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Chef Bernard Guillas Shares Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Chef Bernard Guillas.
Courtesy photo
Chef Bernard Guillas.
Chef Bernard Guillas Shares Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
Chef Bernard Guillas Shares Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
GUEST:Bernard Guillas, executive chef, Marine Room

Having the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at your table tomorrow? Are you trying something new? To remember how many moms stuffing or gratis measures on those? What are you serving before the new? Our cocktails appropriate? Let's face it immersed in our opens up a world of questions and potential problems. Luckily we have the answers with Chef Bernard Guillas. He's the Executive chef at the Special Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz we're taking your calls at 888 at the Special Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz we're taking your calls at 888895 at the Special Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz we're taking your calls at 888-895-5727 or your tweets at KPBS Midday. Welcome Chef Bernard. Will show it is a pleasure to be here today. When you are coming up with your menu for Thanksgiving? Do you might make -- is important for me to keep the traditions. Those really staples that everyone is looking for. For example, the. Yes. That would be the staple of the day. Many people don't cook much in their daily lives. Making a big Thanksgiving dinner can be intimidating. Is someone is getting nervous are overwhelmed listening to us out there, but is the first information to fix The first thing you need to do is make your -- make sure your turkey is fresh or thought. The second thing is you should make a shopping list and the timeline so you know it you will be able to prepare ahead of time. Today is a perfect day to prepare your cranberry relish for example. You can prepare your vegetables. Thank you highs. They smell so good. It will put everyone in the mood for tomorrow. Will take a level of stress out of the equation when you have thanks giving with -- Thanksgiving with friends and family tomorrow. We're taking your calls at 888 -- Thanksgiving with friends and family tomorrow. We're taking your calls at 888-895-1727. Or is calling from Carlsbad. We thank you for your call. Thank you. Chef Bernard thanks for taking my call. My pleasure. I am getting courageous this year and thinking of using the convictions setting on my of -- convection setting on my. Adjustments should I make to make the turkey? Usually make your turkey at about 350 cost you can take into 325. You will need to based instead of basting every half-hour, I would based every 15 minutes. I will give it a lot of butter on top. Your muscular massage. You have the butter, you have to turkey, herbs covey aerobatics. Then you start to cook your turkey -- aerobatics -- aromatics. I like to stuff the cavity with an onion, and ample, fresh herbs. What it does is it infuses the meat itself because you have the air circulating in the oven. It smells really good. It is great aromatherapy for your turkey. Thank you for that and thank you for your call, react. You said something Chef that made me a little nervous. What, if you have larger turkey already it's too late? Usually, it takes you about 45 minutes to an hour per pound. And this is if you are really find it in water. Then you have to change the water every hour. My recommendation is to find a fresh turkey. There is many fresh turkeys available. Go to your favorite shopping location and you will be able to get a fresh turkey. You will be fine. If you really have a problem tomorrow, my recommendation is come see me, I will be cooking. You will be cooking in the morning room. Pat is on the line from San Diego. Hello Pat. Hello. Chef Bernard, being a fine chef you probably want the best of ingredients like I do, and I hear your accents I'm betting you are from Europe, right? Indeed. I have family in Europe also. I have been fortunate TE in many countries. How to get the finest ingredients without genetic modification and without the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides that are poisoning is the nature? You do that in this country? I am told there are Europeans that will not come to this country because our food is so also. Act I think we are missing the point of it here. This country does a really nice job keeping everything in balance. If you go to your local farmers market, it would be 100% organic. If you go to -- all farmers market are organic. When it comes to your turkey, it is the responsibility of the person who is shopping to ask for the requirement of what they're looking for. My favorite turkey would be natural, free range, sustainable, raise with care. No antibiotics, no hormones, channel. They are readily available everywhere. Vegetables, farmers market, not only that you can go into your favorites for and they will always have a corner in the store organic vegetables. There is a lot available. I think it is unfair to say the we do not have great ingredients in this country. If we didn't have them, I would not be here. I love it. What