Check Out These Croqueta Recipes If You Need Some Good Cuban Comfort Food

In my Puerto Rican-Cuban family, there’s nothing holier or more hallowed than the croquetica. Traditionally, they’re made with jamón (ham) but using the tips and tricks of the next seven slides, you can stuff a croqueta with almost anything! They’re fast, they’re cheap, and they’re delicious AF. Seriously, these little-fried nuggets of deliciousness should be on your table the next time you host a party.

First, let’s just look at the croqueta in all of its glory.

@rostisseriacan_pics / Instagram

It’s beautifully golden from being fried and who doesn’t love fried food? The croqueta is really one of the most beautiful foods on the planet. Now let’s explore how to make it.

1. First, melt some butter and oil in a pan…

“Melt Butter.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

Add 4 tbsp of butter (or sub vegan butter) and 1/4 cup of olive oil to a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

2. Sauté onions until browned…

“Brown Onions.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

While the butter and oil are warming, finely dice a medium-sized onion. Toss it in and let it sauté for a few minutes until they start to brown.

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

3. Add a pinch of salt and nutmeg, a cup of ham and sauté for another 30 seconds.

“Chop ham.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

At this point, you could also add potatoes, mushrooms, spinach & feta, or whatever else you decide to cook up!

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

4. Then, toss in a little less than 1 cup of flour.

“Add flour.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

We’re Latino. We don’t use exact measurements. Stir this continually so to be sure the flour doesn’t burn. It should turn a light brown color.

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

5. Slowly add 4 cups of milk, poco a poco.

“Add milk.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

It’ll look weird at first, but keep stirring, keep stirring! Feel free to also sub with a non-dairy milk, like soy or cashew.

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

6. Turn off the heat and let the dough cool when it begins to look like this:

“Stir dough.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

It should take about 20 minutes for all of it to incorporate. Here comes the easy part. Pour the batter into a buttered bowl, saran-wrap it tight and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Meet my Friday nights and my Saturday mornings because I just refrigerate over night and eat croquetas for breakfast. ?

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

7. Shape your croquetas into little logs…

“Croquettes.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018

Then, prepare two plates: one of flour and one with two raw eggs. Heat a pan of olive oil and roll each croqueta in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and finally fry them in the olive oil.

Recipe adapted by Spanish Sabores.

Vegan Cuban Ham Croquetas (V)

“croquettes_3797@0,13x.” Digital Image. Revolution In Bloom. 09 April 2018.

I decided to first start with a vegan recipe so our non-carnivore friends don’t think this is article is all about jamón serrano and cheese. For this particular recipe, you only need to get yourself some vegan ham and margarine. Get the recipe here. 

Croquetas de Garbanzo y Ajo (V)

“Croquetas de Garbanzo y Ajo (Garlic and Chickpea Croquettes)” Digital Image. The Flaming Vegan. 09 April 2018.

OK, the next six recipes are vegan and YUMMY AF.

  1. Melt some vegan butter in a pan over low heat, add 4 cloves of crushed garlic, and 1/3 cup of flour.
  2. Slowly add 1 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk until thick paste forms. Take off the heat and add in half a can of lightly mashed garbanzo beans, a small, cooked and mashed potato, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt until very, very thick.
  3. Let the dough cool, turn them into logs, and roll them in breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry away, already!

Adapted from The Flaming Vegan.

Spanish Spinach Croquettes (V)

“These Spanish spinach croquettes are a typical tapa in bars all around Spain. They’re simple to make, packed with flavour and make a great vegan party finger food or appetizer!” Digital Image. Cilantro and Citronella. 09 April 2018.
  1. Boil one bag of frozen spinach, drain under cold water, and try to drain as much water from them as possible. Set aside.
  2. Gently heat 1½ cups of non-dairy milk with ½ cup stock of vegetable stock in a small pot.
  3. While that’s happening, heat a large pan over medium heat with olive oil and half an onion, diced. Then, soften 2 cloves of garlic in the pan and add a ½ cup of flour.
  4. Once the mixture begins to brown, begin to slowly add the stock-milk mixture.
  5. Finally, add the spinach, salt and pepper, transfer the mixture to another bowl, cover with saran wrap and store in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight.
  6. Then make logs, and roll in breadcrumbs and then in plant milk, then again in breadcrumbs.
  7. Fry away!

