nov 21, 2020

Thanksgiving Favorites

Thanksgiving. For us at The Civic Kitchen, this festive feast is both a canvas for the familiar and a springboard for new, often globally influenced adaptations. This year, we’re taking a page out of Nik Sharma’s new book, The Flavor Equation, giving some of our old classics a twist with Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraîche, and Green Beans with Crispy Shallots & Crème Fraîche.
Our teachers and staff join us in expressing heartfelt gratitude to you through some of their cherished holiday recipes. We hope you will enjoy this collection of Thanksgiving dishes, from our kitchens to yours.


with Fall Fruit

Author Camila Loew

A diced fuyu persimmon would be a great addition. Red wine is more commonly used for sangría, but my favorite is white wine or Cava.

Yield   6 to 8 servings


40 ml orange juice (about 2 oranges)

10 ml lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

1 apple, skin on

1 ripe (but not too ripe) pear, skin on

1 bottle chilled wine (red, white, or cava!)

Ice, large chunks/cubes if possible


Make sure all ingredients are cold. Squeeze the citrus into a pitcher. (Alternately, squeeze and strain if you prefer no pulp). Add sugar to taste.
Prep the rest of the fruit you are using by washing and cutting into small bite-sized pieces. Add them to the pitcher.
Pour the wine in slowly. Add ice (big chunks work best) and serve immediately, or keep chilled for up to 2 hours and add ice just before serving.

Shrimp Toasts

Author Lorraine Witte

Yield   32 pieces


1 lb. medium shrimp, shell on if possible (shrimp thawed from frozen are great)

8 slices day-old thin white bread, crusts removed

8 oz. canned water chestnuts, drained, patted dry, roughly chopped

2 scallions, very thinly sliced (¼ cup)

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and stems (about ½ bunch)

½ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 egg, beaten

4-6 cups neutral oil, such as rice bran or grapeseed, for frying


Shell, devein and mince the shrimp. Cut each slice of bread into 4 equal-sized squares.
Combine the shrimp in a medium bowl with all other ingredients except the bread and frying oil. Mound one tablespoon of this mixture on each square of bread.
Heat the oil in a wok or heavy pot until it reaches 350℉.
Carefully add a few of the prepared shrimp breads to the wok, shrimp side down. When golden brown, remove, invert, and drain on paper towels or a rack set over a cookie sheet.
Serve when cooled, or hold in a low oven (200℉) for up to 30 minutes.

Smoked Trout Salad

with Pumpernickel Toasts

Author Jill Silverman Hough

The hardest thing about making this dish is finding smoked trout, which should be pretty easy if you have a decent specialty food store in your midst. If not, you can substitute smoked salmon, but be sure it’s smoked, not cured—in other words, use a dry, flaky, smoked fish, not a moist, thinly sliced fish like lox or gravlax. In either case, the smoke is the complement to the wine, as is the slightly spicy watercress. Also, the crispness of the wine cuts through the richness of the fish. From the Sauvignon Blanc chapter of “100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2010)

Yield   16 Toasts


1½ cups loosely packed watercress leaves (about 1 oz)

1 lemon

4 oz smoked trout, skin removed, flaked

3 oz cream cheese, room temperature, cut into 3 or 4 chunks

¼ to ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

16 small, thin slices pumpernickel or dark rye bread, toasted (see below)

TO TOAST BREAD Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, turning halfway through. (You can prepare the toasts up to a day in advance, storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.)


Chop half of the watercress and place in a medium bowl. Set the remaining whole leaves aside.
Finely grate the zest from the lemon to yield 1 teaspoon packed. Halve the lemon and squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice. Add the zest and juice to the bowl with the chopped watercress, along with the trout, cream cheese, horseradish, and pepper, stirring to make a spreadable paste. (You can prepare the trout salad up to 4 hours in advance, storing it and the reserved whole watercress leaves covered in the refrigerator.)
Taste, ideally with your wine, and add more lemon juice and/or pepper if you like. Spread 1 tablespoon of the trout mixture on each of the toasts. Garnish with the reserved watercress and serve.


FOOD + WINE TIP Lighter smoky foods—like veggies or fish—go particularly well with Fume Blanc, a kind of Sauvignon Blanc that often has a little oak aging, giving it a similarly woody, smoky quality. Copyright Jill Silverman Hough, 2018. All rights reserved.

Carrot Soup Sips

Author Sasha Crehan

Yield   6 servings, or about 20 small soup sips


1 tablespoon oil

1 small onion, diced

2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, sliced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1½ teaspoons minced ginger

1½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon black pepper

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

⅓ cup cream


Add the oil, onion, carrots, and celery to a medium soup pot, and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is lightly browned.
Add the garlic, ginger, salt, paprika and pepper, and cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add the broth and stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, 15-20 minutes.
Purée in a blender or with an immersion blender and stir in the cream. Serve in sake or demitasse cups for a pass-around appetizer, or in bowls as a light lunch or first course.

