LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is sharing some of his favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

“Thanksgiving is not a day where you go on a diet,” the chef said. “You know, you want to go on a diet, you go before.”

Here are his Thanksgiving recipes:

(Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, “Wolfgang Puck Makes it Easy” Rutledge Hill Press, 2004)

Yield: Serves 4

In addition to the cranberry-apple relish that accompanies the soup in this recipe, you could garnish it with a swirl of pureed roasted red bell pepper or a teaspoon of imported Austrian extra-virgin pumpkinseed oil, now available in gourmet shops or on the Internet. The cranberry-apple relish can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

For the cranberry-apple relish:
1 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries, or dried cranberries
1 organic apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water (or soaking water from dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the soup:
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1/2 kabocha squash, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 small brown-skinned onion, peeled and finely diced
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Crème fraîche or unsweetened whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

1. Make the cranberry-apple relish. If using dried cranberries, put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep 15 to 30 minutes, and drain over a bowl. Retain 1/3 cup of the soaking water. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and the berries have popped open, about 20 minutes, or up to 30 minutes if using dried cranberries. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate. You should have about 1 1/2 cups, enough for the soup plus extra to use as a relish for holiday meals.

2. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half. With a sharp-edged spoon, scoop out the seeds and strings from the butternut and kabocha squash halves.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Place wire racks on top of a baking sheet large enough to hold the squash halves. Brush the cut side of each squash half with melted butter and season with salt and white pepper. Arrange the squash cut side down on the rack. Cover with foil. Bake until the squash are tender enough to be pierced easily with a sharp knife tip, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Pour any liquid in the roasting pan into a bowl and combine with the stock. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh from each squash half into a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Process until pureed. You should have about 3 cups or a little more. Transfer the puree to a mixing bowl and set aside.

4. In a medium soup pot, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until glossy but not yet browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and brown sugar and stir together for about a minute. Add the squash and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

5. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock and cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir the liquid into the squash puree until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. If you want a really silky texture, blend the soup before straining. In batches, transfer to a blender or food processor, taking care not to overfill the container, and process until smoothly blended, 1 to 2 minutes. You can also do this with an immersion blender. Transfer each batch to a fine-meshed strainer set over a heatproof mixing bowl and press it through with a rubber spatula. If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

7. Over medium heat, bring the soup back to serving temperature. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Ladle into heated serving bowls and garnish each serving with a spoonful of relish and some crème fraîche or whipped cream if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 to 10

1 (13-14 pound) turkey, neck and giblets
removed, all visible fat trimmed from
About 2 pounds assorted root vegetables,
cut into bite-sized chunks
Whole fresh herb leaves/sprigs 8 whole cloves garlic
Kosher salt Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1) For the turkey, with clean hands, insert your fingers between the skin and the meat at the neck opening, and carefully break through the membranes between the skin and the meat all over the breast and thighs. Insert herbs neatly underneath the skin.
2) Position the rack on the lowest level of the pressure oven. Set the pressure oven temperature to 450°F and the function to ROAST. Turn on the timer to preheat the oven.
3) In a mixing bowl, toss together all of the cut-up vegetables and the garlic cloves. Spread them evenly in the pressure oven’s baking tray.
4) Tie the turkey’s legs together at the ends of the drumsticks with kitchen string or butcher’s twine. Fold the wing tips under. Season the turkey all over inside and out with salt and pepper. Drizzle and rub with some olive oil all over the skin.
5) Place the turkey in the roasting pan on top of the bed of vegetables. Place the pan in the preheated pressure oven.
6) Set the Vent Release Valve to SEAL and lower Sealing Lever to the SEAL position and set the timer for to 55 minutes.*
7) When the time is up, slowly release the pressure valve and slowly lift the pressure bar until no steam remains. Test the turkey for doneness: an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone should read 165°F. If not, roast under pressure for 5 to 10 minutes longer.
8) Remove the turkey from the pan to a platter and cover it with aluminum for to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Skim any fat from the surface of the pan juices; reserve the juices in the roasting pan.
9) Transfer the turkey to a carving board. Cut into serving pieces and serve with the roasted vegetables and garlic.
Tip: When cooking a whole roast turkey we recommend wrapping the drumsticks in foil to prevent excessive browning. Check roast skin color after first 30 minutes and tent with foil to control browning if so desired. Ensure that foil does not come into contact with heating elements.

(Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, Adventures in the Kitchen, Random House, 1991)

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into thinly sliced rounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Over medium-high heat, sauté the apples until slightly caramelized, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Place the potatoes in a medium bowl and season with salt, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the cream and mix well.

Butter a 10-inch gratin dish and layer with half the potatoes, one overlapping the other. Cover with the apples and arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven.

Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the potatoes and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Return to the oven to brown, watching carefully to prevent burning.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 6

(Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, 2000)

4 pounds organic red cabbage, cut into julienne
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 organic Granny Smith apples, sliced
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 teaspoons ginger powder
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups orange juice
2 cups red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
A few gold leaves for decoration (optional – available at specialty stores)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a heavy casserole. Add peanut oil. Sauté red onion until translucent. Sprinkle in brown sugar and cook for a few minutes until it starts to caramelize.

Add sliced apples and deglaze with the red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil. Add red wine and orange juice, cinnamon stick, ginger powder and salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add red cabbage and continue to cook for about 10 minutes on top of the stove.

Cover cabbage with foil and cook in 350 degree F. oven for about 45 minutes. Remove. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Yield: Serves 12

(Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, “Pizza, Pasta & More!,” Random House, 2000)

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup verjus

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Continue to cook until the mixture is thick and the berries are glazed. Allow to cool. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Yield: Makes 1-1/3 cups

Yield: Makes 1 pie, 8 servings

Cinnamon Pie Dough:
3 1/2 cups (875 ml) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound (375 g) unsalted butter, well chilled, cut into 24 pieces
4 large cage-free egg yolks
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream

Apple Filling:
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 medium organic Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) wedges
1/4 cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy) or applejack, optional

Glaze and Garnishes
1 large cage-free egg, beaten
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

First, make the dough. In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse the machine on and off a few times. Scatter the butter evenly inside. Process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cream. With the machine running, pour the mixture through the feed tube and continue processing until the dough comes together. Carefully remove from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the filling, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to turn brown, add the apples and sprinkle with the sugars and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugars have turned thick, dark brown, and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should still be firm. Stir in the Calvados, if using. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spread the apple mixture in it to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (200°C).

Cut the ball of dough into two halves, one slightly larger than the other. Place the smaller half cut side down on a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll it out to an even circle 11 inches (27.5 cm) in diameter. Gently fold in half or quarters and transfer to a 9-inch (22.5-cm) pie pan. Unfold and gently ease it into the contours of the pan. Roll out the larger half of dough to a circle about 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter and gently fold in half or quarters.

Fill the lined pie pan with the apples. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Carefully unfold the remaining pastry circle over the filling. Tuck the edges of the top pastry under the rim of the bottom pastry and press down with your fingers to seal together and decoratively flute the edges. With the tip of a small, sharp knife, cut 3 vents about 2 inches (5 cm) long in the center of the top crust.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. (190°C) and bake for 20 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, brush the top pastry with the beaten egg, return to the oven, and continue baking until the crust is deep golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, accompanied by vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you like.


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