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10 favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Watch Boston Globe Food editor Sheryl Julian make apple pie with foolproof pastry.
Watch Boston Globe Food editor Sheryl Julian make apple pie with foolproof pastry.

1. Recipe for butter pan rolls

Makes 20

Pan rolls are simply rolls that are shaped and baked in a pan so the sides touch and stay soft. This is easy enough for children to make.

1 recipe Butterhorn dinner rolls

1. Make the dough for Butterhorn dinner rolls (recipe) and rise once. On a lightly floured board, punch down the dough and cut it into 20 even pieces.

2. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans.

3. Shape each piece into a round, pinching the ends so the tops are smooth. Set 10 in each pan (7 rounds should go along the sides of the pan, 3 in the middle). Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until the rounds are touching.


4. Brush the rolls with butter.

5. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through baking, or until the rolls are golden brown all over.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from Lois Riley and “Better Homes and Gardens New CookBook”


2. Spicy cranberry-orange sauce

Serves 8

2 packages (12 ounces each) fresh cranberries

Grated rind and juice of 1large Navel orange

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange rind and juice, brown and granulated sugars, vinegar, ginger, red pepper, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until the sugar melts.

2. Turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble gently, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Add more granulated sugar or red pepper, if you like. (Prepare 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)


Sheryl Julian.

Sheryl Julian/Globe Staff

3. Roasted potato planks

Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand 2 rimmed baking sheets. Brush them with some of the oil.

2. Set the sheets in the oven while you slice the potatoes.

3. Using a mandoline or straight-bladed chef’s knife, cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces. Carefully remove the baking sheets from the oven and set them on a heatproof surface.

4. Arrange the potato slices on the baking sheets. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes for 12 minutes or until they brown on top. Use a wide metal spatula to turn them and roast the other side for 12 minutes more or until the potatoes are golden brown and very crisp. If the potatoes at the edges brown earlier, turn them over when they are brown. Drain the potatoes on paper towels.


4. Sweet potato puree

Serves 10

6 medium sweet potatoes

½ cup half-and-half or milk

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup honey

Juice of 2 limes

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. Score the potatoes several times and set them on an oven rack. Bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender. Let them sit until cool enough to handle, but still warm. Peel them.

3. In a bowl with a potato masher, work the potatoes and half-and-half or milk until smooth. Transfer to saucepan.


4. Stir in the butter, honey, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Rachel Travers. Adapted from City Restaurant, Los Angeles.



Potato-rosemary tart with ricotta

Serves 4

One of the cook’s handiest freezer items — frozen puff pastry — forms the base of this impressive tart. Spread the uncooked dough with a ricotta-herb mixture, top with cooked, sliced, small golden potatoes and rosemary, and bake until the pastry does its magic. Serve the tart with baby greens tossed lightly with oil and vinegar, either alongside or right on top. Leeks and fennel slices or zucchini and corn kernels can replace potatoes. Some puff pastry sheets are about 11 inches by 15 inches, others narrower. If the pastry is cut into strips, make 2 slender tarts.

9 small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1½ pounds), sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

10 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese

6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

Flour (for sprinkling)

14 ounces all-butter frozen puff pastry, thawed

Olive oil (for sprinkling)

1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and cool.


3. In a bowl, combine ricotta, Gruyere, parsley, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Stir well.

4. On a lightly floured counter, roll the puff pastry to a ⅛-inch-thick rectangle (some brands are nearly this thickness already). Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it onto the parchment. Make a border by folding in ½ inch of the pastry all around. With the tines of a fork dipped repeatedly in flour, decorate the edge. Use the fork to prick holes inside the border at ½-inch intervals.

5. Drop dollops of the cheese mixture onto the pastry covering the inside border (it’s OK to have some empty spots). Lay the potato slices on top of the cheese mixture, not making them too evenly spaced so the tart looks rustic. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary.

6. Bake the tart for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the potatoes are cooked through. Sprinkle with olive oil and garnish with chives.

Valerie Ryan


6. Turkey Waldorf salad

Serves 4

Waldorf salad comes from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where this salad was created in the late 19th century. It has aromatics, crunch, and creaminess, which are a nice combination with white-meat turkey.

