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Thanksgiving Without The Fuss

Master Chef Erik Blaubergcolor=blue>
"21" Club
New York, N.Y.

Watercress salad with apples, blue cheese and walnuts
Ingredients:
3 Granny Smith apples
3 oz. blue cheese
8 oz. watercress
1 tbs. mustard
4 tbs. olive oil (or vegetable oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons walnut pieces

Method:

1. Core the apples and thinly slice to form a fan shape on a plate.
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2. Cut a pie shape or crumble the blue cheese and place next to the apple slices.

3. Artfully place the watercress next to the cheese and apples.

4. In a mixing bowl add the mustard, vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil, season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve immediately.

Goof-proof roast goose

Ingredients:
1 10-12 lb. goose
5 thyme sprigs (chopped fine)
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper (fresh coarse ground)
1 orange (cut into 6 wedges)
1 lime (cut into six wedges)

Method:

1. Remove the giblets, neck and liver from the bird.

2. Wash the bird inside and out with cold water, then pat dry.

3. Place the thyme and rosemary on and inside the bird. Season with salt and pepper. Place the orange and lime segments into the cavity of the bird and place the bird breast side up into a roasting pan.

4. Place the roasting pan into a preheated 500-degree oven for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off without opening the door for an additional 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

5. Cover the bird with aluminum foil and let sit for 10 minutes.

6. Slice the bird like it was a turkey.

7. Serve with pan drippings

Pan-roasted brussel sprouts and oven-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

4 cups quartered brussel sprouts
8 tbs. vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup oven dried tomatoes (see recipe)

Method:

1. Place the brussel sprouts into a hot saute pan with oil. Toss until golden brown, season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.

2. Add the oven dried tomato and toss. Serve immediately.

Oven-dried tomato

Ingredients:

8 ripe roma tomatoes
8 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

2. Thinly slice (1/6 of an inch) the tomatoes using a plastic mandoline or sharp knife.

3. Using olive oil, place the sliced tomatoes on oiled parchment paper that is placed on a sheet pan (or cookie pan)

4. Lightly season the tomato to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Place into a pre-heated oven 200 degrees F. And cook for approximately 2 hours or until tomato slices are crisp.

Cornbread stuffing

Ingredients:

4 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup onion (small dice)
1 cup red bell pepper (small diced, skinless and seedless)
1 cup celery (diced small and peeled)
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup andouille sausage (diced)
4 cups corn bread (crumbled
1 cup scallions (thinly sliced)
2 cups chicken stock (golden and double strength)
Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

Method:

In a saute pan, add the oil, heat over a low temperature. Add the onions, peppers, celery and slowly cook until vegetables are soft (careful not to color) season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate pan add 2 tablespoons of oil over a high-heat. When oil starts to lightly smoke, add the sausage, stirring and tossing careful not to burn. Cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and blot to a paper towel.

Combine the sausage, vegetables, corn bread, scallions and chicken stock into a mixing bowl season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the stuffing into a butterd pan, cover with aluminum foil.

Place into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Crushed potatoes and herbs
Ingredients:
5 large idaho or oregon gold potatoes (peeled)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons chervil (chopped fine)
1 tablespoon lemon thyme (chopped fine)
1 tablespoon chives (thinly sliced)

Method: cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Place in a medium size pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the temperature and let simmer until fork tender (about 10 minutes).

Carefully drain off the water. Then mash the potatoes with a fork and the butter. Stir in the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin pie

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh pumpkin, cooked and pureed or one can pumpkin puree
7/8 cup sugar, granulated
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
3/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
3/4 teaspoon all spice, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pie shell, pre-cooked 9-inch

Method: in a mixing bowl, add and stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and heavy cream until blended smooth.

Add the ginger, cloves, all spice, and salt. Stir until blended.

Pour the mixture into a pie shell and place in pre-heated 425-degree oven and cook for 14 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 and continue to bake for approximately 45 minutes more. Insert a metal skewer into the center. It should come out clean when the pie is cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Serve with whipped cream.

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