I recently had the opportunity to attend a taping of the Thanksgiving episode The Chew here in New York City with four other fabulous bloggers: Veg Kitchen, Healthy Delicious, Sarah’s Cucina Bella, and Just A Taste. I love getting to do events like this. Not only do I get to see how TV is made, but I get to network and meet other people who love the same things I do: food and photography! You can check out the recipes that they created here at BlogHer. We had an unbelievable time at the show. We met Carla Hall, Michael Symon, and I even got to shake the one, the only, Mario Batali’s big Italian mitt. Now, I’ve seen how food is made on television, and I was a bit wary of tasting the food, as we were sitting at the tasting table, but as soon as I saw that twinkle in Batali’s eyes, all fears were put to rest. We watched them whip up an entire Thanksgiving meal, and they really did it themselves, which was impressive. Carla made one of the most tender turkeys I’ve ever tasted, and Michael did this incredible stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) with homemade croutons, sausage, and wild rice, all baked in an egg custard. Believe me, I’m stealing that one for this year! The stand out, though, were Mario Batali’s mashed potatoes. He didn’t use any butter at all – he simply caramelized whole garlic cloves in sweet wine, then riced his potatoes, stirred in the whole garlic cloves and sauce, then drizzled about a cup of olive oil into the potatoes, whisking as he went. I think we were all skeptical, because, I mean, come on! Haven’t we all been taught to put a stick of butter in our Thanksgiving taters? It’s the one time of year we all do it and feel no remorse. Well, let me tell you – they were mind blowing. All of the bloggers, myself, and even the other hosts of the show were taken aback by how light and flavorful, yet creamy and rich, these mashed potatoes were. You learn a new thing every day, folks.
So, thanks to The Chew, I have been inspired to share a few holiday recipes with you, and this one really stuck out to me. It’s Michael Symon’s turkey-sage gravy. I love gravy, as I’m sure you all do, but the most difficult part of making it on the Big Day is that you have to wait for your turkey to be done so that you can get the drippings from the pan. I don’t know about you, but I hate having to do anything at the last minute, especially when I’ve got a house full of hungry people. That’s why I love this idea for making your gravy ahead of time. It’s still got plenty of flavor, as it’s made with sausage, and you can make it as thick or as thin as you like. Feel free to put this together a day or two beforehand, then just heat up in a sauce pot and add in a bit more water or stock to thin it out as you warm it up. I added a few things of my own to this gravy, namely by using buttermilk instead of regular milk for a tangier, richer flavor. I also added a healthy pinch of smoked paprika for that salty, earthy element that I felt the gravy was just missing a touch of.
You can check out more easy Thanksgiving recipes at The Chew, and be sure to tune in and watch the show at 1e/12p/c! More specifically, tune in and watch the show on November 21st to see your favorite blogger (coughmecough) clap, laugh, and eat along with the hosts. Happy Thanksgiving!
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup minced onion or shallot (about ½ an onion or 1 large shallot)
- 1 pound turkey sausage (casing removed)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red Pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced and divided
- 3 cups 1% or 2% milk (you can even use buttermilk for a richer gravy)
- ¼ cup Flour
- Heat the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the minced onions and a pinch of salt, then sweat for 3 minutes, until translucent.
- Turn the heat up to high and add in the turkey sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or similar utensil as it cooks. While the turkey is browning, add 1 tablespoon sage, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and the red pepper flakes.
- When the turkey is browned, which takes about 5-7 minutes, add in the flour, which will create a bit of a roux to thicken the gravy. Stir to combine, working quickly so the flour doesn’t burn. Cook for 1 minute, and then add in the milk, whisking to incorporate it. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the sage, salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. You can add some water to thin it out, if you like, then serve hot. This will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and thaw it out in time for dinner!