we have done is remarkable. All the shelves work with the farmers -- all the chefs work with farmers, fishermen, to have fresh food. Is unbelievable what we have here. It is. -- Beautiful. Much turkey to get? How much should you get from a number of people he one serve? If you have 12 people, I've taken 20 pumper. If you cooking at 325, he would take four hours. Again, make sure you based. There are many ways to cook a turkey which are fine as well. Back we have a question again. We're taking your call at 888 we have a question again. We're taking your call at 888895 we have a question again. We're taking your call at 888-895-5727. Andrew is calling from Carlsbad. Focaccia. How are you doing today? Back hello. When you're writing a turkey whatever you put on the inside, how likely is it to overdo it? Back when you are writing a turkey, you have to make sure that there is not too much salt. There's a ratio you have to remember which is about a quarter cup of sweet. It can be sugar, honey, or about a. Put one cup of salt for about one for about 1 gallon of liquid. The liquid is where you can play. You can do hot apple cider, you can do. College can do many different liquids. You should be brining your turkey about one hour per pound. So a 20 pound turkey would be 20 hours. When it comes to injections have to be careful to not over object. Otherwise, you will have the bright solution taking over. -- Brian -- brine solution taking over. Again we have one of the chefs Brian and recipes -- brine recipes on our website. We have Nicole. My question is I saw on Facebook than someone had cooked a turkey in the roasted it. And it's only about 90 minutes for a large bird. Do you have any tips for gross -- cutting a turkey before roasting? Back Nicole, we did hear the beginning. They carved up the turkey, planning it out before roasting it. This is interesting you break it up. At the Marine room this is what I do. The deep on the turkey so you use the breast only. We stuff the turkey, stuffing inside so it is Brian, stuff it, and roasted. Is not stuffed -- if it is not stuffed it will take you may be 90 minutes at about 325 two 350 -- 350. You need to S for about 10 minutes. When you cook a whole turkey, you need to let it rest for about 20 to 30 minutes because the bone structure isn't it. What is great about it if you are cooking the breast only and you have the ball you can start the process for your gravy. This is a great way to do it. You can make your turkey start. After that you can finish the gravy tomorrow or you can finish it today. It would taste even better tomorrow. That is a great way to do it. Thank you for that call. We have a question for bad on Facebook. To begin gravy from pan drippings or start a stock flower in and drippings. If you start with pan drippings, you have to wait for the day of. What I like to do, I like to get everything started and make my gravy the day before. I use the pantry being as a half -- as an enhancement to my gravy. I hope is on you, fresh herbs, enabling fine -- you know as Frenchman. I like to use plum wine. It is great for the holiday season. Then you take the grade you take -- prepared the day before and you cook it for another 20 to 30 minutes. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and then you will be ready. Should with a little bit of butter of course. Of course, it taste better. If you roasting whole turkey with the bone and it? Do you recommend stuffing the turkey? Stuffing the turkey. This is something that is more a preference. For me I don't care for it. But I know a lot of people love to stuff the turkey. If you stuff the turkey, you need to make sure -- the ratio is about three-quarter cup of loose moist stuffing per pound. Then you stuff your turkey, you have to make sure that nothing reaches 165 two 170°. If you stuffing is a little dry, you won't get hot that quick. So you have a chance to overcook the turkey. What I want to do instead of stuffing, I call it addressing. I -- I call it addressing -- dressing. It is delicious. If you're not stuffing your bird, you still have your salary, onion, Apple. You can use those ingredients to make your gravy. It will fortify your gravy. So instead of putting the stuffing in the turkey, you put in the other aromatics and onions and that seasons the gravy? Exactly. It works like a charm. You have the extra flavor that is what is great about. Display get excited when I talk about it. 1888, 895, 895-5727 is the number to call with your turkey questions and your holiday eating questions for chef Bernard. Debbie is calling from San Diego. What is your question Debbie? I am going to be roasting to bone and Turkey have breasts -- 2 bone in turkey breasts. How long do I roasted or is it a good idea to put it on top of the stuffing? If you put it on top of the stuffing, it is making it a bit difficult for yourself. Keep it separately, they will cook much better. You will be able to based the breast on a regular basis so can stay moist. When you carved it will be much easier. If you carved the bird on top of the stuffing, it is not the to do. Keep it separated, it is much better. Said something chef, a while ago. I don't want to get lost. There's