French Twist

Celebrate Thanksgiving à la française with this menu from an expat in Paris
French Twist

Autumn in Paris is a lot like every other season in the City of Light: a delicious feast for the senses. But for an American expatriate—even one who's head over heels in love with her adopted hometown—the same sensory pleasures associated with the shift from summer to fall can unhinge floodgates of nostalgia for home. All it takes is the faintest hint of wood-fire smoke in the nippy air to stir up a hankering for harvest fairs and holiday pies. And then there'??s Thanksgiving.

This year, Thanksgiving dinner commences chez moi, in a little corner of Paris where the harvest table is always vegetarian. The inspiration for this multicourse feast is utterly American—think mashed potatoes, a savory roast, and traditional stuffing. The dishes themselves are nuanced by French influences and designed to create delicious new traditions to be enjoyed with friends and family, wherever you happen to be in the world.

Countdown to a Feast
Most of these recipes can be prepared in advance without compromising flavor—simply follow this rundown of what to do when.

1 week ahead
1. Prepare bread for stuffing, and store in an airtight container.
2. Purchase wine.

3 to 5 days ahead
1. Prepare candied pecans for salad, and refrigerate.
2. Prepare compote; refrigerate.
3. Shop for fresh ingredients (fruits, vegetables, potatoes).
4. Make almond filling for Vegan Galette des Rois.

1 to 2 days ahead
1. Assemble terrine, and refrigerate.
2. Prepare Chestnut-Champignon Stuffing, and refrigerate.
3. Make Vegan Galette des Rois.

Thanksgiving Day
1. Bake Seitan Timbales.
2. Make Parsley-Garlic Créme.
3. Prepare Truffled Mashed Potatoes.
4. Assemble salad.