Thanskgiving is just around the corner, and we have some recipes for some delicious meals you can serve to your guests, from Betsey Gerstein, a professional cooking instructor, in Lancaster County.


Ingredients: Equipment:

1 12-pound turkey large roasting pan salt 3-4 clean dish towels butter and herbs (optional) brine equipment kitchen twine roasting rack or aluminum foil kosher salt

1. Clean out the bird. Remove giblets from neck cavity and pat turkey dry with towels. 2. Brine, baby, brine. The first of many questions. Helps to ensure a moist and flavorful turkey. A bit of a hassle with a huge payoff. 3. If not brine, season with wet or dry rub. Something as basic as coarse salt applied the day before cooking tremendously improves the taste and texture 4. Warm up. Let turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. 5. A little shmear never hurts. Rub butter (flavored or not) or fat-based paste under the skin and on the outside of the turkey. Season with salt and pepper. 6. So stuffed. Do it just before cooking. Keep it loose. 7. When looks matter. A tied turkey is a compact turkey. A compact turkey is a pretty turkey. Tastes good either way. 8. Nice rack. Allows heat to circulate under and around the turkey and separates turkey from the pan drippings. 9. Drip, drip. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with water to facilitate those lovely pan juices. 10.Hot and fast. Allow about 10 minutes per pound when roasting with high heat/moderate heat method. Breast side up. For a 12-pounder: 30 minutes @ 450ºF. 1 ½ hours @ 350ºF. Crispy skin lovers, begin breast side down. Flip over for final 45 minutes @ 350ºF.

11.To baste or not to baste. Let's talk.

12.Is it through, yet? Thermometer inserted into thickest parts of the breast and thighs, away from bone, registers 165ºF in the breast and 175ºF in the thigh. Dark meat juices will also run clear.

13.Rest. Don't wash the roasting pan – pan juices are your liquid gold. 14.Carve. See "Carving a Turkey."


Serves 8

Ingredients: Equipment: 1 2-pound cauliflower, cut into small florets chef's knife ½ cup skim milk cutting board ½ cup half and half large saucepan & lid ½ teaspoon kosher salt (sea salt would be delicious) glass measure 1 teaspoon butter slotted spoon ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg food processor

1. In a large saucepan, combine the cauliflower, milk, cream, and salt and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir from time to time to prevent the cauliflower from sticking to the pan. 2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender. Process to blend. 3. Add the butter and nutmeg and process to a fine puree. Add just enough of the reserved liquid to give it a smooth, light consistency. Season to taste. Serve warm.


Serves 8

Ingredients: Equipment: 1 pint premium Pumpkin ice cream, softened slightly ice cream scoop 16 ginger cookies plastic wrap ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger, if desired ½ cup finely chopped toasted pecans, if desired Accompaniment: Chocolate Sauce

1. Prepare the sandwiches: a. Working very quickly, scoop ice cream onto flat sides of 8 cookies (1 scoop per cookie), then top with remaining 8 cookies, flat sides down. b. Wrap each sandwich individually with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Unwrap sandwiches and roll edges in ginger and pecans, if using. c. Rewrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. 2. Serve the sandwiches: a. Place one sandwich on each plate. b. Serve with Chocolate Sauce.