common mistake of putting the turkey in the oven too soon before the oven is at the right temperature. Explain what it is so important. It is very important because you start the cooking process right away. It will take about 15 minutes for your oven to reach the desired temperature. If I take another example would be mashed potatoes. When you cook mashed potatoes, you don't started with warm liquid. You started with warm -- cold liquid otherwise the starches will not work will become very coming it is all about technique. That is why it is important to do it that way. For example, if you are doing a deep right turkey, your friend will be about 400°. It will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook. You can do the injection but you have to be very careful. When you do right turkey ensure they are not kids around with little critters, cats, or dogs. Be very careful that the turkey is nice and dry or if there is water it will pop. You can have fired because the water mixes with oil and if bubbles of all over the place. You have to be careful with that. Another mailing to do it is smoking the turkey. If you smoke the turkey at about 325, it will be the king minutes per pound. -- It will be 15 minutes per pound. Use Apple would, or cherrywood. Make sure that the smoke is not too much. Coal smoke on the other hand, is the thing you have to be very cautious with. It will take you about 8 to 10 hours at 250°. But what is very important is you need to make sure you are out of the danger zone. The temperature must reach 140, degrees within four hours. Something to remember, barbecuing your turkey, a lot of people love to do that. On the gas grill bring your gas grill to 500 to 550. Turn into media. Which offered in the pan, and you just cover and it is perfect. That is which do with a gas barbecue. With briquettes, it is different. Prepare you briquettes 30 minutes in advance. You want to make sure you have the right temperature and all the ashes out. That it is really nice and even you can cook at. My grandmother, -- my uncle is a butcher would butterfly the turkey and we would put it on the barbecue with the bones on the coals. It would be amazing. But it is a different way to do it. You come prepared your turkey so many different ways. Back to you put any basic verse also barbecuing? The best way to do it is clarified butter. You don't want any flares. I would say has -- say have a spray bottle with water. You can put a lot of pressure and you just close the top and it just infuses with all the time, sage, rosemary. You would also prepare some Apple that you put on the side. So the whole Apple will cook at the same time. Grandmother was keeping a very simple and she was smart. She was the. 888-895-5727 for your question. Let's go to Matt in La Jolla. Hello. Thank you for having me. Hello, chef. Hello. In question has to do with Rob. Why do you apply the road to a turkey and how much of a road do you apply -- rub do you apply to a turkey? rub When it comes to a you want one that will be spicy and aromatic. The right way to apply the wrong -- rub is I mix it with the butter. And put that on maybe the day before, so about 24 hours before it goes in the oven. Don't put it only on top, rub it inside out. You want to make sure that it will penetrate the flesh. It is really good, when you roast it penetrates very slowly. When you slice it, you get this wonderful aromatic. I like to use chilies, bitter cinnamon, clove, Ginger. You can make a really really fine rub that is what is all about. You can make the spices with oil, but I would not use olive oil. I would use grapeseed oil which has no flavor. A new flavor with the spices only. But it is better to use butter because you can based the butter. With all the butter that you have with the spices, I would not go over 325 because you may burn some of the spices. You want to keep the integrity of the spices. Congratulations to combat. He said it was his first your cooking. Was good. San Diego. Hello, chef Bernard Guillas. How are you? Wonderful. Lori wants to put a 20 pound turkey in a bag, hello A? A turkey in a bag is the easy way out. It usually works out very well. It is going to be cooked about 325. The same way. If it's 20 pounds it's going to be about three hours and 45 minutes thereabouts. You still have to let it rest. But in a bag, you have to use your aromatic. This is what is really cool about it. You can put your apples, your onions, everything goes in the back and still put butter in the back. It will be delicious. Back thank you -- Thank you, Gary. We have a question about is it okay to cook in a brown paper bag? Note you have to use a specially designed back for that. It is fine typically not back but -- bag but don't you think it's all about family, sharing, welcoming everyone into your home, the smell, the robot. You knock on the door and you are like oh I am so happy to be here. That is Thanksgiving. That is what it is all about. Take it out of the back. You are listening to KPT S -- KPBS Midday Edition Thanksgiving edition. We're taking calls and 888 We're taking calls and 888895 We're taking calls and 888-895-5727. We will be right back after a break. KPBS is