This thanksgiving will be anything but typical, so why not ditch tradition and cook up something delicious? I have to admit I’m an avid turkey hater - you can try to convert me and I will try in all earnest to like it. In case you cant be convinced either, I’ve rounded up what are pretty much my all time favourite recipes that are always fit for a celebration. Since our celebration circles will be very small this year, you might also not have enough people to feed that big bird to! Opt for one of these delicious options and you’ll forget the rest.
Goat cheese ravioli
I fell in love with this dish when we lived in New York and would dream of it weekly - if only Babbo weren't so hard to get a reso at I'd probably have it weekly. After moving back I craved and raved about this dish so much I had to make my own version. This is the perfect warm, cheesy, complex yet light dish that will impress quite literally anyone. You are making a dish from Babbo after all...
2.5 tbs chopped fennel fronds
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp fennel pollen (can omit if hard to find)
1.5 cups goat cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 tbs parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped sage
1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
Bring a pot of well salted (it should taste like the sea) water to a boil. Dust a baking sheet with flour.
Time to prepare the filling! Combine the goat cheese, milk, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and nutmeg. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare and roll out your dough to the thinnest setting on your pasta maker. Here is my favourite pasta dough recipe. Cut the dough into 3 inch squares (about the size of a post-it note).
Take about a teaspoon of the filling on a spoon and place it in the middle of your pasta dough square. I find it easiest to now turn the square so one point is facing the top, then brush your beaten egg wash along the top two sides of the pasta. Next, fold the bottom corner up to the top and gently press from around the filling to the edges to seal the dough (this will prevent the pasta from opening up when being boiled and losing all the filling - been there). You can leave your ravioli in this perfect triangle, or now fold the two long corners into the centre to meet, put a dab of egg wash on the tip of one, and fold the other on top of it. Line the prepared ravioli on your floured cookie sheet.
Boil until preferred level of al-dente, about 3-4 minutes.
In a large skillet melt the butter and 1/2 cup of pasta water and shake the pan until it emulsifies - you’ll know when its ready - it will be bubbly and creamy, then toss in the ravioli. Sprinkle with fennel fronds, pollen and orange zest & serve!
Zucchini & Chicken Gyoza's
These are so tasty they’re even better than from a restaurant - they have all the right flavours but YOU made them from scratch, so they're inherently better.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 chopped shallots
2 large zucchini
1 tbs fresh chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Square wonton wrappers
Chili dipping sauce
1/4 sesame oil
2 tablespoons samba oelek
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tbs honey
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1/4 chopped chives
1 tbs chopped peanuts
1-2 deconstructed sausages of your choice
Heat sesame oil, fry the shallots in the oil until caramelized. Add the zucchini, ginger, garlic and broken up sausages and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Add the soy sauce - cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool enough to handle - this is your gyoza filling!
Place about 1/2 tbs of the filling in the middle of the wrapper, brush water around the edges, and pinch the corners to seal. I like to start by pressing my pinkies around the filling and work my way towards the edges for an extra tight seal.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and boil the gyoza’s for about 2 minutes - you’ll know they’re ready when they come floating to the top.
Heat a few tbs of oil in a pan, and fry the boiled gyoza’s until nice and crispy on one side. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy! Just mix all the sauce ingredients together.
Milk Bar Birthday Cake
When I want to really pull out a fancy, “you made that!?” inducing desert I turn to Queen Christina Tosi and the Milk Bar cookbook. So far birthday cake has been a crowd pleasing delight, and preparing it feels just as momentous and as special as eating it. I believe birthday cake should be eaten any day or time, so why not for thanksgiving? Also a beauty - her pistachio cake. wow. You’ll get your years worth of nut servings in one dessert, but you also won’t be able to stop talking about it. I think the best thing to do here is link it to the pros - my only tip is to follow the recipe meticulously (when she says beat it for 5 minutes per egg - do it! There is a method and it works).