Two cookbooks to menu-plan Thanksgiving
The trick is to prepare as many dishes as possible in the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
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"The Game Plan" sidebar for each dinner party features a timeline with a check list for what to do five days ahead, one day ahead, and the day of the dinner party. The America's Test Kitchen cooks also offer up clever tips to make prep work more efficient and help solve common cooking problems, such as how to fix a thin sauce or remove candle wax from a tablecloth. America's Test Kitchen offers a wealth of information and guidance online, too. You might enjoy touring their new online cooking school. This month's class on Thanksgiving dinner promises: "We teach you the skills you need to make any holiday meal a success."Skip to next paragraph
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You may not get the wealth of recipes choices in "Menu Cookbook" as you'll find in "Thanksgiving Cookbook" offers, but sometimes too many choices is not helpful for those with busy lifestyles. In addition, the tightly focused menu from America's Test Kitchen could help prevent an ambitious cook from biting off more than one can chew, as they say.
Here is the Classic Thanksgiving Dinner from "Menu Cookbook":
Big American Cheese Board
Roast Turkey for a Crowd
Make-ahead Turkey Gravy
Herbed Bread Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Ginger
Buttery Peas with Shallots and Thyme
Deep-Dish Apple Pie
Classic Pecan Pie
Whatever approach you use, whether you design your own meal or use a ready-made plan, your guests will be grateful. And hopefully someone else will do the dishes.
Garlic-Roasted Green Beans & Shallots with Hazelnuts
From "Fine Cooking Thanksgiving Cookbook" (Julianna Grimes)
Chopped hazelnuts are a fine flavor match for green beans– and a refreshing departure from the more-expected almonds. The beans will hold at room temperature for several minutes before serving; cover with foil to keep warm.
10 to 12 medium shallots, sliced lengthwise
1⁄4 inch thick
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
10 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Put the shallots, green beans, and garlic in a large bowl; toss with the oil. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the vegetables and toss again. Transfer to two large baking dishes (about 10x15 inches) and roast until tender and very lightly browned, stirring once, 18 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the parsley, hazelnuts, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle this over the roasted vegetables when they come out of the oven and toss to coat. Serve warm.
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