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Chefs-Giving [Part 1]

  • Chefs-Giving [Part 1]

    The Sides Are The Real Stars

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We get it…Turkey = Thanksgiving. But…doesn’t everyone actually look forward to the sides? We know we do.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to make the side dishes the real stars of the show. In our mission to do so, we asked our chefs to share their favorite turkey sidekicks. Some of these recipes really give a new twist on the classics.

Not Your Grandma’s Stuffing

First up we have John Franke’s Meemaw’s Cornbread Stuffing. Names can be deceiving, because you ain’t never come across a grandma like this! This cornbread is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and down right sinful. If you need some more traditional fare it pairs perfectly with a green bean casserole and nice cranberry sauce.



½ lb. Butter, unsalted

14 oz. Granulated Sugar

10 ea Whole Eggs, large

¾ cup Roasted Corn

2 cups White Cheddar Cheese, shredded

12 oz. All Purpose Flour

14 oz. Corn Meal

6 TBSP Baking Powder

1 TBSP Kosher Salt

1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

½ lb. Unsalted Butter

1 cup Celery, diced ¼”

½ cup Onions, diced ¼”

2 oz. Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped


  1. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer using the paddle attachment
  2. Add the eggs one at a time on speed one
  3. Then add the corn and the cheese; mix till incorporated. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.
  5. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the mixer on speed one. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  6. Mix for 5 additional minutes.
  7. Transfer to a container large enough to hold mixture, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  8. After refrigerating overnight, brush the inside of a large 10” cast iron skillet with shortening and fill to ¾’s full with cornbread batter.  Smooth out to ensure the batter is even in the pan.
  9. Bake in a 350 degree oven 40 minutes or until firm and golden brown.
  10. Once cooked, remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
  11. Place bake in refrigerator and refrigerate for 3 hours or until cold.
  12. Once cold, cut into 1” cubes.
  13. Heat the butter in a sauce pot until melted.  Add the celery and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add the fresh sage and stir in. Remove from the heat.
  14. Add the onion/celery mixture to the cornbread cubes and fold together in a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.
  15. Place in a large 10” cast iron skillet brushed with shortening.
  16. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top
  17. Serve immediately with your favorite gravy.

You Can’t Have Thanksgiving Without Potatoes

While mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving go-to, potato salad is a staple in the south and this marble potato salad recipe is a nice surprise to your holiday spread. With red chili flakes and fresno peppers, it has an unexpected kick of flavor!




5 lbs. Marble Fingerling Potatoes

1/2 gallon Chicken Stock

2 each Shallots, sliced

2 each Fresno Peppers, sliced in rings

1/4 oz. Thyme Stems, fresh

5 each Whole Garlic Cloves

1 TBSP Red Chili Flakes

1 TBSP Kosher Salt


  1. Place potatoes, water, and all other ingredients in a stock pot and place on high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil for approx. 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are firm but cooked through completely.
  3. Strain potatoes in a colander and discard liquid.
  4. Allow to cool at room temperature.
  5. Once cold, cut each potato on an angle, remove garlic cloves, fresno rings, shallots and thyme sprigs and transfer to a container and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. When you’re ready, dress with the honey dijon dressing below:



½ gallon                   Canola Oil

2 lbs.                         Bacon, cut in small strips, rendered until crisp over medium flame

½ cup                       Yellow Onions, diced ¼ inch

½ cup                       Celery, diced ¼ inch

1 tsp.                        Kosher Salt

1 tsp.                        Coarse Ground Black Pepper

2-3 cups                    Honey Dijon Dressing (see additional recipe)


  1. Heat the canola oil in a high sided pot until the oil reaches 350 degrees.
  2. Carefully place 2 lbs. of boiled and cut potatoes in the oil and fry until slightly
  3. browned (approximately 1 ½ to 2 minutes)
  4. Remove from oil using a metal strainer and place directly into a mixing bowl.
  5. Fry additional potatoes when oil has reached 350 degrees again.
  6. Once all potatoes are fried and in the mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and toss to coast heavily with dressing.
  7. Check seasoning and serve immediately while still warm.