Adapted from Cilantro and Citronella.

Wild Mushroom Croquetas (V)

“Wild Mushroom Croquetas.” Digital Image. The Foodies Larder. 09 April 2018.

This recipe is a little different:

  1. For the bechamel: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan on high heat. Reduce to medium and start adding 1/2 cup plain flour, poco a poco. Once it’s thick, add a tsp of salt, and a tsp of ground nutmeg.
  2. Mushroom Mixture: Dice up 2 cups mushrooms & 2 cloves of garlic and add to hot oil in a pan. Sauté until the water is evaporated and the mixture is thick.
  3. Combine the two together in a bowl. Make little logs, and dust with flour, roll in egg and then in breadcrumbs.
  4. Fry, fry away!

Adapted by The Foodies Larder.

Potato Croquettes (V)

“Potato Croquettes.” Digital Image. PETA Latino. 09 April 2018.

Here’s the sitch:

  1. Peel and chop 2 large potatoes, boil, drain, then mash in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in 1-2 Tbsp vegan butter, 4 tbsp soy milk, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley. Mix, mix, mix, mix.
  3. Make your croqueta logs, coat in bread crumbs (panko is vegan).
  4. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
  5. Eat!

Adapted from PETA Latino.

Bean Croquettes (V)

“Bean Croquettes.” Digital Image. PETA Latino. 09 April 2018.

1. Mash the following into a bowl:

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots, steamed
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

2. Roll into 2-inch “logs” and coat with breadcrumbs.

3. Fry a couple minutes or until golden brown.

4. Serve immediately.

Adapted from PETA Latino.

Ground Beef Croquetas (V)

“Vegan Croquettes.” Digital Image. 09 April 2018
  1. In a large skillet, heat ⅓ cup olive oil over medium high heat and sauté 1 large, chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic until the onions start to brown, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 1 chopped, medium tomato and cook for about a minute, and 1 package of Gardein’s beefless ground. Then add 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley and season the mixture with salt, pepper, and the nutmeg.
  3. Once the mixture is warming up, add 2 cups of vegetable broth, stir and then add 2½ cups all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring constantly until the dough starts coming off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and wait for the dough to cool so you can make the croquettes.
  4. Wet your hands with the cold water and shape the croquettes (you can do small balls or mini logs). Immediately pass them through the Panko and transfer to a clean plate. The cold water works as the “glue” for the Panko since we are not using eggs to keep this recipe vegan. (I sometimes use this technique even in my meat recipes, as it is very efficient and whatever I’m frying gets very crispy!)
  5. FRY AWAY!

Adapted from Olivia’s Cuisine.

Croquetas Caseras

“Croquetas caseras.” Digital Image. Great British Chefs. 09 April 2018.
  1. Add 1 L of milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil. In a separate pan, melt the 2 sticks of butter over a low heat, then stir in 1 cup of flour.
  2. Cook gently for 5 minutes without letting it brown, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to remove any lumps.
  3. Add the hot milk a little at a time, stirring all the time until it is all added and you have a smooth béchamel.
  4. Add 1 finely chopped leek to a frying pan with a little butter and sweat down until soft.
  5. Stir the softened leeks and 1 cup crab into the béchamel, then transfer the mixture to a shallow dish. Spread in an even layer, press a piece of clingfilm over the surface, then chill overnight.
  6. Make logs, embark on the doughing process, and FRY!

Adapted from Great British Chefs.

Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli

“Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli” Digital Image. Food52. 09 April 2018.
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 3 Tbsp of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add 1/2 cup of flour and cook 1-2 minutes while whisking frequently. Gradually add 1 1/4 cup milk while whisking and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be smooth.
  2. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped ham, 1/3 cup grated Manchego cheese, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Cook another 1-2 minutes while stirring- the mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8-inch baking tray and spread it out so that it is even. Let the mixture cool, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready to cook the croquetas, lightly beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and ½ teaspoon salt in another dish. Scoop up tablespoons of the cooled filling and form them into balls. Dip each ball into the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place the completed croquetas on a wire rack or baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. The croquetas must be chilled before frying otherwise they may fall apart in the oil.
  5. Meanwhile, make the aioli by pureeing 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp smoked pimentón in a blender or mini food processor. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large stockpot to reach a depth of 1 inch and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the croquetas in the oil, turning them on all sides, until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with the smoked pimentón aioli.

Adapted from Food 52.

Croquetas de Gambas (Shrimp Croquettes)

“Croquetas de Gambas.” Digital Image. Delish DLites. 09 April 2018.
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over a medium-low flame. Melt 1 stick of butter in a pan, sprinkle in flour and let them cook for a few minutes, stirring. Slowly drizzle in 2.5 cups cold milk.
  2. Add 14oz peeled, cooked, diced shrimp, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix.
  3. When it’s cooled, form a log (or ball), then roll in flour, coat in a beaten egg, and finally roll in Panko crumbs.
  4. Then FRY away!

Adapted from Delish D’Lites.

Potato Croquetas with Saffron Alioli

“Potato Croquetas with Saffron Aioli / photo by George Whiteside.” Digital Image. Epicurious. 09 April 2018.
  1. Peel 1 pound large boiled potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cover with salted cold water by 1 inch in a 2-quart saucepan, then boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander. Force potatoes through ricer into a medium bowl and cool.
  2. Lightly beat 1 egg in a small bowl with a fork. Add to cooled potatoes along with 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, fresh chives, 1/4 tsp tarragon, 2 Tbsp butter, salt, and pepper and stir just until combined.
  3. Spoon tablespoons of potato mixture onto a tray, then lightly roll each into a ball between palms of your hands and return to tray.
  4. Lightly beat remaining 2 eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Spread flour in a shallow bowl, then spread bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.
  5. Working in 4 batches (of 6 or 7), roll balls in flour to coat, gently shaking off excess flour. Dip balls in egg, turning to coat and letting excess drip off, then roll in breadcrumbs and return to tray. Chill, covered, 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  7. Heat 1 1/2 inches oil in a 3-quart pot until it registers 360°F on thermometer. Working in 4 batches, fry croquetas, turning if necessary, until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a baking pan and keep warm in the oven while frying remaining croquetas. (Return oil to 360°F between batches.)

Adapted from Epicurious.

Cranberry Chestnut Croquettes

Unnamed. Digital Image. The Latin Kitchen. 09 April 2018.
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a sharp paring knife, make a large X on the flat side of each chestnut through the shell but not meat.
  2. Soak chestnuts in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes, then drain well. Arrange chestnuts in one layer in a shallow baking pan, then roast for 15 minutes in the middle of oven until shells curl away at X mark.
  3. Wearing protective gloves, peel away shells from chestnuts while still hot.In large pot boiling water, blanch chestnuts for two minutes, then drain. Using kitchen towel, rub chestnuts to remove skins.Coarsely chop and reserve.
  4. To make croquetas: Combine cooled chopped chestnuts with all other ingredients in the bowl of a stand-up electric mixer. Mix using paddle attachment until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Do not whip the mixture, as you do not want to aerate it.
  5. Cover croqueta mixture and put into refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Once croqueta mix is chilled, form into one-inch balls. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Spread flour in a shallow bowl, then spread breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl. Working in batches of 4 to 5 croquetas at a time, roll balls in flour to coat, gently shaking off excess flour. Dip balls in egg, turning to coat and letting excess drip off, then roll in breadcrumbs and set aside on a plate.
  6. FRY.

Adapted from Latin Kitchen.

Croquetas de Pollo

“Croquetas de Pollo.” Digital Image. Dominican Cooking. 09 April 2018.

This is the most common croquette in the DR, similar to Cuban jamón, with a meat swap-out.

