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Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Hazelnut Butter Sauce. (Photo: Virgin Atlantic)
Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Hazelnut Butter Sauce. (Photo: Virgin Atlantic)
Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Hazelnut Butter Sauce. (Photo: Virgin Atlantic)

Can Brits do Thanksgiving? Of course, they can. Last Thursday (November 20), the team at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York presented a Thanksgiving dinner crash course organized by Virgin Atlantic for members of their Flying Club and the New York city expat group George. These eager Brits donned chef hats and got their hands dirty preparing some delicious recipes, which we’ll also share with you.

Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Hazelnut Butter Sauce
Yield: 4 servings

For the gnocchi:

½ cup of pumpkin puree
½ cup whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the hazelnut butter sauce:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
½ cup chopped blanched hazelnuts
¼ cup finely chopped chives
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Additional parmesan for garnish

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg until well blended. Sprinkle 1 cup of the flour over the ricotta mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and a soft dough is formed. To finish mixing the dough, use your hands, kneading in up to an additional 1/3 cup of flour as needed so the dough is not too sticky. Do not over mix.


  1. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface and using floured hands, gently roll each piece into a long rope about ¾-inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 3/4-inch pieces. Set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet that are dusted with flour.


  1. To cook, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Gently add the gnocchi to the boiling water (lowering each batch in with a slotted spoon). When the gnocchi float to the top, about 2 minutes, cook them for 2 minutes longer and then remove with a slotted spoon to the parchment-lined baking sheet.


  1. While the gnocchi is cooking, heat the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until melted. Continue heating until butter just begins to brown; add the hazelnuts and continue cooking until the nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add in chives and season with salt and lemon juice.


  1. Add the gnocchi to the browned butter hazelnut mixture and stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately, garnish with additional grated parmesan if desired.

Turkey Breast with Cornbread, Sausage, Pecan and Sage Stuffing

Yield: 8 servings

1 boneless turkey breast, 4-5 pounds


For the stuffing:

4 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 sausage link, casing removed (about 3 ounces)
2 cups cornbread, crumbled and toasted
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1/2-1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper


Canola oil for sautéing


For the sauce:

1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter


  1. Heat oven to 375 F. Butterfly the turkey breast and gently pound, if necessary to flatten. Set aside.


  1. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. Sweat the onions until limp and translucent. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into small chunks, until the sausage is cooked through and beginning to brown. Cool.


  1. In a bowl combine the onions and sausage with the cornbread, pecans and sage. Add enough chicken stock to moisten the bread without making it too soggy. Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Fill the turkey breast with the cornbread stuffing and roll to shape. Truss. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Brown the turkey breast on both sides and place it on a rack lined sheet tray. Remove the pan from the heat. Finish the breast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breast is 165 F.


  1. While the breast is roasting, add the white wine to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to help release the drippings. When the wine is reduced by half, add the chicken stock and continue to reduce until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.


  1. When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with the sauce.


Haricot Vert with Crispy Shallots

Serves 4


2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ pound haricot verts, trimmed
1 Tablespoon water or vegetable stock

  1. Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the canola oil. Add the shallots and stir, cooking the shallots until they begin to brown and get crispy. Drain the shallots on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.


  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium‑high heat and add the olive oil. Add the haricot vert. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1‑2 minutes. Add the water or stock, cover and cook and additional 2‑3 minutes, until the haricot verts are tender.


  1. Toss haricot verts with crispy shallots just before serving.



French Bistro Apple Tart with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Yield: 4 tarts

1 sheet puff pastry, 8”x 8”, thawed
All-purpose flour for dusting
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves, melted and strained

Heat oven to 400

  1. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and gently roll the puff pastry sheet with a flour-dusted rolling pin to thin it slightly. Be careful not to roll over the edges and flatten them.


  1. Using a four-inch round cutter, cut the pastry into four circles and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.


  1. Using a fork, prick the rounds all over to help release steam while baking.


  1. Peel the apples and cut in half. Remove the core and slice each half thinly, keeping each half intact.


  1. Place a half apple on each pastry round, pressing the apple slices down to fan them out slightly.


  1. Sprinkle the apples with granulated sugar, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry if golden and the apples are soft.


  1. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then brush the tarts with melted, strained apricot jam.


Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cream, sugar, and cinnamon.


  1. Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks, being careful not to overwhip. The cream should flow, not be stiff.


  1. Keep refrigerated until use.

See more:
How to British Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner
MindTheChat Q&A: Thanksgiving Dinner Tips from Chef James Briscione

Read More
Filed Under: Thanksgiving
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.