When I was mulling over what we could do on Special Sauce for Thanksgiving, I immediately thought about stress reduction. Making the big dinner can be stressful for any number of reasons, and while we design all our Thanksgiving offerings with an eye to making the holiday as hassle-free as possible, I decided to continue with that theme in this special edition of Ask Special Sauce. I invited Kenji and Stella on to answer as many questions from our community as we
could, since they know a lot about a lot of Thanksgiving-related topics.
The two of them delve into a myriad of tips and tricks, from figuring out what to do with leftovers and accommodating your guests' allergies and dietary restrictions, and they discuss the differences between stuffing and dressing. (Kenji even has an ingenious solution for people who would like to cook their stuffing in their bird without overcooking the meat.)
We will also provide a full transcript of our conversation on our website, for those of you who'd prefer to read it, and have included highlights and links to the recipes mentioned in this episode below.
There are so many people that I have to thank concerning Special Sauce. I'm thankful for everyone who makes the podcast a joy to create. Our producer, Marty Goldensohn, our associate producer, Marissa Chen, everyone here both at CDM Studios and the other Serious Eats' Special Sauce home, the Radio Foundation. And a big thank you especially to our listeners, whether you're new to the podcast or tune in weekly. Without you, there would be no Special Sauce.
Happy Thanksgiving, Serious Eaters, from me and all of us here at Serious Eats!
3:23 Kenji addresses a question about make-ahead savory foods for the holidays.
Recipes: Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon and Hazelnut Vinaigrette, Make-Ahead Roasted Squash and Kale Salad
6:27 Stella’s tips for make-ahead desserts.
Recipes: Pumpkin Layer Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Pie
8:28 Kenji explains how to get the most out of kitchen space when planning your Thanksgiving menu.
Recipes: Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Sweet Potatoes
10:25 Debate: Should pies be reheated?
11:57 The team debates the differences between stuffing and dressing. Kenji is going to steal Stella’s dad’s idea for including brown butter in a stuffing recipe this year.
Recipes: Slow-Cooker Sage and Sausage Stuffing, View all stuffing recipes
18:51 Is it possible to make gluten-free pies or other desserts that are actually delicious?
Recipe: Flaky and Crisp Gluten-Free Pie Crust
22:33 Are expensive turkeys better than ‘typical’ turkeys? Kenji, Stella and Ed discuss heritage vs. organic vs. free-range vs. commercial turkeys. Advice from Kenji: Use a thermometer and don’t overcook. Animal rights issues and farmers.
Video: How to Take the Temperature of Your Turkey
27:50 Kenji and Stella offer suggestions of what to do with leftover pumpkin purée.
Recipes: The Best Pumpkin Pizza Recipe, Spicy Spring pizza, Sweet Potato Pancakes Made With Leftover Mashed Sweet Potatoes, The Food Lab: How to Make Kickass Quesadillas
30:18 Is sous-vide a useful technique for Thanksgiving? Kenji says yes, it’s great for turkey, leftovers, and heating make-ahead dishes.
Recipes: Sous Vide Turkey Breast, Deep-Fried Sous Vide Turkey Porchetta (Turchetta), Gravy