  1. Boil 2 lb of boneless chicken in 5 cups of water along with one quartered onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flaking, add more water if it becomes necessary.
  3. Drain the water from chicken and let cool before shredding.
  4. Heat 3 Tbsp. butter in a skillet over low heat. Stir in another medium onion, this time grated or diced and cook until it becomes translucent.
  5. Add 1/2 cup flour and stir vigorously until everything is well mixed, being careful to not to let it burn.
  6. Then add 2 cups milk and another teaspoon of salt and stir until it is well mixed.
  7. Add the chicken and the parsley and stir until the mixture thickens enough to start lifting from the bottom.
  8. Chill for a couple of hours.
  9. In a separate bowl stir the eggs and set aside.
  10. Put two tablespoons of the flour and chicken mixture on the palm of your hands and mold into cork shapes, if the dough sticks to your hands, cover your hands with flour.
  11. Dust the croquettes with flour, Bathe in the eggs, then cover with the breadcrumbs. Repeat until you use all the chicken mix.
  12. Chill for another three hours (best if overnight).
  13. Heat oil over medium heat in a small deep pot (there should be enough depth to cover the croquettes). Fry the croquettes until they turn golden brown.
  14. Rest on a paper towel to drain excess oil before serving.

Adapted from Dominican Cooking.

Tuna Croquettes

Tuna Croquetas. Digital Image. The Latin Kitchen. 09 April 2018.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably actually down to try tuna croquetas.

  1. Cook 1 lb potatoes in salted boiling water until tender. Once cooked, pass through a potato masher or mash them any way you can till smooth in a nonreactive bowl.
  2. Mix the potato, 1 drained can of tuna, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp ketchup, salt and pepper well.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Whisk another egg in a bowl and in another bowl add in the breadcrumbs.
  4. Dip the croquettes in the egg first then the bread crumbs and pan fry till golden brown.
  5. When cooked, place croquettes on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  6. Serve immediately with ketchup.

Adapted from The Latin Kitchen.

If you’re reading this, you deserve this cake.

@breadmanmiamibakery / Instagram

Meet the nutella filled croqueta cake made of 100 croquetas, only found at Cubano-owned Breadman Miami Bakery in Hialeah, Florida. Thanks, Breadman, for making it easy for us to just sit back and enjoy this one. ???

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7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole


7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole

Football fans all over the world are getting ready for one of the most important sports events of the year: the Super Bowl. Sure, this Super Bowl is going to look very different since we should all be watching the game from home. But we should still be able to treat ourselves to the awesome snacks that come with the game, even if you’re not a legit sports fan.

The biggest party of the National Football League will take place this Sunday in Tampa Bay, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year has promised an unforgettable event that will feature The Weeknd performing for the game’s half-time show..

Of course, avocados are the official food of the Super Bowl but – as our tias taught us – there’s so much more to them than guacamole. Here are seven mouthwatering alternatives to guacamole to put those decadent avocados to good use.

Avocado Hummus Dip

Can’t choose between hummus or guacamole? Try this delicious mash-up of the two. Get the recipe here.

Cheesy Stuffed and Baked Aguacate

stuffed baked avocados

This is some superior stuffing technique, people. And if you haven’t tried cooked avocado before, trust us: You’re in for a treat.

Avocado Mac-n-Cheese

Mmm… Cheese is delightfully creamy, avocados are delightfully creamy — it sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

Baked Avocado Fries

With a crunchy, crispy coating and a mouthwatering, tender inside, these fries will have you coming back for more. And more. And more…

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie
Credit: Aguacates Frescos – Saborea Uno Hoy

A twist on a traditional drink, avocados and bananas give this horchata a boost of fruit flavor and more health benefits, including a good source of fiber and calcium. Adding fresh avocados to smoothies is a great way to help the family — from kids to aging parents — get more nutrient-dense foods in their daily diet.

Click here to start your day with this recipe.

Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Don’t knock it until you try it! These chocolate avocado brownies are incredible.

Creamy Avocado Daiquiris

Avocado in a cocktail? Sign me up! These creamy avocado daiquiris are a game day must.

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From Making Sure Your Turkey Actually Fits Into The Oven To Keeping It Moist — Here’s How To Avoid Messing Up Your First Adult Thanksgiving!


From Making Sure Your Turkey Actually Fits Into The Oven To Keeping It Moist — Here’s How To Avoid Messing Up Your First Adult Thanksgiving!

So you’re stuck in a pandemic without your parents or abuelos to make the turkey and the duties are falling on you. Just about everyone knows that the task of cooking the Thanksgiving turkey is a real job that no one takes on lightly. Whether you’re roasting it or deep frying it, there are legends of just how dangerous and intense prepping a turkey can be.

In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires happen every year across the country. Even more so, the National Fire Protection Association has said that deep fryer fires cause an “average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year.”

To help, we dug around for the best tips on Reddit!

Below check out some recipes on how to avoid a Thanksgiving turkey disaster!

“When I did my first turkey I followed Altons method. Featured here on youtube. It was the best bird I have had, so moist and flavourful. I now have everyone in my family do the same. Low and slow is no way to go with turkey, unless you are bbq´ing it. Brine it for flavour and moist meat. And NO STUFFING the bird, keep it seperate. Just watch the episode, I know it is kinda corny but it is good advice.”- RolandIce

“Get yourself a good probe thermometer. A model like this one works well, you leave it in the bird while it cooks and you can see what’s happening inside. It’s impossible to overcook it this way. Remember to rest it as the temperature will continue to rise even when you pull it out of the oven.” –Hillside_Strangler

“You start with eliminating the fear. People have been cooking large animals and eating them since the invention of fire and they didn’t even have Youtube. You’ll be fine…

  • Thaw the bird. If that takes a few days, okay. If you have to put it in a sink full of warm water the morning of, that’s okay too. It’s meat, not Ebola.*
  • Start early. Nobody’s going to obsess if the mashed potatoes are holding you up. Waiting on the bird is a drag. Don’t put it in the oven at 6am, but figure whatever temperature/time recommendations you’re getting should have an hour or so of slop on either side because they’re always wrong.
  • Stage well. You’ve got vegetables, potatoes, god knows what else that needs to be ready, too. Mashed potatoes that sit out for an hour aren’t nearly as good as mashed potatoes made 5 minutes ago. A turkey that’s been in a warming oven for two hours? Tastes damn near exactly the same as one fresh off roast.
  • Check it every half hour. If it gets too crispy in spots, tent those spots with tin foil. Juice should be basted (in my opinion – I also add white wine. Well, truthfully, I add mead that my wife makes, but you can’t have any). Stick a thermometer down into the meat between the drumstick and where the breast ceases to be a breast. Your oven is probably going to reveal that it doesn’t cook as evenly as it should because nobody bakes any more so most ovens made in the past 10 years are absolute shit. No worries, just rotate the pan 180 degrees in the oven every time you check it.
  • If you don’t want the wingtips to turn into jerky you need to truss them up underneath. I’ll bet there’s a youtube video for that.
  • Let it rest. This is your opportunity to get all the sweet, sweet karma from a beautiful bird. Or, you know, finish cooking everything else. Trust me, your “beautiful bird” is “just another turkey” to everyone else on the Internet so spare us the Instagram please.
  • Carve out of sight. You can do a better job in the kitchen where things are clean, the lighting is good and you don’t have to reach over everyone. This is much easier than you think, too. You need a sharp knife, a fork of some kind, and a cutting board, preferably one with a juice groove. Cut down the breast bone on one side, then under it to free the breast. Poke a knife in the shoulder joint of the wing to get the wing off. Poke your knife in the hip joint and cut the meat to get the leg off. Now cut the thigh from the drumstick at the knee joint (easy) and put a wing, a thigh, and a drumstick on a serving platter. Now cut the breast against the grain into slices about half an inch thick and lay them out. Doesn’t that look beautiful? Doesn’t it dust the shit out of hacking at a carcass in front of your friends and neighbors? And hey – you’ve still got half a turkey.

