Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Thanksgiving

Let's talk turkey: Everything you need for the perfect Thanksgiving


We've got one week before the big game -- I mean, the big dinner. So, let's recap and take a look at the highlights from this week's Food section:

-- L.A. Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter puts her own stamp on the holiday with her "Long Table" Thanksgiving: It's an outdoor potluck of sorts, at which she cooks the bird and guests all bring their favorite sides. You'll love these indulgent recipes, including broccoli casserole, corn pudding, ambrosia and mac 'n' cheese.

-- L.A. Times Food editor Russ Parsons also puts an outdoor spin on the turkey this year: He's grilling it, while still using the tried-and-true 'Judy Bird' method that has been so wildly popular with readers.

-- But maybe you want nothing to do with the kitchen. We've got that covered too: Check out our list of restaurants that will be serving Thanksgiving dinner, as well as those that are offering takeout. (Take a piece of advice from us: Don't risk life, limb and homestead frying a turkey this year. Just buy one.)

-- Go to LATimes.com/Thanksgiving to check out dozens of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.

-- If you want to eat with your eyes, check out 97 images of our favorite holiday dishes. But don't blame me if you get hungry.

-- So, what to pour? We've got dozens or recommendations from L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila, including this 2008 Penner-Ash Pino Noir 'Dussin Vineyard.' Says Virbila: "...the Thanksgiving turkey would love a Pinot like this."

-- Oh, and we have video, above: Russ shows you how to carve the holiday turkey with ease.

-- Finally, show us your turkeys! Please share the pictures of your gloriously golden birds, your tablescape, your family portraits, your favorite side dishes and more, either from year's past or upcoming. Click here to upload your images. 

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch 

Make-ahead rolls for Thanksgiving

Rolls When's the last time you served (or were served) homemade rolls on Thanksgiving?


The L.A. Times Test Kitchen likes this recipe for whole-grain mustard rolls in part because you can make them now, freeze, and then bake them on turkey day. Served alongside lots and lots of butter.

Check out dozens more Thanksgiving recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen at www.latimes.com/Thanksgiving

RELATED: L.A. Times Food editor Russ Parson's favorite way to make the Thanksgiving turkey.

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Dining in -- or taking out -- this Thanksgiving

Classic Here's the reality. Not all of you are doing the cooking (or baking) this Thanksgiving.

Some of you will be dining out, or taking out.

We're trying to compile a Thanksgiving turkey-sized list of all the places that are either serving dinner on Thanksgiving, or offering up holiday take-out of one sort or another.

Let us know your favorite spots. E-mail us at food@latimes.com with the details.

And if you are inspired to do some cooking, check out dozens of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes at www.latimes.com/Thanksgiving

--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Classic pumpkin pie. Click here for the recipe. Credit: Los Angeles Times

The absolutely best Thanksgiving turkey recipe. Ever.


How do we know when it's Thanksgiving in the L.A. Times Test Kitchen? Well, there are the holiday dishes being tested by Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter.

And then there are the hundreds of requests for copies of "the Judy Bird" recipe.

This recipe is a hands-down favorite with readers and won first place in our turkey showdown a few years ago. The secret is in the simple technique: dry-brine and roast, no stuffing, just dry-brine and roast. And it all leads to turkey nirvana: a bird that is moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. But don't take my word for it. Each year at about this time, L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons' e-mail in-box gets clogged up with those "Judy bird" recipe requests. He gets so many questions about it that he wrote this FAQ on the "Judy Bird," which is the only recipe in L.A. Times Food section history to spur its own "Frequently Asked Questions" sidebar. 

Finally, click here to check out dozens more of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, or go to latimes.com/Thanksgiving.

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch 

Photo credit: Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times

Thanksgiving comes early to Craft

Chef Tom Colicchio, owner of Craft and star of "Top Chef," is making a special appearance at Craft Los Angeles this Saturday. And he's bringing with him an assortment of Thanksgiving offerings to serve up long before the big Turkey Day arrives. 

