HelloFresh Head Chef Claudia Sidoti Shares Her Best Thanksgiving Recipes

 

Thanksgiving dinner

Group of friends having Thanksgiving dinner. | Shironosov/iStock/Getty Images

HelloFresh will be offering its first-ever Thanksgiving box for the holiday this year. In addition to a turkey and sides, the box will include a hosting playbook with cooking timelines and a meal-prep guide.

The Cheat Sheet spoke with HelloFresh Head Chef Claudia Sidoti to learn more about the new Thanksgiving box and get some of her best Thanksgiving recipes.

The Cheat Sheet: What prompted HelloFresh to create this Thanksgiving box?

Claudia Sidoti: The launch of our Thanksgiving box is based on customer feedback, which is the single most important thing when adapting and innovating our recipes and menus. While HelloFresh focuses on being an everyday dinner solution, year after year we’ve been hearing from them that they’d love a helping hand on the holidays as well.

While hosting and cooking for the holiday might seem overwhelming and stressful to some, by providing an easy-to-follow playbook, plus all of the ingredients to make delicious holiday classics, we’re setting them up for success in the kitchen for a drama-free Thanksgiving dinner that they will be proud of and their guests will be impressed by.


The Cheat Sheet: What’s inside the Thanksgiving box?

HelloFresh Thanksgiving box

HelloFresh Thanksgiving box | Courtesy: HelloFresh

Claudia Sidoti: The box includes all the ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes to cook the following holiday dishes:

  • Roasted turkey with a garlic herb butter and pan gravy
  • Cranberry sauce with orange, ginger, and cinnamon
  • Classic gravy with garlic and herbs
  • Garlic mashed potatoes with crispy fried sage
  • Cranberry and chicken sausage stuffing with celery, thyme, and sage
  • Green beans with caramelized shallots and a crispy breadcrumb and almond topping
  • Apple ginger crisp with cinnamon pecan crumble

The Cheat Sheet: Could you share one or two of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes?

Claudia Sidoti: Here are two recipes from the HelloFresh box:

Cranberry and Sausage Stuffing with Celery, Thyme, and Sage

HelloFresh cranberry and sausage stuffing.

HelloFresh cranberry and sausage stuffing. | Courtesy of HelloFresh

  • 8 pieces ciabatta bread
  • 2 oz. dried cranberries
  • 3 pieces celery
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 oz. Italian chicken sausage meat
  • 1 chicken demi-glace (contains milk)
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  • The day before, toast the ciabatta. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Split ciabattas in half (as if making sandwiches). Cut each into ½-inch cubes. Arrange cubes on two baking sheets and toast until starting to dry out, about 7 minutes. Toss cubes on sheets and return to oven with positions switched (to encourage even toasting). Continue toasting until crisp but not yet browned, 7-9 minutes more. Set aside and let cool completely. Tip: Keep toasted ciabatta at room temperature, uncovered. Covering will cause the cubes to absorb moisture and soften.
  • On Thanksgiving day, soak cranberries. Fill a large measuring cup or bowl with 3½ cups warm water. Add 1 demi-glace and whisk until combined. Stir in cranberries and set aside to soak.
  • Chop celery into small cubes. Halve, peel, and finely mince shallot. Peel and finely mince 2 cloves of garlic. Pick and chop 1 tbsp sage leaves and 1 tbsp of thyme leaves. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  • After roasting turkey for about 90 minutes, cook sausage and veggies. Beat eggs in a small bowl. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tbsp of butter. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, breaking up meat with a spoon. Cook, tossing occasionally, until starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp butter and let melt, then add celery, shallot and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring a few times, until veggies begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, sage, and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in demi-glace and cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil then turn off heat.
  • Toss stuffing. Place ciabatta cubes in a large bowl. Pour over contents of pan and toss until the cubes are coated all over. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool 2 minutes, then add eggs, tossing to distribute. Transfer mixture to buttered baking dish. Cut another 2 tbsp butter into small cubes and scatter over top.
  • Bake stuffing. Coat a large piece of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray, then use it to cover baking dish, coated-side down (make sure to seal the edges). As soon as you’ve removed turkey from oven to rest, place stuffing in oven on middle rack and bake.

Claudia Sidoti: Here’s the second recipe from the HelloFresh Thanksgiving box:

Apple Ginger Crisp with Cinnamon Pecan Crumble

HelloFresh apple ginger crisp

HelloFresh apple ginger crisp | Courtesy: HelloFresh

Ingredients:

  • 8 gala apples
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1¼ cups + 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 oz. pecans
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 9 tbsp butter

Directions:

  • Chop apples. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut 8 tbsp butter (1 stick) into ½-inch pieces and return to refrigerator to chill. Peel and core apples, then cut into bite-size cubes (about ½-inch). Place in a medium bowl with ½ cup sugar and 2 tbsp flour.
  • Prep lemon and ginger. Zest 2 tsp zest from lemon and add to bowl with apples. Halve fruit and squeeze 2 tbsp juice into same bowl. Peel and grate ginger. Add half (about 1 tbsp) to bowl. Toss apples to coat and set aside. Roughly chop pecans.
  • Add filling. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with 1 tbsp butter. Transfer apple mixture to dish. Wipe out same bowl and add 1¼ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, pecans, ¾ tsp of cinnamon (we sent more), and a pinch of sugar. Stir to combine. Tip: Save the rest of the flour, ginger, and cinnamon for use in the other recipes.
  • Knead topping. Add chilled butter cubes to bowl with flour mixture. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it has a sandy, crumbly texture that sticks together when squeezed. If dry, add 1-2 tsp water.
  • Bake crisp. Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over apples in dish (do not press it into the apples). Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and the apple mixture is a little bubbly, about 45 minutes. Tip: If the topping browns before the apples are fully baked, tent dish loosely with foil.
  • Cool and serve. Let crisp cool slightly before covering and storing for later. Tip: It’s great with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. To reheat, bring crisp to room temperature. About 30 minutes before it’s time for dessert, bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees until warm, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

The Cheat Sheet: Anything to add?

Claudia Sidoti: Don’t forget the drinks!

I am a huge fan of doing big batch cocktails. This way, you avoid buying a ton of different types of alcohol and mixers, which can really add up. I have a few favorites, but this one is inspired by my Antiguan mother-in-law and it’s absolutely beautiful. In Antigua and some parts of the Caribbean they call it sorrel. The sorrel is a great base for this festive punch.

Spiced Sorrel Punch with Rum

Place 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers (you can find these at a health food store) in a large pot with 10 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 6 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Alternately, if you prefer, you can substitute with equal parts cranberry and pomegranate juice. Omit the sugar but simmer with the cloves, cinnamon and vanilla. Spike with the rum and serve as instructed. Bring to a boil, about 45 minutes. Strain and chill. Before serving, stir in 1/2 cup rum and 1 bottle of seltzer. Keep it cold in pitchers in the fridge and before serving, use a giant punch bowl with plenty of ice.

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