Thanksgiving cooking tips, secret recipes and more from a local chef on 'Turkey Talk'
Speaker 1: (00:00)
This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman. After last year's pandemic locked down Thanksgiving. This year celebration with family and friends gives us so much to be thankful for, but it does raise one big question. After last year, did we forget how to cook a big meal? So now more than ever midday additions, annual show Turkey talk is here with answers to your Thanksgiving questions. And before we begin, we'd like to salute our Turkey talk guests for many years. Chef Bernard GS, chef Bernard is retired now enjoying family life and cooking up something marvelous for his own Thanksgiving. Thanks so much chef Bernard for sharing so much with us over the years. Now this year, we are delighted to welcome chef Brandon Sloan culinary chef at Pendry San Diego's provisional kitchen. He's our Turkey talk expert, and we've heard from listeners who need some help preparing their special holiday meal. So chef Brandon, happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to the show.
Speaker 2: (01:05)
Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for having me. Can you tell
Speaker 1: (01:07)
Us a little bit about yourself and maybe your culinary journey?
Speaker 2: (01:11)
Sure, absolutely. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Um, I'm now out here in San Diego at the Pendry hotel. I started culinary school back in Phoenix, Arizona. I went to Arizona state first and couldn't really find my niche until, uh, I got into the culinary world and really started getting in the kitchen and I just kinda fell in love with it from there.
Speaker 1: (01:33)
And what are you looking forward to the most? This Thanksgiving?
Speaker 2: (01:37)
Well, you know, as a chef, we're usually spending Thanksgiving cooking for other people, but afterwards they usually on Friday get to spend it with my family. At least my family here in San Diego, which is mostly my friends and people that are also in the industry that get the day off after Thanksgiving. So we celebrated together on that day.
Speaker 1: (01:58)
Now you recently hosted a chef's giving meal. Can you tell us about some of the dishes you made and what does that mean? Chefs?
Speaker 2: (02:06)
So we started this about four years ago. Um, every year we invite about six to eight different chefs around San Diego to do a version of their favorite Thanksgiving dish. And we do about a four course meal. There's this two courses on each one, $30 of each meal goes to the San Diego food bank. Each ticket sold, we'll provide 150 meals for each member of the community. And it's just, it's just a really good time for the chefs to get out of their normal kitchens and to do something fun and different instead of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, I'm usually in charge of the Turkey. So this year we do something a little different, you know, like I said, out of the ordinary. So we did a more of a Greek style Turkey. We did a rotating shawarma with the leg and the breast meat. We slice it off and rolled it in a housemaid. PETA served over three different types of hummus. We also took the stuffing and combined it with falafel. So we had fried falafel stuffing on the plate and then cranberry to Ziki. So you have, um, you know, traditional flavors with the Greek style Turkey dinner
Speaker 1: (03:16)
Just goes to show you can do Thanksgiving gin just about any way possible.
Speaker 2: (03:20)
Speaker 1: (03:22)
Let's, let's get into some of the questions from our listeners.
Speaker 3: (03:26)
Hi, this is Ben from Claremont. I've never made a big Thanksgiving meal before, so I'm just wondering if you had any general advice and what's some of the easier stuff to make for those who don't have a whole lot of experience doing this sort of thing.
Speaker 2: (03:41)
Well, I guess we got to start with the Turkey. Um, when you have a big group of people, um, they say about a pound per person. So I actually think that's pretty accurate. Um, I like to cook like a big 20 pound Turkey. It's just more fun when you have a big Turkey, as opposed to like more of a 10, 12 pound Turkey. Um, it does take a little more experience, I would say, um, you don't necessarily have to cook a huge Turkey for Thanksgiving. You can actually just order Turkey breasts and do it that way. If you have like a smaller family of four, a whole Turkey is, is almost unnecessary, unless you love the Thanksgiving leftovers. Like I do, you don't necessarily need today. You can just get a Turkey breast from those store and roasted whole just like that. So typically I would just take one large Turkey breasts, salt and pepper symbol on the top.
