Local chefs, cooks and market owners share favorite Thanksgiving recipes | TheUnion.com

Local chefs, cooks and market owners share favorite Thanksgiving recipes

Carlos Trujillo of Farm to Table Catering cooking beef stew with local Girl Scouts.
Submitted photo |

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I can’t think of a better day than sitting around the table with the people I love, sharing delicious food that took hours to prepare.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, some of the area’s most celebrated cooks, chefs and market owners shared their favorite holiday recipes with The Union.

Support local farmers when shopping for the holidays by seeking out seasonal, locally grown ingredients when you can.

Porchetta-style Turkey Roast

Bryan Frost and Debra Hynson, owner-operators

BackPorch Market

1 12-16 pound turkey, deboned

1/2 pound thin-sliced Prosciutto di Parma (10-12 slices – more or less depending on size of turkey)

1/4 cup minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon fennel seed

Salt and ground pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Lay deboned turkey skin-side down on work surface. (You can save the bones and simmer with onions, celery, herbs, etc. to make stock for gravy). Rub turkey with herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.

Given measurements will vary with size of turkey. Then cover with half the prosciutto slices, overlapping each slice with the next.

Carefully roll up the turkey, starting with the dark meat, (thigh and leg meat will be in the center of the roast).

If you wish, some herbs and/or garlic can be sprinkled on the skin, also.

Wrap the remaining prosciutto slices around the roast, and tie with butcher’s twine. Gently coat with a little olive oil. Roast in pre-heated 350 degree oven until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees (roast will continue cooking after coming out of the oven to reach the recommended temperature of 165 for poultry). Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts

By Amy Cooke of Summer Thyme’s Bakery and Deli

“We will be serving these in January at our new location with slow braised pork and whipped sweet potatoes — divine!

“This is an extraordinary side with roasted turkey — the hazelnuts give just the right depth to the bright flavor of the Brussels sprouts. Roast them while your turkey rests,” Cooke said.

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed

3 tablespoons hazelnut oil

1 teaspoon high quality salt, such as Maldon

1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, skinned and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil and the salt.

Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until just browned. Toss with the hazelnuts and serve!

Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Bacon and Brown Butter Sage

By Jes Taber


“I don’t think there is a better thing to eat in the winter beyond a delicious bowl of handmade soup. This soup was inspired by my favorite squash, the hard-to-find Blue Hubbard Winter Squash,” Taber said.

“It is a very hard, generally large grayish teal squash with an unbelievable taste and bright orange-colored flesh. I found it at Mountain Bounty Farm’s farmer’s market stall in Nevada City and instantly knew what I wanted to do with it. You can substitute the Blue Hubbard for butternut or even pumpkin.

“It’s a crowd pleaser, and if you are a vegetarian or simply don’t want to eat bacon, substitute olive oil or butter for the rendered bacon fat and simply top with the fried sage. Happy Holidays!”

5 slices bacon

4 pounds orange fleshed winter squash (blue hubbard, butternut, Pumpkin), halved and deseeded

Olive oil, for brushing

1 tablespoon fine salt

1 teaspoon fresh milled pepper

3 sweet onions, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

1 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil

2 pinches red crushed pepper

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Handful (around 20 -25) fresh sage leaves, sliced into thin strips

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. To crisp bacon perfectly, place bacon atop oven safe rack placed inside a sheet pan. Place bacon in preheated oven for eight minutes, turn pan 180 degrees and cook another eight minutes, or until it’s done to your liking. I like my bacon to just be done but not crumble hard or burnt. Thinly slice bacon and leave in a warm space covered in a paper towel, carefully pour the bacon fat into a mason jar.

Turn up oven to 425 degrees. Brush olive oil on halved squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper in a roasting pan. Cook in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until fork tender.

Warm a Dutch oven to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat and Extra Virgin olive oil. Once it has a nice sheen to it, add the chopped onion and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon.

Once the onion starts to get some color on it, stir it again and add the red crushed pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook until the onions melt down and caramelize, about 15 minutes. If finished before squash is done roasting, cover with lid and turn off heat.

Once squash is finished roasting, use a large spoon to gently remove squash flesh and add to Dutch oven, being careful not to add any of the squash skin.

Turn heat to medium high and sauté for a couple of minutes, salt to taste. Cover with broth and bring to a simmer, turn heat down until the soup is at a gentle simmer and cook for 35 minutes.

Melt four tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add sage leaves and sauté until brown and toasted, about two minutes.

Reserve half of the fried sage leaves for the top, throw the rest of the sage leaves and the brown butter in the soup.

Using a hand immersion blender, puree soup until it’s nicely creamed, if too thick add water in 1/4 cup increments. Bring soup back to simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fried sage leaves and bacon strips.

Roasted Cauliflower and Bergamot Soup

By Shanan Manuel of Sierra Farm to Table


Serves: 6-8

“I love having a soup with T-day dinner, so here is one that I am making for this year,” Manuel said.

2 heads of cauliflower, florets removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Generous pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon butter

2 leeks, cleaned thoroughly and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 1/2 cups veg or chicken stock

2 cups cream or milk

To serve: Chunky bacon lardons, fried (optional)

Bergamot Olive Oil (found at Olive Vitality in Grass Valley; or use zest of orange with olive oil to taste!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cauliflower on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil, season with the salt.

Put the tray in the oven and allow to roast for 30 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and caramelized slightly.

Remove and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter and sauté the leeks until soft.

Add the garlic and cauliflower to the pot and pour in the stock and milk.

Allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes, remove half of the cauliflower and blend the remaining soup.

Break the larger cauliflower florets up a little then stir back into the blended soup.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with a drizzle of bergamot oil (or orange zest works) and bacon lardons.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

By Carlos and Jennifer Trujillo

Farm to Table Catering

2 Butternut squash about 1 1/2 pounds cut in half and seeded

1 Quart chicken broth

3 Cups of heavy cream

Pinch of nutmeg

Kosher salt to taste

White pepper to taste

Olive oil for roasting

Take butternut squash and rub with1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350 degrees approximately 35 minutes or until tender.

Let the squash cool enough to handle and scoop out all the flesh from the skin. Place in a stock pot and add chicken broth.

Place stock pot on stove top over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Add heavy cream to soup and continue to simmer another 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Take an immersion blender or blender and blend soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Autumn Beef Stew

By Carlos and Jennifer Trujillo

Farm to Table Catering

“Below is a recipe for our Autumn Beef Stew — an easy and delicious one-dish meal that uses fresh, local and seasonally available ingredients. Last weekend we taught a cooking class for a group of older Girl Scouts from the Northern Mine Service Unit, and we made Autumn Beef Stew, Butternut Squash Soup and Apple Crisp.” The Trujillo’s

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 Yellow onion, cut into medium dice

3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 Pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 Bunch of Kale, washed and chopped small

2 Pounds stew beef, such as boneless chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 Cups of beef broth

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Take the onions, carrots and yams and toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a heavy stock pot, heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and brown off for 5 minutes. Add stock, roasted vegetables and Italian seasoning and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

While stew simmers, melt butter in small sauce pan over medium low heat and mix in flour to make roux. After stew has simmered for 30 minutes, add in roux and mix well. Simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Add chopped kale and adjust seasoning to taste. Remove from heat and serve.

Madrone “beyond cranberry” Sauce

Collect berries in late fall

By Alicia Funk, author of “Living Wild”

“Every year, my family likes to cook a Thanksgiving using as many native, local ingredients as possible,” Funk said. “Madrone berries make an excellent substitute for cranberries and can also be added for color and flavor to local vegetables and rice.”

1 3/4 cup fresh Madrone berries (stems removed)

1/4 cup fresh Toyon berries (stems removed)

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon arrowroot or organic cornstarch

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Mix berries, water, apple juice and honey in a pan and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir arrowroot or cornstarch into 2 tablespoon apple juice.

Pour into berries and stir constantly while bringing to a boil.

Remove from heat and add orange zest.

Allow to cool before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Variations: If Toyon berries are plentiful, instead of Madrone berries, simmer 1 cup dried Toyon berries, 1 cup water, 1 cup apple juice and ½ cup honey and then follow the same recipe.

Apple Endive Salad

By Peter Selaya of New Moon Cafe

2 – 3 apples

2 – 3 whole Belgian endive

1 head Frisée

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Peel and core Apples – then slice

Clean Endive, cut off bottoms, remove outer leaves, separate long leaves

Clean Frisée and break apart

Mix all of the above together in a bowl – toss with Creamy Blue Cheese and sprinkle a few Candied walnuts on top and enjoy!

Creamy Blue Cheese

1 cup Aïoli

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 cup grated Blue Cheese

1 Lemon – juice

2 – 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Worcestershire sauce, dash

1 – 1 ½ teaspoon dry Mustard

½ tsp. Black Pepper

Mix all the above in a bowl, place in a closed container. This will keep one week in refrigerator.

Candied Walnuts

1 cup Walnuts

½ cup Sugar

2 – 4 tablespoons Honey

Sprinkle of Salt

Toss all together – Bake at 350 degrees on papered cookie sheet until toasted, remove, let cool before using.

Celery Root and Yukon Mashed

By Peter Selaya of New Moon Cafe

Boil equal parts of celery root and Yukon gold potatoes, when done – drain and mash together with salt and white pepper, butter and cream until fluffy.

Serve at once.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart

By Peter Selaya of New Moon Café

Pie Dough


1 cup Sugar

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 oz. Butter

3 eggs


6 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate

1 oz. Butter

¾ cup Heavy Cream

¼ cup Espresso

Pecans, chopped

Roll Pie Dough out in false bottom pan. Make sure there are no holes in dough!

Bake blind 10 to 12 minutes – let cool (patch holes with left over dough)

Make Caramel: Place 1 cup sugar in large pan and caramelize.

When Brown add Butter and Cream. Be careful! it will bubble. cook until all dissolved.

Let cool – add eggs, mix thoroughly.

Cover Tart pan with Pecans.

Pour Caramel over Pecans.

Place in oven (preheated to 350 degrees, spread tin foil on bottom of oven in case tart leaks) and bake until tart is “set.”

Remove from oven and let cool.

Make Ganache: In bowl melt chocolate and butter (use double boiler), when melted add Cream and Espresso, mix until creamy.

Pour over cooled Caramel Tart.

Let sit 3 to 5 hours until it is set.

Remove from pan and EAT!

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