Thanksgiving Recipes to Make Two Days Ahead
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
In this fun variation on traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves gets frosted with a slightly tangy, super-caramelly frosting. It’s delicious served cold or at room temperature.
Creamed Cipollini Onions and Mushrooms
Hazelnut Profiteroles with Blue Cheese and Grapes
Shawn McClain serves some form of these savory cream puffs with drinks at both of his Chicago restaurants. He pokes a hole in the sides of the puffs when they come out of the oven to release the steam, then fills them with a creamy mixture of blue cheese and mascarpone.
Proving that vegetables can be as satisfying as meat, chef Sean Baker serves this mushroom pâté on the vegan “charcuterie” plate at his Berkeley restaurant, Gather.
Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing
Chris Kronner created this salad with ingredients from Scribe Winery’s garden. It offers an amazing array of flavors: sweet roasted broccoli, bitter escarole, salty anchovies, sharp cheese.
Smoked Cheese Cocktail Cookies
A pinch of cayenne pepper adds a spicy kick to these savory cookies, flavored with both sharp cheddar and smoked Gouda cheese. If you prefer, you can replace the smoked Gouda with Gruyère.
Silky Cauliflower Soup
Chef Steven Satterfield emphasizes that to make a great soup, it’s important to sauté the vegetables for the base thoroughly: “Cook them over low heat in a little fat until they soften and cook in their own juices.“
Creamed Edamame and Pearl Onions
This clever riff on the classic creamed peas and pearl onions combines onions with edamame (soy beans) and a topping of panko (Japanese bread crumbs). To make the crumb topping extra crispy, the dish is quickly toasted under the broiler before serving.
Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chef Susur Lee is renowned for his creative, complex, Asian-inflected dishes at his restaurants in Toronto, Manhattan and Singapore. But one of his favorite cold-weather comfort recipes is this remarkably simple squash soup, which he sweetens with a little honey and garnishes with roasted pumpkin seeds.
Herbed Polenta and Parmesan Gratin
Maria Helm Sinskey, culinary director of Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa Valley and author of the phenomenal cookbook The Vineyard Kitchen, created this indulgent baked polenta, made with plenty of Parmesan. It’s just as good when made ahead and reheated as it is when it comes straight out of the oven.
Lemon Puddings with Candied Lemon Zest
This amazing pudding sets from the acid in the lemon juice; there’s no need to add gelatin. The texture is best when the puddings are allowed to firm up overnight.
Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco offers this fun, portable pie: They bake the pastry in a jar, then fill it with fig-and-pear syrup, mascarpone cream, fruit and toasted walnuts.
Poached Pear and Brown Butter Tart
Chef John Besh says he is crazy about winter fruit and loves using it in this brown butter-custard tart. He sometimes swaps the pears for apples or even quince.
Vanilla-and-Cider Panna Cottas with Spiced Ginger Cookies
Shawn McClain tops his cinnamon-and-vanilla-flavored panna cotta with an elegant apple-cider gelée. He equates the dessert to a Creamsicle because it successfully combines creamy and tangy flavors.
Apple Bread Pudding
In a reality-TV moment that shocked us all, Tre Wilcox of Top Chef Season 3 was eliminated after preparing a dense, dull apple bread pudding in an epic Restaurant Wars. Gail Simmons rescues his recipe by sautéing the apples in brandy and butter, then soaking both them and brioche in lots of vanilla custard before baking.