supported by the San Diego international Airport encouraging you to park and economy line. Featuring over 80 participating airport shops, restaurants and services, can be found at Sandag work/parking. Support also comes from Hornblower cruises. Or blowers professional event planners have been customizing events for over 35 years. Book your holiday event of San Diego that Book your holiday event of San Diego This is splendid table, be sure to join us for to confidential cultural triage on the day you needed most, Thanksgiving. We're here to take your call with Andrew Zimmer. That's to confidential Thanksgiving day from 8 PM. Is for to confidential Thanksgiving day at 11 AM here on KPBS. Getting to stay is about ordinary people coming together doing extraordinary things. On December 1 joined the KPBS family to support that family and new should come to count on. Get online at or call us at 800-576-5727. Are listening to KPBS word is matters. This is KPBS Midday Edition, I Maureen Cavanaugh. We are here with chef Bernard Guillas. Our number is 888 Our number is 888895, 5727 or you can Tweet a question at KPBS Midday. Chef I want to take a moment. He took part in a fundraiser in San Diego to show solidarity with the people of Paris. Can you tell us about that? It was my way to support the Red Cross. Every Thanksgiving right around quarter for the United States the country but must. I wanted to make a difference. So seven authors participate in this. It was a lot of fun. It was a great way to say hey, we have all been touched in the world including San Diego. It has a power beyond the table. Indy. Food has -- Indeed, food has a very powerful influence. We are posting your resting her mashed potatoes on KPBS. What do you do to make them special? Back when it comes to mashed potato, you start your potatoes by cooking cold water with a little salt. When they are tender, you transfer into a colander. That you use a vegetable mill. You don't put it into a masher. They could become gummy. After that it's all about this, butter, mascarpone, salt, pepper, and a little bit more better. And it is amazing. Remember to go to the gym tomorrow. Enjoyed the potatoes, enjoy Thanksgiving. When it comes to sweet potatoes, the best way to prepare is to peel cut it into two 2 inch cubes or chunks and drizzly with maple syrup, cinnamon, butter, of course. The classically is you can finish it with marshmallows. I like it but I make my own arsenals. In my marshmallows is 100% organic delicious. Let's take a call. Maria from Halloween wants to talk. She has a question. Hello. I'm so excited. Thank you chef. I was calling you because I am in charge of making a price dish with seafood like pretend paella. I tried it before for another holiday and it came out dry. And I have had it come out gummy. Since I will be using scallops and frozen shrimp, frozen scallops that I am defrosting, how much water -- and also going to put veggies. I am cheating and using the mixed frozen vegetables. And have put some fresh mushrooms and onions. How much water -- I mean that's the key, how -- can I think it -- can I make it? I would like to make it easier on myself? You can do like a rice pilaf. But even rice pilaf could be dry. I recommend you do a result of. Result of is easy to do. Sauté your shrimp, little bit on the side. At the last minute put in the rice. So you use risotto the rice. It will be nice and soft. It still would be a little bit of that day. Cookson about 18 minutes. It goes pretty fast. In the last three minutes of preparing of the rice and your seafood so your seafood will not be overcooked but will come to the right temperature. Finish it with a little bit of cream or mascarpone and that is it. If you want to do this? --, And you wanted to ahead time, you can prepare ahead of time, but the parmigiana top, and reheated the last 45 minutes of the cooking process of your turkey. Everything will be ready at the same time. Casseroles, when it comes to price that they don't get dry. And that is why white gold prices better and sandals. I like a rodeo -- What do you care with Turkey for wine? When it comes to wine I love me rosé, Grenache. You should taste your wine is you are preparing your turkey. Yes, you should. It keeps you relaxed throughout the process. You don't want to go overboard it is a good way to start the celebration. For your reception, a nice sparkling rosé would be fantastic. Pinot Gris show would be very good for your turkey as well. When it comes to beer, I would say NIPA would be nice because you have -- and HIPA or Belgian beer. For people who don't drink, you can do a little while he told -- version going into. Those are coolers and really good for adults and kids as well. About getting people involved. You were talking about having a super two of wine is preparing. Outcast, to guests to come into the kitchen and take part in some way? I like my guests to come into the kitchen. But you already know in your mind when you have to do. It is organized, you have your timeline, if they come in the kitchen it's there to be in the mood. They look at your power licensing oh yummy. It's a great way to gather over a gas of bubbly were the cooler talk about life