set aside.
4. Heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, crumbling it with a wooden spoon. Cook sausage 8–10 minutes, stirring frequently until it's completely browned. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Mix in scallions, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook another 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add panko crumbs and stir to combine. Finally, swirl in mascarpone and continue cooking until it has melted and made the mixture creamy.
5. Turn off the heat, stir in Parmesan and parsley; season to taste. Cool slightly.
6. Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture.
7. Arrange mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to fit them all snugly.
8. Bake 50 minutes, until stuffing is browned and crusty.
4. Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core
4 oz. pancetta, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp syrupy balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crisp when they're roasted.
3. Cut pancetta into 1/2-inch dice and add to the pan. Add olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper; toss with your hands. Spread out the mixture in a single layer.
4. Roast brussels sprouts 20–30 minutes, until they're tender and nicely browned and the pancetta is cooked. Toss once during roasting.
5. Remove from oven, drizzle immediately with balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.
5. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
1 butternut squash (2 lbs.), peeled and diced in 3/4-inch cubes
1 1/4 tbsp pure maple syrup Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry
3/4 cup walnut halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, and toss. Roast the squash 15–20 minutes, turning once, until tender.
3. Add cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
4. While squash is roasting, combine apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 6–8 minutes, until cider is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
5. Off the heat, whisk in mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
6. Place arugula in a large salad bowl and add roasted squash mixture, walnuts, and grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten, and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
6. Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
MAKES 10 CUPCAKES
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed Maple Frosting (recipe below)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (two 1.4 oz. bars)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the top of a muffin pan with vegetable oil and line it with 10 paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
3. In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and then y cup vegetable oil. Add flour mixture and stir to combine.
4. Scoop batter into the prepared tins (Garten uses a 2u-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cool completely, spread the cupcakes with maple frosting, and sprinkle with chopped Heath bars.
Frosts 10 cupcakes
6oz. cream cheese
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla on medium-low until very smooth.
2. With the mixer on low, slowly add sugar and mix until smooth.