By Rebecca Lando, Writer/Producer/Editor of Working Class Foodies
I generally start thinking about Thanksgiving in early September. Unfortunately, ‘thinking about’ isn’t the same as ‘preparing for,’ so every year, I find myself rushing around the city gathering ingredients and planning a menu at the last possible second (note to self: reserve a turkey today!) Which means that, this year, the thing I’m currently most thankful for is the growth of the food culture here in Brooklyn over the past 12 months. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we’ve now got a locally-, seasonally-, and sustainably-focused food culture that’s starting to rival the plush, Alice Waters-approved abundance of California. Between local restaurants, food shops, artisans, and even farmers, there’s no need to leave Brooklyn for this year’s Thanksgiving shopping, even if you’re a procrastinator like me. From the turkey to the trimmings, drinks to desserts, it is entirely possible to source the entire Thanksgiving meal on this side of the East River.
To celebrate the holiday, we asked some of our favorite Brooklyn chefs and food artisans to share some Thanksgiving thoughts and recipes. They’ve provided suggestions for every component of a Thanksgiving feast, from a snack, soup and salad, to turkey, sides, dessert and leftovers. Whether you need inspiration for a new dish, a last-minute side or dessert, or just want to shop local, our Brooklyn Thanksgiving Potluck has something for everyone.
The Brooklyn Thanksgiving Potluck
Kickstarters: Pimento Cheese Snack and Chestnut Soup
By Rachel Graville of Iris Cafe
Rachel Graville, owner of Brooklyn Heights’ Iris Cafe, gets us started with a simple snack to keep us going during that long wait for the turkey, and she also shares a recipe for a festive Chestnut Soup that will fit right in with any Thanksgiving spread.
Salad Daze: Roasted Beet & Poached/Grilled Apple Salad
By Chef Ted Jackson of Ted & Honey
Ted & Honey regulars know that chef Ted does good food right. Just about everything in the cafe and shop, from the condiments to the pork-shoulder bacon, is house-made with the finest local and seasonal ingredients. Chef Ted talks about Thanksgiving at his place and shares a recipe for a very yummy beet and apple salad.
Talking Turkey: “Brine-ing” Out the Best in Your Bird
With Brent Young of The Meat Hook
Need some advice on picking, prepping, or cooking your turkey? Trying to decide between the good ol’ broad-breasted white or a more exotic hertiage breed? Debating whether to brine or baste? After making hundreds of turkeys over the past year, Brent provides his expert advice courtesy of the crew at The Meat Hook.
Go Big or Go Home: Chipotle Baked Beans in a Pumpkin
By Food Writer Cathy Erway
Looking for a hearty seasonal alternative for the turkey-haters in your family? Or just a fun (if not Seussian) side dish that everyone can enjoy? Try Cathy’s spicy Baked Beans in a Whole Pumpkin recipe (yeah, it’s literally baked in a whole pumpkin!)
Spice It Up: Sausage Stuffing + T-Day Musings
By Chef Saul Bolton of SAUL and The Vanderbilt
Saul shares the scoop on Thanksgiving Bolton-style, and serves up a recipe for a sausage, carmelized apple, and chestnut stuffing that will up the ante at any table.
Belt Busters: Down-Home Side Dishes
By Allison and Matt Robicelli of Robicelli’s Cupcakes
Allison and Matt offer suggestions for some easy sides inspired by their Italian-American and Midwestern backgrounds – if you’re craving something hearty, they’ve got you covered. Want to put the kids to work in the kitchen? They’ve also got a kid-friendly recipe for Apple Crisps.
Getting Saucy: Apple Sauce with Cardamom and Cinnamon
By Amy Marks of Radish
Amy serves up an apple sauce made with local apples, cardamom and cinnamon. This simple dish will make you wonder why you’ve ever grabbed for a jar of “Mott’s” when homemade goodness is so easy to create!
Pie Anyone? Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie
By Emily Elsen of Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Emily talks about the special relationship between pie and Thanksgiving, and shares a recipe for the light and sweet custard pie she’d serve at her Thanksgiving table.
The Cheese Plate: Stinky’s Picks
By Chris Remy of Stinky bklyn
The crew at Carroll Gardens’ favorite provisions shop drops their Thanksgiving cheese picks, and some beer pairing suggestions too.
Leftovers! Thanksgiving Hangover Brunch Hash
By Matthew Tilden of SCRATCHbread
Matthew riffs on the Thanksgiving experience, leftovers and hangovers…and drops a recipe for a special leftover stuffing, turkey and egg hash that may just make you want to skip right to Friday.