DIY French Fall Recipes: Holiday Edition
Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, holiday office parties, Christmas… we’ve officially entered into potluck season. For those of you that will be charged with cooking this holiday, we’ve got some delicious ideas for you to whip up. Whether you’re responsible for the turkey, a side dish, or something sweet, take a look at these French-inspired delicacies that will wow anyone at any table.
Herb Roasted Turkey – Southern French Style
- 1 whole turkey (10 to 12 pound)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 whole head garlic, top chopped off
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh sage
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use 1 tbsp. olive oil to grease the bottom of a large roasting pan.
Season the turkey with salt and pepper on the inside and out. Place the turkey breast side up in the pan. Brush the turkey with the olive oil. Sprinkle the herbes de Provence and poultry seasoning on the turkey and rub them into the skin with your hands.
Place the whole garlic head, 1/2 lemon, rosemary, thyme and sage inside the cavity. Squeeze the juice from another 1/2 lemon over the top of the turkey.
Place the turkey in the oven, add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan, and roast for 1 hour, uncovered.
Baste the turkey after the first hour of cooking. If the turkey looks very brown, cover it with foil. Continue to bake for another 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey breast meat reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a carving board. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Strain the liquid from the bottom of the pan into another saucepan using a large mesh strainer. Add the juice of 1 lemon to the saucepan and stir. Bring it to a boil over high heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve sauce in a gravy boat with the turkey.
Haricots Verts with Herb Butter
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 lb haricots verts or other green beans, trimmed
Herb butter can be made ahead and chilled, covered, 3 days or frozen, rolled into a cylinder in plastic wrap and kept in a sealed bag, 1 week. Haricots verts can be trimmed 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed bag lined with paper towels.
Stir together all ingredients except haricots verts with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until combined well.
Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water), uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes, then drain. Toss with herb butter.
Potato Gratin with Gruyère
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Place pie dish on the rimmed baking sheet. Combine cream and garlic in small saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Cover and remove from heat.
Arrange 1/3 of potato rounds, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles in prepared pie dish; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup garlic cream over. Repeat layering 2 more times with remaining potato, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic cream. Pour remaining garlic cream over, then 1/4 cup milk. Sprinkle cheese over.
Bake gratin until golden on top and potatoes are very tender, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Let potato gratin rest 10 minutes before serving.
French Mousse au chocolat
- 200g bar best bitter dark chocolate (we used Green and Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate)
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 3 large free-range eggs, just the whites
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 100ml whipping cream
- icing sugar, for dusting (for serving)
- crisp biscuits, such as langues-de-chat (for serving)
- Grate 50g/2oz of the chocolate and reserve. Break the rest into small, even-sized pieces and melt in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Take the pan off the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water and stir in the brandy. Don’t worry if the mixture thickens – it will smooth out again later.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they’re standing in stiff peaks. Spoon in half the sugar, whisk again, then add the rest of the sugar and whisk until it looks glossy like meringue. Whip the cream in a separate bowl. Take the melted chocolate off the pan and fold in a heaped metal serving spoon of meringue to loosen the consistency, then tip the chocolate into the meringue and fold in lightly but thoroughly. Now fold in the whipped cream, then twothirds of the grated chocolate.
- Spoon the chocolate mixture into six demitasse cups (or you could use espresso cups or small teacups) and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight if this is more convenient. Sprinkle with the remaining grated chocolate, then dust with icing sugar. Serve the cups on saucers with some crisp biscuits tucked alongside.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.