A Time-Saving Thanksgiving
Short on time this Thanksgiving season? This is the class for you, filled with tips and techniques for creating an easy yet impressive feast. You'll learn how to make a whole turkey in less than 90 minutes, along with easy-to-prepare side dishes—leaving you plenty of time to spend with family and friends.Here's what the fabulous chefs, Barbara and Carol prepared:
|Vegetable Chop & Measure|
Image credit: Williams Sonoma
Carol also demonstrated an alternate way of cooking mashed potatoes - with a pressure cooker, from Fagor Futuro. Instead of boiling the potatoes, using a pressure cooker saves a lot of time.
- What is the best potato to use when preparing mashed potatoes? Russet potatoes because they have a high starch content. Idaho is also a good choice.
- Never place potatoes in boiling hot water, just place them in the water when you're about to start the boil.
|Butterflied turkey |
with mashed potatoes and stuffing
Barbara followed the recipe, but substituted the white wine with chicken stock. I follow the same substitution with other recipes, including steamed artichokes.
The dessert prepared for class was a Chocolate-Pecan Tart using puff pastry dough.
Tips on puff pastry:
- Before baking, pierce the dough with a knife or fork while on the tart pan. Doing this will prevent the dough from rising too much in the oven.
- Instead of using beans as pie weights, you can purchase ceramic pie weights from Williams Sonoma. Just put a layer of aluminum foil over the dough and pour the weights over the foil. Cook the dough for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. Bake again for another 15 minutes or until brown.
- When cooking the tart with the filling, watch the dough after the first 15 minutes of cooking. Ensure the crust doesn't brown too quickly, or else it will get burned before the filling is cooked. If you notice the crust is browning quickly, cover it with foil.
|Closeup of Chocolate-Pecan Tart|
- Moist butterflied turkey - definitely a method I'd like to try in the future.
- Fluffy mashed potatoes - I'd say using a pressure cooker does not alter the texture of the potato, but I did notice that it had more of a potato taste, than the traditional method of preparing via a boil.
- The stuffing was amazing! So easy to prepare, and very flavorful. I'm not a big fan of fennel, but the blend of chestnuts, sausage and celery just masks the overpowering taste of fennel. The aroma, however, is present, which is a good thing.
- The chocolate-pecan tart was too sweet for my liking. I prefer the traditional pecan tart/pie over this recipe.