• Friday, September 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

A Galavante Thanksgiving
By , Cooling Your Jets Contributor
November 22, 2011

Whether you’re the Griswalds or the Rockwells, Thanksgiving with family and friends is a time of the year to appreciate all that you have. At our Galavante Thanksgiving, we opt for a long cocktail hour, starting with some bubbly, followed by a friendly chess tournament, as the smell of herb-roasted turkey wafts through the air. We graze throughout the afternoon on seafood, which has been our way of celebrating Thanksgiving since the very first one. The King Crab Dip is the true crowd-pleaser and we’ve included it on our menu of favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Here, the Galavante family invites you to our table with this menu of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

King Crab Dip and Crudités


1½ to 2 lb fresh king crab, in shell
2 sticks Neufchatel cream cheese
½ container low-fat sour cream
4-6 shallots, depending upon taste, finely chopped
Cayenne Pepper
1 Meyer Lemon
4-6 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
10 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 – 2-½ tablespoons butter, melted
Olive oil
Fleur de sel
Bread, crudités and chips


The key to the dish is the fresh king crab, which is very worth the effort.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. To prepare the king drab, de-shell and allow water/juices to drain well in a colander. Squeeze a quarter of the Meyer lemon on the crab. Next, in a medium deep skillet, sauté the shallots in about 2 – 2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for 4 minutes or until they just start to brown. Add the Neufchatel cheese and blend well with the onions. Add the sour cream, and continue to stir. A spatula is the best tool to use to stir the ingredients together.

As the cream cheese and sour cream are blended with the onions, add the paprika and cayenne pepper to taste. When you reach your preferred spice level, add a generous sprinkle of the fleur de sel and fold in the crab and 7 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Squeeze the rest of the Meyer lemon (or the amount up to your preference of taste) into the crab mixture. You may also need to adjust the paprika and cayenne seasoning. Snip about 4-5 tablespoons of chive directly into the crab mixture.

Transfer the dip into an oven proof, slightly greased flat dish. Spread the dip evenly throughout the dish. In a skillet, melt the butter and add the breadcrumbs until slightly toasted. Add in the remainder of the parmesan cheese. Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the dip. At this point, the crab dip may be refrigerated overnight if you would like to prepare the dish beforehand. Alternatively, you can wait until you are ready to warm up the dip to add the breadcrumb topping.

Heat the crab dip in the oven for 20-25 minutes if refrigerated overnight or 10 minutes if cooking immediately. Switch the oven to broil and allow the top to brown for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh French bread, crudités or even more decadently, with potato chips.

Mulled Wine



2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

5 star anise

3 black peppercorns

4 whole cloves

2 allspice berries

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1 bottle dry red wine

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced



Warm up for the feast with a cup of this spiced wine – the perfect accessory to a hearty meal.

Serves 8–10

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 minutes


Wrap cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorns, cloves, and allspice in cheesecloth and secure with a string. In a 5-quart pot bring sugar and water to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add spice bag, wine, and fruit. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Keep warm for service.  

Butternut Squash Soup with Dried Cranberries and Crème Fraiche


2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4–5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, heated

2 tablespoons dried, sweetened cranberries or cherries, minced

4 tablespoons crème fraiche or goat cheese, if desired

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


Thanksgiving dinner can be quite the undertaking, so incorporating dishes, like this soup, that can be made several days in advance is the perfect, seasonal solution.

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 1 hourPreheat oven to 425˚F. Place squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil on top and toss squash until coated. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 50–60 minutes. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Place half of squash in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 cup of stock and purée until smooth. Add another 1–1 1/2 cups of stock depending on desired consistency of soup. Repeat process with rest of squash and stock. To serve, reheat soup on stove, pour into individual bowls, and garnish with dried cranberries and crème fraiche.


Roast Turkey with Apple and Sage


1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey (brined – see procedure below)

10 fresh sage leaves

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Freshly ground black pepper

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, end trimmed.

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 medium red onions, peeled and quartered

3 medium Pink Lady, apples, cored and halved


The star of the show gets a little upgrade with sweet Pink Lady apples and earthy sage.

