Thanksgiving Menu Ideas With Chef Jamie Gwen
Camembert Pull-Apart Bread
1 large, whole Camembert cheese
1 round sourdough boule loaf
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus a few slivers
6 tablespoons olive oil
-Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Using the bottom of your Camembert box as a stencil, cut a hole in the middle of the loaf. Tear away the bread to make the hole as deep as the Camembert.
- Working around this central cavity, carefully cut your loaf in both directions almost all the way down to the bottom of the loaf (it’s important not to cut through the bottom crust). You want to have 1-inch (2.5-cm) squared individual segments (the perfect size for dunking).
- Score one side of the Camembert and cut away the rind. Place the cheese, cut-side up, in the bread hole. Mix the chopped rosemary and chopped garlic into the olive oil and spoon all over the loaf, encouraging the flavored oil into all the slits. Bake for 20 minutes.
Apple Cider Gravy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup apple cider
-Skim off all but 1/2 cup of the fat from the turkey roasting pan. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners over low heat. Whisk the flour into the fat and cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and apple cider. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Carve the turkey, transfer to a serving platter and serve with the gravy
Sourdough Apple Pecan Stuffing
2 1/2 pounds sourdough bread, crust trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 slices bacon, diced
3 cups yellow onions, diced
2 cups celery, diced
4 large Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
3 large eggs, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cups chicken broth
Salt & pepper, to taste
-Toast the bread cubes at 350ºF until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan until crisp. Add the onions and celery and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and sauté 3 minutes more.
-Add the bacon mixture to the bread cubes along with the nuts, parsley and sage and mix well. Add the eggs and melted butter and mix to combine. Add enough stock to moisten the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into buttered casserole dishes. Cover and bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more, or until top is golden and crisp.
Maple Pecan Praline Sweet Potatoes
8 small sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
-Preheat oven to 425º F. On a baking sheet, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Bake until tender, 50 minutes to hour. Let cool, then split the tops open with a knife and top each with a large spoonful of the praline mixture.
-Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepot. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Season with a liberal pinch of salt. Stir in the pecans.
-Split the sweet potatoes down the center and pour 2 tablespoons of the praline mixture into each sweet potato.
Green Bean & Bacon Bundles
8 thick bacon slices
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and blanched
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground pepper
-Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches until the slices are just beginning to brown along the edges but are still very underdone and pliable, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool, then cut each slice in half crosswise.
-Divide the green beans into 16 equal portions, about 6 beans each. Gather each portion into a neat bunch and wrap a half slice of bacon around the center to hold the beans together. Place the bundles on a silicone mat-lined baking sheet with the loose ends of the bacon underneath. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bundles and drizzle with butter.
-Roast until the bacon is cooked through and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes then serve.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
2 bags fresh cranberries
2 green apples – peeled, cored and diced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice and zest of 3 oranges
Pinch of salt
-Combine all of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Cook on high, covered, for 3 hours. After three hours cook with the lid off for 1 hour more.
Gnocchi Mac N' Cheese
2 (16-ounce) packages fresh or frozen potato gnocchi
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 1/2 packed cups)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
-Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the milk and continue whisking until smooth. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
-Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese. Stir in the mustard, half the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked gnocchi and stir gently until the gnocchi is evenly coated with sauce. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the remaining Parmesan.
-Bake at 400ºF until the sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Then broil until the top is golden, 2 to 4 minutes.
Pumpkin Affogatos with Sea Salt Caramel
2 pints pumpkin gelato
2 cups cold brew coffee
12 ounces prepared caramel sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
-Place a large scoop of pumpkin gelato into serving glasses. Pour 1/4 cup of cold brew coffee into each glass. Warm the caramel sauce until pourable and stir in the sea salt. Drizzle the Sea Salt Caramel over the affogatos and serve.
Spiced Cranberry Poached Pears
6 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
1 vanilla bean
8 medium Bosc pears – peeled, halved and cored
-In a large pot, combine the cranberry juice, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, star anise and vanilla.
-Place the pears in the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, turning the pears occasionally, until they are easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a platter.
-Remove and discard the orange zest and spices from the pot. Return the pan to the heat and simmer until the liquid is syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, about 45 minutes. Spoon the reduced sauce over the pears and serve with whipped cream.
The Perfect Day - After Sandwich
Chef’s Note: Sandwich must be eaten standing over the kitchen counter and chased with a slice of pie!
4 slices sourdough or rustic bread of choice, toasted
Smear of mayonnaise
8 tablespoons Cranberry Sauce
6 slices freshly roasted turkey, warmed
1/2 cup Stuffing, warmed
4 slices triple cream Brie cheese
4 tablespoons leftover gravy, hot
-To assemble the sandwiches, lay the toasted bread slices on a work surface. Spread each slice of bread with mayonnaise, then top with 2 tablespoons of Cranberry Sauce. Top with the sliced turkey, then pile half of the Stuffing on top of each sandwich. Top the stuffing with the slices of Brie cheese and finish with warm gravy. Top with the remaining slice of toast, Cranberry Sauce side down, and enjoy!
Makes 2 Sandwiches
Follow Chef Jamie Gwen on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @ChefJamieGwen
Jamie can be heard every Sunday at 12Noon on Talk Radio 790 KABC in SoCal!
Thank you to Smart & Final, Melissa’s Produce.
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