Chestnut & Apple Soup

with Sauteed Porcini

Author Karen Wang Diggs

Yield   6 Servings (or about 20 soup shooters as an appetizer)


3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

2 medium Fuji apples

- one peeled, cored and diced

- one unpeeled, cored and sliced thinly

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground coriander

12 oz. cooked chestnuts

3 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

1 oz. dried porcini, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

Porcini salt (optional)


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to medium high in a wide Dutch oven or similar pot. Add the onions, garlic and diced apple. Season with salt, pepper and coriander. Cook until the onion is translucent and the apple is soft.
2. Allow the cooked mixture to cool slightly. Reserve the pot.
3. Place the cooled mixture in a blender, and add the cooked chestnuts and broth. Puree until smooth. Add a little more broth or water if the puree is too thick. Return the puree to the cooking pot.
4. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high. Add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil, sear the apple slices on both sides. Season very lightly with salt. Remove from the pan and place them on paper towels.
5. Using the same skillet, heat the remaining oil. Drain and pat dry the soaked porcini, then cook them in the oil until tender.
6. Heat the pureed soup until simmering, then turn the heat off.
7. Divide the soup into 6 serving bowls. Garnish each with apple slices and porcini. Top with porcini salt, and serve immediately.

Beet, Orange and Black Olive Salad

Author Tom Herndon

Adapted from: (inspired by) Yotam Ottolenghi
Yield   Serves 4-6


3 medium beets

Olive oil

Kosher salt

1 large shallot

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon maple syrup

2 cara cara oranges

½ cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved


Heat the oven to 375℉.
Drizzle the beets generously with olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Wrap each beet separately in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for one hour or until the biggest beet is tender (a small knife stuck into each beet should go in smoothly). When they are done, unwrap and allow them to cool completely.
While the beets roast, mince the shallot and place in a small bowl, covered with the vinegar. Season with a pinch of salt and the maple syrup, and set aside.
Trim off the tops and bases of the oranges, and with a sharp knife, slice down along the flesh of each orange to remove the outside pith and peel. Cut the oranges crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Collect any juices and add them to the bowl with the macerating shallots.
Peel the cooled beets and slice them into ¼-inch slices widthwise. Season with a little salt.
Pour half of the shallot-vinegar-orange juice dressing over the beets and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Scatter the oranges over the top.
Sprinkle on the remaining shallot mixture, then the olives. Let sit a few minutes before serving. As you serve, spoon the dressing pooling at the bottom of the plate over the beets and oranges.

Quinoa Salad

with Ginger, Pistachios and Toasted Coconut

Author Frances Wilson

In this recipe, the quinoa is cooked pilaf-style, where the grains are tossed in oil before adding a measured amount of liquid, bringing it to a boil and simmering it with a lid on until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Yield   Serves 4-6


2 teaspoons vegetable oil

½ cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 cup quinoa

1½ cups vegetable stock

¼ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup large flake coconut, toasted

1 mango, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks or slices

½ cup shelled roasted pistachios


Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the ginger, quinoa, vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 11 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut, mango pieces and pistachios. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.


This is also great with pitted plums, cherries or apples instead of mango, depending on the season.

Roasted Delicata Squash

with Caramelized Shallots & Sherry

Author Jackie Apple

Yield   6 to 8 Servings


3 Delicata squash

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups thinly sliced shallots (2-3 medium)

½ cup dry sherry


1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
2. Peel the squash, leaving the skin in the crevices. Trim the ends. Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the halves crosswise into ½-inch thick slices.
3. Place the squash on 2 baking sheets. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and let rest for 30 minutes.
4. Dry the squash on both sides with paper towels. Place on a clean rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the slices with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the slices over, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash pieces are fully tender when pierced with a paring knife and show some nice golden brown spots.
5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the shallots and a large pinch of salt, and stir. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cover, add the sherry, increase the heat and boil the liquid for 1 or 2 minutes.
6. Remove the squash from the oven and arrange the pieces on a large platter. Spread the shallots over the top, and season with salt and pepper.

Cranberry Apricot Sauce

Author Jen Nurse

This cranberry sauce has a balance of sweet and tart flavors that perfectly complement a Thanksgiving turkey. It's also very good with roast chicken or pork. If you can get your hands on Royal Blenheim dried apricots, they will repay you in flavor for their sometimes steep purchase price.

Adapted from: Cooking Lite magazine, 1999
Yield   About 3 cups


3 oz. (½ cup) thinly sliced dried apricots

¼ cup dry sherry or orange juice

¾ cup water

½ cup sugar

¼ cup honey

12 oz. (3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries


Combine the apricots and sherry (or orange juice) in a small bowl; cover and let stand for at least 4 hours, and as long as overnight.
Add the soaked apricots and all remaining ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. I prefer to use a saucepan with tall sides, as the cranberries sometimes splatter as they pop from the heat. Once the liquid reaches a full boil, reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook until all of the cranberries have popped and the sauce is garnet-hued and glossy, visibly thickened. This should take 10 to 12 minutes.
Spoon the cranberry sauce directly into a serving bowl, cover and chill. It will thicken significantly as it cools. The sauce can be made up to a week in advance; store it airtight in the refrigerator, and serve it cold or at room temperature.

