Thanksgiving made easy!

Thanksgiving made easy!

Apple and Fennel Salad

This recipe by Spanish Chef José Andrés first appeared in Wine Spectator magazine.

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons best quality extra virgin olive oil

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely diced into ½-inch cubes

6 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into small squares

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish

½ tablespoon snipped chives, some reserved for garnish

8 walnuts, shelled and chopped

Wisk together sherry vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt. Combine remaining ingredients, then toss with dressing. Add more salt if necessary. Garnish with reserved chives and fennel fronds. Serves 4. Can be made a day ahead; add the nuts before serving.

Apple Cinnamon and Sage Risotto

1 4- to 5-pound deboned turkey breast, pounded to 1/4 to 1/2 inch
3 large golden apples, peeled, cored and cubed small
1 shot of spiced rum
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon sugar, maple syrup or honey (your preference)
1 cup of Carnaroli rice (find it in well-stocked Italian grocery stores or at Uptown Grille)
1 1/2 cup of dry white wine, divided
1 clove chopped garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
5-6 cups stock, either homeade or good quality store-bought brand

Dry apple cubes with some olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the rum. Be careful — it will flame up. Add the sugar (or maple syrup or honey) and cinnamon and cook for another couple minutes, but still crunchy. Set aside.

Prepare your stock and keep it warm.

In a deep nonstick pot, toast the rice and garlic in olive oil, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup wine and cook on low just until evaporated. Add the chopped sage and salt and pepper, to taste. Begin adding stock, about a 1/2 cup. and keep stirring. As the rice cooks, it will slowly absorb the stock, so you will need to add more, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep stirring and adding stock, as needed, until rice is creamy and cooked a little harder than al dente. Add the Parmesan cheese and butter and let it rest, off of heat, for about 10 minutes.

Spread the risotto over both sides of the turkey breast and sprinkle with apples. Roll the breast until the filling is covered, then take the other end and fold it on top. Fold in the sides and secure with kitchen twine every inch or so, then use a longer piece to tie the roulade up lengthwise. Season with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil.

HOW TO BAKE: Bake at 425 uncovered. After 15 minutes, add the wine over the breast and bake, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes.

Decrease oven temperature 350 and bake for another hour, or until the inside temperature reaches 160-170 degrees. If the roulade appears dry add some water or baste with wine and drippings.

Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing, paying attention to remove the strings.

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