Chef Bernard Guillas Shares 3 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh
Photo by Elma Gonzalez / KPBS
Above: Chef Bernard Guillas cooking a Thanksgiving meal at the Marine Room restaurant on Nov. 21, 2017.

Whether you've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20 years or this is your first time meeting the bird on the field of battle, everyone can use a little advice on preparing tomorrow's feast.

Do you cook your stuffing in or out? Should you brine the bird, or maybe barbeque it?

For the thousands of questions that can come up about Thanksgiving dinner, we have the chef with the answers.

Chef Bernard Guillas, executive chef at The Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla, joins KPBS Midday Edition Wednesday to answer your Thanksgiving cooking questions. Call in with questions 1-888-895-5727 or tweet your question to @KPBSMidday.

Below are three of Chef Bernard Thanksgiving side recipes:

Persimmon Cranberry Relish

Makes 2 cups

2 cups ruby port wine

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 stalk lemongrass, split

2 star anise

12 oz. fresh cranberries

2 cups fresh persimmons, stemmed, peeled, cut into ¼ inch pieces

1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger

Combine the first five ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove lemongrass and star anise. Stir in cranberries, persimmons and ginger. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is slightly reduced and berries burst. Stir occasionally, about six minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to a bowl. Chill until cold. Cover. Keep refrigerated.

Triple Oyster Corn Casserole

Serves 6

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 pound oyster mushrooms, pulled apart

1/2 cup shallots, minced

4 ears corn, shucked and shaved

1 cup celery root, thinly diced

1 cup leeks, white part only, chopped

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh oregano

1 tsp minced fresh sage leaves

1/3 cup chopped parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup half and half

2- 8 oz. jars shucked oysters, drained, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

1 pound loaf brioche, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 10 cups)

1 box oyster crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. In the same pot, melt three tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add shallots, corn, celery and leeks. Cook without browning for five minutes. Add thyme, oregano, sage and parsley. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add chicken stock and half-and-half. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Combine vegetable mixture with mushrooms and oyster pieces. In a large mixing bowl, combine brioche and oyster crackers. Fold in vegetables to brioche mixture. Transfer stuffing to a prepared baking dish covered with foil. Bake about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160˚.

Divine Pumpkin Pie

Yields 9 inch pie

6 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp wildflower honey

2 tbsp walnut oil

1 tsp unsalted butter

pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup spiced candied walnuts

Combine brown sugar, honey, walnut oil, butter, and cayenne pepper in heavy skillet. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers. Add walnuts. Cook 15 minutes until walnuts turn a deep caramel color. Stir constantly with a wooden spatula until walnuts are well coated. Place onto a foil sheet or marble surface. Work quickly to separate walnuts with the wooden spoon. Let cool. Set aside.

Filling

1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

9 inch baked pie crust

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream, flour, maple syrup, vanilla and spices in a mixing bowl. Add egg yolks. Blend well. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Cook until golden brown. Immediately stir into pumpkin mixture. Set aside. Beat egg whites in mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar. Continue beating until firm peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F. Bake until filling is fully set, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.

Chantilly Whipped Creme

1 cup crème fraiche

2 tbsp honey

Beat all ingredients in mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Refrigerate.

Presentation

Cut pie into six slices. Garnish each slice with a dollop of chantilly, spiced candied walnuts, and a mint sprig.