To Brine Or Not To Brine

After reading all the comments on my Thanksgiving post and Meg’s round-up of all the food magazine turkey advice it’s amazing to me how divisive the issue of brining is. There are passionate brine advocates, the Anti-Brining Association of America and those who’d rather you salted your bird. After careful research I told my mom to buy brining bags from Williams Sonoma and I plan to make this Honey-Brined Turkey from Epicurious. Why? Because it sounds yummy and I think I can do it. As for the rest of my menu, I have created an elaborate array of dishes that I think I can pull off by pre-cooking most of it on Wednesday (I’m flying in on Tuesday.) Here’s the plan and feel free to help me tweak it based on your recommendations (as you’ll see I’m relying heavily on last month’s Gourmet Magazine.)

The Amateur Gourmet’s


Fall 2006

[+ means I’ll make it ahead; – means I’ll make it the day of; +/- means work is required both days.]

Cocktails & Union Square Café Bar Nuts +

(Union Square Café Cookbook)

Popovers –

(Barefoot Contessa Parties)

Carrot Soup with Toasted Almonds +

(Gourmet Magazine pg. 212)

Roasted Pear Salad with Endive, Hazelnuts and St. Agur –

(Sunday Suppers at Lucques, pg. 228)

Honey-Brined Turkey with Garlic and Thyme +/-


Cider Gravy –

(Martha Stewart’s Website)

Tart Cranberry-Onion Relish +

(Gourmet Magazine, pg. 14)

Sausage Fennel Stuffing +

(The Gourmet Cookbook, pg. 380)

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Buttered Pecans +/-

(Gourmet Magazine)

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows +/-

(Nigella’s Feast, pg. 29)

Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake Pie +

(Gourmet Magazine, pg. 112)

Chocolate S’More Pie +

(Gourmet Magazine, pg. 122)

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