Smoked turkey from Hillcrest Artisan Meats via Freckle Face Farms.  

We're just days away from Thanksgiving, so if you haven't decided what you're making for the family get-together, it's time to nail something down.

We shared with you in our November issue what some of the popular chefs around town like to make for the holidays, and we thought this might be a good time to refresh your memory of those as you try and make a decision for your Thanksgiving feast.

Roasted Grape and Rosemary Focaccia

(serves 6-8)


300 grams bread flour


1 tsp. yeast


200 milliliters room temperature water


10 milliliters extra virgin olive oil


10 milliliters milk


1 tsp. sea salt


250 grams red or black seedless grapes


1 sprig of rosemary, chopped


1 cup of toasted pecans


1 pinch of raw sugar (optional)


1. Mix flour and yeast in a large bowl and stir in the water until combined. Set aside for 10 minutes before mixing in the oil, milk and salt. Once the dough has formed, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes, then knead another 10 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with olive oil and cover it with plastic wrap. Set aside to proof for 1.5 hours, knocking it back every 30 minutes or so.

2. Flatten dough with a rolling pin into a 12x6-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking tray. Leave in a warm place for 20 minutes. When it’s ready, it will look puffed and smooth and will bounce back slowly when pressed.

3. Preheat the oven to 425. Wash the grapes, then cut them lengthwise. Scatter the grapes over the dough, leaving a small margin in case they try to roll off during baking. Sprinkle with rosemary and sugar, reduce oven to 400 and bake for 25 minutes.

Fennel Encrusted Pork Loin with Apple Pear Conserva and Pumpkin Corn Risotto 

(serves 8-10)


2 peeled apples, diced


2 peeled pears, diced


1/2 small onion, diced


1 garlic clove, minced


1 cup white balsamic or sherry vinegar


1 1/2 cups sugar


1/2 tbsp. finely ground coriander, cumin, fennel and cinnamon (sage optional)

1. Sweat onions in a little grape seed oil.

2. Add spices and vinegar.

3. Add other ingredients; reduce over medium low heat until chutney-like consistency.


1 quart apple juice


1 tsp. whole cloves


1 tsp. whole allspice


1 cinnamon stick


2 smashed garlic cloves


1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Whisk all ingredients and pour over pork loin. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Remove pork from brine, pat dry, season with salt and pepper and rub with ground fennel.

3. Sear on both sides, then roast in the oven at 350 until pork has an internal temperature of 140. Remove from the oven and let it rest until it reaches an internal temp of 160.

Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash with a Parsley Pistou

(serves 10)



5 sweet potatoes


3 butternut squash


2 onions


2 tbsp. butter


kosher salt, to taste


1 tbsp. each of paprika, cumin and cinnamon


1 cup toasted pecans



1/2 bunch parsley, picked from stems


1/4 bunch mint, picked from stems


1 whole preserved lemon


3 oz. roasted garlic


kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


(Mix all ingredients in food processor and serve)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut sweet potatoes and squash into a medium dice, toss in oil, place in separate baking dishes and cover with foil.

3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender. Add 2 tbsp. butter and bake, uncovered, for 10-15 more minutes.

4. Slice onions and caramelize in butter. After potatoes and squash are cooked, mix all ingredients together and season with kosher salt.

5. Toast dry pecans under the broiler for a few minutes, until fragrant, toss with a nut oil, along with a tablespoon each of paprika, cumin and cinnamon. Garnish dish with pecans.

Cornbread Dressing

(serves 6-10)


1 cup pecans


4 oz. unsalted butter


4 cups crumbled cornbread, plus 1 cup torn-apart dinner rolls


1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped


2 ribs celery, diced


1-2 carrots, peeled and small diced


1/2 cup mushrooms, minced


2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced


1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary


1 tsp. salt


1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1/4 cup white wine


1/3 cup heavy cream


2 cups double-strong (make chicken stock, then reduce by half) homemade chicken stock


2 eggs


1. Heat oven to 425. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Melt 2 ounces of butter in a small skillet. Cut cornbread and rolls into 2-inch-thick cubes. Spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter evenly. Toast until golden brown, 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. Heat remaining 2 ounces of butter in a medium skillet on medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add white wine. Continue cooking until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add cream. Cook 30 seconds; remove pan from heat.

4. Put cornbread and bread into a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and toasted pecans; toss. Whisk eggs into cooled double broth. Toss into cornbread mixture. Bake in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish until stuffing is crusty and golden, about 20-30 minutes.

Oven Roasted Turkey

1. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Put in trash bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

2. Place on rack in roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 450 for one hour.

3. Pour a quart of apple cider and a quart of chicken broth over the turkey. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, sage, cracked pepper and coarse salt, to taste.

4. Turn oven temperature down to 170 (any more and the breast will be dry) and slow roast for 8-12 hours, depending on the size of the turkey.

Organic Zucchini Casserole with Pork Sausage

(serves 8-10)


8 organic zucchini


1/2 cup butter


2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese


1 lb. pork sausage


1 egg


1 cup sour cream


1/2 tsp. salt


Paprika, to taste


1/4 cup chopped chives


1 cup breadcrumbs or 1 cup crushed crackers


1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Wash zucchini; boil whole for 5-10 minutes — no more.

2. Cut off ends and slice in halves lengthwise. Place in single layer in buttered casserole dish.

3. Sear pork sausage with butter until cooked; cool.

4. Melt butter and mix in cheddar cheese, sour cream, salt, paprika, chives and sausage. Pour over zucchini.

5. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs or crackers, then Parmesan cheese.

6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

Pumpkin Pie

(Yields one pie)


3/4 cup granulated sugar


1/2 cup brown sugar


1 tbsp. flour


1/2 tsp. salt


1 teaspoon ground ginger


4 tsp. ground cinnamon


Pinch fine-ground black pepper


4 eggs


14 oz. canned pumpkin


1 cup heavy cream


1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until smooth and homogenous. The pumpkin may be lumpy but the egg and spices should be completely incorporated.

2. I prefer using a graham cracker crust. You can use store-bought or make one by crumbling graham crackers and mixing with enough melted butter to make the crumbs stick to the side of a pie pan when pressed in. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie crust.

3. Bake at 325 for 25-35 minutes, just until the custard in the middle of the pie starts to set up.

For more on the chefs and their favorite things about Thanksgiving, click here.