I was super excited to try this last Thanksgiving cooking class and bring back a new way of cooking for my family. This class made me want to buy a blow torch (the kind you use to make creme brûlée) and make different kinds of toasty desserts. We sprinkled sugar on halved granny smith apples and toasted them up with the torch after braising them in cider and other warm flavors.
The second reason I was so attracted to this class, is because they were going to show us how to make a spatchcock turkey (similar to butterflying a chicken). When you cook it this way, it takes time off the entire cooking process. Every single time I take a cooking class, I bring back creative ideas that stick with me. I was excited to add some new techniques to this traditional holiday.
The butternut squash was made using a “hasselback” technique of not cutting all the way through, to pour the sweet, savory sauce on top and through each slice…creating a balanced and visually stimulating dish!
Oh Brussels sprouts….I happen to be a huge fan of them…and also lemon! It combines the bacony crunch with the freshness of the vegetable and a lemony finish!
The braised apples were soft and deep in flavor with a little crunch from the brûlée…and the ice cream cooled things off in the end.
Take a beautiful holiday with family and loved ones and create a modern twist! Serve with love and enjoy!
Spatchcocked Turkey With Anise and Orange
5 tsp anise seed, divided
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated orange zest, plus 4 wide strips orange zest
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, sprig reserved
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, sprigs reserved
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 12-14 lb turkey (neck, giblets and backbone removed and reserved)
2 medium onions, quartered
4 large carrots, peeled, halved
4 celery stalks
3 heads garlic, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
Toast anise seed in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool; finely grind in a spice mill or motor and pestle. (Alternatively, chop with a knife).
Finely chop salt, grated west, sugar, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, pepper and 4 tsp anise seed in a food processor.
Place turkey, skin side down, on a cutting board. Use a knife to score down long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten. You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way. Rub all over with salt mixture; place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill, uncovered, 6-18 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Rinse turkey, pat dry and place, skin side up, on top of vegetables; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil, orange zest strips, and remaining anise seed in a small saucepan until oil is sizzling, about 2 minutes, let cool slightly.
Brush turkey with oil, add 1/2 cup water to pan, and roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to a platter; tent with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving (8 servings).
Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bay Leaves
1 large butternut squash or 2-3 small honey nut squash (3 lb total)
1 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6-8 dried bay leaves
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Using a peeler, remove skin and white flesh below (you should reach the deep orange flesh). Rub all over with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast in a baking dish just large enough to hold halves side by side until beginning to soften (a paring knife should easily slip in only about ¼”), 15–18 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring chile, maple syrup, butter, and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally and removing chile as soon as desired heat level is reached (set aside for serving), until just thick enough to coat spoon, 6–8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and keep glaze warm.
Transfer squash to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Using a sharp knife, score rounded sides of squash halves crosswise, going as deep as possible but without cutting all the way through. Return squash to baking dish, scored sides up, and tuck bay leaves between a few of the slices; season with salt and pepper.
Roast squash, basting with glaze every 10 minutes or so and using pastry brush to lift off any glaze in dish that is browning too much, until tender and glaze forms a rich brown coating, 45–60 minutes. Serve topped with reserved chiles.
Do Ahead: Squash can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let cool until just warm; cover and store at room temperature. Reheat before serving (8 servings).
Lemony Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Breadcrumbs
2 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 oz slab bacon or pancetta (Italian bacon), coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
1 small Fresno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
Remove outer leaves from Brussels
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
Remove outer leaves from Brussels sprouts; set aside. Half sprouts and set aside. Pulse bacon in a food processor until finely ground. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Cook bacon, stirring often, until browned around edges and fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumb mixture to paper towels and let cool slightly. Toss in a medium bowl with chile, thyme and lemon zest. Set aside.
Increase heat to medium-high and heat 2 tbsp oil in the same skillet. Add reserved halved Brussels sprouts; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until deeply browned all over, 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. uncover skillet, add reserved leaves and 1 tbsp. lemon juice and toss to combine. Cover skillet and cook tossing occasionally, until leaves are bright green and just wilted, 4-5 minutes. Uncover, add remaining 1 tbsp lemon juice and season with salt.
Transfer Brussels sprouts to a platter, drizzle with more oil and top with reserved breadcrumb mixture (reheat breadcrumb mixture if needed in a small skillet or in microwave) (8 servings).
Braised and Bruleed Apples with Ice Cream
4 cups unfiltered apple cider
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
4 large firm baking apples, halved, cored with a melon baller
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 its. vanilla ice cream
Candied or unsalted roasted nuts (for serving)
Special Equipment – kitchen torch
Bring apple cider, maple syrup, butter, vinegar and salt to a simmer in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-low heat, stirring to melt butter. Add apples to pot in a single layer (you might need to cook in batches depending on the size of your pot) and return liquid to a very gentle simmer. Cook, turning apples halfway through, until skewer (or the tip of a small knife) slides easily through the flesh but apples stay intact, 20-25 minutes; set aside.
Remove apples from pot with a slotted spoon and place, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Bring liquid in pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until reduced to a thick caramel with bubbles that slowly expand and then pop, 15-20 minutes. Add cream and stir until sauce is smooth. Reduce heat to low and keep sauce warm in pot while you brûlée the caramel apples.
Sprinkle cut sides of reserved apples with sugar and caramelize with kitchen torch (alternatively, you can brûlée them under the broiler, about 3 minutes).
To serve, scoop ice cream into bowls; place an apple half, bruleed side up, in each. Drizzle with warm caramel sauce and top with some nuts.
Do Ahead: Apples can be braised 2 day ahead. Let cool in liquid, then cover and chill. Reheat over low before continuing recipe.