Less prep time. Healthier options. This is happening.
From top-rated chef, food stylist and Thumbtack pro Niko Paranomos of NaturallyNiko in Oakland, CA, these recipes for Thanksgiving essentials will change how you celebrate the holiday.
Here’s how to brine a turkey, roast brussels sprouts, and make cauliflower mash her way — so you actually have time to talk to your Thanksgiving guests, instead of shooing them out of the kitchen.
One-step turkey prep with a better brine
Brine your turkey one day ahead. Makes enough brine for an 18-20 pound turkey.
- 7 quarts of water
- 1½ cups kosher salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoons dried juniper berries
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 whole turkey, innards removed
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 2 white onions, thinly sliced
- 10 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
Simmer 1 quart of the water with salt, bay leaves, and spices till the salt has dissolved. Let cool.
Place turkey in a large 5-gallon container. Add 6 quarts of water with your salt mixture into the container.
Make sure the turkey is fully submerged and place in refrigerator for 24 hours, then cook as desired.
The best brussels sprouts marinade
These brussel sprouts are tangy, sweet and just enough salt to really set any holiday meal apart from the rest.
- 2 lbs of brussel sprouts, halved
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
- ½ cup maple syrup
- Juice of 2 limes, about 5-6 tablespoons
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Toss halved brussels sprouts in ¼ cup of olive oil, with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & 1 teaspoon black pepper. Place on baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes.
At this point, your brussels sprouts should be tender, and you’ll want to turn your oven up to 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes until they get golden brown.
Combine the maple syrup and lime and toss with brussels sprouts. Add salt + pepper to taste.
Easy whipped cauliflower mash
There’s a reason this is everyone’s favorite alternative to mashed potatoes. Serves four.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 6 to 7 cups)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional: Chives for garnish
Place a steam rack in a large pot with about 2 inches of water, with cauliflower on top.
Cover and let water come to a boil, steaming the cauliflower till tender.
Place tender cauliflower in a food processor with oil, salt and pepper, and slowly add in cooking liquid to allow it to process. Serve with chopped chives on top.