When your home is Turkey Central for Thanksgiving, serving a traditional meal is one less thing to worry about. That’s the good news. The even better news is that we’ve given old favorites a little extra something to make them special.
Our classic Thanksgiving menu features foods everyone expects: spiced pecans, marinated roast turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie.
We’ve tinkered with the flavors a little. Choose the freshest pecans (usually labeled “new crop”), and coat them with a sweet and spicy herb mixture before toasting. Make plenty—once they’re in pretty bowls, they’ll go fast.
The turkey marinates in tangerine or orange juice, lots of garlic and pepper flakes before roasting to a crisp, deep brown exterior. Mashed potatoes are enriched and lightened in texture with creamy, tangy goat cheese. As for Brussels sprouts—forget boiling. These are sliced and quickly sautéed to a crisp texture and bright green color before getting a sprinkling of best-quality shredded Parmigiano Reggiano.
For dessert, an innovative two-layer pie settles the “pumpkin or pecan” debate. The bottom of each slice is good old pumpkin and the top is traditional pecan pie.
—By Nicki Pendleton Wood