Ah, Thanksgiving. That beloved day when commercial canned cranberry sauce somehow winds up on the same table as grandma's homemade brandied cranberries, just for nostalgia's sake. After we've taken care of all the traditional family member must-haves (sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes?), we so often forget that there's still plenty of room for new recipes. Thanksgiving is a celebration of America, Home Of The
Brave Brand New, after all. And so we flipped through the books we have reviewed this year to find the Top Ten Thanksgiving Recipes From 2010 Cookbooks to add a few 21st century tastes to that traditional spread. Turn the page...
10. Oolong-braised turkey from Culinary Tea
Changing up your standby turkey recipe is risky business on Thanksgiving, as you could have a mutiny on your hands. But this recipe for a boneless breast laced with Oolong tea, ginger and cranberries actually sounds intriguing. In a good way. Make two turkeys and tell your dinner guests to get over it.
9. Granola-Cranberry Tart from Fresh From The Market
This recipe from Laurent Tourondel comes with a side of homemade mandarin ice cream. But who has time for elaborate dessert accoutrement on Thanksgiving (unless you happen to have a battalion of sous chefs)? Five-minute whipped cream works fine. Just fine.
8. Whole Wheat-Cornmeal Gingerbread from Cooking With Whole Grains
Let's not forget breakfast on Thanksgiving. You know, it's good for you. Plus, this is an historic recipe, so you can call it a culinary tribute to Thanksgivings past. Or something like that.
7. Ginger Smash Cocktail from Speakeasy
That gingerbread breakfast should be followed shortly thereafter by a cocktail to get the T-day party started. The "fall season" version of the spicy ginger cocktail made with gin, apple liqueur, and muddled pear should get you all revved up before the in-laws arrive.
6. Upside Down Cranberry Cake from The Perfect Finish
5. Homemade Butter from Avec Eric
Because this recipe (scroll down) is easy, and it really will impress the in-laws. Plus if we make Eric Ripert's homemade butter, maybe he'll come over and carve our turkey.
4. Mountain Molasses Stack Cake from Cider Beans, Wild Greens and Dandelion Jelly
Because some people actually mean it when they say they don't like pie. And a molasses stack cake just sounds good.
3. Roast Fresh Ham with Maple Spice Glaze from Ham: Obsession with the Hind Quarter
We could say that like pie, turkey isn't a universal love. But really, we just wanted a maple-spiced ham recipe excuse to buy this book.
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2. Fake Hollandaise from The I Hate To Cook Book
For those who hate to cook, but show up with a dish like this one (scroll down) on Thanksgiving day, we truly appreciate your thoughtful efforts (and will politely put your dish in the far back corner of the buffet).
1. Barley and Mushroom Salad from The Very Best Recipes For Health
This salad recipe from Martha Rose Shulman's latest book has all the making of fall: a walnut vinaigrette, barley, mushrooms and sage. Plus, it's healthy. Which means you can hand it over to that annoying dinner guest who keeps going on about the Thanksgiving day calorie count and tell them to shut the f*&% up.