½ cup walnuts

1 red leaf or other leaf lettuce, cored and torn up

4 slices cooked turkey breast, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cups seedless red grapes

½ cup pomegranate seeds

¾ cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or more to taste


2 Granny Smith apples, cored, cut up, andsprinkled with juice of½ lemon

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a dry skillet, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan often, for 5 minutes or until they are golden brown.

2. In a large bowl, line the bottom with the lettuce. Add the turkey, grapes, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts.

3. In another bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar, if you like. The mayonnaise should have a pouring consistency.

4. Sprinkle the salad with dressing. Add the apples in clusters around the edge of the plates. Garnish with parsley.

Sheryl Julian

Styling by Sheryl Julian and Valerie Ryan; Dina Rudick/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

7. Turkey-bean chili

Serves 6

In the chili pot, smoked sweet Spanish paprika is a secret weapon, lending ground turkey lots of flavor. Use only dark meat and mellow the paprika and other spices in the browned meat to draw out their intensity.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped

2 pounds ground dark-meat turkey

2 jalapeno or other chile peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped

2 teaspoons smoked sweet Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste

2 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl

2 cups chicken stock, or more to taste

1 can each (15 to 16 ounces) cannellini and red kidney beans, drained

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the turkey and jalapeno or chile peppers. Cook, breaking up the meat with the edge of a large kitchen spoon, for 10 minutes or until it looks cooked on the outside.

2. Sprinkle the mixture with paprika, cumin, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the spices release their aromas.

3. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

4. Stir in the stock and beans. Bring to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat, set on the cover askew, and simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If the mixture seems thick during cooking, add more stock, ½ cup at a time.

5. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or red pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.

Sheryl Julian


8. Cornbread

Makes one 9-inch square

Northerners prefer a sweet cornbread that its critics call cake. This version is not too sweet. It sits high in the pan, has a lovely golden color from yellow cornmeal, and is moist from canola oil and buttermilk. This amount of batter will only fit in a 9-inch square.

Butter (for the pan)

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

1 cup canola oil

2 cups buttermilk

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.

2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, stir the eggs, sugar, canola oil, and buttermilk until blended. Stir in the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until the mixture is smooth.

3. Transfer the batter to the pan. Bake the cornbread for 45 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch and browning at the edges. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Make 2 cuts in each direction to form 9 squares. Serve warm.

Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven


9. Turkey soup with butternut squash and white beans

Serves 6

In half an hour, you can serve a big pot of soup to help everyone recover from holiday overload. You'll need leftover turkey (or use chicken), butternut squash, canned white beans, and baby spinach. Pair it with a salad or toasted cheese sandwiches for a quick family meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 small peeled and seeded butternut squash (8 ounces) cut in 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)

10 cups chicken stock

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini or navy beans, with their liquid

2 cups diced leftover turkey

5 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach leaves, stems trimmed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)

1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it is hot. Add the onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes.

2. Add the squash, stock, beans, and their liquid. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the turkey and spinach leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the turkey is heated through and the spinach wilts. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

10. Farmhouse apple cream pie

Makes one 9-inch open-faced pie

We were intrigued by this tart sent in by Melinda Kessler Spratlan of Amherst. “My mother, Nelle McFarland Kessler, was raised on a farm in east central Indiana,’’ she writes. “She and her mother, Bessie, often baked pies for the farm hands when they came in from the early morning chores. This is her recipe for apple pie. My mother always baked it for Thanksgiving dinner, and I have continued the tradition in my family.’’ We tried the pie with chunks, and then with thin slices arranged in concentric circles, and far preferred the homier, chunkier look.

1  9-inch unbaked pie shell, chilled 

3  or 4 large tart cooking apples (such as Cortland or Mutsu), peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks 

3/4  cup sugar 

 Pinch of salt 

1/4 cup flour  

1  cup light cream 

1  teaspoon vanilla extract 

2  tablespoons butter 

 Ground cinnamon (for sprinkling) 

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

2. Pile the apples into the pie shell.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and flour. Add the cream and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture over the apples. Dot the top with butter and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

4. Bake the pie on the lowest rack of the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes or until the pie sets. Total baking time is 1 hour.