Brussels Sprouts

with Pancetta and Pecans

Author Viola Buitoni

I am especially fond of this dish that my husband John and I have created together to honor our respective food traditions. Pecans are a common ingredient in North Carolina, the state where he was born and raised, and they pair beautifully with pancetta, the flavor building block of choice for this Umbrian cook. One tip: if you have a lot of last-minute cooking, you can clean and blanche the sprouts the previous day. After shocking them in ice and drying them well, place them in a container lined with paper towels to continue absorbing the moisture.

Adapted from: as published at
Yield   Serves 6-8 people


1 lb of fresh Brussels sprouts (medium-sized with tight leaves)

2 slices pancetta (⅛” thick)

Olive oil

¼ cup pecans

Salt and pepper, to taste


Place the pancetta in the freezer to harden so it will be easier to dice. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of water with ice.
Clean the sprouts by slightly trimming the bottom and removing any bruised outer leaves. Make sure the leaves stay adhered.
Lower the sprouts into the boiling water to blanch them for just barely one minute.
Remove the sprouts from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and dunk them into the ice bath to stop the cooking and maintain color. Drain them and cut in half vertically. Place over a clean cloth to continue draining any excess moisture while you prep the other ingredients.
Roughly chop the pecans. Dice the frozen pancetta.
Use a skillet that can hold all the sprouts at once without overlapping. Coat the bottom with a barely-there amount of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over low heat.
Let the pancetta release its fat, cooking until crunchy and blistered. This should take about 10 minutes. Shake the pan often to make sure the ingredients don't stick.
Turn the heat up to medium and add the Brussels sprouts, cut side facing down. Cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Swirl the pan around and sauté to finish cooking to taste. They should be tender but firm and well coated in bacon fat.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste and add the pecans. Sauté everything together so the flavors meld and serve warm.

Fuyu Persimmon, Daikon & Carrot Salad

with Olio Nuovo (New Olive Oil)

Author Greg Dunmore

This salad is at its most elegant when the diameter of the daikon and carrot is similar to that of the persimmons. If you can’t find extra fat carrots, slicing thinner ones on the diagonal makes a nice presentation, too.

Yield   4 Servings


1 daikon radish (3 to 4 inch diameter), peeled

1 very thick, large carrot, peeled

2 teaspoons sea salt

½ cup rice vinegar

½ cup mirin

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1-x-1-inch piece of konbu

2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled

New olive oil (olio nuovo)


Slice the daikon and carrot into extremely thin rounds, preferably using a mandolin (or a very sharp knife and some patience), stopping when you have sliced 1 packed cup of each. Slice both peeled persimmons into extremely thin rounds, again using a mandolin or your knife paired with patience.
Reserve the persimmons. Place the sliced daikon and carrot in separate bowls, and add one teaspoon salt to each. Toss to coat and let sit 10 minutes, then massage until liquid comes out; pour off the liquid. Repeat the massaging process (without adding more salt) every 10 minutes for 1 hour, pouring off the liquid each time.
In the meantime, add the vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt to a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the konbu, immediately remove from the heat, and chill.
Put the sliced persimmon, daikon and carrot in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the vinegar-mirin mixture, removing the konbu. Taste, season if need be, and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with new olive oil to finish.

Flan de Calabaza

with Mexican Vanilla & Piloncillo Caramel

Author Agustín Gaytán

Yield   6-8 servings


½ cup broken or grated piloncillo sugar for caramel

¾ cup broken or grated piloncillo sugar for custard

2 cups whole milk

1½ cups half and half

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, preferably Mexican

¼ teaspoon salt

4 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1½ cups natural pumpkin puree


10-inch skillet

1½ quart baking dish or individual ramekins

2 quart saucepan

1 medium bowl

Strainer and whisk

Large baking dish for water bath

Kettle of hot water


Heat the oven to 350℉.
1.) Heat ½ cup of piloncillo sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat, shaking occasionally until melted and caramelized, about 1½ minutes. Pour the melted, browned sugar into the bottom of the baking dish or ramekins.
2.) In a sauce pan, combine the remaining ¾ cup piloncillo sugar, milk, half and half, vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from boiling over or scorching on the bottom. Allow the milk mixture to cool to about 100℉.
3.) Thoroughly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl, then gradually add them to the warm milk mixture while constantly whisking. Mix in the pumpkin puree. Strain the mixture, then pour it into the prepared baking dish or ramekins, cover with foil, and bake in a hot water bath until the flan is firm around the edges and a thin knife inserted off-center comes out clean, about 1½ hours. Flan baked in individual ramekins will take less time.
4.) Chill completely in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight before inverting onto a plate to serve. You can also place the container/s in an ice bath for faster chilling.