Yield:  4 cups


3 cups Mayonnaise

1 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Texas Wild Flower Honey

½ tsp Red chile flakes

2 tsp. Black pepper, coarse grind

2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 ½ TBSP Roasted Garlic

2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar


  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  2. Store refrigerated until needed.


Here’s A New Twist…

This next recipe is from Chef Uno at Red Stix Asian Street Food. Chef Uno never shies away from experimentation and innovation. And she’s taken this whole Thanksgiving sides game to a new level with these Portobello Mushroom Bites.



2 packages puff pastry

½ pound button mushrooms

½ pound shiitake mushrooms

½ pound baby portabella mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 portabella mushroom caps

4 tablespoons stone ground mustard

2 eggs


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Remove puff pastry from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature, 20-30 minutes.
  3. To make mushroom duxelle:
    1. Remove stems from button, shiitake, and baby portabella mushrooms; roughly chop, and place into a food processor.
    2. Pulse until finely chopped.
    3. Heat sauté pan to medium high heat with butter and garlic until aromatic, 2-3 minutes.
    4. Add chopped mushroom mixture, sauté for 10-12 minutes or until it becomes a dry paste.
    5. Season with salt and pepper.
    6. Remove mushroom duxelle from heat allow to cool, 10 minutes.
  4. Remove stems from portobello mushrooms and grill until softened, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool and cut into 1” pieces.
  6. Once puff pastry has thawed, unfold and cut into 1 ½“ circles. Nets 9 circles per pastry sheet.
  7. Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon of water to create egg wash.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  9. Brush pastry sheets with egg wash, place 1 tablespoon mushroom duxelle, 1” grilled portabella mushroom square and ½ teaspoon mustard.
  10. Top with another puff pastry circle and seal edges with a fork.
  11. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt.
  12. Cut a small slit in the top of each pastry, place on baking sheet (about an inch apart), and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  14. Make. Share. Repeat.

Add A Little Cultural Flavor To Your Spread

These next two recipes are traditional German dishes, recipes that Chef Joshua from Degenhardt’s loves! There are plenty of variations for these dumplings but this recipe is his favorite, and coming from a chef with German roots, that’s kind of a big deal!



1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup milk

2 eggs

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch freshly ground white pepper

½ teaspoon salt

8 cups water

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  2. Press dough through spaetzle maker, a large holed sieve, or metal grater.
  3. In a large pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Drop dumplings, a few at a time into the water. Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Sauté cooked spaetzle in butter or margarine. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top, and serve.


So maybe you already made that awesome potato salad, but there’s no such thing as too many potatoes, right? These potato dumplings from GenuisKitchen have Joshua’s stamp of approval!


1 ½ llbs. russet potatoes (about 2 large)

1 ½ teaspoons salt

⅛  teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ½ cups cup all-purpose flour

⅛ cup cornstarch (or potato starch, much preferred, if you can get it)

1 large egg

2 slices sourdough bread or 2 slices white bread (good quality)  

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon corn oil, sunflower, or vegetable oil


  1. Trim crusts off bread and save them for another use. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes and fry in butter and oil mixture until golden brown, transfer to paper towel to dry.
  2. Cook scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 45 minutes.
  3. Drain, cool slightly, and peel.
  4. Cut potatoes into large pieces.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
  6. Mash potatoes with fork or run through ricer into large bowl.
  7. Mix in salt and nutmeg.
  8. Add 1/2 cup flour and cornstarch.
  9. Using your hands, knead mixture in bowl until smooth dough forms, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky.
  10. Mix in egg.
  11. Form dough into balls, using ¼ cupful for each.
  12. Insert a bread cube into center of each dumpling; roll dumpling between palms to enclose bread cube completely and form smooth balls.
  13. Working in batches, cook dumplings in large pot of nearly boiling salted water 10-15 minutes or until dumplings rise to top. You should place no more than 4-5 dumplings in your pot at any one time in order to prevent them from sticking together or touching during cooking, which will cause them to fall apart.
  14. Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to large bowl.
  15. Keep covered with a damp kitchen towel as remaining dumplings are cooked.
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