The Goof-Off’s Guide to Thanksgiving
T-Day in minus ... four ... three ... two ... one ...
The Nontraditional Thanksgiving
T-Day with a twist
Sam Etheridge's favorite food of all time is turkey and gravy. But nothing's ever quite that simple for Etheridge, the chef/owner of Ambrozia Café and Wine Bar and the forthcoming Nob Hill Bar and Grill. His trademark is to create upscale versions of down-home cooking. "Last year I did a roasted turkey, but I stuffed foie gras under the skin," he says. "I do a traditional green bean casserole but make my own portobello mushroom soup and use fresh green beans. I make my own onion rings to put over the top instead of buying the canned ones."
The New Mexican Thanksgiving
Feeling hot, hot, hot in November
We love our chile in the Zia state. Hell, the official state question is “Red or green?” There’s no reason why this infatuation with capsaicin shouldn’t carry over to Thanksgiving dinner.
The Inexpensive Thanksgiving
Celebrate on a budget
By Simon McCormack
Every year, Michael Sedillo oversees a kitchen that cooks 35 turkeys, prepares 50 pounds of stuffing, opens 250 cans of mixed vegetables and makes a 25-pound green bean casserole. Through the process, Joy Junction's food service director has learned a thing or two about how to make a tasty, filling meal without breaking the bank.
The Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Don’t invite Tofurky this year
When it comes to food, tradition can often take precedent over individual concerns, leaving the lowly vegetarian gnawing on rolls and corn at a holiday dinner. But it doesn't have to be that way if you don't want it to (and if you're willing to take a little guff from grandma). Meet Yashoda Naidoo, lifelong vegetarian, owner and head chef of Annapurna Ayurvedic Cuisine and Chai House, which serves vegetarian and vegan foods cooked in the ancient Indian ayurvedic tradition. "If you look very deep inside, you will see that it all comes back to, 'I choose to go down this path, I don't have to go through deprivation on Thanksgiving dinner when everyone else is enjoying the turkey.' You can have a dish that is totally contrary to what's on the table and still be connected and giving thanks. It's really what you make of it," she says.
High-Altitude Baking Adjustments
Albuquerque is perched at a little over 5,300 feet, which changes the alchemy of the way we bake. Follow these simple guidelines and your Thanksgiving cakes won't fall flat.
Safe Cooking Temperatures
Kill dangerous micro-organisms by cooking your food properly. Temperatures should be gauged by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the food.
Indispensable guidelines from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Remember to allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
Thawing Your Turkey
In the Refrigerator (40°F or below)
Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds
4 to 12 pounds: 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds: 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds: 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds: 5 to 6 days
Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen.
Timetables for Turkey Roasting
4 to 8 pounds (breast): 90 to 195 minutes (1 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours)
8 to 12 pounds: 165 to 180 minutes (2 3/4 to 3 hours)
12 to 14 pounds: 180 to 225 minutes (3 to 3 3/4 hours)
14 to 18 pounds: 225 to 255 minutes (3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours)