By Emily Peck

Emily is a nutritionist, personal chef, Kitchen Assistant at the Institute of Culinary Education, and the blogger behind The Greener Palate. She’s been a vegetarian for over a decade and is passionate about plant-based, whole-food cooking.

Vegan Thanksgiving fans, anyone? From the sausage stuffing to the gravy to the big ol’ turkey, it’s hard to imagine a meatless Thanksgiving that’s still mouth-watering and traditional. If you’re someone who’s inclined to save a bird this year, you might worry that all the tofurkeys and lentil loafs in the world won’t convince your family that eating plant-based foods is in any way comparable to a juicy turkey. But it’s our duty, my fellow plant lovers, to find ways to persuade the skeptics in our lives that we can enjoy the fruits of the earth in so many unique and appetizing ways, while staying true to some of the classic holiday recipes. That’s why, when I was given the opportunity to take Vegan Thanksgiving, a course taught by Chef Peter Berley at the Institute of Culinary Education, I jumped at the chance. He shared a handful of recipes plus ideas for modifying any dish to make it both delicious and entirely plant-based. The following are some tips I took away from the course.

almond-cake1

  1. Innovate with herbs. Cooking with herbs has the double benefit of adding fresh flavors and nutritional benefits to any dish. You can innovate with herbs for interesting new flavors, like we did with the Roasted Vegetable Pâté recipe. The recipe called for chopped rosemary, thyme and sage, but we had a lot of basil too, so I added a handful of that plus some leftover celery leaves — the final product had a complex (and delicious) flavor.
  1. Lighten up. You can substitute heavy ingredients like cream and butter for healthy alternatives. The traditional recipe for candied yams calls for butter, but we used extra-virgin olive oil (a heart-healthy dietary fat) instead. Coconut oil is another alternative fat source that adds some nutty sweetness to the dish as well. Bonus: coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, or “MCTs,” which have been found to boost HDL or “good cholesterol.”
  1. Nix the gluten. One recipe that I particularly enjoyed was the Stuffed Dumpling Squash with Kamut, Spelt Berry and Wild Rice. The kamut and spelt berry, however, are gluten-ful grains, and while wild rice is gluten-free, store-bought mixes are often made in facilities that also make products containing gluten — which can be problematic for those with gluten sensitivities. If you’re looking for gluten-free options, opt for a gluten-free grain such as quinoa — a hearty and healthy complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index.
  1. Swap out refined sugars. Many candied yam and sweet potato dishes call for refined white sugar, a processed simple carbohydrate. Instead, try substituting maple syrup, agave or even coconut sugar for a natural, less-processed sweetener.
  1. Swap in Flavorful Cooking Methods (Like Caramelizing). Roasting your veggies for a half hour or more will caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness. Chef Peter’s Caramelized Onion Gravy was impressive — it had a delicious sweet and savory component due to the slow cooking of the onions. The gravy was a rich topping for the squash dumplings (mentioned above), creating a unique twist on a classic dish without using a meat base.

Many families rely on their collective traditions when choosing Thanksgiving dishes. I like to create my own traditions while paying homage to the long-standing ones of my family — my aunt’s irresistible Pecan Squares and my mom’s Creamy Zesty Carrots, both recipes handed down from their mom, my grandmother. This year, I plan to recreate these dishes by substituting the dairy and any highly processed ingredients with plant-based, fresh ones. My uncle, who finds great value in keeping things simple and classic, probably won’t admit that he likes Chef Peter’s Maple Tofu Whipped Cream that I’m going to pile on top of my Vegan Almond-Raspberry Cake. But the proof will be in the pudding — or on his empty dessert plate when he’s asking for seconds. Aside from being delicious, cooking plant-based foods provides the freedom to eat more (within reason), while taking advantage of many benefits, including improved digestion due to high amounts of fiber, minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and plant-based proteins. All of this creates healthy and happy bellies on Thanksgiving.

Emily’s Vegan Almond-Raspberry Cake
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut- or almond-milk dairy-free yogurt
⅔ cup honey
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces raspberries, preferably organic
Zest of 1 lemon

Optional:

Sprinkle of powdered sugar
½ cup chopped raw pistachios, almonds or pecans

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 325º F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pan (I used a spring form pan) with vegan butter or spray and lightly dust with almond flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and sea salt.
  • In small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, vanilla extract, olive oil and lemon zest. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well and fold in the raspberries. Pour the mixture into the pan.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cooled, slice into 8 pieces. Top with Maple Tofu Whipped Cream (recipe below). Optional: Sprinkle with chopped nuts and powdered sugar.

