Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Installment of Bloggers' Bites: Thanksgiving Style

In honor of the holiday that is all things gluttonous and delicious, we bring you our first ever Bloggers' Bites, a new series in which we have members of our blog team chime in on all things food.
This week's question: What is the dish you are most looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Alyssa Birnbaum: Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. Man versus bald game bird. There are some who drown the poultry in gravy or cranberry sauce because the meat is too dry, but let me assure you, when the turkey is done right, it is delicious on its own. Baste that gobbler correctly and I will sit in my finest elastic-wasted clothing and pound down the turkey until the tryptophan kicks in and knocks me out.

Stephanie Rice: Every year my family and I go to New York for Thanksgiving and eat out at an Italian restaurant (I know, quite the tradition). But, it's probably the best family ritual I have because I have tried so many amazing restaurants! So, instead of giving you my favorite dish, I'm going to give you guys my favorite Italian spot in NYC for Turkey Day. If any of you are roaming around the city, whether it's Thanksgiving or not, be sure to check out Fresco by Scotto. Featured on The Today Show multiple times, the Scotto family hits a home run with their Thanksgiving prix-fixe menu. My favorite dish is the potato and zucchini chips with gooey gorgonzola cheese. You won't be disappointed, and I guarantee you'll have one of the best non-homecooked Thanksgiving meals.

Hannah Cummons: My favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie, hands down. I eat pumpkin pie all year round and I will never get pumpkin pied out. At Thanksgiving though, it is seasonal and occasionally, if we're feeling adventurous, we make our own pumpkin puree. Which makes pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving all the more special.

Hoi Ning Ngai: Considering that I grew up in a small family with Chinese immigrant parents, whose only foray (ever) into Thanksgiving was the roasting of some turkey drumsticks, my favorite part of my favorite holiday is prepping the turkey and watching it come out of the oven -- in all its crispy golden honey brown glory. There was always something so warm, inviting, and iconic about that Norman Rockwell painting and the way that perfect turkey got displayed on the table. So ever since I learned how to brine, butter, baste, tent, and glaze, the most important thing to me has been getting my Thanksgiving bird as moist and flavorful and delicious as possible -- and making sure my guests know exactly what should be the center of attention.

Alex Marcus: So this is the cliche of cliches, but I would be outright lying if I said I was looking forward to anything but my grandmother's turkey. She has made our Thanksgiving bird every year of my life, and it is nothing less than the most decadent, juicy, and flavorful poultry that one could ever eat. She starts with the best ingredients available, including a kosher turkey. My family doesn't keep kosher (or anywhere close--shrimp and lobster are high on the list of all my relatives' favorite foods), but my grandma insists on this ingredient because of its superior quality. And I can't blame her; the dish it evolves into is so mind-blowingly moist that it makes me wonder why we don't eat turkey every day of the year. The meat is salty, rich, and savory--almost as if it has been cooked in beef stock and basted with fat. The soft carrots and onions swimming in the pot provide a deliciously sweet contrast and, for my money, make the sweet potato and other sides completely obsolete. And we don't do this carve-the-bird-on-a-platter nonsense, either; my grandma brings it to the table already cut up and soaking in its own scrumptious juices. Then I load a pound or so onto my plate, top it with some homemade, chunky cranberry sauce, and go to town.

Zoey Toy: In my family Thanksgiving is a little different than in other families, we pretty much have two different meals in one. We’re Italian so we have Italian food first. There’s escarole soup and ravioli with meatballs and sausage. Then comes the average American Thanksgiving with turkey and almost every side you can imagine. My favorites are the dinner rolls and the creamed corn casserole my aunt makes. What I look forward to the most though is the Italian food. Yum.

Marianne O'Brien: Last year, my California-self opted out of traveling the 2878 hours home on a plane and instead went to my roommate's cozy East Coast abode outside of DC. I was in awe at the effortlessness of the whole meal -- one minute there were raw sweet potatoes, an unbaked pie, and bunches of kale lying around and the next there was one of the most beautiful, and colorful displays I've seen. No turkeys fell to the floor. No squash gratins bubbled over. There were no dogs sneaking sausages from the table. It was just so enviably... effortless. Though everything was delicious, the dish that stood out most were the sweet potatoes. They were roasted then mashed as per usual but BUT my roommate's mom added chipotles in adobo when mashing. The chipotles added a complex taste without being spicy or smoky. I usually find mashed sweet potatoes sickeningly sweet so the chipotles perfectly balanced the otherwise sweet flavor. This year, I got the recipe and I have every intention of making it.

Nicole Woon: Despite its unassuming role as the mixture that fills the cavity of a turkey, stuffing has always been my star player at the dinner table. (If you want to get technical, the proper term for the dish I'm talking about is dressing; in my household, this delicious side is always cooked outside the bird in its own baking dish.) Whether it's my mom's flavorful version (with sweet-and-savory maple breakfast sausage, crispy bacon, vibrant shredded carrots, subtle-flavored celery, and shiitake mushrooms) or my aunt's delicious oyster stuffing, this tasty side warms the heart, soul, and stomach. Suffice it to say, I always go back for seconds and make sure to pack leftovers!


  1. Yum, it's to bad you can't come over for thanksgiving, but we'll be sure to send some leftovers!
    The stuffing is delicious!

    Love always,
    your cousin Nancy

  2. Stephanie - I am jealous that you get to go to Fresco by Scotto every year! Their pizzas, with the highest-quality ingredients and cracker-thin crusts, are to die for.



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