an effortless feast ALMOST

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an effortless feast ALMOST
celebrate
an
ALMOST
effortless
feast
We’ve rounded up the best hints
and cheats to help you keep your cool while
prepping this mother of a meal.
by JENNA HELWIG photographs by JENNIFER CAUSEY
november 2014
130
parents
Serve sides
that can satisfy both
vegetarians and
nonvegetarians. Try a
roasted beet salad made
with arugula, nuts,
cheese, and a whole grain.
MAKE
A PLAN
When putting
together the menu,
don’t overwhelm
yourself by making
a variety of food
options. Prep one
salad instead of
three. It requires
fewer serving
dishes and less
counter space.
Kelsey Nixon, host of
Cooking Channel“s
Kelsey’s Essentials
and author of
Kitchen Confidence
Write down your
cooking schedule.
Start with the time
you want everyone
to be sitting down
at a table full of
food, and then
work backwards.
Pull out serving
dishes and label
them with pieces of
paper so that you
know what
everything will be
served in, says
Nixon. It is a small
step, but in that
last crucial hour it
can be a lifesaver.
Curtis Stone, chef/owner of
Maude, in Beverly Hills. Get this recipe
at parents.com/beet-salad.
Plan side dishes
by cooking method,
such as roasting
or sautéeing,
so you don’t have
seven items that
need a burner to
cook or heat up
when you only have
four burners.
Andrew Zimmern,
host of Travel
Channel“s Bizarre
Foods America
Ask your guests
to bring side
dishes such as
salads or cranberry
sauce. It will make
your life as host
a little bit easier.
Roasted brussels
sprouts are one of my
favorite sides. You
can trim them ahead and
roast in the oven.
Then just season with
freshly squeezed lemon.
Marc Murphy, chef/owner
of Landmarc, in NYC, and judge on
Food Network“s Chopped
celebrate
3 SIPPING
TIPS
Break out the corkscrew
and follow this advice from Jennifer
Desmond, NYC
wine writer and educator.
1
Before the meal offer
your guests cava, a
bright, bubbly white wine
from Spain. It will remind
everyone of champagne, but
it’s easier on the wallet.
2
Have one type of white
and one type of red on hand
for the feast. Look for
inexpensive dry rieslings
and pinot noirs, which
are versatile and pair well with
different flavors. 3
NO-COOK NIBBLES
DESMOND’S PICKS
Bohigas Cava Brut Reserva,
Spain; 2011 Trimbach
Riesling, France; 2012 Veramonte
Ritual Pinot Noir, Chile
Since oven and
stovetop space are at such a
premium on Turkey Day,
enlist your slow cooker.
Find recipes at parents.com
/holiday-slow-cooker.
november 2014
132
parents
You’re about to have a feast, so keep starters
simple and light. Nuts and marinated olives are among
the lowest-maintenance possibilities, but if you
absolutely must prepare something, figs and blue cheese
or prosciutto-wrapped pear slices are elegant
and come together quickly.
Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist and author
of How to Cook Everything Fast
Pick up some fun specialty vegetables at
the farmers’ market to serve with store-bought dips
as an appetizer. Yellow cauliflower and purple
carrots, for example, are exciting and different but
still within the zone of familiarity.
Ellie Krieger, R.D., author of Weeknight Wonders
FOOD STYLING BY SUZANNE LENZER. PROP STYLING BY PAMELA DUNCAN SILVER FOR PLUM REPS.
Plan on one bottle of
wine for every two drinkers.
If you end up with
extra, it won’t go to waste.
PREP
THE SIDES
AHEAD
Try to do
everything in
advance. The day
of should be for
cooking the turkey
and finishing the
gravy and/or
dessert. Strive to
participate in your
Thanksgiving
instead of missing
it! Geoffrey Zakarian,
coauthor of My
Perfect Pantry and
chef/partner at The
Lambs Club, in NYC
Wash, dry,
and trim hardy
green vegetables
up to two days
early. Stash in
zip-top bags in the
fridge. You can
also pre-chop and
store the carrots,
celery, and onions.
Peel, cut, and
soak potatoes the
day before for
mashed potatoes,
Murphy suggests.