Speaker 2: (04:33)
And then you want to put a little bit of Turkey stock in the bottom of the pan to keep it moist and you can roast it in the oven and it'll be a much quicker, easier process to get that Turkey breast to the proper temperature. Um, I think a lot of people get stumped with, uh, with gravy and, you know, kind of stress over that as well. One tip I have for, for gravy nowadays is they, they sell really good bone broth, um, at different stores. And if you pick up like a nice thing, a bone broth, the only thing you'd have to do at that point is to create a roux. So you just get some flour and some butter and you cook that down in a pot and you add your bone broth slowly, and you have a really nice gravy. You don't even have to, you know, spend the day taking all the bones from the Turkey and roasting them and making a traditional Turkey stock to have a nice gravy.
Speaker 1: (05:23)
Oh, I like that. Now a few of our listeners have questions specifically about Turkey preparation and here they are
Speaker 4: (05:31)
Happy Thanksgiving, chef Brandon. This is Kurt from marina Del Ray. Do you have to file the Turkey before cooking? Or can you cook it frozen?
Speaker 2: (05:40)
You cannot cook a Turkey frozen. I would not recommend that. So you definitely want to get your Turkey a few days ahead of time. Don't wait and scramble at the last minute and get your Turkey because most of the time they are frozen from the store and you want to give yourself a couple of in the refrigerator to naturally Thall out. That's typically the best way to be frost to Turkey, the safest way. Um, once your defroster Turkey for me, I do it the same way every year. I take the legs off of the Turkey and then you can cook the legs and the breasts properly separate. So for me, I like to cook the breasts on the bone. I season it, or I brine at first. Then once I brighten it for about two days, I take it out. I season it with salt and pepper and I let it dry for a day in the fridge.
Speaker 2: (06:30)
And that's, what's going to help create a really crispy skin on the outside. Cooking for just the breasts is pretty simple. I turned the oven up to about 500 degrees, uh, very hot at the beginning. We put it on a rack and put it into the oven until you start to see some color on the skin. Once you start to see the skin starting to turn a golden brown, you're going to want to turn down your oven to about three 50 and the allow the breasts to cook to 1 55 internal temperature after removing it from the oven. Let it sit on your counter for about 30 minutes and the heat should carry over the Turkey breasts to about 1 65, which would be perfect temperature for a moist Turkey breasts.
Speaker 1: (07:11)
And I can testify chef. You cannot cook it frozen because I tried many years ago. It's just not possible.
Speaker 2: (07:21)
Yeah, definitely. Don't try and cook it from frozen and definitely don't put it in your deep prior.
Speaker 1: (07:27)
Okay. So here's another question.
Speaker 5: (07:29)
Hi chef. My name's Connor. I'm from San Diego. And my question is what is the best way to season the Turkey?
Speaker 2: (07:35)
So as described before, I like to Brian, my Turkey first, the brine that I like to use, I like to do fennel with orange. I think those two flavors really go well together and, um, add some nice freshness and acidity to the Turkey as well. So once you Brian, your Turkey for about two days, you're going to have a lot of flavor already inside of the Cherokee from just sitting in that salt and sugar mixture. After that, you'd simply just need a little bit of salt and pepper inside underneath the skin and on the outside. Other than that, I like to take some butter and put it under the skin before I roast it.
Speaker 1: (08:12)
Uh, so that butter under the skin is a good idea because people no longer have two days to brighten their Turkey. Any others suggestions as to seasoning for a Turkey other than butter,
Speaker 2: (08:24)
You know, there's so many different routes. Like I kinda explained and chefs giving that every year, I like to do something different. So even at home, if you have like a nice Cajun seasoning is always fun, or I don't know if you'd like to get wild and do like maybe a Curry seasoning one year Turkey is, is fun and it should be, it should be fun. I mean, you can treat it differently every year. For me, I'm, I'm a traditionalist. I like salt, pepper, and, uh, maybe some herbs, but that's about it for me.
Speaker 1: (08:52)
Here's a question about actually cooking the Turkey.
Speaker 6: (08:55)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Hello, chef Brandon. This is Mary from Alpine. My question is, is it better to use Turkey bag, uh, and cook the Turkey in Turkey bag in the oven or use the traditional methods and base the Turkey. Thank you. And happy Thanksgiving,
Speaker 2: (09:16)
To be honest, I have not, um, cooked Turkey in a bag since I was a kid. Like my mom used to do it that way and I kind of grew up doing it that way. But once I started cooking professionally, I think doing it more of a traditional route and basting it and really be careful with the thermometer, not to overcook. It is really the way to go nowadays. You can cook it at a bag, but Suvi and, uh, that's what a lot of chefs are, are going towards nowadays because it keeps your Turkey breasts moist. It can hold warm for a very long time, especially in a restaurant setting, which makes it easier for the chefs to keep the Turkey moist throughout the night.
