Mark Bittman's Minimalist Thanksgiving


Mark Bittman, aka "The Minimalist," has just come out with a revised and expanded edition of his now classic cookbook, How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition).

We asked Mark for a minimalist Thanksgiving menu, and here it is.

I love the idea of a turkey that only takes 45 minutes to cook.

Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything' Thanksgiving Menu


Forty-Five Minute Roast Turkey "It's almost a given that time and oven space are at a premium on Thanksgiving Day, and this method of roasting turkey, unorthodox as it is, addresses both. Split, flattened, and roasted at 450 degrees (lowering the heat if the bird browns too fast), a 10-pound bird will be done in about 40 minutes. Really. It will also be more evenly browned (all of the skin is exposed to the heat), more evenly cooked (the legs are more exposed; the wings shield the breasts), and moister than birds cooked conventionally. But it works only for relatively small turkeys."

Turkey Gravy " 'Gravy' is little more than thickened stock--essentially a reduction sauce--and when that stock comes out of a roasted turkey, it's pretty good stuff. It's no wonder people love it. Double or triple (or quadruple, if it comes to that) this recipe as needed."

Favorite Bread Stuffing "This classic dressing is based on a wonderful recipe by James Beard; it's amazing with butter, but check out the variations if you prefer olive oil. Also, feel free to use whole grain bread for more flavor."

Cranberry Relish with Orange and Ginger "Quite tart and even better on turkey sandwiches. Stir in 1/2 cup of raisins and/or chopped walnuts or pecans at the end if you like."

Potato Gratin "Based on raw potatoes (or other vegetables), cream, and cheese, this can be assembled and even baked up to 2 days in advance and either baked or reheated before serving. A mandoline makes slicing a breeze and gives you slices of consistent thickness with little work, which is the key to even cooking."

Wheat Berries with Walnuts "This starter recipe for wheat berries is open to variation and will work with about a dozen other grains. Even better, you can serve it at room temperature."

Raw Beet Salad "Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they're delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance."

Braised and Glazed Brussel Sprouts "Sometimes I like to brown Brussels sprouts a bit, which is why this braise-and-glaze technique is a little different and deserves a special recipe. Leave the Brussels sprouts whole--they'll look beautiful and be less likely to overcook."

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