Craft will celebrate a taste of things to come by serving a family-style tasting menu for $85 per person from 2 to 8 p.m., Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone.  The menu is subject to change, but includes standard Thanksgiving main courses such as roast free-range turkey and autumn vegetables as well as more unorthodox dishes, including red kuri squash and ricotta cavatelli.

First courses include wild boar terrine with spiced pears and endive salad with pomegranate and pickled pumpkin. Finish off with chocolate pecan pie or pumpkin bread pudding for dessert.

Craft, 10100 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 279-4180; www.craftlosangeles.com

-- Max Diamond

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Got leftovers? We've got recipes

Pilgrims pie

 Thanksgiving dinner puts a lot of pressure on a cook.

But it's nothing compared with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Of course, you can just reheat and re-serve the whole meal over and over until the stuffing starts drying out and cracking. But a good cook is supposed to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving doing something wizardly with all those leftovers, right? Take the remains of the holiday and turn them into something supremely special, perhaps a turkey pot pie with a flaky homemade crust, with lovingly hand-crimped edges. Or a turkey mole. And it's a given that A Real Cook makes a rich turkey soup with a stock that was hours in the making.

But what if you'd rather be shopping? We've got some quick and easy recipes to empty out the fridge -- as well as a few more complex dishes if you are so inspired:

Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

It's not too late to have a Thanksgiving dinner -- or sushi

There are at least a couple of ways to deal with the fact that you have yet to plan Thanksgiving dinner: reservations at any of the dozens of restaurants that will be celebrating the holiday, or takeout.

In addition to our list of restaurants offering Thanksgiving menus, check your local grocer for takeout options. And besides many notable hotel dining rooms, restaurants all over the Southland are offering wonderful fare for Thanksgiving dinner.

You've got choices -- the traditional, the not-so-traditional, as well as the vegan. Oh, and there's sushi.

Photo: Philippe Lopez  / AFP/Getty Images

Sampler Platter: Hardee's in Pakistan, bacon flights in Palm Springs, stolen bees in Matamata

Hardee's in Lahore, Pakistan

Bee thieves, suggestions for food that should be thrown at celebrity chefs and all sorts of pre-Turkey Day food news.

-- Thieves steal more than a million bees from New Zealand beekeeper. NZHerald.com
-- Ten celebrity chefs and the foods that should be thrown at them. Westworld
-- CKE Restaurants opens first Hardee's in Pakistan. Associated Press
-- White House menu for state dinner for Prime Minister Singh. ABC News
-- Xiao long bao at Tampa Garden in Reseda. Stuffy Cheaks
-- People learn to cook from restaurant chefs so they can save money by cooking at home. Chicago Tribune
-- Even vegetarians hate Tofurkey. CNN
-- It's time for the annual Butterball hotline horror stories. Chicago Sun-Times
-- Eating LA digs Cheeky's in Palm Springs with its flight of four kinds of bacon and pumpernickel waffle.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Hardee's in Lahore, Pakistan. Credit: Business Wire

Thanksgiving countdown: Scalloped oysters

How about something that's different -- yet still a classic -- this holiday? Here's your recipe for scalloped oysters.

-- Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch 


Thanksgiving: An American meal

Is this the best turkey recipe ever?

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times


Attack of the 100-proof turkey

Ocaseys This Thanksgiving, binge eaters and drinkers can kill two birds with one stone. O'Casey's Tavern in Manhattan is unveiling their 100-proof turkey today, serendipitously in sync with the Heath section's cover story on the psychology behind binge eating, which researchers have found has strong biochemical resemblance to alcoholism and addiction. 

As if tryptophan wasn't enough of an intoxicant, O'Casey's turkey is marinated in 100-proof Georgi vodka, along with peach, raspberry, cherry and apple flavored vodkas for 72 hours. According to a story in the New York Post, the bird will contain one ounce of alcohol per bite. The cost of the bender ($29.95) includes vodka-infused gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and a taxi ride home (a vomitorium, however, is not included).

For those aiming to abstain this holiday season, there's the recently released Jones Tofurkey and Gravy Soda, a vegan and non-alcoholic alternative.

-- Krista Simmons

Photo credit: Karl O'Connor


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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.