Speaker 2: (09:58)
This is, um, a more modern and precise way to cook. They sell immersion circulators. Um, now you can get them on Amazon and you can get a nice farm for about 150 bucks. Um, basically you stick it into water, like a pot of water, and it holds the water temperature, a consistent temperature, which would be equal to what you're wanting your Turkey to be cooked to. So you put your Turkey breasts into a bag, you season it and you take the air out of the bag and you put it into the water until the Turkey breast is cooked all the way through allowing it to cook to the exact temperature. Got it.
Speaker 1: (10:37)
One of our favorite midday edition guests, legal analyst, Dan Eaton has a very non-legal question about smaller Thanksgiving gatherings. Here's Dan.
Speaker 7: (10:48)
The fact is that in these COVID era, even now with some openings, gatherings are not as large as they used to be. So here's the question. People are increasingly cooking a Turkey breasts rather than whole turkeys. And the challenge there, particularly if it's a Turkey breast, uh, that is, uh, without boats, how do you keep the Turkey voiced and how do you get the same effect that you have when you're cooking a whole Turkey? When you're just, uh, cooking a boneless Turkey breast, if you could solve that problem, you are better than any internet source that I have consulted over the last week.
Speaker 2: (11:30)
Wow, well cooking Turkey breasts. Um, you can definitely keep it moist and it doesn't need to be a challenge either. So I would take a nice shallow pan. If you have a rack that can keep the Turkey breasts lifted up off the bottom of the pan, that would be best. What you want to do is take some Turkey stock or chicken stock and put it in the bottom of the pan, put some herbs, maybe some onion, garlic, Rosemary, um, some Sage, and put that into the stock at the bottom. Then put your rack on and put the breast over the top. Make sure your, your Turkey breast is nice and seasoned. And then you're going to cook it in the oven. And the moisture from the Turkey stock underneath should keep the, the meat nice and moist and keeping your skin nice and crispy over the top.
Speaker 1: (12:21)
And how are you going to season it just with the butter and salt and pepper?
Speaker 2: (12:25)
Yeah, you can do it just like how you would a whole Turkey. You can continue to base it throughout the process with butter and salt pepper, lots of herbs, a nice poultry seasoning would be, would be great as well.
Speaker 1: (12:38)
More or listeners more questions here they are.
Speaker 8: (12:42)
Hello, chef saloon and the KPBS team. This is Lily from San Diego. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Um, my question is, do you use the turkeys giblets and the spices in your stuffing? Thank you, chef and happy Thanksgiving.
Speaker 2: (12:57)
Happy Thanksgiving for me. I try to read my audience and kind of see who I have over for Thanksgiving. If it's a, if I have a couple of other fellow chefs over, I'm definitely going to be using the giblets inside the stuffing and maybe even in the, in the sauce as well. Um, I think the liver adds great flavor to any, any gravy or stuffing, but you know, not everyone is, uh, is a big fan of the giblets. And especially for kids, it's not necessarily to have them in there. So if they're adventurous eaters, I would do go for it. But if not, I would leave them out. Okay.
Speaker 1: (13:30)
And here's another question.
Speaker 9: (13:32)
Hello, chef Brandon and the KPPs team. This is Ali from Rancho Bernardo. I want to be sure all a happy Thanksgiving. And my question is what's the difference between stuffing and dressing. Thank you.
Speaker 2: (13:47)
The age old question, dressing and stuffing for me, I think it's always been kind of a regional thing. I grew up in the Midwest and, um, I had half of my family calling it dressing, and half of it calling it stuffing. I always kind of leaned towards the stuffing side of it. Um, but I, I believe stuffing is stuffed inside this Turkey and baked and the dressing is not cooked on the side, but you know, up for debate, I would say on that one
Speaker 1: (14:18)
Basically interchangeable. What do you prefer? We're not supposed to cook the stuffing in the bird anymore. Right.
Speaker 2: (14:26)
You know, if you do it the way I was describing, what's doing the, the Turkey breasts separate from the legs. I think it's best to do it on the side and not in a separate pan. And it can really get more crispy edges. If you do it in a pan, if you do it in the Turkey, it stays moist, but you don't really get those like crispy edges.