 

Chef Peter’s Maple Tofu Whipped Cream
Servings: Makes about 2 ½ cups

Ingredients:

½ pound soft tofu, drained
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons agar flakes
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
½ cup plain soy or almond milk

Preparation:

  • Combine tofu, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt in food processor.
  • Place the agar flakes and cup of cold water in sauce pan over medium heat. Stirring continuously, cook until the mixture reaches a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer.
  • In a bowl, whisk the arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and soy milk (or almond milk) and add to the simmering liquid. Raise the heat and whisk continually until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  • Slowly pour the hot mixture into the food processor and process until smooth. Stop the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  • Transfer the tofu cream to a clean container and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Process the tofu cream again briefly just before serving

Want to expand your healthy-cooking repertoire? Click here to check out upcoming recreational cooking courses.

Recipe by Jenny McCoy — Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

So your sister-in-law likes it sweet but your uncle loves a tart dessert and the rest of the family just wants something delicious to end their holiday meal— what’s a baker to do!? Chef Jenny has the perfect pie-idea for you: a flaky double-crust apple-cranberry pie that’s the perfect mix of tart and sweet — the best of both worlds. Bake, serve (preferably warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of crème fraîche) and let the compliments roll in.

Double-Crust Cranberry Apple Pie

Double-Crust Apple-Cranberry Pie

For the Flaky Pie Dough
Yield: Makes 1 double-crust pie or 2 (9-inch) pie crusts

Ingredients:

3¼ cups (450 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons (8 grams) salt
2¼ sticks (252 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¾ cup (175 grams) ice-cold water, plus more if needed

Preparation:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt together for a few seconds. Add the butter all at once, and rub into the dry ingredients to mix until the butter is reduced to small pieces about the size of peas. Slowly add the water and stir until the dough just comes together, yet lumps of butter remain in the dough.
  • Divide the dough in half, and flatten each piece into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, one to two hours.

 

For the Sauteed Apple-Cranberry Pie Filling
Yield: Makes 6 cups

Ingredients:

8 medium Gala or Pink Lady apples
¼ cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
Ground cinnamon, to taste
¼ teaspoon (1 gram) salt
4 to 6 tablespoons (56 to 84 grams) unsalted butter
¼ cup (56 grams) brandy (optional)
1 cup (130 grams) cranberries

Preparation:

  • Peel, core and slice apples into ¾-inch slices. Gently toss sliced fruit, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a large saute pan, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat. Add half of the sliced fruit and sauté until light golden and caramelized, turning fruit as needed. Add half of the brandy and cook until alcohol has reduced, tossing fruit in pan to coat.
  • Spread the cooked fruit in a shallow baking dish or on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining butter, fruit and brandy. Add the cranberries, stir and let cool to room temperature.

 

For The Double-Crust Apple-Cranberry Pie
Yield: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Ingredients:

Unbleached all-purpose flour, for rolling
1 recipe Flaky Pie Dough
1 recipe Sautéed Apple-Cranberry Pie Filling
1 large (50 grams) egg, lightly beaten

Preparation:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter by starting at the center of the disk and rolling away from you. Use additional flour and give the dough a quarter turn between each roll to prevent it from sticking to the table. Continue rolling until the dough is an even ⅛ inch thick. Repeat with the second disk of dough.
  • Carefully roll one circle of the dough around the rolling pin and unroll over the pie plate. Fit the dough into the plate by gently pressing it into the corners and against the base and sides of the plate. Trim the excess dough, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Place the lined pie plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes to chill slightly. Roll the second piece of dough onto the rolling pin and unroll onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Spread the Sauteed Apple-Cranberry Pie Filling into the prepared pie shell. Remove the sheet of rolled pie dough from the refrigerator and lay over the pie filling (if the sheet is stiff, just give it a few minutes to soften), reserving the parchment-lined baking sheet for later use. Trim the excess from the top sheet of dough to line up with the overhang of the shell. Fold the overhang in half, tucking the cut edge between the shell and the pie plate. Using your fingertips, decoratively crimp the edges together to seal. Cut a few decorative slits in the top of the pie crust to allow for steam from the fruit to vent. Place the pie in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill the dough slightly.
  • Lightly brush the entire surface of the dough with the beaten egg. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown, the filling bubbles and the liquid has just thickened.
  • Cool on a wire rack until just warm before serving.

Double-Crust Cranberry Apple Pie

Want to learn pro-level baking with Chef Jenny? Click here for information on ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program.

Recipes by Ted Siegel — Chef Instructor, School of Culinary Arts

On Thanksgiving, turkey is always in style. A juicy bird with salty, crunchy skin is the pièce de résistance of this highly anticipated meal. But if you’re looking to shake up your usual turkey prep method — add some spice or brine to the table — ICE Chef Instructor Ted Siegel has some ideas for you. Below, Chef Ted shares two different methods for preparing your turkey when it’s time to give thanks this year, plus his expert roasting tips.

Thanksgiving Turkey

1) A Caribbean kick: try a Jamaican jerk turkey marinade.

Marinating delivers the double benefit of infusing meat with flavor and keeping it tender.

Ingredients:

6 scallions
6 habanero or scotch bonnet chiles
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup fish sauce
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
1 bunch dried thyme leaves, minced
1 bunch dried oregano leaves, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced
½ cup butter

Preparation:

  • For the marinade, finely chop and combine: scallions, habanero or scotch bonnet chiles, onions and garlic. Add tamarind paste, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, olive oil, brown sugar, dried thyme leaves, dried oregano leaves and fresh cilantro leaves and stems.
  • Prepare the marinade, dividing into two halves: 1/2 for the turkey and 1/2 to make a compound butter. Marinate the turkey for two to four days, depending on its weight (two days for an 8-12 pound turkey, three to four days for a 13-30 pound turkey). Remove turkey from marinade. Make the compound butter by mixing remaining marinade with butter. Separate the skin from the breast and thighs and gently rub the compound butter onto the flesh without ripping the skin. Roast immediately.

 

2) Brine time: give your turkey a multiday brine bath.

Like marinating, brining will add flavor to your turkey, and make it exceptionally juicy and tender. Here’s how to brine.

Ingredients:

1 pound kosher salt
2/3 pounds sugar (granulated, brown, molasses, maple syrup, agave syrup, honey or any other kind of solid sugar or syrup will work)
2-3 gallons water
25 juniper berries
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon star anise pods
2 tablespoons dried thyme
½ cup liquid smoke (which you can find at most grocery stores)

 Preparation:

  • To make the brine, combine kosher salt, sugar, water. Add the juniper berries, dried herbs and liquid smoke.
  • Brine your turkey for two to four days by either submerging the entire bird or injecting it with brine. If you choose the latter, do not brine the turkey for more than two days.

 

Roasting tips

For roasting, I always begin by browning the turkey. In an oven preheated to 450°F, cook the turkey for about half an hour or until golden brown. Then, turn the heat down to 325°F and roast about 18-20 minutes per pound until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Want to sharpen your culinary skills with Chef Ted? Click here to learn more about ICE’s Culinary Arts program.

By Jenny McCoy — Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts

Cranberry season is in full swing, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better time to rethink your cranberry sauce? I find people either love cranberry sauce or don’t like it at all. I happen to be someone who loves it. The bright color on my dinner plate pops against the whites, browns and greens of turkey, stuffing and veggies. The super bright and tart flavor is a much-needed contrast against rich and heavy side dishes (often drowned in gravy). Plus, a schmear of cranberry sauce on a leftover turkey sandwich is a crucial component of one of my favorite lunches.

Each year, I change up my recipe to keep myself excited about the sauce, but also to convert a few family members who are convinced they just don’t like it. I’m sharing a few of my favorite recipes, but before we get into the kitchen, let me tell you a few things about America’s quintessential Thanksgiving fruit.

Cranberries by Casey Feehan

(credit: Casey Feehan – @caseyfeehan)

Cranberries: One of the Most American Ingredients

Wild cranberries have long been consumed by New England’s Native Americans, for some 12,000 years. The fruit is one of a handful of our country’s indigenous fruits. Cranberries thrive in their natural environments; bogs created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Prized for their culinary purposes, cranberries were also used for medicinal purposes and as a dye for textiles.

Though the early European settlers enjoyed them, larger-scale cultivation of cranberries didn’t begin until the early 1800s, when Captain Henry Hall, a revolutionary war veteran, noticed that his cranberries grew best when his bogs were covered in wind-blown sand. He moved his vines to more favorable locations and as his production grew, his method of cultivation spread. Other growers adopted his method of covering their berries in sand, increasing the yields of cranberry production throughout the northeast region, especially in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Harvest Time

Have you ever seen a cranberry harvest? You may recall those cranberry juice commercials featuring farmers in waist-high waders, standing in what looked like a pond covered in cranberries. Well, that’s precisely how cranberries are “picked.” Cranberry bogs are filled with water (up to a couple of feet though, not waist-high) the night before harvest. The vines are then raked to loosen the berries from the plants. The berries float to the surface of the water because they contain little air pockets, allowing them to be collected efficiently.

In 2015, over 840 million pounds of cranberries were produced in the United States. While many of us associate New England with cranberry growing, it is Wisconsin that now corners the market, having produced 60% of the country’s annual yield. With 20% of the annual harvest eaten on one day of the year — Thanksgiving — let’s take a moment to celebrate this most American fruit and discover a few new ways to add cranberries to your Thanksgiving table!

 

Go Raw Cranberry Relish
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
2 tangerines (with peels)
1- to 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and chop until fine.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days before serving.

 

Smoky Bacon Cranberry Sauce
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of cranberries
1 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ to ¾ cup cooked bacon crumbles, to taste

Preparation:

  • In a medium saucepan, simmer the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and black pepper until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature and stir in the paprika and bacon to taste.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days before serving.

 

Herbed Cranberry Relish
Servings: yields 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

One 12-ounce bag of cranberries
¼ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large bunch parsley, stems removed
3 large sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed
4 cloves garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  • In a medium saucepan, simmer cranberries, honey and sugar until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine parsley, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Finely chop, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add additional olive oil, if needed.
  • Stir the chopped herbs and garlic mixture into the cooled cranberry sauce. Add the sliced scallions.
  • Add the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

Want to study with Chef Jenny? Click here for information on ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program. 

By Carly DeFIlippo

When it comes to choosing the most energetic, passionate communities in America, are there any stronger contenders than food lovers and football fans? There is no day when these teams’ talents combine more than on Thanksgiving, which is why we’re wishing you a very happy holiday from ICE and our #GangGreen partners, the NY Jets.

We’ve been gearing up for the ultimate food fest throughout the second season of the Official New York Jets Cooking School at ICE, teaching fans to craft everything from Chicago deep dish pizza to the ultimate chicken wings, and even deep-fried turkeys. What’s more, each class has featured current and former Jets players as special guests, from Bruce Harper and Wesley Walker to Brandon Moore, Tony Richardson, Willie Colon and Michael Vick.

There are still two more chances for you to join in the food and football fun before the end of the season:

This class is inspired by the New York Jets taking on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, December 14. Current Jets players including Willie Colon, Breno Giacomini and Nick Folk will be in attendance to get guests in the Green & White spirit! ICE chef instructors will teach you easy Southern-inspired tailgating recipes for perfectly fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens and more.

Join ICE and the Jets on a culinary tour to conquer the flavors the AFC East: Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and, of course, your New York Jets. Pick your favorite competitor and learn to prepare game-worthy recipes inspired by their hometown. Cook alongside Jets players and enjoy a behind-the-scenes guided tour including such premium stadium spaces as the press box, Jets team locker room and more. 

Missed our deep-fried turkey tailgate? Click here for all of ICE’s top Thanksgiving tips.

 

The day of Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to catch up with extended family and friends, but from a culinary perspective, we’re all about the leftovers. Last year, ICE Director of Culinary Development James Briscione wow’ed us with three brilliant recipes for leftover turkey. So, of course, this year we came back for more. Grab a wedge of brie, a bag of cranberries and those prized turkey scraps. This is one grilled cheese you don’t want to miss.

thanksgiving grilled cheese

Not into the cranberry and brie? Chef James also recommends the combination of cheddar and sauerkraut for a leftover turkey grilled cheese.

*Note: This recipe includes instructions to make cranberry chutney from scratch, but if you still have leftover cranberry sauce from your holiday dinner, lucky you!