because that's talking about life, family, the world and have a good time. We're taking a call still 888-895-5727. Go to Nora and Delmar. Are on, welcome to the program. Hello, I was wondering if you had a good recommendation for corporate study. Oh, cornbread stuffing. I like to take the regular cornbread recipe, but I will remove part of the or mail and -- cornmeal and add of French version of corporate. We use the is a little and it comes out nice. You can have a lot of fun with it. It is a great way to do it. With cornbread you can spice it up. Soukup if you like it spicy put jalapeno and it. You can have fun with it. That is what makes it cool when you are cooking for family. It like cranberry relish. It can be one dimension. And cranberry relish can have an attitude. Oh crap very relish. We have them everywhere right now. Kumquats they're different, little bit a ginger, while cool. So you take a classic and you make it modern. It becomes something that can be a signature or new tradition for you and your family. On Facebook, chef, we had a question about desserts. Works that she is making a pumpkin cheesecake and the recipe calls for a springform pan. Does she have to use a spring form pan? It is better to do a spring or pan because you have to unmold the cheesecake. Or what you have to do is what it is called, it has to be cooled that you put it in the refrigerator from the refrigerator to the Fraser. That when it is starting to hard -- hard -- harden take it out put warm water over it and it should popout. 888. 888859. 888-859-5727 to ask a question. Let us go to Emily. Emily? Welcome to the program Hello. This is Emily. Chef I used to work with you so happy Thanksgiving. Thank you so much. I have -- I have a question for units of basting turkeys. Is your take on those? Self basting turkeys? I like to base my turkey. I don't like them to base themselves. It is that are if you base. When you based your turkey you open the oven and then you take a look at the turkey to see if there is some spot that needs more basting than others. The other thing that is really important that our oven are not all the same. Usually they have a hot spot. So it is very important to take the roasting pan and turn it around. That we it cooks evenly and you continue to based. Is on best in Turkey is great, but I like my tradition of basting my turkey. It is something I do once a year. It is special. And what to do with all have our? Exactly. What is really cool with the modern, if you don't one the pool that -- better that's fine. But the turkey stays nice and fine. Nice and moist, if you have the caller -- color becoming a bit too dark, if this happens a bit of tenting with foil and you will be okay. Do your basting. We only have a few minutes left. I want everyone to know that you have been kind enough to share this several recipes for Thanksgiving stores -- leftovers. And we are posting them. Back you have the bird. -- You have the bird right? To percentages are wonderful. With a little piece of -- turkey sandwiches are wonderful. With the little pieces I would do turkey Popeye. But if I have leftover mashed potatoes it becomes a to shepherd pie which is wonderful. Or a turkey soup. I make an Asian turkey soup with ginger lemongrass, you can make it a lot of fun. What is important to remember when you buy a turkey it is and investment. In the meantime you can get your moneys worth because you can use it so many ways. You should have zero leftovers. Overeating is a real problem for many people are Thanksgiving. To have any tips on how to enjoy the meal without talking your self. -- Stuffing yourself? Have something to eat before you have your dinner. If you have some thoughts or -- notes -- nuts and a nice big salad, start with that so you don't go right away to the big heavy starchy items. Then you have your turkey, cranberry relish. I like green beans cost Airgas, brussels sprouts. You can put a little bit bacon little bit of also, little bit a lot of. You finish with your pumpkin pie. I love pecan pie. I love mincemeat pie which is kind of coming back. Mincemeat you have your reason, sun-dried cherries, apples. It's all chopped you put it in. I. It is really really fun. We're going to try to squeeze in one last question, Victoria from welcome to the program. Thank you my goodness my favorite holiday. You always make things great. Something simple what kind of bread which you suggest? With turkey if you are doing your stuffing I would definitely use a brioche or hollow bread because that keeps the stuffing I some. When it comes to your other bread I would do a nice French bread, sourdough would be a good classic This would work out really well. You don't really need that much bread that you have your stuffing. It's the balance. You have to look at what you are preparing. If you are preparing that will have a lot of savory, you will have a later bread. If you something that is lighter, you could have have your bread. Your time. My goodness again? You will have to come back next year. You will find several of his recipes on our website and You so much. It is a pleasure. Happy Thanksgiving,. Thank you so much for being here. Battersea -- mercy -- Merci.

