Editor's note: Get excited! Our favorite party guru, Colin Cowie, is back. This time he's here to help us handle the holidays. The event planner extraordinaire is a fan of buffets, especially for large food celebrations like Thanksgiving. Below he shares his recipes for the perfect turkey day buffet.
A Thanksgiving buffet allows each guest to help themselves to what they like, skip what they don't favor, and go back for seconds and thirds should they wish. You can place serving platters in the warming drawer until ready to be used (if you don't have a warming drawer, set the oven to 200°F and place the platters inside for 5-10 minutes). After a leisurely dinner, clear the buffet and set it for dessert — an apple tarte tatin, coffee, and cognac. And remember, the best part about Thanksgiving is enjoying the leftovers the following day!
Get Colin's recipes for roast turkey, haricot verts, baked apples, and warm spiced cider after the break.
1/4 cup sliced almonds (Spanish almonds are the best to use) Serves 6. The Stuffing Serves 10-12. 1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted Serves 8. 2 quarts apple cider Makes 12 drinks.
1 1/2 pounds haricots verts (cleaned and trimmed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic bulb
2 celery sticks
Sprig fresh sage, plus few extra
12 strips pancetta
3 tablespoons butter
1 stick butter (or more), cut into tablespoons (for under the skin)
Big handful breadcrumbs
Handful dried apricots
3/4 lb pork mince
Pinch of grated nutmeg
12 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus few extra
For the turkey
9-10 lb organic free-range turkey
1 big orange
Olive oil for basting
Plain flour, for the gravy
Chicken or vegetable stock, for the gravy
1 cup white wine
2-4 cups chicken broth
1 package cheesecloth
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons
4 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons cognac
1 cup heavy cream
8 large (8- to 9-ounce) Fuji apples
1/2 cup apple juice
Juice from one lemon
8 whole cloves
Vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced almonds (Spanish almonds are the best to use)
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
2 quarts apple cider
Makes 12 drinks.
Are you hosting a Thanksgiving buffet? Share your tips with us below. To get more of Colin's inspiring ideas and delicious recipes, check out his website, Colin Cowie, and sign up for his newsletter, Colin Cowie Wedding Notes.