Thanksgiving Leftovers Grilled Cheese

  • Cranberry chutney
    • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen cranberries
    • 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Cooked turkey breast, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 thin slices of brie cheese
  • 2 slices pullman loaf or 7-grain bread
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Combine the cranberries, ginger, cinnamon and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium flame. Cook until very thick, 30-40 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  2. Butter the outside of two slices of bread, and spread the cranberry chutney on the insides. Layer the turkey and cheese between the slices, then press them together and fry on a griddle over medium high heat until golden brown.

Our leftover strategy doesn’t stop at sandwiches. Give that sweet potato casserole a second life with a recipe for sweet potato doughnuts

By Chefs Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian

Chowders are chunky, hearty soups—a classic comfort food for the long, cold winter. As ingredients, cauliflower and cashews are both mellow in flavor, with buttery, earthy richness, but here they combine to make a bold soup. Cauliflower has become a star in the modern nutritional hit parade, standing in for potatoes in a mash or roasted until its curly white edges turn deep gold. The florets soften entirely in this soup but keep their creamy white color. We like to purée about a quarter of the soup and leave the rest of the florets and cashew pieces whole. This gives the soup a rich texture without the addition of too much heavy cream. (We’ve added a little cream to finish the soup, but if you choose to leave it out, the soup will still taste unctuous.)

cauliflower cashew soup

Cauliflower-Cashew Chowder

Yield: 12 cups

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 all-purpose potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) coarsely chopped cashews
  • 4 cups (14 ounces) cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, potato, and garlic. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cashews, cauliflower, thyme, and stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat until the soup is simmering and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Remove the sprigs of thyme, but don’t be concerned if the leaves have fallen off the stems.
  3. Ladle 2 cups soup into a medium bowl. Using a handheld or standard blender, purée until completely smooth. Return the purée to the pot. Add the heavy cream and season with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt and the pepper or to taste. Serve immediately. Store any cooled leftovers in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat any quantity of soup over low heat.

Dream of developing your own holiday recipes? Click here to learn more about careers in food media. 

Recipe reprinted from In A Nutshell: Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. Copyright © 2014 by Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

By Carly DeFilippo

ICE_AR_8-300x449When you’re an executive chef in one of the nation’s hottest food cities, holidays become just another day at work. So, who better to ask for their holiday cooking tips than the professionals who reinvent traditional dishes year after year?

ICE Culinary Arts alum Anthony Ricco leads the kitchen at Jean Georges’ Spice Market —which means infusing holiday classics with Southeast Asian flavors. Whether it’s chestnut-sausage stuffing with Chinese dates, plum-glazed ham, or turkey confit, Anthony has reinvented every classic dish several times over.

Anthony’s top tips for cooks seeking adventurous flavors?

  • Don’t be a hero. If you’ve never worked with a specific spice or aromatic before, this isn’t the day to mix things up. Use a light hand. You can always add, but you can’t take out.
  • Make time for a test run. If you’re committed to adding a new dish to the menu, try it out a week in advance. You don’t need to make a full portion, but figuring out how the dish works will save you precious time—and stress—on the big day.
  • Take chefs’ recipes with a grain of salt. When magazines come calling, restaurant chefs typically offer recipes developed in a professional kitchen for a large number of diners. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good recipe, but don’t assume it’s completely foolproof for home cooks.

As for his turkey, Anthony treats the white and dark meat separately. He starts three days ahead of time, creating a confit of the legs with exotic spices. Then, for the day of service, he roasts the breasts and serves them with strips of crispy confit turkey legs.

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Spiced Turkey Confit – Adapted from Anthony Ricco/Spice Market

Note: Recipe is designed to be prepared over the course of 3 consecutive days.

Ingredients

  • 12-14 pound turkey
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¾ cup salt (for brine)
  • Chicken fat (enough to cover turkey legs for confit), or olive oil
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 5 whole cloves
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, smashed
  • 2 carrots, roughly cut
  • 2 potatoes, roughly cut
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme 

Instructions

  1. Brine turkey overnight in a mix of honey, salt and water.
  2. Rinse and pat dry. Spatchcock the bird and remove legs. Reserve breasts to roast separately.
  3. Debone the legs and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes, then immerse in chicken fat or olive oil with cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, orange zest, 1 sprig rosemary and smashed ginger.
  4. Cook at 225°F for 4-5 hours or until very tender. Remove from oven and let legs rest in fat for one additional day.
  5. The day of service, create a bed of root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, etc.), garlic, celery, rosemary and thyme. Top with turkey breast and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350°F, covered with aluminum foil. After 35 minutes, remove aluminum foil and cook, uncovered, until the interior temperature of the breast reached 165°F.
  6. Meanwhile, remove turkey legs from fat, slice and sauté in a frying pan to crisp (like bacon).
  7. Serve turkey breast with crispy confit legs as garnish.

