Thanksgiving Dishes from Renowned Texas Chefs
Wed November 21, 2012 3:22 pm

Turkey Day is upon us, and an abundance of families will be cooking fall-centric dishes at home tomorrow. In case you're looking to scrounge up some last-minute Thanksgiving recipes, here are a few offerings from a handful of talented Texas chefs.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Absinthe Crème Fraîche from Jason Dodge of Péché 

For the soup:
½ medium-sized sugar pie pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cup maple syrup
2 sprigs fresh thyme

In a large bowl toss pumpkin with thyme, salt and pepper, and shallots in olive oil until thoroughly coated. Place on a medium sheet tray. Roast at 400 degrees until slightly caramelized. Let cool before handling. Heat stock to a simmer and add pumpkin, shallots, and maple syrup. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

For the crème fraîche:
1 cup crème fraîche
½ cup Pernod Absinthe

Reduce absinthe by ½ cup in a small sauté pan over high heat. Fold into crème fraiche. In a serving bowl, ladle soup and spoon crème fraiche on top. Garnish with pumpernickel or Pecorino Romano croutons.

Maple Bread Pudding from John Bates, chef/owner of Noble Pig Sandwiches

"The reason I love bread pudding is because it reminds of the holidays. It is good in so many ways and reminds me of family," Bates says.

Maple Bacon Bread Pudding
loaf day-old bread
6 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
¾ teaspoon breakfast sausage, cured
9 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups bacon, crumbled and crispy

Dice your bread. In a pot add half and half, sugar, maple syrup, and breakfast sausage. Bring the milk up to a simmer and allow the sugar to dissolve and infuse the flavors. In a mixing bowl, add whole eggs and egg yolks. Mix together the eggs and temper the hot milk into eggs. Pour hot custard base over the diced bread and bacon. Allow to soak for thirty minutes and then pack into mason jars. Put jars into a water bath and bake until set in a 350-degree oven. Approximately 45 minutes.

Apple Cheddar Pie from Janina O’Leary, executive pastry chef of TRACE

Cheddar-Cheese Tart shell
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons cold water

Crumble topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Apple Pie Filling:
6 cups cored, peeled, and thinly sliced crisp apples
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Crust: In a large bowl or food processor  combine flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add grated cheese and toss. Add cold water, by the tablespoon, until a rough dough forms. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into 3/4-inch-thick disk, and tightly wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Turn overhanging dough under itself to form an edge along the top of the pan, and crimp edges. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is lightly browned -- about 15 minutes.

Filling: Add cut apples to a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the apples and toss to mix thoroughly. Spoon the apples into the prepared crust.

Crumble topping: In a small bowl using a fork, toss flour, brown sugar, butter, and grated cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the top of the pie with crumble mixture. Place pie in the middle of the oven and bake until the topping is golden brown -- 50 to 60 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sullivan’s Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict from Thomas Dritsas, corporate executive chef at Sullivan’s Steakhouse

“The Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict is a fun way to repurpose your leftover turkey into a uniquely delicious dish for the whole family to enjoy the next morning," Dritsas says.

Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict
1 English muffin, split
2 ounces gravy
2-4 ounces turkey slices
2-4 ounces stuffing
2 cups water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 jumbo eggs (for poaching)
3 ounces cranberry sauce

Start by heating the turkey, stuffing, and gravy in a microwave until warm throughout. Split the English muffin, then toast and place on a warm plate or platter of choice. Divide stuffing with an ice cream scoop or large spoon and place on top of each side of the English muffin. Top stuffing with slices of reheated turkey and press down on stuffing to level out so the egg will sit on top of the turkey properly. Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepot. Crack 2 eggs, then drop into the simmering water and poach for 2-4 minutes depending on how you like your eggs done. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain well on a paper towel to remove liquid. Set one egg on top of the turkey that is on each side of the toasted English muffin. Ladle approximately 1 ounce of gravy over each poached egg. Spoon the cranberry sauce on the plate accompanying the Benedict. Serve immediately.

Braised Short Rib from Olivier Ciesielski, chef of  L'Olivier Restaurant & Bar

"This dish reminds me of my childhood in Burgundy, France. It's a simple, very rustic dish that my mother used to cook. We ate a nice braised meal almost every week during autumn and the winter," Ciesielski says.

Braised Short Rib
5 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 whole tomatoes, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
3 ounces of red wine
5 cups beef stock (demi-glace)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pan oven over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate and reserve.

Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomatoes; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, and then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic and beef stock.  Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Cook until short ribs are tender,  about 2–2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in plate with the potato tart with sauce spooned over.

Green Bean Bundles from Patrick Russell, chef of MAX's Wine Dive Dallas

Green Bean Bundles
Yields 25-30 bundles
2 pounds fresh green beans
1 pound applewood-smoked bacon—thick cut is best
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 orange
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Clean green beans by clipping the tip and tails, and removing the string.  Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, take the green beans and cook for 3 minutes; strain and shock in ice water to cool, repeat until all green beans are cooked. Strain green beans from ice water. In a new pot, boil butter and brown sugar; add soy sauce, garlic, and the juice of one orange and boil for 3-5 minutes more. Take the bacon and cut the strips in half. Wrap 5-7 green beans per each half, and place into a deep baking pan. Pour sauce over green beans, and let sit overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until bacon is rendered and crispy.