Speaker 1: (14:46)
So do you have a dish that you're most excited to make this Thanksgiving? Tell us about it.
Speaker 2: (14:52)
Ooh, well, I find that I am the master of mashed potatoes. Um, that's my go-to. Everyone always asks me to make it for them every year. If you'd like, I can let you in, on my, on my secrets, your
Speaker 1: (15:05)
Speaker 2: (15:07)
So if you're about a potato per person, or maybe depending on the size of the potatoes, I would say a little bit less. I take heavy cream and butter. I don't, I don't mess around with the milk. I just go straight to the heavy cream. Um, and it's only one time a year that you're in Thanksgiving. So as soon as I started boiling my potatoes, I have a separate pot going with the heavy cream and the butter on a very low simmer. I take about five, six, close the garlic, and that's simmering in there with Rosemary and time, whole Rosemary and time. Once the potatoes are done boiling and cooked all the way through, I straightened them out, straight out the water and I press it through a potato masher. So our ricer, this gets 'em nice and fluffy mashed potatoes. And as soon as those potatoes come out of the ricer, I whisk it into my butter and cream mixture, which should be nice and thick at this point, because it's been cooking down for, you know, probably about 35 to an hour. Then you pull out your Rosemary and your time stems, just so people don't get eat on those. And then you have a nice smooth potato garlicky puree.
Speaker 1: (16:20)
I think you've just elevated the mashed potato experience for the entire county.
Speaker 2: (16:24)
Yes. You got to make sure you keep those a whole chunks of garlic in there and, and kind of whisk it into the potatoes. So you get, you still get some pieces of the garlic, but they're also mixed up in there.
Speaker 1: (16:36)
It was our listeners have more questions for you. So let's hear what they have to say.
Speaker 10: (16:40)
Hi, I'm Eric from allied gardens. You know, a lot of the science of cooking, a good Turkey for Thanksgiving seems to be centered on the method, but it rarely seems to deviate much from the typical holiday roast bird flavor. Are there alternatives to the classic roast Turkey flavors that you've tried or would recommend to people who want to try something new this holiday and happy Thanksgiving?
Speaker 2: (17:02)
Yeah, I, I definitely liked to mix up the traditional flavors. Um, I spent, you know, 20 years eating the same flavored Turkey. So when I was in charge, I like to mix it up one year, I did a smoked Turkey breasts. Um, for me like smoking any kind of chicken or, or poultry is it comes out awesome. Um, if you're familiar with smokers, it's, it's really fine. It creates like an all day experience and, um, you can cook outside and a lot more fun for me. And then I've also done fried Turkey, you know, like a, a crispy Kentucky fried Turkey is always fun and different. You do a nice buttermilk soak and then do a nice breading and deep fry. The Turkey is also a really fun alternative,
Speaker 1: (17:51)
But not if it's frozen,
Speaker 2: (17:52)
Not if it's frozen.
Speaker 1: (17:55)
I think we have a question from one of the younger members of our audience.
Speaker 11: (17:59)
I'm ed. I live in San Diego, I'm in sixth grade and I'm having Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents, I'm vegan. And they're not, I was wondering what are some dishes that we can make the everyday
Speaker 2: (18:10)
You can make so many different things. And just because you're big, it shouldn't stop you from making some really great food on Thanksgiving. The squash is definitely a great vegetable for making things vegan and vegetarian and doing fun things with, cause they they're very versatile. You can stuff them. Um, you can take the filling and do so many different things with them. For me, I like to do a whole stuffs squash and to do more of a vegan stuffing, put it inside the squash and roast it whole in the oven. Um, that's always a fun thing to do for the vegan guests.
Speaker 1: (18:43)
How is vegan stuffing different from regular stuffing?
Speaker 2: (18:47)
Well, you can still keep the traditional flavors. You can have your onion, celery, garlic, your, your breadcrumbs, just make sure you use something that doesn't use milk or butter, something more like a sourdough. And then you use a vegetable stock instead of Turkey stock. Um, they even make a really great vegan butter nowadays that you, you just follow almost the exact same stuffing recipe and just sub out for vegan ingredients.
