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Help for your holiday meal? Class is in session!

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver offers expert tutelage that'll help you prepare a magnificent Thanksgiving dinner. Here are the recipes
/ Source: TODAY

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare than with expert advice from Jamie Oliver, aka the Naked Chef. He was invited on the “Today” show for a special week-long holiday-cooking school series to offer tips and dishes to help you with that holiday meal. Here are the recipes:

Lesson 1: Day 1

Mozzarella and Butternut Squash Skewers
Serves a few

A butternut squash A teaspoon of dried chili, crushed A tablespoon of coriander seeds, crushed Finely grated nutmeg Dried oregano  3 balls of buffalo mozzarella A few leaves of basil A fresh red chili, 4 inches, chopped Wooden skewers, 4 inches Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Chop the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice each half into 4 parts lengthways and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the chili, coriander, nutmeg, oregano and a little salt and pepper. Toss with a splash of oil, place on a roasting tray, and then roast in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until softened, cooked through and lightly browned.

Carefully cut the squash into large cubes, and tear the mozzarella up into similar-sized pieces. Make a skewer with a piece of chili, a basil leaf folded in half, a piece of mozzarella and a chunk of squash. Repeat until all the bits of squash and mozzarella are used up, and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

Smoked Trout With Potato Served in Lettuce Cups
Hot smoking is done in a smoker with heat as well as smoke — unlike smoked salmon, which is cold smoked. I don't know exactly why, but trout seems to hot smoke very well — I love it. The lettuce cups make the dish really easy to serve at parties, as you can just pick up a leaf and pop it in your mouth.

Makes about 20 pieces

Baby new potatoes, boiled and sliced 4 fillets of hot smoked trout A lemon A small bunch of chives 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream 2 small heads of Boston lettuce 2 tablespoons of horseradish

Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain, cool and slice into 1/8-inch pieces.

Separate the lettuce leaves and wash well in cold water. Drain well and then put the 15 to 20 best ones aside.

Mash the trout fillets lightly in a bowl with a fork. Add the zest and juice of half a lemon, the crème fraiche and the horseradish. Stir to combine but try not to break up the fish too much. Fold in the potatoes until they are coated with the fish mixture. Season with salt and pepper and extra lemon juice if you think it's needed.Spoon it into the prepared lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve.

Lesson 2: Day 2

Steamed Vegetables With Flavored Butters
Serves a few
8 ounces of unsalted butter, cut into 2-ounce sticksHalf a fresh red chili2 sundried tomatoes2 tablespoons of chopped black olives3 anchovy filletsHalf a tablespoon of chopped rosemaryThe zest and juice of half a lemonA tablespoon of picked thyme leavesThe zest of a quarter of an orangeA pinch of cumin seedsA clove of garlicA tablespoon of chopped parsley

1 pound baby carrots1 pound baby turnips1 pound broccoli, cut into florets1 pound snow peas

Pound the chili with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste. Add 2 ounces of butter and pound well.

Drop onto a sheet of waxed paper and roll up into a cylinder, twisting the ends like Christmas crackers. Place in the freezer to firm up.

Repeat with each of the other flavors (sundried tomatoes, black olives, etc.).

In a four-layer steamer, place carrots at the bottom, baby turnips next, broccoli florets next and snow peas at the top. Steam for 10 minutes and then serve each vegetable with circles of flavored butter melted over the top.

Carrots are nice with the orange butter; turnips with the chili, tomato and olive; broccoli with anchovy; and snow peas with the lemon, garlic and parsley.

Jamie’s Thanksgiving Stuffing
Makes enough for a 9- to 10-pound turkeyYou can make the stuffing a day or two in advance to help lighten the load on Thanksgiving Day.

2 celery sticks, finely chopped4 shallots, finely choppedSmall handful of fresh sage, finely chopped6 strips pancetta, finely chopped2 ounces butterBig handful of fresh breadcrumbs (bread stuffing), coarsely choppedHandful dried apricots, coarsely choppedSalt and pepper 5 or 6 chestnuts (roasted or jarred), coarsely chopped3/4 pound freshly ground pork Pinch of grated nutmeg1 egg

Finely chop the celery, shallots, sage, and pancetta and add with butter to a hot frying/sauté pan. Fry gently on medium heat until everything is  lightly golden brown. Take off the heat. To prepare the fresh breadcrumbs, take a loaf of day-old bread, remove the crust and place the chunks of bread in a food processor until the bread is coarsely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and coarsely chopped apricots and chestnuts to the celery, shallots, sage, pancetta and butter mixture. Season well to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and chill.When the stuffing is cold, add the pork, nutmeg, and egg. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roast Turkey
Serves 6 to 8

The big problem with cooking turkey is that the legs take longer to cook than the breasts. This means the breasts dry out in the oven waiting for the legs to catch up. In this recipe, I push sage and apricot stuffing up under the turkey breast skin, increasing the thickness of the breasts so they take the same time to cook as the legs. The result? Juicy turkey all round!

