Let's Talk Turkey!

By staff November 19, 2008

 Some tips for making Thanksgiving tasty--and easy.

 By Judi Gallagher

Ophelia’s on the Bay will not only pack your Thanksgiving Dinner to go—they’ll deliver it to your home if you don’t feel like getting all gussied up to dine on Siesta Key.

Mattison’s Forty-One is open on Turkey Day, and if you’re looking for a full Thanksgiving dinner without all the mess at home, order from Morton’s Market. It was fun to run into Todd Morton at the gourmet store; he vowed to try my sausage bread pudding style of dressing after watching “Chef Judi’s Dish” the other day. Goodness knows I will be picking up special treats from Morton’s Market to nibble on all holiday weekend.

I might not be the Butterball turkey hotline, but Cliff Roles has been known to call me while on air to see what I have in the oven. This year once again, even with the new kitchen, we are heading to be with our family—Jerry and Nancy Kaplan, who have rented the wine room at Michael’s again. Last year was incredible! Stay tuned for post-turkey update… I am still dreaming of the salad and roasted sweet potatoes—and not doing the dishes!!!

Turkey to go—what could be easier than picking up your Thanksgiving feast from the chefs at The Ritz-Carlton? The feast includes a bisque, salad, a Florida-style citrus-basted turkey with all the trimmings and a selection of a delicious dessert. The complete meal is $210 and serves four to six guests. Reservations are required at least 48 hours prior to Thanksgiving Day. Considering I usually spend $500 to $600 for 25 guests, not counting wines, ports and cheese, this might be a good find.

Day after Thanksgiving: pork burrito at Chipotle's. My son just brought me there, raving that this was by far the best burrito in town. While he heard people whispering they could not believe Chef Judi was there, I concur with my son. The pork fajita burrito, sans the rice, with the fresh pico and corn relish, was great. And I don’t even like Mexican food.

Oh, but wait—I will roast a turkey Wednesday night so we have turkey sandwich ingredients for Friday night. Our tradition is to sit, relax, and watch the news where all the people crowd at 4 a.m. to buy TVs on Black Friday—oh, yes, and have a slice of pumpkin pie from Yoder’s.

And finally, how about a cooking class on Nov. 22? In “A Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey with Ritz-Carlton Trimmings,” chef Rick Deivert shares easy tips to serve up the perfect turkey presented and served with delectable trimmings. Classes are $39 per person, which includes ample tastings, a glass of wine, recipes and apron. From 10:30 to a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


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