Source : Rose & Ivy
At Veronique’s AWG cooking class the other day, we pooled our collective wisdom to come up with some suggestions for your Thanksgiving meal (assuming you’re brave enough to cook it at home). There was a great deal of American experience around the table, and the invaluable input of Veronique, who assembles an enormous Thanksgiving buffet every year for her American husband, friends, and family.
Below you’ll find our collection of tips and tricks for preparing your own home-cooked Thanksgiving meal, à Paris!
BONUS : Click on the photographs to read some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
Source: What's Gaby Cooking
Our break-through suggestion from Veronique is Picard! If you haven’t discovered the frozen food store yet, it’s time to check them out, in particular for their frozen soups, cranberries, spinach, and pumpkin puree. The pre-stuffed turkeys and other poultry that you can buy and pop in the oven for a festive dinner if making dressing isn’t your favorite way of spending time. They also have frozen croissants, pain au chocolat, and gauffres (waffles) which are great for breakfast if you’re expecting company.
We also highly recommend Marks & Spencer. These are scattered all over Paris and offer popular American ingredients such as brown sugar, baking powder & chocolate chips. They also have lots of cheddar cheese (in case you are missing it), as well as a fabulous variety of ready-to-cook meals and pre-made desserts at excellent prices.Other great places to find American products for the holidays include Thanksgiving, 20 rue Saint-Paul, 75004, or The Real McCoy, 194 rue de Grenelle, 75007 . These last two have all sorts of other American products for holiday cooking, including Jiffy Cornbread Mix, Stove Top Stuffing, French’s Fried Onions, Campbell’s soup and canned cranberry sauce, but be forewarned they can be a bit pricey.
Galeries Lafayette Gourmet and l’Epicerie at Bon Marché also have American food sections. Bon Marché has baking powder, Karo light and dark, cream of whatever soups, and canned pumpkin. Also Tabasco Bloody Mary mix if your Thanksgiving party starts off that way! You can also find many of these products on amazon.fr and have them delivered right to your door.
What to Cook
Source : Half Baked Harvest
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, the most important element is the turkey. You can order it from your butcher (un dinde) or look for it at Monoprix, but be prepared. These are not mass-produced Butterballs, and they are pricey. Ask before ordering – usually they are priced per kilo. You can also order one from Thanksgiving grocery; their turkeys are farm-raised American style delivered fresh (not frozen) the fourth week of November. If you want a French take on poultry, order a capon – it’s a neutered rooster whose vitality has been rerouted into lots of lovely, delicious fat. It is the most tender, moist bird you will ever eat. Roast it like a turkey. If your bird doesn’t quite fit your oven, Veronique advises removing all the racks and putting your pan right on the floor of the oven.
Source : What's Gaby Cooking
For the gravy, fond de veau, found in the bouillon section of the grocery shelves, makes an excellent base – it is a much-reduced veal stock that gives a rich taste to the gravy. Thicken it with Maizena Sauceline, which does not contain flour but is a perfect last-minute addition if the gravy is too thin.
Source : Jessica in the Kitchen
To make cornbread for your dressing (that’s what Southerners call stuffing), go to amazon.fr (but watch out for delivery charges!). ! If you search for “cornmeal,” there are several alternatives. Or you can use polenta, which is a lot finer in texture, but still works. Naturalia, a chain of organic grocery stores, has farine de mais. If all else fails, head over to one of our recommended “American stuffs” stores above to find some good ol’ Stove Top or Jiffy Cornbread Mix.
Source : EatWell101
Frozen pie dough is also useful, and can be found at Picard, the popular French frozen food store, as well as in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket. Pâte feuilletée is puff pastry, while pâte sablée is a tender, buttery crust used for tarts. Pâte brisée is a shortcrust pastry that can be used for both sweet & savory dishes such as quiches, tarts, & pies. Fancy a traditional pumpkin or pecan pie, but don’t have the energy or oven space for it? Thanksgiving grocery store in the 3rd sells both options made to order for 29 euros each.
Source: A Cozy Kitchen
A note about nuts: Do NOT buy your nuts in the baking section of the grocery store. They are in small, expensive packets, and not that fresh. Most street markets have a vendor selling a variety of nuts – last year I saw that my vendor at Marché St. Honoré was selling pecans from Mississippi! And most grocery stores have an area besides the baking section where there are larger packages of nuts, generally walnuts and pine nuts at least, and dried fruits.
Source : Half Baked Harvest
A couple of other notes: I found dark brown Waitrose sugar at on amazon.fr, and you can find regular brown sugar at Marks & Spencer Food. In a pinch, you can find sucre vergeoise at your local grocery store, which is a light brown sugar that also packs. Papier cuisson is waxed paper and can be found at any grocery store next to the tin foil & plastic bags.
Thanks to our AWG cooks who helped contribute to this post!