Everyday Food's November feature is "The Easiest Feast Ever;" the menu has a "Downhome Tradition" theme, including:
- Roast turkey with brown-sugar and mustard glaze
- Bourbon gravy
- Pecan cornbread dressing
- Stewed green beans with bacon
- Sweet potato casserole
- Basic cranberry sauce
- Also included is a basic pie crust recipe, plus recipes for pumpkin cream pie, chocolate pecan pie, cheddar-crusted apple pie, and coconut custard pie
- Bonus: a preparation schedule, beginning 3 days before Thanksgiving
- Spice-brined turkey with cider pan gravy
- Roast turkey with onion and cranberry chutney
- Shallot and sage-roasted turkey with shallot gravy
- Red currant-glazed cornish hens and pearl onions
- Turkey cutlets with pancetta sage sauce
- Mixed peppercorn beef tenderloin with shallot-port reduction
- Beef tenderloin with roasted tomato salsa
- Marinated beef tenderloin with caramelized onion and mushroom ragout
- Seared beef tenderloin with dijon and herbs
- Braised lamb shanks with parsley-mint gremolata
- Classic bouillabaisse with rouille-topped croutons
- Maple-sage roasted pork tenderloin
- Parmesan and root vegetable lasagna
Desserts: cranberry oatmeal bars (with variations), pear pie with streusel topping and caramel sauce, old-fashioned gingerbread, chocolate roulade, and yellow butter cake with vanilla meringue frosting
Extras: fig-walnut sticky buns, beer-cheese bread (with variations), buttermilk biscuits, apricot mustard sauce, saffron aioli, chunky chai applesauce, classic cranberry sauce, pistachio-cranberry scones, bakery dinner rolls
Bonus: "Gifts from the kitchen," with suggestions and recipes for homemade Christmas gifts and a "Holiday meal strategies" section with lots of tips
My summary: The holiday cookbook section is comprehensive and should have something to please everyone. However, if you're indecisive and/or unwilling to make a glaze, reduction, or chutney, this may not be the perfect Thanksgiving menu for you. Cooking Light always does a great job of making delicious food a little lighter, and this issue is no exception. Outside the holiday section, there are several more recipes, a travel feature (this month it is North Carolina), and lifestyle and health articles (mostly geared toward women).
- Foie gras toasts with sauternes gelee
- Pecan and goat cheese marbles
- Smoked-sable tartare with beets and watercress
- Roast turkey with black truffle butter and white wine gravy
- Chestnut, leek and apple stuffing
- Cranberry, quince, and pearl onion compote
- Parsnip puree with sauteed brussels sprouts leaves
- Roasted sweet potato rounds with garlic oil and fried sage
- Wild mushroom bundles
- Celery apple granitas
- Seckel pear tart with poire william cream
- Spiced pumpkin souffles with bourbon molasses sauce
- Bonus: wine advice and a 3-day "game plan"
If the "Over the Top" menu sounds a bit over the top for you, Gourmet has more menu options:
- A menu incorporating Latino flavors, which includes: chipotle meatballs; mango pomegranate guacamole; plantain chips; clementine jicama salad; adobo turkey with red chile gravy; cornbread and chorizo stuffing; cranberry pineapple salsa; roasted chayotes with garlic; sweet potato coconut puree; poblano potato gratin; lattice apple pie with Mexican brown sugar; rum ice cream; and chocolate cinnamon cream pie.
- A "Four Hour Feast," including: carrot fennel soup; extra-moist roast turkey with pan gravy; sage stuffing; cranberry tangerine conserve; haricots verts with bacon and chestnuts; roasted potatoes and shallots; cider poached apples with candied walnuts, rum ice cream, and cider syrup.
- A "Vegetarian Feast" with the following recipes: marinated olives; sliced fresh fennel; cheese plate with crackers; artichokes braised in lemon and olive oil; mushroom and farro pie; parmesan-roasted butternut squash; cranberry sauce with dates and orange; moscatel-glazed parsnips; smashed potatoes with roasted garlic gravy; sauteed broccoli rabe; kohlrabi and mache salad; prune, apricot, and cherry frangipane tart; pumpkin tart with anise seed crust; and roasted chestnuts.
My summary: Unless you are a real foodie (or someone in your family has a gourmet catering business), Gourmet's Thanksgiving menus may be a little overwhelming. The "four hour feast" is by far the most reasonable for the everyday cook - it utilizes some ingredients you may not be used to but should probably be able to find without a huge struggle. I will probably never make 95% of the recipes in Gourmet, but I have a feeling the other 5% will be absolutely amazing and will make my subscription worthwhile.
Magazines featured in the next post: Bon Appetit, Cook's Country, Saveur, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and whatever else shows up in my mailbox. (Note: I don't subscribe to or buy all these magazines - some are borrowed . . . seriously!)