Adapting the recipes of Heston Blumenthal into the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner menu
A few years ago my mates & I were lucky enough to go on a road trip across the USA, from New York to San Francisco. En route we got to enjoy Thanksgiving meals in Las Vegas (ESPN sports bar, now closed) and Death Valley (Stovepipe Wells).
Despite being UK-based we always get together for Thanksgiving dinner each year(we also unashamedly celebrate Halloween, another American holiday). Plus, it’s a great excuse to stuff our faces.
The other year we made both Heston Blumenthal’s turkey recipe and Gordon Ramsay’s for Christmas dinner. This time round our research, on sites like RecipeGirl, shows that Thanksgiving dinner recipes are a bit different to our traditional English Christmas dinner (basically, turkey, gravy and stuffing recipes are the only similarities on the menu).
You may have seen our recipe page, where we’ve tried to compile a list of all of Heston’s recipes that have been published online. Based on the Thanksgiving dish recipes that seem to be traditionally served in the USA, we’ve selected the best matches from our list of Heston’s recipes to prepare this Thanksgiving feast.
Here’s the recipes we’ll be serving up for our Heston Blumenthal Thanksgiving Dinner menu:
Heston’s Thanksgiving Roast Turkey recipe – Obviously no Thanksgiving dinner menu would be complete without roast turkey at its centre. Heston’s Roast Turkey recipe first brines the bird to keep the meat tender, before slow cooking in a low oven, helping retain the juicy tenderness.
Heston’s Cranberry & Carraway Stuffing recipe – As on your Christmas menu, you can’t have Thanksgiving turkey without stuffing. Heston uses caraway to give this recipe lightness, and adds cranberries for extra festive flavour.
Heston’s Thanksgiving Gravy recipe – We’ll be making a version of this rich, full flavoured gravy too, but reducing it for a more concentrated taste.
Heston’s Mashed Potato recipe – Another major difference between our UK Christmas dinners and American Thanksgiving menus – in the US its not roast but mashed potato recipes that dominate. Heston’s recipe uses carefully controlled temperatures to lock the starch into the potatoes, giving the smoothest mash possible.
Heston’s Potato Gratin recipe – We loved Recipe Girl’s Sweet Potato Gratin idea. Heston’s closest recipe is this Potatoes Boulangére dish, which we can adapt simply by changing the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, and the lamb stock for chicken stock.
Heston’s Green Beans recipe – Green Bean casserole seems to be the essential side dish for all Thanksgiving menus. As a Brit Heston doesn’t have an exact recipe for this, so the closest thing we can find is this recipe for Haricots verts à la crème. For a different take you could try his Runner Bean & Radish Salad recipe.
Heston’s Cranberry Sauce recipe – made with orange and tiny dash of vodka, this is a very simple dish to prepare.
Heston’s Cornbread recipe – Heston normally serves this dish alongside his chilli con carne, but you can easily adapt these muffins into a loaf to serve for Thanksgiving dinner.
Heston’s Macaroni Cheese recipe – Thanksgiving menus seem to be quite carb heavy, often including a macaroni cheese. Heston’s version is smooth, rich and creamy. To add a little more veg you could swap this for Heston’s Cauliflower cheese recipe perhaps?
Pumpkin Pie recipe – And for dessert? Pumpkin pie seems to be the classic Thanksgiving dessert. Once again British Heston doesn’t have a recipe for Pumpkin Pie, but perfection hunting food journalist Felicity Cloake does! We’ll be using her Pumpkin Pie recipe for the filling, and Heston’s technique for making the pastry case.
The plan is to divide preparation of the dishes between all the guests, which should make it easy to work through all these complicated recipes. Everyone brings something to the table. We’re looking forward to a fantastical feast.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to cook this before Thanksgiving. We’ll be having this meal Thanksgiving Sunday, and we’ll try and post the results soon afterwards.