Turkey Noodle Casserole

12 oz egg noodles
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sliced shallots or thinly sliced onions
2 cups diced celery
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup cream
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 teaspoons dry tarragon
2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
6 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating 4 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water (1 Tbsp for every 2 quarts of water).

Melt butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot (5-quart) on medium heat. Add the shallots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat, stirring for about 3 minutes.

Put the noodles into the boiling water you’ve heated. Follow the package directions and cook the noodles for 2 minutes less than the range given on the package. The pasta should be a bit firmer than al dente. So, for example, if the package instructions say bring to a boil and cook for 6 to 10 minutes, add the pasta to the hot water, return the water to a boil and cook it for 4 minutes. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe.

Into the saucepan with the butter, shallots, celery, and flour, add the dry vermouth and let bubble for a minute. Then stir in the milk, cream, and stock. Add the tarragon. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

During this time the pasta will be ready. Drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.

Add the grated cheese and mustard to the pot. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the chopped cooked turkey to the pot. Add salt to taste (depending on if you are using salted stock or not, or salted butter or not, that could be no added salt to as much as a teaspoon). Add freshly ground black pepper.

Now it’s time to add the cooked pasta to the pot. If the noodles have stuck together, rinse them in the colander with a little water to separate the noodles from each other. Add the noodles to the pot with the turkey. Stir in the lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.

Sprinkle with panko and drizzle 1 Tbsp melted butter over the top.

Bake the casserole in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

Garnish with chopped parsley, if using.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Chipotle

5 pounds (about 10 medium or 5 large) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sour cream or créme fraîche
4 teaspoons purée from canned chipotles
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Salt to taste

Put oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place potatoes on large baking sheet and bake until soft, 35 to 40 minutes for medium potatoes, up to 1 hour for large.
Meanwhile, combine syrup, sour cream or créme fraîche, chipotle purée, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.

When potatoes are tender, remove from oven and slice in two lengthwise. Scoop hot flesh into a potato ricer or food mill, and purée into bowl with other ingredients. Stir with rubber spatula to combine. Potatoes should be light and fluffy. Taste for seasoning, transfer to warm serving bowl and serve immediately.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onions

About 1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for pans
4 large red onions
Coarse salt and black pepper
4 pounds butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch wedges, peeled or unpeeled
1/3 cup pine nuts or shelled green pistachio nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, cilantro or a combination, for garnish

FOR TAHINI SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
1/4 cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed

Heat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly coat two large baking sheets with olive oil.
Peel onions, leaving root ends intact. Cut each onion in half from stem to root. Cut each half into 4 wedges, leaving the root intact so that each wedge holds together. Spread on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

Put the squash in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and about 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet, peel side down (if intact).
Place both pans in oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions, as they may cook faster than the squash and need to be removed earlier.

If using pine nuts, pour 1 tablespoon oil into a small frying pan and place over medium-low heat. Add nuts and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown and smell toasty. Immediately remove from the heat and dump onto a cutting board to stop the cooking. If using pistachios, chop coarsely when cool enough to handle.
To make tahini sauce, place tahini in a bowl. Add lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or a tablespoon of olive oil if necessary.

When the vegetables are cooked, set aside until ready to serve. (The vegetables should be served the same day they are made. They can be served at warm room temperature, or reheated just before serving.)

To serve, arrange vegetables on a large serving platter. If using tahini sauce, drizzle on top. Sprinkle herbs and, if using, nuts on top and serve.

Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing with Sausage

1 pound wild rice
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons butter, more for greasing baking dish
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4 Italian-style sweet fennel pork sausages
3 cups cranberries (258 grams)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (12 grams), or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper (5 grams)
2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage (optional)

Place wild rice in a saucepan and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Set aside, covered, for one hour. Drain rice. Add fresh boiling water to cover by half an inch, and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until rice is soft but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well, discard bay leaf, and set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish or a 9×13 baking dish if not stuffing into a turkey.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and gently cook the onions until soft, about 7 minutes. Remove skins from sausages and add sausage meat to the pan with the onions. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, crumbling the sausage with a fork, until it is browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the wild rice.

Rinse cranberries, picking them over and discarding any that are spoiled. Chop them roughly or process them briefly in a food processor. Add to the sausage-rice mixture and mix well. Add salt, pepper and sage if using and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.

Either stuff into a turkey or pour into the prepared dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and dot the top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. Serve warm.

Classic Cranberry Sauce

4 cups whole cranberries
6 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup orange juice or Grand Marnier (optional)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups water, the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer just until cranberries start to pop, 5 to 10 minutes. (If all the cranberries pop, the sauce may be too liquid.) Remove from heat.

Stir in juice or liqueur, if using, then cover sauce well and chill. Sauce can be made up to this point 1 week in advance and kept refrigerated. A few hours before serving, stir in the pecans, if using.

Spicy Cranberry Relish

1 cup sugar
2 large jalapeños, preferably red, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon grated ginger
12 ounces cranberries

Put sugar, jalapeños, lemon juice, salt and cayenne in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup water, then stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar, and simmer 2 minutes.

Add ginger and cranberries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have softened and no liquid remains in pan, about 15 minutes.

Let cool and taste. Add more cayenne or jalapeños if desired. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.