The countdown to Thanksgiving is winding down, but there's still time to plan a holiday dinner with all the fixings.

San Diego Chef Bernard Guillas shared with Midday Edition on Wednesday some holiday recipes that both seasoned and first-time home chefs can enjoy.

Guillas has served as the executive chef of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club's The Shores Restaurant and the landmark AAA four-diamond Marine Room restaurant since 1994. He's also the co-author of the cookbook "Two Chefs One Catch, “A Culinary Exploration of Seafood."


The first tip Guillas offered is to make sure your turkey is fully thawed Wednesday. He also said to make a timeline of things to do. For example, a cook can make the cranberry sauce the day before.

Other tips include:

• If you’re brining your turkey, don’t use too much salt.

• Cook your stuffing on the side rather than inside the turkey.

• Make sure the oven or fryer is at the desired temperature before putting your turkey in. It usually takes about 50 minutes for an oven to reach the desired temperature.


• Best drink pairings with turkeys include rosé, pinot noir, pinot grigio and IPA, Belgian beers. For the non-alcoholic drinkers, try a virgin pomegranate mojito.

“If you really have a problem tomorrow, come see me,” Guillas said. “I’ll be cooking.”

Below are some of his go-to Thanksgiving recipes. And he also has tips for what do to with all those leftovers.

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes
Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes


1 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

1/4 cup fennel seeds

1 tablespoon dried orange peel

1/4 cup peeled, chopped ginger

10 medium sage leaves

1 gallon Julian cherry hard cider

1 free-range turkey, 16 - 18 pounds

Combine salt, pepper, fennel seeds, dried orange peel, ginger, and sage in blender with 4 cups of cider. Puree until smooth and salt is dissolved. Pour mixture and remaining cider into large food safe plastic bag. Reserve giblets and neck for stock. Set the turkey in the brine, breast side down. Refrigerate in insulated cooler packed with ice for 10 hours keeping cooler tightly closed.


3 sticks softened, unsalted butter

1 herb bouquet of fresh herbs including sage, thyme, rosemary tied with butcher twine

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Remove the turkey from brine. Rinse. Pat dry with paper towel. Rub butter over entire turkey. Bake turkey in roasting pan, breast side up. Baste with pan juices every 30 minutes. Cook 3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160°F at thickest part of the thigh. Remove from oven. Tent with foil. Rest 20 minutes. Transfer turkey to serving platter. Garnish with fresh herb bouquet before serving.

Chestnut Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

3 pounds russet potatoes

1/2 cup crème fraiche

1/2 cup mascarpone

1/2 pound unsalted butter (two sticks cut into small cubes)

1 cup peeled and cooked chestnuts (available at Trader Joe’s), chopped, room temperature

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Peel and wash potatoes. Cut into quarters. Transfer to large stock pot. Cover with cold, lightly salted water. Place over medium high heat. Bring to simmer. Cook until fork tender. Strain water through colander. Transfer potatoes to ricer set over large pot. Mill to process. Set heat to medium high. Fold in crème fraiche and mascarpone with a wooden spoon. Add butter. Mix until fully incorporated. Fold in chestnuts. Cook 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish.