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How Do I Cook Thanksgiving Dinner Without a Working Kitchen?

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How Do I Cook Thanksgiving Dinner Without a Working Kitchen?


KV: As for sides, I have two fun ones for you. One is Smashed Green Beans with Lemony Sumac Dressing. If you aren’t in a place where you can blanch the green beans yourself, you can get yourself some blanched ones at the store. This salad is basically the battered green beans, some pepitas, a sliced Asian pear, and a bunch of parsley. And then you have a really simple olive oil, lemon, and sumac dressing. And then my other side, which, not to toot my own horn, I did develop last year for our Thanksgiving issue, is a Kale Salad With Pecan Vinaigrette. If you can plug in a food processor, you can make this really fun pecan-based vinaigrette. So blitzing your pecans with a little bit of apple cider vinegar, honey, and capers with olive oil and some garlic makes this really rich, and buttery, and nutty delicious sort of chunky-ish dressing that goes really well with a heartier green like kale. And it’s a super easy salad that taps into the pecan’s flavor. If you’re not going to be baking or roasting anything off, this is a nice place to integrate nuts without having to work too hard.

CM: Wow. That covers a lot of ground.

KV: Chris, I wanna hear yours.

CM: So this would not be the first time we’ve taken the turkey of it all outdoors. What I want to recommend is a recipe from Claire Saffitz: Barbecue Spice–Brined Grilled Turkey. You’re grilling a halved turkey, and that simple change, when you take the backbone out of the turkey and cut it in half, it is so much easier to manipulate in the grilling environment. Ultimately, you just set it to low and slow and just let it do its thing. It goes very quickly and pretty easily. In terms of sides, I was thinking grill-specific. So the first one—this is the potato and chorizo element from a camping recipe called Seared Cod With Potato and Chorizo Foil Packs. But skip the cod; we’re just doing foil packs of potato and Spanish chorizo that you can leave on the grill grate and just let go until the potatoes are tender. The chorizo gets all oily and crispy in there. And the flavors just work so well together regardless of what main you go with. 

KV: That sounds so good. Oh, man.

CM: The second recipe is an Andy Baraghani classic. This is Grilled Carrots with Avocado and Mint. It’s just a very simple, easy grilled carrot recipe. It’s beautiful. I think, you know, just bringing a Thanksgiving stalwart like carrots into play, and dressing them up in a way where they’ll feel bright, where it feels like they’ve really gained something from having been cooked on the grill. That is a great one to consider. And then finally, this is a wild card, but I just wanted to talk about it because I just love it so much and I thought it could be really cool on the grill. So, years and years ago, Joshua Walker, who’s the chef from Xiao Bao Biscuit in Charleston, in South Carolina, came in and developed a recipe for a Kale and Cucumber Salad With Roasted Ginger Dressing. He had this technique that was for broiling ginger—whole skin on ginger, broiled, Kendra. Broiled for like 40-50 minutes until the ginger breaks down and cooks. 

KV: Oh, you can totally grill this.

CM: You could grill that for days. It’s just such a joy to experience an ingredient that you might know from one context [in a new way]. In this the ginger gets roasted and then puréed to create this really richly bodied dressing that’s slathered over raw kale. And it’s just otherworldly.

Listen to the episode to see which recipes the caller chose, why, and how her kitchen-less Thanksgiving went.

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