THIS IS THE ULTIMATE mashed potato side dish, with just a hint of smoky cheese and savory onion. I’ve used the smoked Gouda cheese sparingly so it’s not overpowering, but it truly makes these potatoes great. These mashers are fantastic on their own; with an extra pat of butter; with Thanksgiving turkey gravy; on the side of my Pot Roast, grilled steak, or chicken; and with Easter ham. Consider halving the recipe for a smaller, weeknight meal.
YOU’LL NEVER GO BACK to cooking a whole bird after making this recipe. I’ve broken the turkey into its primal cuts, which allows the meat to cook more evenly—in half the time! The meat turns out perfectly cooked, classically flavored, golden brown, and delicious every time—with far less babysitting than a whole turkey. This method frees up the oven sooner, plus the carcass can be simmering into stock for the gravy ahead of time.
I’ve used my spice cupboard staples for the seasonings so the drippings make tasty gravy, and all you’ll need is a standard half-sheet pan and a metal rack that fits inside it.
Friday night is pasta with vongole since forever, and we have come up with lots of variations as the years have gone by. This combination, with chewy pieces of pancetta and some greens, might be the family favorite, but by no means is this canon. Throw some cherry tomatoes in with the garlic and omit the greens, or use both. Leave out the pork product if you want. You can double or triple the recipe as long as you divide the pasta between two big pots. The only real rule is to make sure the table is set and everyone is within earshot when the clams start to open; hot pasta waits for no one.
My mom made us these epic German meat roll-ups, called rouladen, for holidays and special occasions when we were growing up. After I moved away, whenever I’d come home, she’d ask what I’d like her to cook for me, and my answer was always the same: ROULADEN. Poor Mutti probably got a li’l sick of making them—one year, she branched out and cooked us an interesting Mexican-inspired Christmas feast. It was “creative,” and the whole family was very “appreciative” . . . but we all politely asked her if, next year, she wouldn’t mind going back to rouladen. The older I get, the more I crave the comfort of the classic dishes of my childhood.
I love to eat this with spaetzle, a German, noodle-like dumpling. You can buy it from the store, find a recipe online, or call my mom and ask for her recipe.
When Vietnamese cooks stuff fowl for roasting, the dressing is often made with sticky rice. These preparations, which bridge Vietnamese and French culinary traditions, commonly include lotus seeds, too. My family prefers the flavor of chestnuts, however, which we simmer in chicken stock, butter, and cilantro. The presence of shiitake mushrooms and Cognac in this recipe illustrates yet another marriage of East and West.
This dressing is good with roast turkey, chicken, game hens, and goose. While you may stuff the birds, I find baking the dressing separately is easier, plus the grains on the bottom form a tasty crust. Shelling and peeling chestnuts is time-consuming, but this recipe doesn’t require many of them. For guidance on buying and peeling the nuts, see the accompanying Note.
This soup has a decadent richness that skeptics of vegan cooking are often surprised by (tahini can pull a lot of weight!). It also comes together in about thirty minutes, making it a great option for weeknights. You’ll notice that I call for water rather than stock; in this recipe, it makes for a better liquid, as it keeps the flavors of the soup pure and aligned. Frizzled shallots make an excellent, if optional, garnish.
My mom made this during Thanksgiving on year and upon tasting it, we knew we had to have it every year for the rest of our lives. My family and I absolutely love Thanksgiving. I think it was because it was the only day of the year (aside from Christmas Eve) that my parents were forced to close the restaurant early. We embraced this tradition, making every Thanksgiving meal traditional with dishes like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. This green spaghetti (and our black bean puree) was how we made Thanksgiving our own, beginning a new tradition for our family that blended both cultures. I really hope it becomes one of yours, too.
To many descendants of America’s servant class, who at hog killing time helped smoke the very best parts of the pig or prepared those cuts for the planter’s table, a succulent, golden-brown ham is more than sustenance; it is the centerpiece whenever special occasions are celebrated.
Pistachio Semolina Cake
Jessica Koslow of Sqirl, Silver Lake