Grossy's Guide to Thanksgiving
Welcome to my Thanksgiving! I am beyond excited to share this with you. So excited, in fact, that I made this logo:
Regardless of its history, Thanksgiving, for me, is truly a celebration of the power of food as a connector. It's a chance for us to gather (well, maybe not in 2020) and share in whatever bounty we have in our lives. We can be thankful for so many things! This year, I am personally thankful for virtually meeting all of you and witnessing you make and share my recipes. It has been a complete joy to share the food I love and see you connect with it as well.
This Thanksgiving guide is meant to help you get all the cooking done with plenty of time to focus on the people in your life and the blessings they bring to you, whether or not they're physically at your Thanksgiving table this year. It's a celebration of how I do Thanksgiving from start to finish starring every dish I've shared with you over the past week. Whether you cook one recipe or all of them, I am here for you! And yes, there should be PLENTY of leftovers, because this is why we Thanksgiving in the first place.
Let's get started with the first course!
Guests at my table are greeted with both a big antipasti platter and a bread platter featuring all the Grossy favorites (and served with honey butter, of course).
Antipasti: Buy and prep all your meats and cheeses. Cut your cheeses, roll your meats, slice your tomatoes and peppers, and make make your salad dressing all the day before Thanksgiving.
Breads: Your honey butter should be made a few days before, and all of your breads can be baked days or months in advance. Simply wrap them tightly and freeze them to preserve their deliciousness. Take them out of the freezer the night before Thanksgiving and let them defrost while still wrapped.
Antipasti: Assemble your platter! It's honestly a dream art project, and a great way to get the kids involved.
Breads: Take your butter out of the fridge while you drink your coffee so it gets soft and spreadable by dinner. A little later in the day, slice your breads and arrange your dream basket! Be sure to place a towel over the basket until dinner is served, to keep the breads fresh.
While your guest(s) are getting their stomachs warmed up for the main event with Antipasti and Breads, it's time to work on the next course: PASTA!
If you're at all surprised to find a pasta course on my Thanksgiving table, you literally don't know me! My butternut squash ravioli has been a part of Thanksgiving with Grossy for a long time, and I guarantee you want it on your table!
Make your raviolis in advance, leaving them uncooked and freeze them until the big day!
While your guest(s) are enjoying their cheese, meats, and breads, slyly boil a pot of of salty water on the stove. As your guest(s) are finishing up the first course, hop into the kitchen, take the frozen ravs out of the freezer, and drop them directly into the boiling water (literally, directly from freezer into water!). Quickly make the easy peasy browned butter sauce to toss the ravs in, and head back the table. All in, you will be gone from the table for 10 minutes tops, and when you reappear with these gorgeous handmade treasures, no one will remember your absence!
Okay, kids. Are we ready for the MAIN COURSE? Let's break it down, starting with the turkey and fixings:
First of all, I like to give my guest(s) a solid 30 minute break between pasta and turkey. It gives them a chance catch their breath, go for a walk, socialize, do some dishes. It also gives the kids a chance to be kids. During that 30 minutes, you can get your turkey legs and thighs out of the oven, and your gravy and sides ready!
What's that? Turkey legs and thighs? No whole turkey? Yes, that's right. This is how we are doing it this year, and ideally every year! Less time in the oven, no carving, and not as much extra meat to deal with! Paired with delicious pan gravy and Aunt Chris's Cranberry Jell-o Mold, you are experience PEAK Thanksgiving.
Turkey: Honestly, nothing. Turkey is strictly day of.
Cranberry: You can make this girl a few days in advance—she's easy!
Turkey: Take your turkey out of the fridge and bring to room temp. You want to put your turkey in the oven about 2 hours before you plan to eat. 90 minutes for roasting, and 30 minutes to rest while the sides and gravy are in hair and makeup getting ready for their debut.
Cranberry: Like I said, she's easy, and she is also my favorite part of this entire meal, FYI. Take her out of the fridge and right to the table. Take a quick moment to un-mold her if in fact you used a mold in the first place!
Sides are next:
Now that your oven is free and your turkey rests for a bit, you can get your sides finished off! You will need the oven to be on broil and your stovetop to be clear. I have aligned your sides so that the Aunt Janet's Citrusy Glazed Carrots and Sweet and Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts come together with a quick glaze on the stove top, while your Cauliflower Mash and Dad's Thanksgiving Stuffing spend a little time in the oven getting nice and toasty. It streamlines and simplifies things, I think!
Carrots: Roast your carrots the day before. Keep in fridge.
Brussels: Roast your brussels the day before. Keep in fridge.
Cauliflower: Make your mash a day or two in advance. Keep in fridge.
Stuffing: Make the corn bread croutons a few days in advance. Make and bake your stuffing the day before, but stop baking slightly shy of your desired crispiness on top. Keep in fridge.
Carrots: Bring your carrots to room temp by taking out of the fridge for a few hours. Make glaze and finish carrots just before you serve.
Brussels: Bring your brussels to room temp by taking out of the fridge for a few hours. Make glaze and finish brussels just before you serve.
Cauliflower: Bring your mash to room temp by taking it out of the fridge for a few hours. Place your mash in a dutch oven or baking dish and broil just before you serve. The top of your mash will get gorgeously brown and crispy.
Stuffing: Bring your stuffing to room temp by it taking out of the fridge for a few hours. Broil just before you serve so the top achieves a gorgeously brown and crispy finish.
Okay now that you cannot possibly eat another thing, it's time for dessert:
I am a firm believer that Thanksgiving dessert is a great place to give yourself a break. Make something easy, like my Any Fruit Crisp (the one above is cranberry apple), or even Mom's Carrot Cake. If you really can't bake or cook one more thing, ask your guest(s) to bring dessert or support your favorite local bakery and buy dessert! My go-to in Brooklyn is Ciao, Gloria. If you order your pies by Monday 11/23, you can get 10% off with the offer code "GROSSY".
For Thanksgiving with Grossy, dessert is always a perfect mix of all-of-the-above.
Fruit crisp: Bake your crisp the day before, cover at room temp once it's cooled and leave out. Do not refrigerate.
Carrot Cake: Carrot cake THRIVES in the fridge. Bake it a day or two in advance and she will be incredible by Thanksgiving.
Fruit crisp: Put your crisp in the oven for a little bit to heat it through before serving. I serve with ice cream. And then again the next day for breakfast with greek yogurt (if there is any left!
Carrot Cake: Fridge-2-table, love.
GUYS WE DID IT.
Thanksgiving with Grossy was a total blast and a huge success. Everyone loved everything we made and couldn't stop raving about it. I'm so proud of us.