Once your feast is done, strip the rest of the bird from the bone and put the meat in the fridge. Take the bones and put them in a stock pot with water and whatever spices your mother-in-law insist go in turkey stock (she’ll have an opinion). Let it just-barely-simmer overnight. House will smell awesome the next day and you can make this soup.” –kleinbl00

“I have entries broken down by the hour in my Google calendar to tell me when I need to be chopping stuff, when I need to be putting things in the oven, when people are arriving, what tasks I can hand off to anybody asking, “Is there anything I can do to help?”, etc. If you’ve got a game plan, everything will run a lot smoother. Some general tips for people that might have more time to prepare (these tips are applicable to OP as well, just might have to do test runs on a weeknight instead) – don’t try anything on Thanksgiving day that you haven’t given a shot prior to Thanksgiving day. Have you ever brined anything? Give brining a test run on a chicken this weekend if you have no experience but want to wow people for the holiday. Never tried making a pie crust from scratch? Definitely worth testing that in advance and/or freezing a second batch prior to the holiday shows up. I wouldn’t recommend doing anything new on that Thursday, because it will frazzle you if it doesn’t come out well when people arrive. My final recommendation is do as much possible prep work as possible prior to Thanksgiving day. Chop vegetables in advance, if you can. Line up spices and baking ingredients in an orderly fashion in your pantry or fridge. Mis en place is going to save your ass from wondering where the fuck you put the brown sugar. It also ensures that you have every ingredient necessary before you attempt cooking whatever you’re cooking.” –mattjeast

“Here is the best turkey recipe: Beginning at least 1 hour before dinner, add wine to your guests. Continue to add wine until dinner is over.” –paularbear

“Be sure to buy the bird 2-3 days ahead of time, EVEN IF THE BIRD IS A “FRESH” BIRD. You can bring home a bird that looks ready to go, but the inside is hard as a rock. They call it “hard-chilled,” I call it frozen. If you buy it a couple days before, you won’t get an icy surprise.” –paularbear

“When the bird hits 165, take it out and simply let it rest. Resting a turkey is vital to ensuring that the meat is moist and tender, instead of dry and stringy. I usually rest a turkey for 5 for about an hour, possibly more.” –Willravel

“I was totally in your shoes two Thanksgivings ago. I was holding a dinner for friends who couldn’t make it home for the holidays. We had about 20 odd people show up! I’d never made a turkey before either. A friend suggested that I stick my defrosted (important!!!), and lightly seasoned turkey into an oven bag. While it is baking, it keeps the moisture in, and cooks in its own juices (read: no obsessive basting!). Really easy and foolproof.” – vickasaurusrex

“As long as its not overcooked or dry, you can edit and recover. Make sure your bird can fit your oven, and time your prep to fit your kitchen. 10-15 is a huge amount of food, too much for a single day prep even for a seasoned home cook, get help. List out what can be done a day or 2 ahead. Have enough containers to store every nicely so there is no cross contamination. Have a back up plan.”- deadmantizwalking

“I have always just used a cooking bag, put the turkey breast side down so all the juices flow to the breast meat. I do stuff my bird, b/c I like how it tastes better. I also let it rest after taking it out of the oven before cutting into it, doing so helps the bird retain it’s juices. I don’t get that perfect skin but I don’t mind, b/c I don’t show it off at the table and nobody eats the skin.” –drawdelove

“If you do decide to stuff the bird remember to include the weight of the stuffing when you calculate the number of hours to cook the turkey. Also, when you order the bird or buy the bird make sure she is not frozen on the inside. I’ve had both these things happen to me and we didn’t eat until late haha.” –ladyloowho

“Also, don’t forget the sides! I had a subscription to CooksIllustrated for many years, and their website is great for that kinda stuff. All their recipes are good/great and often they have ‘pre-cook’ tips. For instance, you can make the sauce and other components for your green bean casserole a day or two before, which makes the day-of SO much easier. Timing is always the hardest part, so make yourself a time schedule for the day, working backward from your serving time. Don’t forget to ensure you have time for the turkey to rest. If you cover it in foil, it’ll stay warm/hot for over an hour, so take that into account.” –BloaterPaste

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