The Gourmet Bachelor's Exclusive Thanksgiving Menu for Marie Claire

Want to put your own sophisticated, but uncomplicated, twist to the day? We asked Chad Carns of the Gourmet Bachelor cookbook for a fresh, simple menu that blends classic and modern flavors.Going vegetarian? Heidi Swanson of gives you meat-free alternatives that will tempt even the hard-core carnivores.




1 1/2 c celery, chopped

1/2 c onion, chopped

1 c green bell pepper, chopped

1 c butter

1 lb sweet sausage

12 oz croutons, unseasoned

16 oz chicken stock

2 t fresh sage, chopped

2 t fresh parsley, chopped

2 t fresh thyme, chopped

salt and black pepper


12–16 lbs whole frozen turkey, thawed in refrigerator for 12 hours

1/4 c butter

2 T rotisserie seasoning

2 t fresh sage, chopped

2 t fresh parsley, chopped

salt and black pepper


Sauté celery, onion and green bell pepper in butter on medium heat for 5 minutes. In a separate skillet, cook sweet sausage on medium heat for 5 minutes. Discard grease. Combine sausage mixture and remaining stuffing ingredients together in a large bowl.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove giblets, wash turkey and then dry with paper towels. Coat inside and outside of turkey with butter, seasoning and herbs. Stuff turkey with stuffing mixture. Place turkey in a shallow roasting pan on the bottom oven rack. Cover the turkey loosely with extra-heavy aluminum foil, leaving space between the turkey and the foil. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and continue to roast for 3 1/2 hours. Remove foil and roast until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. The turkey is cooked when the internal temperature of the meat in the thigh reaches 180 degrees. Season with salt and pepper. Let the turkey rest for 15–30 minutes before carving.



1 cup balsamic vinegar

4 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup shallot, chopped

1 lb wild mushrooms, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz mozzarella, shredded

¼ cup Parmesan, grated

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons honey

30 phyllo dough cups

4 oz goat cheese

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reduce balsamic vinegar on low heat by half. Cool. In separate large skillet, sauté garlic, shallot and mushrooms for 8 minutes. Cool. Mix in mozzarella, Parmesan, thyme, parsley, nutmeg and honey. Spread phyllo dough cups out on a baking sheet. Spoon mushroom mixture into cups. Bake until golden brown. Top with goat cheese and balsamic reduction.

Pairing: Viognier, France



Crab Cakes

¼ cup red peppers, diced

¼ cup corn kernels

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 oz crabmeat

¼ cup bread crumbs

1 egg

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons Old Bay


½ cup cornmeal

¼ cup vegetable oil

Red Pepper Sauce

1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and quartered

4 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

Avocado Mash

2 ripe avocados, cubed

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


Crab Cakes - Sauté pepper and corn in olive oil for 3 minutes. Remove and cool. Mix with remaining crab ingredients to form small crab cakes. Coat with cornmeal. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Sauce – Sauté pepper and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend in a food processor.

Avocado – Mix ingredients to a chunky consistency. Serve crab cakes on a bed of avocado and red pepper sauce.

Pairing: Chenin Blanc, California



2 salmon fillets


2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 cup pineapple juice

1 tablespoon lime juice


1 tablespoon scallions, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS: Marinade – Mix ingredients. Marinate salmon for 5-10 minutes. Sear salmon for 3 minutes per side. Add marinade to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with scallions.

Pairing: IPA Microbrew, Colorado



1 rack of lamb

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sear lamb in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Spread mustard over lamb. Mix bread crumbs, cheese and herbs. Spoon over lamb. Roast in oven until meat thermometer reaches 145 degrees.

Pairing: Its time to dust off that special bottle of Bordeaux.



Wine Reduction

1 bottle of South African Pinotage

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon peppercorns, cracked

1 cup apples, cherries, plums; cut into large pieces

1 shallot, cut into large pieces


8 oz porcini mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped


4 (6 oz) venison medallions

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons butter

3 thyme springs

4 garlic cloves, smashed


Wine Reduction – Simmer wine reduction ingredients until reduced to 1 cup of liquid, roughly 20 minutes.

Mushrooms – Sauté mushrooms in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add butter, thyme and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove.

Steak - Sear venison for 2 minutes per side in olive oil. Reduce heat. Add butter, thyme and garlic. Spoon butter over venison and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Serve venison on a bed of the wine reduction. Spoon mushrooms on top of venison.

Pairing: Syrah blend, Côte Rôtie

Can't find venison? Substitute filet mignon




2 cucumbers, 1/4–inch cubes

½ red onion, chopped

8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved

6 oz feta cheese, crumbled

2 oz kalamata olives, pitted


3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons dill, chopped


Salad – Combine ingredients in bowl.

Dressing - Whisk ingredients. Pour over salad.

Pairing: Roditis, Greece



Bread Pudding

3 cups milk

3 cups unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 loaf French bread, 1-inch cubes

3 eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter

Mango Sauce

1 mango, peeled and sliced

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 vanilla bean, cut open


Bread Pudding – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix milk, coconut milk, coconut flakes and bread in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl and then add to bread mixture. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with butter. Spoon the bread mixture into the pan. Bake on the upper rack of oven until the bread pudding has set and is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.

Mango Sauce – Simmer ingredients for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Blend in a food processor until smooth. Serve pudding on a bed of mango sauce.

Pairing: Sauternes, France




16 oz cream cheese

4 oz mascarpone

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ginger, ground

1 teaspoon orange zest

½ teaspoon cardamom, ground

1 graham cracker piecrust


1 ½ cups sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar


Filling – Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in whole eggs one at a time, then yolk. Add remaining filing ingredients. Pour into piecrust. Bake for 1 hour. Cool.

Topping - Beat ingredients with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Spread on top of cheesecake and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Pairing: Tokaji, Hungary

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