Thanksgiving recipes |

Thanksgiving recipes

It’s that time of year again when we become slaves to the kitchen, getting out our family recipes, to cook for often unrealistic amounts of guests. A small handful of local chef’s shared holiday recipes to compliment your turkey or add to your recipe files for the future.

Waldorf Salad

While Earthy Delights is busy preparing Thanksgiving side dishes, breads and deserts (everything but the turkey) for customers in it’s West River Street kitchen, part-owner and chef Kelly Bailey shared a Waldorf salad recipe, a perfect and light compliment to a hearty Thanksgiving meal.

Note: This dish serves 4-6 people. Measurements are not exact and the chef’s best estimates.

2 cup diced apples

1 cup diced pears

1/4 cup celery (chopped)

1/2 cup honeyed walnuts

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise mixed with the juice of one orange and the zest of one orange

Toss all ingredients into salad.

Sweet potato soup

Malone’s Irish Tavern Head Chef Joshua Stone has been with the restaurant just over a month, and already has the Irish pub’s customer’s pallets watering with his concoctions. Hot off the menu this week is a festive and holiday-appropriate sweet potato soup/puree. This is an easy, but wonderfully tasty soup to make for Thanksgiving guests. As Stone says, “Simple things are good.”

Note: This recipe will serve at least 10-12 people. Measurements are the chef’s closest measurement.


2 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 qt. chicken stock

3 cups Half and Half

2 cups brown sugar (or to taste)

1/2 lb. unsalted butter (chopped into cubes)

salt and pepper to taste

lightly sweetened whipped cream (garnish)

maple-cured bacon, chopped (garnish)

chives, chopped (garnish)

Boil potatoes in water until tender and then put into a pot to simmer with the chicken stock and Half and Half (15-20 minutes). Put potatoes and chicken stock into a blender or mixer and puree until a smooth consistency. If the puree is too thick, thin with more chicken stock. Put puree in a pot on low heat, and whisk in brown sugar, then whisk in butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Garnish with slightly sweetened whipped cream, chopped maple-cured bacon and chopped chives per serving.

Potato casserole

The following recipe is a family tradition for David Smith, executive chef with Cottonwood Restaurant.

“This dish is a Thanksgiving tradition in my family,” Smith said. “I’m not sure what my Grandmother called it, but I’ve always referred to them as ‘Crazy Jewish Potatoes.'”

Note: This recipe will serve four to six people, with leftovers.


8 medium Russet potatoes

2 medium yellow onions

1/2 cup butter

4 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons brown sugar

salt and pepper


Peel and quarter potatoes, then boil them in salted water until soft (about 45 minutes).

While the potatoes are cooking, dice the onions and saute them on medium heat in the butter until they are translucent (about 15 minutes).

After the potatoes are done, drain the water, and beat until the potatoes are mashed. You can do this with a mixer or by hand. Don’t over-whip, or the potatoes will become too starchy. Mix in the cooked onions and butter, eggs, heavy cream and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, place into a casserole dish and bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and then finish uncovered until golden for about 15 minutes. This dish can be prepared the night before and refrigerated, then baked when it is ready to be served.

O.B.’s Pub and Restaurant Head Chef Tim O’Malley will be serving one of his favorite holiday dessert recipes in the next few weeks – pumpkin cheesecake with a crumb crust. This dessert – warm pumpkin pie spices in a rich cheesecake – will be the topper to your guests’ full bellies.

Crumb crust

Note: Makes one 10-inch pie crust. The proportions here are ample for a 10-inch pie pan or a 10- to 12-inch springform pan and very generous for a 9-inch pie pan or a 8- to 9-inch springform pan. For the smaller size pans you can reduce the quantities to 1 1/4 cup crumbs, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar.


1 1/2 cup fine crumbs made from graham crackers, chocolate or vanilla wafers or ginger snaps

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) melted butter, warm or cool

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

If you wish to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or oil a pie pan or springform pan. Mix together ingredients with a fork or pulse in food processor until all the ingredients are moistened.

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a drinking glass, firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a pie pan or over the bottom of a springform pan. Freeze for 20 minutes or bake until the crust is lightly browned and firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.

Let cool thoroughly if filling with a cooked mixture, but use hot if filling with a mixture that requires baking.

Pumpkin cheesecake

Note: Recipe makes 10 to 12 servings. Prepare and bake in an 8-inch springform or cake pan with crumb crust.


2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

1 lb. cream cheese

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup sour cream

1/4 c packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place a loaf pan or cake pan filled with hot water in the oven to moisten the air. Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowls and beaters well. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth and creamy 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until well-blended. Add in pumpkin puree and beat in just until mixed.

Scrape the batter into the crust and smooth the top. Set the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center still looks moist and jiggles when the pan is tapped.

Meanwhile, whisk together until well-blended the sour cream, 1/4 cup light brown sugar and vanilla. Scrape mixture on top of hot cake and tilt pan to spread the topping evenly. Return to the oven for 7 minutes.

Place the pan on a rack and cover with a large inverted bowl or pot. Let it cool completely before uncovering. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably 24 hours, before serving.

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