Speaker 1: (19:14)
Let's go to another question. Hi,
Speaker 12: (19:17)
This is Kim and Lamesa, I'm wondering, do you think it's worth it to make your own cranberry sauce? Thanks.
Speaker 2: (19:23)
I definitely think it's worth it's make your own cranberry sauce. Um, yeah, I never was a big fan of the, uh, the Gigli stuff out of the, out of the can. Um, yeah, I like, uh, get some frozen cranberries, um, very easy to make, take them right from frozen. Put them in a pot. I like to use some kind of bourbon or rum with it. Um, and you can just pour the rum or bourbon right in there with the cranberries. Um, add, add a little bit of sugar. You can always adjust the sugar at the end. Um, depending on how, how bitter you like your cranberries. Um, I always like to do it with a little bit of orange zest and orange juice. Uh, definitely throw in some whole cinnamon sticks and then from there, and just let it simmer until it all comes together. And in a nice thick jam,
Speaker 1: (20:10)
Sounds like a cranberry sauce. I'd like, thank you for that. And now we've been talking a lot about the main chorus and side dishes. Let's get into the best desserts to pair with a holiday meal. Do you have any recommendations on desserts to make for Thanksgiving that are not pies?
Speaker 2: (20:29)
You can always make a really great bread pudding that is something easy to make. And typically people have a lot of bread around Thanksgiving time. So you only need a few simple ingredients to make it. Um, you just take some eggs and milk with those up together, and you want to add your spices that you like. I like to do like cinnamon and not mag like to do a little bit of clove and allspice and coriander inside there. You can do some chopped apples, uh, some winter fruits. You can do pears, um, different things like that. And you simply just pour it over the bread. You're going to want to add your sugar into the egg mix as well. And you bake that and it'll make a nice custardy bread pudding. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (21:15)
Yeah. Sounds good. And one of our listeners has a dessert related question for you.
Speaker 13: (21:20)
Hi chef. My name is Shauna. I live in Bonzul. Thank you so much. First of all, for taking my question and happy Thanksgiving, um, I just wanted to know, so every year I make a pumpkin cheese cake and I love it. It's a huge hit. My family loves it as well, but I typically buy a pre-made store-bought Graham cracker crust. And this year I really want to go all out and make it really homemade and make my own homemade Graham cracker crust. So I was wondering if you had any tips and tricks on making a really delicious one.
Speaker 2: (21:49)
You really don't need a lot to make a really great Graham cracker crest. Um, by the way, the pumpkin cheesecake sounds like a great idea. Graham cracker crust. You want to buy some nice Graham crackers. You know, I think the honey, the honey gold ones are the most traditional, but you blend those up and you're want to get a good amount of butter. You want to enough butter to definitely co all the, the Graham crackers and melt that down and add any additional spices. You'd like, I like to add a little bit of honey, um, to give it a little bit of different sweetness, a little different flavor, a little bit of nutmeg that I grind up in there. And cinnamon, after you mix that all together, it should, it should feel like a wet sand. Um, you're going to push that into your pie tin and make sure you press it from that's the key. You need to make sure you press it really firm. And then I usually let it sit in the fridge to, to firm up. Um, you can also do these ahead of time, put them in the freezer and you know, I know Thanksgiving's coming up, so it's a little late for that, but good planning for next year.
Speaker 1: (22:52)
And of course we must pair all this delicious food with something to drink. Right. Here's another listener's question.
Speaker 14: (22:58)
Hi, chef Brandon. This is Ben from Del Cerro. My question for you is what beverages pair well with the Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you
Speaker 2: (23:06)
For me. I, I, I like white wine typically with, with Thanksgiving dinner. Um, for me, the red wine kind of overpowers the Turkey and some of the herbs that you use and the subtle flavors and Thanksgiving dinner. So for me, I like to have like a nice Blanc or Chardonnay that really pairs well with the, the light gravy and the, the white Turkey meat. Um, also if you want to do like a, a fun cocktail, definitely something with bourbon and maybe apple cider is always good, a good route as well.
Speaker 1: (23:39)
San Diego is known for its beer. So are there any beer with Turkey recommendations?
Speaker 2: (23:47)
Ooh, beer with Turkey. Um, there's so many great breweries around San Diego. For me. I like north park brewing. They have a really great it's called birdy and bogey. I believe they made it for, uh, some Frisbee golfers out here in San Diego, but it's a really clean, crisp, easy, easy drinking Thanksgiving beer. Um, you can have a couple of them and not be too full for Thanksgiving dinner.
