Ask An LA Chef: Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

November 7, 2017
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As the gastropub generation becomes increasingly enticed with the culinary twists and turns chefs are giving everyday meals, Thanksgiving Day dinner may be long overdue for a revamping itself. While messing with the traditional turkey dinner might be considered sacrilegious by most mothers and grandmothers and the burn-the-house-down-for-the-holidays deep-fried turkey, the vodka-infused turkey or the turducken are culinary crimes in some states; there is a way to put a spin on the holiday feast while cutting down on the risks. Side dishes.  
 
Shad Davis The Federal Bar 5303 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (818) 980-2555 www.thefederalbar.com

Head chef for The Federal Bar 1 and 2, Shad Davis offers his insight and innovation for the holidays with three contemporary side dishes that are sure to wow even the finickiest of family members. Shad’s easy-to-follow recipes will have you serving up amazing side dishes that guests will think came straight from a gastropub. Related: Vegan Baking Recipes From The Skinny Bitch  


 
(credit: istockphoto)

Crispy Brussels Sprouts • 5 lbs Brussels sprouts cut in half (clean the bottom first) • 2 lbs pancetta, bake like bacon, get crispy • 1 lb spicy pecans (buy the package at Whole Foods or look up recipe) • 1 recipe of apricot gastrique Procedure for Brussels sprouts: • In large pot (tall sides), fill 1/4 full with canola oil (or frying oil). • Bring temperature of oil to 375 F. • Carefully drop half of the Brussels sprouts and fry until browned, not black. • With a slotted spoon, take the first batch of Brussels spouts out of oil and place on a pan with paper towel. • Do the same thing with the last of the Brussels sprouts. In large bowl: • Mix crispy Brussels sprouts with the pancetta and then salt and pepper to taste. • Place in a serving vessel. • Add the spicy pecans on top. • Drizzle apricot gastrique generously.  
 
(credit: istockphoto)

Cauliflower & Chestnut Stuffing • 3/4 cup butter or olive oil • 1 leek, cut into half moons • 2 stalks celery, cut into small pieces • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets • 1 cup chestnuts • 1 cup dried cranberries (reconstituted) • 1 cup roasted carrots, cut into small cubes • 2 lemons (juiced) • 1 teaspoon lemon zest • 2 garlic cloves (minced) • 2 tbsp of tikka Masala • 1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley • 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper Procedure for stuffing: • In a large bowl, toss the leeks, celery, cauliflower, chestnuts and carrots with either the melted butter or olive oil, and add salt and pepper. • Spread it out on a sheet pan and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. • Once browned with a bit of crisp to the carrots and cauliflower, take out of the oven.  
 
(credit: Cassandra Walker)

Quinotto with Roasted Root Veggies For the roasted root veggies: • 3 tbsp canola oil • 3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces • 2 cups fresh whole baby carrots • 1 lb parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces • 1 cup pearl onions, pealed • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces • 5 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves or fresh thyme leaves • 1 tbsp olive oil Procedure for roasted root veggies: • Toss in a bowl and place on a sheet pan. • Roast in 400 F oven for 30 minutes. • Take out of the oven and set aside. For the quinotto: • 3 cups of cooked quinoa (about 2 1/2 cups) • 1/4 cup butter • 3/4 cup heavy cream • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley • Salt and pepper to taste Procedure for the quinotto: • Add quinoa to non-stick pan (high heat). • Add the butter and cream to quinoa and constantly stir. • Once cream and butter are melted, add the rest of the ingredients. • Once thick, add the roasted root vegetables so they can get hot. • Place in a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Related:;LA Restaurants With Light, Healthy Menus  
 
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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