Gail Simmons's Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
Pancetta-Wrapped Roasted Turkey
Gail Simmons loves this recipe so much she sent it to a friend last Thanksgiving. After rubbing this turkey with a bold and delicious mix of chile powder, cumin, sugar and herbs, Texas chef Tim Love blankets it with slices of salty, fatty pancetta, resulting in a supermoist and savory bird.
Smoked Salmon Crisps
Gail Simmons loves anything with smoked salmon or caviar. To make this recipe supersimple, leave the tuiles flat, like crackers, and top them with store-bought smoked salmon and crème fraîche.
A Champagne cocktail is a superfestive way to start any holiday meal. The name of this one is especially fitting for this great American food holiday.
White-Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs
Gail Simmons always makes a soup at Thanksgiving. A light broth loaded with chunky Great Northern beans and topped with a sprinkling of bacon, this soup was inspired by the caldo gallego (a Spanish white-bean soup) Jose Garces serves at Amada.
Herbed Potato Gratin with Roasted Garlic and Manchego
Chef Jose Garces learned how to make a classic potato gratin while studying at Kendall College’s cooking school in Chicago. It’s still one of his favorite side dishes. This version combines lots of sharp, nutty Manchego cheese and smoky San Simón cheese (Gouda is a fine substitute) for rich, complex flavor.
Butternut Squash-Polenta Gratin
This crispy, slightly sweet gratin can be partially prepared and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Escarole and Fresh Herb Salad with Apples and Pomegranates
Gail Simmons loves the wonderful combination of crispy, tart apples, sweet pomegranate and the slight bitterness of the escarole.
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
Because brussels sprouts are slightly bitter, chef Michael Nischan likes to pair them with something sweet: dried cranberries that have been plumped in off-dry Riesling. ”I don’t like to overdress vegetables,“ he explains. ”It takes just one counterpoint to bring the sprouts to a place where people say, ’This is really good.‘“
Flaky Pear Pie
Grant Achatz's pie, inspired by his mom's, is as straightforward as it gets, with a melt-in-your-mouth all-shortening crust and a lightly sweetened pear filling with just a hint of spice.
Superrich Hot Chocolate with Coconut Cream
A perfect, superrich way to top off a classic Thanksgiving feast, Gail Simmons finds this hot chocolate recipe impossible to resist.