Serves 8 to 10

Prep time: 30 minutes

Inactive cook time: 1 hour

Cook time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 500˚F. Remove turkey from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Discard giblets, but reserve the neck. Rinse turkey (including cavity) and pat dry. Carefully separate the skin and slide the sage leaves underneath. Brush the turkey all over with the melted butter and season generously with salt and pepper (including the cavity). Squeeze one half of the lemon and orange over the turkey and put the other halves inside the cavity with the garlic.

Place the turkey in a large roasting pan with a rack and roast until the skin turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350˚F. Place the neck, onions, and apples in a bowl, coat with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in roasting pan around turkey. Return to oven and baste with pan drippings every 30 minutes. Roast turkey until the internal temperature of the inner thigh reads 160˚F. Remove from the oven and place turkey on cutting board and rest, uncovered, at least 30 minutes. Do not discard drippings from roasting pan – this will be used to make gravy (recipe below). Remove apples and the onions to a serving platter. Carve the turkey and arrange on the serving platter. 

Turkey Gravy


Turkey drippings

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

5 cups chicken broth

2 cups apple juice

3 fresh sage leaves


Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Add chicken broth, apple juice, and sage leaves to a sauce pot and bring to a simmer.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the turkey roasting pan. Heat the pan over medium-high and sprinkle in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the flour browns slightly, about 4 minutes. Gradually add the hot broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. 

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing


3 to 4 cups chicken stock2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

1 pound sweet sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks

cloves garlic, smashed and finely diced

8 sage leaves, finely chopped

3 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

10 cups stale cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups dried cherries


This stuffing is the ultimate Thanksgiving umami. Sweet, salty, and ridiculously scrumptious.

Serves 8–10

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan and add onions and celery. Cook until soft and translucent. Add sausage and cook until brown. Stir in the garlic, sage, and thyme and sauté for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the cornbread, cherries, and sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead until the mixture is very moist.

In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cherries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and knead with your hands until the bread becomes very moist. Check for seasoning. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake the stuffing until to top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. 



Whipped Sweet Potatoes


4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups heavy cream

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter


Enjoy a forkful of fall with each mouthful of these creamy, perfectly seasoned potatoes.

Serves 6 to 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place them in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes until they are very soft. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

In a small sauce pot, heat the cream with the bay leaves until just before the simmer. Discard bay leaves and keep warm. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, heated cream, and butter. Whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Bourbon - Pumpkin Pie


Pastry dough

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs, beaten

2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup Bourbon

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt


It’s amazing what a little dash of liquor can do to a simple pumpkin pie.

Serves 8

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Using your favorite pastry dough recipe, roll out enough dough to fit a 12-inch pie dish. Place dough inside the dish and gently prick the bottom with a fork. Trim the excess dough and crimp edges with a fork. Chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Line the pie dough with foil and fill with weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and continue to bake until golden all over, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Combine the pumpkin, heavy cream, sour cream, eggs, sugar, Bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, and salt, and whisk until combined. Pour into the cooled shell. Bake until the edges are set but the center is slightly loose, about 45 minutes. Cool completely and serve with whipped cream. 

Cranberry-Apple Crisp


6 firm Macoun apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted


You won’t miss grandma’s apple pie after one bite of this buttery and tart treat.

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place apples and cranberries in a large bowl and toss with lemon zest and juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a  9x12 baking dish.

For the topping, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and oatmeal in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering completely.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm. 

Thanksgiving Tip: Brine Your Turkey


2 cups kosher salt

2 cups sugar

2 gallons of water

1 large brining bag

Optional ingredients to add flavor:

Bay leaves

Dried herbs and spices (sage, oregano, thyme, basil, etc.)

Cracked black peppercorns



Crushed garlic cloves



Adding the extra step of brining your turkey will ensure you’ll have a moist and flavorful bird. No extra gravy required. 

In a large stockpot over medium heat combine water, salt, sugar, and any of the optional ingredients. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Do not boil. Remove pot from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.

Find a container large enough to fit your turkey. Spread a layer of ice along the bottom. Place the turkey, breast side down, inside the brining bag and then inside the container with ice. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey (inside the bag) and add an additional gallon of water. The turkey needs to stay at 40°F while brining, so add extra ice to the bag and container to keep cool. Brine one hour per pound.a



Galavante Videos

The Insider Experience
The Insider Experience
A Few of Our Favorite...
By Christine McDonald In fashion-focused New York City, it’s often shoes, watches, and handbags... more>>