If There Was Ever A Year To Experiment On Thanksgiving, 2020 Is It: TPM’s Cookbook Recommendations

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Hidden in the back corners of the TPM Slack lies a hidden gem. A small but lively messaging channel that has taken on a life of its own over the years. It’s comprised of six kindred souls who came together by word of mouth and many not-so-secret invites to trade recipes, share pictures and videos on all things food, and celebrate the much-beloved Dutch Oven.

It doesn’t take much to get invited to the “recipeets” chat (the typo is intentional because spelling is for the birds, we’re not journalists or anything), just mention you enjoy cooking or baking and you’re in. TPM is full of foodies and in a city like New York, it’s hard not to be. Even in the dumpster fire of 2020 when eating out as the temperature starts to drop isn’t exactly a cozy option, TPM staff have found new ways to experiment and grow our cooking and baking skills. Small patio gardens, herbs on kitchen window sills, mason jars filled with pickled fruits and veggies, Nicole’s monster of a bell pepper plant. I personally am a baker and quarantine has given me ample time to try out new bread recipes, and eat my body weight in cookies. It’s both a blessing and a curse to live alone with no one to pawn your baked goods off on and it’ll only get worse as the holidays come around.

If you don’t hear from me by January 1, send help. Or your address so you can take some of the temptation off my hands.

November is a month of giving thanks and celebration — this November in particular. After Joe Biden’s win earlier this year, we find ourselves heading into the holiday season with something to give thanks for. Shocking in the year of our lord 2020. Thanksgiving is one of the most underrated holidays and I’m not just saying that because I am Jewish and Christmas basically dominates the year from October through January. Thanksgiving, gets a bad rap because sticking your entire extended family around one dinner table can no doubt lead to some tension.

“Who are you dating?”

“How’s work?”

“Who did you vote for?”

Yeah, that sucks, I’m not about to argue that. But the food! The food makes all the cringey conversations worth it.

This month TPM is sharing our favorite cookbooks. It’s obviously very easy to turn to Google for your next recipe to try out. I tend to do that as well, but a good cookbook is so much better. Be sure to comment below with some of your favorites. You can always purchase any of the books below by visiting our TPM Bookshop profile page. Be sure to check back again next month for some new staff reading recommendations, and if you’ve missed any, you can find all of our reading lists here. Happy reading!

David Kurtz, Executive Editor
The recipe you have to try: Creole Stuffed Turkey Wings

Christine Frapech, Senior Designer
The recipe you have to try: My favorite recipe is grilled zucchini with lots of herbs because it’s super simple and so so tasty!

Nicole Lafond, Special Projects Editor
The recipe you have to try: The “casual kale salad” with chick peas and clementines and Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish. It almost feels like you’re not even eating kale! (Also my friend Rachel wrote this cookbook, shout out!)

Jackie Wilhelm, Associate Publisher
The recipe you have to try: Firecracker Salmon

Matt Shuham, Reporter
The recipe you have to try: The olive oil cake is simple and amazing, and the roast chicken — crispy, juicy, infused with garlic and lemon zest — is among the best I’ve ever tried.

David Taintor, Senior Editor
The recipe you have to try: If it were August, I’d be recommending Carl Peternell’s summer marinara sauce, a dead simple recipe that becomes transcendent with the right tomatoes. But since we’re all hunkering down and preparing for a punishing winter, give this braised chicken legs recipe a try. It’s comforting, warming and will make your house smell amazing.

Matt Shuham, Reporter
The recipe you have to try: Joy of Cooking’s banana bread is the first recipe I remember following from scratch (add chocolate chips, of course), but there’s tons in here to keep you busy.

Joe Ragazzo, Publisher
The recipe you have to try:

  • Aio e Oio – Roman Garlic & Oil Sauce
    I probably make this recipe more than any other because it’s quick and I always have all the ingredients readily available. The key is to not let the garlic get brown!
  • Pan Broiled Steaks with Marsala & Chili Pepper
    I am generally not a fan of steaks cooked on a stove. I love grilling. However, I live in Brooklyn and I do not have a grill so I have to make due. A recipe like this is a savior because the flavor from the Marsala and the chili pepper makes me forget I don’t have a grill.
  • Sautéed Breaded Veal Chops Milanese Style
    Most are aware of Veal and/or Chicken Milanese. It’s another go-to for me, assuming I can find veal. Chicken works well, just not quite *as* well. To be honest, I feel like I should retire from eating veal for ethical reasons. Or meat generally, even. But I haven’t gotten there quite yet.
  • Shrimp with Tomatoes and Chili Peppers
    I love shrimp and I love tomatoes and I love chili peppers so this one is a no-brainer for me. But what elevates it to one of my Favorites is that the sauce can double as a simple, spicy dipping sauce with nice some fresh, crisp bread.

John Light, Managing Editor
The recipe you have to try: This book contains advice on fermenting everything — really, everything. Potatoes, meat, fish. But I’ll keep it simple: The advice for fermenting hot peppers for a spicy chutney produces excellent results.

TPM partners with Bookshop, a non-profit bookseller whose objective is to help independent bookstores survive. TPM and independent bookstores both earn a small percentage of revenue for each book sold. You can learn more about Bookshop here, and on this episode of the Josh Marshall podcast.

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