Skillet Corn Bread

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)/170 grams unsalted butter
1/2 cup/120 ml maple syrup
2 1/4 cups/530 ml buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups/180 grams yellow cornmeal, fine or medium-coarse grind
1/2 cup/65 grams whole wheat flour
1/2 cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons/18 grams baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons/9 grams kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon/5 grams baking soda

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On the stovetop, in a 11- or 12-inch skillet (ovenproof and preferably cast iron), melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan to lightly coat sides and bottom, until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nut brown. (Watch carefully to see that it does not burn.)
Pour brown butter into a large bowl. (Do not wipe out the pan.)

Whisk the maple syrup into the butter, then whisk in buttermilk. The mixture should be cool to the touch; if not, let cool before whisking in the eggs. Then whisk in the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

If the skillet is no longer hot (cast iron retains heat longer than other metals), reheat it briefly on the stove for a few minutes. Scrape batter back into it. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into it emerges clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in the skillet for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cornbread Dressing

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
9 cups stale cornbread, crumbled into large chunks
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or rosemary
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Black pepper, as needed
Turkey or chicken stock, optional

In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Cook, undisturbed, until the foam subsides and the butter is a deep brown and smells nutty. Transfer immediately to a heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the cornbread, scallions, 3 tablespoons butter, eggs, sage, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. If the mixture looks dry, add a little stock or water.

Spoon the stuffing into a 1 1/2 quart gratin dish. Drizzle the remaining butter over the stuffing. (At this point you can wrap the cornbread well with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake until crisp and browned on top, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans

To make the casserole, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes until very tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out flesh and mash until smooth. You should have about 4 cups. Stir in brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, cream, butter, vanilla and salt. Place in a casserole dish.

To make the topping, combine the butter, brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Pie

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled (about 1 3/4 pounds)
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
Unbaked pie shell, 9 inches

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well.

Mash the potatoes in a bowl. The potatoes should yield about 2¾ cups mashed potatoes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter to hot potatoes, and mash until smooth. Add sugar, nutmeg, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine baking powder with evaporated milk, and stir to blend. Add to mashed potatoes. Whisk mixture until velvety. Mound into pie shell, then spread evenly to edges.

Bake until pie has set and is lightly browned on top, about 55 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Creamed Corn

6 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons butter
Sliver of garlic
Sea salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Fresh sage leaves or chopped parsley, for garnish

Scrape corn kernels from cobs, running knife edge along cobs to squeeze out juices. (If the corn is not very fresh, then blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes before scraping kernels from cobs.)

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Drop in butter and melt until foamy. Add corn, garlic and juices. Season with salt and cook until kernels become tender. Pour in milk and simmer until milk is almost gone. Pour in cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.

Corn Pudding

3 tablespoons/42 grams butter, melted, plus more for dish
2 cups/350 grams corn (from about 3 ears)
1/3 cup/67 grams sugar
1 teaspoon/5 grams salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups/480 milliliters whole milk
1/2 teaspoon/1 gram freshly grated nutmeg

Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Cut the corn from the cob into a mixing bowl by slicing from the top of the ear downward. Don’t go too close to the cob; cut only half the kernel, then scrape off the rest with the back of the knife.

Stir sugar and salt into corn. Mix beaten eggs and milk together, then stir into corn mixture. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly.

Spoon mixture into prepared dish and sprinkle with nutmeg. Place the dish in a larger baking dish or roasting pan. Transfer to oven and carefully pour hot water into the larger dish until it comes about halfway up the sides of the smaller baking dish.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean. The pudding will be set but still jiggle.

Red Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds turkey meat, white and dark combined
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 large sweet red pepper, cored, deveined and coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, deveined and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or 1 tablespoon, dried
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups canned diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, fresh or canned
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream (optional)
Sliced lime for garnish (optional)

Dressing with Apples and Chestnuts

5 tablespoons butter
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, cleaned and diced
2 apples, preferably tart, like Granny Smith or Cortland, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup (or more) peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 dozen fresh sage leaves, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot-pepper sauce, or to taste
One loaf decent-quality bread, a day or two old, torn into small pieces
1 to 2 cups turkey or chicken stock (see recipe); if using store-bought broth, use low-sodium variety
2 whole eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, apples, chestnuts, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, Worcestershire and hot-pepper sauce. Cook, stirring, until vegetables have softened and herbs wilted, approximately 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add the bread, enough broth, beaten eggs and parsley until the dressing is well moistened. Blend well and check for seasoning.

Grease a baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and put dressing in it. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown. Check to make sure interior is moist. If not, add some more broth and return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Classic Pan Gravy

7 tablespoons turkey fat, left in roasting pan
6 tablespoons flour, preferably instant or all-purpose
1/2 cup white wine
4 to 5 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
Kosher salt and black pepper

Pour off all but 7 or so tablespoons turkey fat from the roasting pan, and set the pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Increase heat to medium high and add a little white wine, whisking as you go to let it reduce. Slowly add stock, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Cook, continuing to stir, until the gravy has thickened, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces extra sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
12 ounces Swiss cheese, coarsely grated (or substitute sharp cheddar or smoked Gouda)
1 pound elbow pasta, cooked al dente
Pinch of cayenne
Salt
2/3 cup whole milk

Heat oven to 375. Heavily butter a medium baking dish. Combine cheeses and set aside 2 cups.

In a large bowl, toss pasta, remaining cheese, cayenne, and salt to taste. Place in pan and pour over milk. Sprinkle reserved cheeses on top.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until bubbly.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni
Kosher salt
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Frank’s RedHot or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, grated (see note above)
8 ounces American cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note above)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks

the macaroni in a large saucepan and cover it with salted water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking. Cover the pan, remove from the heat, and let stand until the pasta is barely al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk, eggs, hot sauce, and mustard in a bowl until homogeneous. Toss the cheeses with the cornstarch in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Place over low heat, add the butter, and stir until melted. Add the milk mixture and cheese mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is completely melted and the mixture is hot and creamy. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce. Serve immediately, topping with toasted bread crumbs if desired.

NOTES:
Use a good melting cheese or combination thereof, like American, cheddar, Jack, Fontina, young Swiss, Gruyere, Muenster, young provolone, and/or young Gouda. To reheat the pasta, add a few tablespoons of milk to the pan and cook, stirring gently, over medium-low heat until hot.