Some people brine the turkey, some people don't. Personally, I like to rub the turkey with table salt inside and out and put it in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight (12 to 24 hours). This removes all the excess moisture and allows it to cook beautifully.

12 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus few extra At least 8 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled6 strips pancetta (smoked bacon)9- to 10-pound organic free-range turkey4 shallots, roughly chopped2 carrots1 big orangeOlive oil 1 teaspoon flour1 quart or vegetable stock, for the gravyA little white wine or sherry (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. To prep the turkey, rub it with salt inside and out 12 to 24 hours before cooking; table salt is fine. Store the salted turkey in a plastic bag and refrigerate. When ready to cook, rinse or wipe off excess salt. Pat it dry with paper towels and place on a board.  Make a bed of roughly chopped shallots, 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, and carrots in your roasting pan to act as a rack.

Slice the strips of pancetta in half and slice the peeled garlic into thin slivers. Place a rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls.

Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push your finger into each slit to create a gap. Place each pancetta roll into the holes until it just peeps out. Find the edge of the skin at the turkey neck and with a rubber spatula or large spoon separate the skin from breast meat so that you can put the stuffing under the skin of the turkey breast. If you're careful you should be able to separate all the skin from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides but without ripping any holes in it.

From the neck end of the turkey, spoon the stuffing up between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop any leaking out during cooking. Microwave the orange for 30 to 60 seconds to get it nice and hot. Poke a hole in the hot orange and stuff it into the turkey cavity. You can also add some rosemary to the cavity.

Place the bird in roasting pan filled with the vegetables, season well with salt and pepper, and rub olive oil all over. Weigh the stuffed bird, cover with foil, and roast for 18 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if pierced with a knife or a skewer. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird.

Remove the turkey and rest on a board for 20 minutes.

Remove most of the fat from the roasting pan. Mash the roast vegetables right in the pan with a potato masher. Add the flour, sherry and stock and bring to a boil on a high heat. When the gravy thickens, strain into a bowl. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

Lesson 4: Day 4

Apple Pie
Serves 6

For sweet pastry2 cups flour10 tablespoons butter1/3 cup sugarFinely grated rind of 1 lemon2 egg yolksWater

For the fillingA small knob of butterFlour, for dusting1 large Bramley or Rome (or any cooking apple)2 eating apples (try Granny and Braeburn, one tart, one sweet)3 tablespoons Demerara or Muscovado sugar (you can substitute with raw or brown sugar)Zest of 1/2 a lemon1/2 teaspoon ground gingerA handful of sultanas or raisins (you can substitute with any dried fruit)1 egg yolk mixed with a splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. To make the pastry, in a food processor, whiz up the flour, butter, sugar and lemon rind, then add the egg yolks and a tiny drop of water to bind the mix together. Butter an 8-inch metal pie dish (metal conducts heat better than glass, so the bottom of the pie will cook at the same time as the top).

Divide your pastry dough into two and roll half of it out on a flour-dusted surface until 1/4 inch thick. Lay the pastry in the pie dish and gently push it down into the sides. Don’t worry if it tears or breaks — just patch it up — as it will look nice and rustic! Pop the pie dish and the remaining half of your pastry into the fridge while you peel your apples. Quarter the Bramley apple and cut the eating apples into eighths. Toss the apples in a small pan with the sugar, lemon zest, ginger, sultanas or raisins, and a tablespoon of water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the apples are just tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

Remove the pie dish and pastry from the fridge and pack the apple mix tightly into the pie dish. Egg-wash the pastry rim (using the yolk mixed with milk), then roll out the other half of the dough. Drape this over the top of the pie and roughly pinch the edges together using your finger and thumb, then trim any excess pastry. Egg-wash the top, make a couple of small incisions in the top crust, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Spoon out the portions of apple pie and serve with some custard!

Pecan Tart
Serves 6 to 8 people

1 sweet pastry (see recipe above)1-1/2 cups maple syrup3 tablespoons golden syrup4 tablespoons butter3 cups breadcrumbs, half fine, half coarseZest of 2 oranges 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated2 Cox or Granny Smiths (tart) apples, grated2 handfuls pecansOptional: crème fraicheOptional: 1 handful thyme flowers

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Roll out the pastry, then line a 28cm/11-inch loose-bottomed flan tin with it. Place in the freezer for at least half an hour, until it is firm.

Take the pastry case out of the freezer, then place in the pre-heated oven and bake for around 15 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Heat the butter, maple syrup and golden syrup together in a pan, then mix with the breadcrumbs, orange zest, apple, ginger and half the pecan nuts. Spoon into the pastry case, then sprinkle the top with the remaining pecans. Place back in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes. Lovely served with some crème fraiche and sprinkled with some thyme flowers.

Recipes excerpted from “Jamie's Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook,” by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2004 by Jamie Oliver. Published by Hyperion. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.