Stressing out over hosting the big day tomorrow? No worries! Here are a few last-minute tips to pull off your Thanksgiving celebration without a hitch! Celebrating both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah this year? Scroll down for a few recipes that are perfect for both. Happy Holidays!
- Take out serving platters the day before, along with the appropriate utensils, and label each with a sticky note so you know which food goes with each dish.
- Set the table so you’re not rushing to get it done on the big day. If using place cards, write them out and set on table.
- No time to make an elaborate spread of hot appetizers? No problem. Place an assortment of cheeses and crackers on a big platter or board. Set out bowls of mixed nuts, dried fruits, olives and other pre-made foods that are easy to eat off a toothpick. Voila — instant nibbles for hungry guests who are anxiously awaiting the bird!
- According to turkey experts, there’s no need to rinse that big bird before seasoning it. Any bacteria will be cooked off in the oven since it’s in there for several hours.
- Season the bird, cover and let sit in fridge until morning.
- Prep whatever you can ahead of time; wash and chop vegetables, dice onions and set in plastic bags in fridge. Mushrooms and potatoes should be cut the day of, as they tend to get brown if not used right away.
- Bake pies and cobblers; cover with foil and leave on table at room temperature. Fruit/nut pies don’t need to be refrigerated. Mousses, etc., would need to be stored in the fridge or a cold garage, covered well.
For the first time, in 2013, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day, hence the play on words, ‘Thanksgivukkah.’ Here are a few recipes that are perfect for both celebrations.
Pumpkin Sufganiyot with Cranberry Jam Filling
(Recipe courtesy of yumsugar.com)
Yields about 40 donuts
3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for dusting
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
5 cups vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups cranberry jam
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast on a low speed. Add eggs and pumpkin purée, and mix well. Add warm water and vegetable oil, and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium, and then to medium-high until a smooth, starchy dough forms, about 5 minutes.
- Coat a large mixing bowl with oil, and transfer sufganiyot dough to the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- On a lightly floured work surface, flip dough out and punch it down. Roll it out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use a standard mason jar or a drinking glass to cut out doughnuts. Transfer doughnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and keep covered with plastic wrap. Gather dough scraps, roll out again, and repeat the process until all the dough is used up. Allow doughnuts to rise again until puffy and 1/2-inch in thickness, about 15 to 30 minutes.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until a thermometer reads 350°F. Using a slotted spoon or a spatula, carefully transfer doughnuts 4 at a time into the oil. Fry until golden, flipping often, for about 1 1/2 minutes in total. Carefully remove doughnuts from oil, and transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Roll doughnuts in granulated sugar while warm. Repeat the same process with remaining doughnuts. Keep a watchful eye on the oil and make sure it always remains at 350°F.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round decorating tip or use a clear squeeze bottle. When doughnuts are cooled, use a plastic straw or a toothpick to make a hole on the side of each doughnut. Pipe (or squeeze) cranberry jam into each doughnut until the doughnut swells, about a teaspoon. Wipe the tip of the piping bag or squeeze bottle clean after each doughnut or else the cranberry jam will bleed out onto the doughnuts. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve immediately.
Pumpkin Latkes with Spiced Cranberry Sour Cream
(Recipe courtesy of The Denver Post)
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded and shredded (about 3 cups)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Toasted pecans, to garnish
In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add onion, cook until very tender and well browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer onion (reserving skillet) to a medium bowl and mix in shredded pumpkin, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper.
Wipe out skillet used to cook onions. Return it to medium-high heat and add ¼ inch vegetable oil. Working in batches, scoop pumpkin mixture by heaping tablespoonful into pan, 3 or 4 scoops at a time. Flatten each scoop with the back of the spatula and cook until browned on both sides and tender at the center, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain. Serve with cranberry sour cream and toasted pecans.
Sweet Potato Bourbon Noodle Kugel
(Recipe courtesy of Buzzfeed Food)
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs)
4 tablespoons bourbon
one 1-lb package wide egg noodles
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ lb full-fat cottage cheese
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to salt water for noodles
2 cups corn flakes
1 cup whole shelled pecan halves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick)
¼ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wrap sweet potatoes individually in foil and roast in the oven until soft and completely cooked through, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Peel skin off sweet potatoes using your hands (and a table knife, if it helps), then puree with the bourbon in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. This should yield about 3 cups of puree. If you yield more than 3 cups, set the excess aside for another use or discard. (If you want, you can do this ahead and refrigerate the puree for up to 2 days.)
Lower oven to 350°F.
In a pot of heavily salted water, cook the egg noodles al dente (about 5 minutes, or 2 minutes less than the package directions say). Pour into a colander to drain, running cold water over the noodles until they are cool to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.
In a very large bowl, beat eggs, then add brown sugar and beat just until combined. Add cottage cheese, melted butter, and the sweet potato puree, then mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Finally, add salt and the cooked noodles, and mix with a spatula until combined.
Pour noodle mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes (if noodles start to brown during this time, cover your baking dish with foil).
While kugel is baking, prepare the pecan topping: First, put the cornflakes in a Ziploc bag and crush with your hands. The cornflakes should be in small pieces, but not dust. Next, brown butter in a medium saucepan. When butter is brown, turn off your head and add sugar, chopped pecans and crushed cornflakes and stir with a spatula until just combined.
After it has baked for the full 50 minutes, remove kugel from the oven and sprinkle pecan mixture on top in an even layer. Bake, uncovered, for another 30 minutes, or until set. If pecans start to brown before kugel is set, cover with foil.