Dream of becoming an Executive Chef like Anthony? Click here to learn about ICE’s Culinary Arts program.

By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts 

Early on in my career, while working in New Orleans for Emeril Lagasse, I was tasked with creating inventive variations on the ever-popular bread pudding. My menu at Delmonico in New Orleans featured a seasonal bread pudding, which I changed monthly. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, this sweet potato bread pudding with cashews proved to be a favorite. Served with a dollop of marshmallow meringue, what was once a classic side dish is easily transformed into dessert.

spotato duo

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding with Crunchy Cashews (from Desserts for Every Season)

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons whiskey
  • Finely grated zest of ¼ orange
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cups (about 8 ounces) soft white bread, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • ½ cup (about 2 ½ ounces) whole cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1 recipe Marshmallow Meringue (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
  2. Wrap the sweet potatoes individually in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft when pierced with a fork, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Remove them from the oven and let cool until just warm. Remove the foil, cut the potatoes in half, and scoop the flesh from the skins. Transfer the cooked sweet potato to a food processor, add ½ cup whole milk, and process until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, whiskey, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice together until smooth. Meanwhile, bring the remaining ½ cup milk and the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the sweet potato purée, and stir until evenly combined. Add the bread, and gently stir to combine. Refrigerate the bread pudding base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Stir the bread pudding base, then pour it into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cashews and turbinado sugar, and bake until golden brown, slightly puffed and set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Marshmallow Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of sugar on low speed.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan, and set over medium heat. Cook the mixture until it reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer and remove from the heat.
  3. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high, and very slowly pour the hot sugar mixture over the egg whites, taking care not to pour the mixture onto the moving whisk. Increase the speed of the mixer to high, and whip until tripled in volume, thick, glossy and cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Want to study with Chef Jenny? Learn more about ICE’s Pastry & Baking Arts program. 

 

By Chef James Briscione

It was a pleasure teaming up this Thanksgiving season with Potluck Video’s Ali Rosen for an exciting three-part turkey series—from brined to bacon-wrapped to deep-fried. But once the magnificent feast is over, what do you do with all those leftovers? Watch below to find out our top tips.

The Ultimate Leftover Sandwich

 

 Ingredients

 

Instructions

  1. Cover 1 slice of bread with thin slices of brie. Then layer in order: cranberry sauce, apples, turkey and top with more brie. Lay a second piece of bread over the sandwich and press lightly.
  2. Butter the outside of the bread and brown in a non-stick pan over low heat. Flip and brown on second side.

 

Leftover Turkey Chilaquiles aka The Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Brunch

 

Ingredients (Chilaquile Sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mined onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 oz beer (or water)

 

Instructions (Chilaquile Sauce)

  1. Place the olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cumin; cook 30     seconds more. Stir in the chipotle and tomatoes and beer. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

 

Ingredients (Turkey Chilaquiles)

  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 lb turkey meat
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • fresh cilantro, as needed
  • sour cream, as needed
  • minced onion, as needed
  • 4 fried eggs

 

Instructions (Turkey Chilaquiles)

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Carefully add the tortillas one at a time and fry until just crisp. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt.
  2. Add the meat to the sauce and bring to a simmer.
  3. To plate, place a small spoonful of sauce on the base of plate, top with one tortilla. Cover the tortilla with more sauce and top with a second tortilla. Spread the second tortilla with sauce, then finish with cheese, cilantro, sour cream, onion. Top each with a fried egg and serve immediately.

 

Turkey and Oyster Gumbo

 

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 lb andouille, diced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped turkey meat
  • 2 cups shucked oysters

 

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and flour, stir constantly to form a roux. Cook over medium heat until dark brown (think melted milk chocolate) and beginning to smoke lightly.
  2. Add the sausage, onion, celery and pepper to the roux. Stir over medium heat until softened. Stir the garlic, thyme and oregano into the roux and immediately add 2 cups of the chicken stock. Stir rapidly until the mixture is once again smooth. Add another 2 cups of stock until, stirring well again before adding the remaining stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cooked turkey to the pot with the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the oysters. Garnish with cooked rice.