Not My Dad's Thanksgiving Dinner
by Terryl Gavre
I think Thanksgiving is my father’s favorite meal of
the year. He loves everything from the smell of the turkey that begins wafting
through the house at about ten in the morning to that late night turkey, stuffing,
and cranberry sauce sandwich (with mayo and pickles) just before bedtime.
thing that is a for-sure: he doesn’t want anyone getting fancy with
his Thanksgiving feast. He likes his turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes
prepared traditionally, with as little embellishment as possible. One year,
got creative and put pecans and currants in her stuffing. It was delicious
but it was not a good thing. Let me just put it this way; she hasn’t
strayed from grandma’s recipe since.
On the other hand, I enjoy dressing
up Thanksgiving dinner every now and then. And this year I get exactly
that chance because my parents are spending
holiday with my sister in Corvallis (I have them for Christmas – you
know the drill).
Since this is a father-free year, I have enlisted the help
of a few of my chef friends to get creative with the menu. I have asked
them to tweak the traditional just a bit and come up with some relatively
straightforward recipes, but with a twist.
Cornbread-Turkey Sausage Stuffing with Apples and Chestnuts
Paul McCabe of L’Auberge Del Mar
T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onions
3 tart apples (Jonathan & Winesap are good), cored & chunked, not peeled
1 lb. Lightly seasoned bulk turkey sausage
3 c. coarsely crumbled cornbread
3 c. coarsely crumbled whole-wheat bread
3 c. coarsely crumbled white bread (French is preferable)
2 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried sage
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 c. chopped chestnuts
Melt half of the butter in a skillet. Add chopped
onions and cook over medium heat until tender and lightly colored, about
25 minutes. Transfer onions and
butter to a large mixing bowl.
Melt remaining butter in the same skillet.
Add apple chunks and cook over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy.
Transfer apples and butter to
the mixing bowl.
Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook over medium
heat, stirring, until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage
to the mixing
bowl and reserve the rendered fat.
Add remaining ingredients to the mixing
bowl and combine gently. Refrigerate if not used promptly.
If you do not wish
actually to stuff the bird goose or duck, you can make the stuffing greasy,
spoon it into a casserole. Cover casserole and set into
a large pan. Pour hot water around the casserole to come halfway up the sides.
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 325°F, basting occasionally with cooking
juices from the bird or with the reserved sausage fat if necessary.
stuffing for a 20 lb turkey, to make 12 to 14 portions.
CANDIED YAM BREAD PUDDING | GINGER CREAM
Tina Luu, chef and instructor at The Art Institute of California-San
Yams 2 (1 1/4 lbs)
Half and Half 3 cups (26 fl.oz)
Whole Eggs 5 (7.5 oz)
Brown Sugar 1 cup (8 oz)
Cinnamon 2 teaspoons
Nutmeg 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
Candied Ginger, minced 1 cup (5 oz)
Croissants, large (day-old/dry) 7 (~ 2 lbs.)
Brown Sugar 1/2 cup (4 oz)
Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
Pecans, Chopped, Untoasted 1.5 cup (6 oz)
1. Rinse Yams and slice in half length-wise. Brush with Price
butter or olive oil, just to coat. Lay face-down on a baking Food %
sheet and roast in the oven @ 350F until fork tender
(~ 45 minutes - 1 hour).
2. When yams are cool enough to work with, scoop out the flesh to yield 12
Mash with the brown sugar and a little half and half to make a smooth mixture.
3. Add the remaining half and half, eggs and vanilla.
4. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or ramekin.
5. Cut croissants into 2-inch pieces and toss with ginger and place in baking
6. Pour custard over the bread mixture and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
7. Toss together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, and sprinkle evenly over
8. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake @ 325F for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake additional 15 minutes.
9. Serve with Ginger Cream and garnish with yam chips if desired.
NOTE: Canned yams may be substituted, but there will be a difference in flavor
and texture. Yam mixture can be mixed in a Robot-Coupe or Cuisinart food
for a smoother texture, or by hand. Any enriched white bread will be fine
Half and Half 2 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup
Whole Eggs 3
Fresh Ginger, Grated 1 oz.
1. Combine Half and Half with half the sugar
in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
2. Whisk eggs and remaining half of sugar.
3. Temper about 1 cup of hot liquid into the egg mixture half at a time,
whisking to prevent eggs from cooking.
4. Pour mixture back into the sauce pan and stir until completely mixed.
5. Strain sauce through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
6. Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger and stir into custard sauce.
7. Chill until needed.
1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream are acceptable substitutes for half
Parsnip, Fennel and Potato Purée
Jeff Jackson, chef at The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Medium Parsnips (Peeled) 6 ea.
Medium Yellow Onion (Diced) 1 ea.
Medium Fennel Bulb (Diced) 1 ea.
Medium Potato (Diced) 1 ea.
Butter 2 Tbs.
Light Chicken Stock 2 Cups
Water 2-3 Cups
Salt and Pepper to taste
Butter to taste
1) Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a stainless
pot over medium heat. Add the onions, fennel and a little salt and pepper.
Sweat until the vegetables
are tender. Do not allow to caramelize.
2) Add the parsnips and potato to the pot, cover with chicken stock and water.
Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.
3) Strain the vegetables and purée through a food mill or food processor.
4) Check for seasoning and stir in a little more butter to taste.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Carl Schroeder Arterra Restaurant
2 qt chicken stock
1 qt apple juice
1/3 cup pickled ginger juice
1 box brown sugar
1 pint maple syrup
Bring all ingredients to a boil, add 3 pounds sweet potatoes
or yams diced large, lower to a simmer. Cook until tender, remove from
liquid and cover
with foil to keep warm. Bring liquid back to a simmer, reduce to a syrup.
Put potatoes into serving bowl, toss with syrup and salt, pepper and butter