Turkey Gravy from Christina Lee, chef of Central Market Cooking School in Austin 

“I love this recipe because it is easy, tasty, and versatile. I use it to make turkey pot pies, turkey and dumplings, and baked turkey and rice casserole.  It's also delicious on mashed potatoes," Lee says.

Easy Turkey Gravy
yields 4 cups
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups hot turkey stock
1 tablespoon each of parsley, thyme, sage, and oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium pot, melt the butter and add the flour.  Whisk continuously until a blond roux has been achieved, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the hot turkey stock 1 cup at a time, whisking to incorporate into the roux. Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake from Michelle Antonishek, executive pastry chef of Bar Mirabeau

Antonishek says this dessert is extra special to her because she made it for husband, Bar Mirabeau’s Executive Chef Bill McGrory, the day Bill asked Michelle to marry him.

Crust
2 cups graham crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted

Mix all ingredients together and line cheesecake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut two butternut squash in half and place on pan lined with water.  Bake until butternut squash is tender and soft. Scoop out the squash and place in a blender and puree until smooth.Hang in cheesecloth to drain the excess water and moisture.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake
1 pound cream cheese
4.5 ounces sugar
12 ounces squash puree
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon cloves
6 eggs

Cream the cream cheese, sugar, and spices until smooth on low speed. Add the squash and mix until smooth on slow speed. Add the eggs one at a time scraping after every other egg. Strain and bake in a water bath at 275 degrees until set. (Depending on size: large 10" cheesecakes, approximately take 1-1.5 hrs.) Serve with whipped cream and candied pecans.

Roasted Green Chile Pecan Dressing from Joe Synatschk, executive chef of Central Market Fort Worth

“This dressing is spicy and crunchy, and pairs well with turkey or pork at Thanksgiving," Synatschk says.

1 8x8 pan cornbread, crumbled
1 small loaf crusty bread, cubed
3 poblano or hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup sweet corn kernels
3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2-3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and black pepper, to taste.

Allow breads to sit and dry out a bit. Char jalapeños and poblanos. Allow to sit in a bowl covered with plastic for 5 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop peppers, reserving some jalapeño to adjust for spiciness to taste. In a large sauté pan, sweat onions and celery in butter until tender. Add corn and sauté until warmed through.

In a large bowl, combine crumbled corn bread, cubed bread, chile mixture (some reserved), onion mixture, pecans, and half the stock. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add more stock as needed for desired texture. Taste for spiciness, add more chiles as necessary. Stir in beaten eggs and cilantro and place in a large baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until set and at an internal temp of 160.

Aji Ham from Rene Ortiz, executive chef of Sway and La Condesa

Whole roasted spiral cut ham from local butcher
Aji dijon glaze (recipe below)
canned pineapple rings
maraschino cherries
toothpicks

Aji Glaze
1 cup dijon mustard
2 cups local honey
1/2 cup Aji Amarillo paste (Peruvian yellow chili found at Mexican food markets)

Glaze method: Place ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil, reserve with a brush to glaze the ham.

Place the ham onto roasting rack. Add the decorative garnish with pineapple first, then the cherry, and stab them with toothpick. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and start the process of basing with the Aji glaze. While the ham is cooking, occasionally add some of the sweet glaze to it. Once the ham is up to temp and the glaze is starting to caramelize, the ham is ready to come out of the oven.

Apple Pie from Laura Sawicki, executive pastry chef of Sway and La Condesa

Pie dough
yields one double crust pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter, diced
about 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, mix flour, salt, and sugar together. Pulse to evenly distribute. Add the cold, diced butter and pulse several times until the pieces are small and pea-like. Do not over mix! Pulse in the ice water a little at a time, adding up to 1/2 cup, if needed. Pulse until it just comes together. Turn onto a floured table and very gently knead the dough once or twice to bring all the flour together. Dough should be shaggy and loosely incorporated. Divide the dough into two pieces and form into a flattened round disk. Wrap dough and place in refrigerator overnight.

Filling:
7-8 apples
juice and zest of half a lemon
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Peel and slice the apples 1/4-inch thick. Toss the apples in a large bowl with all ingredients except the butter. Allow to macerate 5 minutes. When ready to assemble the pie, roll one piece of dough 12-14" and place into the bottom of a pie tin. Trim the edges so there is a slight overhang. Place all the apples into the pie and dot the filling with butter. Roll remaining piece of dough slightly larger than the first. Fold in half and place over the filling. Unfold the dough to cover the pie completely. Gently tuck the edges of the dough into the pan, pulling the top dough over the bottom. Crimp the edges of the pie and place in the freezer about 30 minutes to firm up. The pie can remain frozen at this point.

Egg wash: Whisk together 1 egg, pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon water

Brush the entire top of the pie with egg wash. Sprinkle liberally with sugar. Cut vent holes in the top of the pie in a decorative manner. This is crucial to allow steam to release. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue to bake for at least one hour. If the pie is getting too dark, turn the oven down to 325 degrees or wrap the edges in aluminum foil. Allow the pie to cool completely before eating.

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