The water keeps
the potatoes from
turning brown
and most of the
work is done. The
next day just
boil in fresh water
and mash.
Shoot for at
least one roomtemperature
side dish such
as blanched
green beans in
vinaigrette; this
will free up oven
space and lastminute prep time.
HOW
TO BLANCH
Bring a large pot
of well-salted water
to a boil. Throw in your
vegetables and cook
until just tender, about
4 minutes for green
beans. Drain and
run under cold
water.
Make-Ahead
Mashed-Potato
Casserole
See page 174 for recipe.
celebrate
Have the
kids create
these cute
“gobblers”
for a light
lunch while
you prepare
the dinner.
See page
174 for the
how-to.
THE MODERN
KIDS’ TABLE
You’re setting the table
and making it special for
the adults. Do the same
for the kids. A few flowers
or even some small fun
toys for a centerpiece can
go a long way toward
making kids feel part of
the holiday.
White butcher
paper looks pretty in
pre-feast photos
and is a perfect
canvas for kids’-table
creativity.
Alex Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter,
in NYC, and author of Old-School
Comfort Food
Want your little ones to
gobble up dinner? Lay
off the snacks before the
big meal. A hungry kid is
more likely to dig in.
TAME THE TURKEY
Leave the bird
unwrapped in the
refrigerator overnight
to dry out the skin
and encourage
browning. Bring it to
room temp half an
hour before roasting.
For juicy meat,
Murphy recommends
placing pats of herbed
butter under the turkey’s
skin before roasting.
november 2014
134
parents
Put the grill into
play if you can. A
turkey done on the
grill can be a great
way to extend
the abilities of your
kitchen. Ben Ford,
owner of Ford“s Filling
Station, in Los Angeles,
and coauthor of
Taming the Feast
Transfer the turkey
to the cutting board
right away and let it
rest for up to an hour
before you carve it,
says Bittman. Use this
time to make gravy or
to finish (or reheat)
the sides you’ve
already assembled.
To learn how
to grill a turkey, visit
butterball.com/
how-tos/grill-a-turkey.
A PSA FROM
PARENTS
You want Thanksgiving
to be memorable, but not
because of food poisoning.
According to the USDA, turkeys
should reach a minimum internal
temperature of 165°F. Check
both the innermost part
of the thigh and the thickest
part of the breast with an
instant-read thermometer
to be sure they hit
the mark.
celebrate
Maple-Parsnip
Cake
See page 174
for recipe.
Find creative
ideas for using up
Turkey Day
leftovers on
our iPad edition.
Get it at
parents.com/
digitalnow.
SIMPLIFY
DESSERT
Put the kids to
work! They can
decorate this moist
cake (at left) by
setting clean,
autumn leaves on
top like stencils
before sprinkling
on powdered
sugar. This same
technique also
works on a
store-bought
pumpkin pie.
Bake different
cookies for the
holidays and use
them to prepare a
few mini ice-cream
sandwiches, says
Guarnaschelli.
Then wrap them
in parchment,
freeze, and serve
for an off-beat
treat.
For an elegant,
easy no-bake
dessert, Bittman
recommends
poaching pears
with spices. For
a recipe, go to
parents.com/
poached-pears.
MAKE
A CLEAN
EXIT
Enlist a kitchen
companion to help
you clean as you
go, aiming to have
an empty (or a
near-empty) sink
when you sit down
to eat. This requires
less juggling
than it may seem
if you multitask
during pockets of
downtime,
notes Bittman.
Do not wave
away guests who
offer to help with
the initial cleanup.
Dishes get done a
lot faster when you
have an efficient
assembly line,
Nixon points out. Make cleanup
fun (it’s possible!).
Listen to music,
fill up to-go
containers,
and enjoy some
more wine.
Chop onions
sans tears. $
20; bedbathand
beyond.com
november 2014
Peel and core
apples the pros’
way. $30; williamssonoma.com
136
parents
A quirky turkey
timer. $15;
blueribbon
generalstore.com
DIY place mats for
the kids’ table.
$17; highfashion
home.com
Reusable slate
place cards. $22
for 10; uncommon
goods.com
Line boxes in wax
paper for cake or
pie to go. $1;
bayleysboxes.com
PRODUCTS: AVERY POWELL.
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