Speaker 1: (24:13)
A lot of people plan to eat out on Thanksgiving. What is your restaurant planning for Thanksgiving?
Speaker 2: (24:20)
We're doing a three course Thanksgiving meal here at the Pendry, um, and includes three courses, uh, with a great dessert at the end. We also offer Thanksgiving to go. I know it's difficult to cook if you're only two people or three people or what, even by your spouse, so you can get, um, Thanksgiving to go for your house, includes a holiday pie for Thanksgiving here at the Pendry. We're doing, um, a couple of fun dishes. Uh, we're doing a nice butternut squash soup. Um, we're doing a brown butter Naoki with some crispy pork belly and some fried Sage on top. And then we also have a really nice Chantrelle mushroom and goat cheese. Tareen something a little different vegetarian option. We do a pecan caramel apple stuffing with our Turkey. We also, if you're not really feeling Turkey this year, we have a nice mustard, a persimmon mustard, glaze salmon, and a really awesome braised short rib for people that aren't in the Turkey,
Speaker 1: (25:20)
Something for everybody,
Speaker 2: (25:22)
Something for everyone,
Speaker 1: (25:23)
For everyone preparing a Thanksgiving meal, what should they be doing today to get ready for the feast tomorrow?
Speaker 2: (25:30)
You can actually get a lot of things done ahead of time. That will save you a lot of time on Thanksgiving day so that you can spend more time with your family. Um, for me, I like to always peel my potatoes for the mashed potatoes the day before. Um, keep them in water. Uh, no that doesn't sound like it would save you a lot of time, but really all you gotta do is pour it in the pot and turn it on at that point. A lot of little things like that will definitely help you save time. Um, your stuffing can definitely be done the day before and reheated. I would not recommend it in that the day of Thanksgiving gravy can definitely be done the day before, unless you'd like to take the drippings from the Turkey, which I like to do. So you might be able to save that one for the day of Thanksgiving. Um, cranberry sauce should definitely be done before Thanksgiving. That one's, that one's easy to do. Other than that, you know, you've got your Turkey and your brine, um, and just be ready to be able to just put everything in the oven, you know, so you don't have to take things out of containers, put them into pots. You could just put the pot right into the fridge and save yourself some, some extra dishes. Well,
Speaker 1: (26:40)
Chef, I know that you're going to be busy, busy, busy on Thanksgiving itself, but how are you going to be celebrating this year?
Speaker 2: (26:46)
You know, most of my family is back in the Midwest, but I do have friends family over here in San Diego. So we're, we're doing like a fun friends Thanksgiving the day after all my friends like to bring, uh, a couple of dishes. Uh, I usually still do the Turkey, even though I'm going to be working. I find time to, uh, get the Turkey done. Um, yeah, it should be a great time.
Speaker 1: (27:09)
It's so important for all of us to remember the things we're grateful for. Maybe especially this year. I know I'm grateful for my family and for living here in San Diego, would you share with us chef, what are some of the things you're grateful for?
Speaker 2: (27:23)
Yeah, I'm, I'm definitely grateful for a lot of things this year, you know, going through this pandemic and you definitely, um, don't take things for granted. Um, I actually was able to get married this year after, after about a year of postponement. So, um, I'm definitely thankful for my new wife and, um, you know, our first Thanksgiving as a married couple this year and just thankful for my health and my family's house. And that's about it.
Speaker 1: (27:51)
I can't thank you enough for speaking with us today. Thank you for sharing your insights, being on the show, being our Turkey talk expert. And I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving from all of us at KPBS.
Speaker 2: (28:03)
Thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving.
Speaker 1: (28:12)
We have several of chef Brandon Sloan's delicious Thanksgiving recipes on our website, kpbs.org. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann from all of us at midday edition, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
After last year’s pandemic locked-down Thanksgiving, this year’s celebration with family and friends gives us much to be thankful for. The KPBS Midday Edition team wants to help you elevate your Thanksgiving meal with its annual Thanksgiving Special: 'Turkey Talk.'
This year, Chef Brandon Sloan, culinary chef at the Pendry San Diego’s Provisional Kitchen joined the show to answer listeners' Thanksgiving preparation-related questions. Chef Brandon talked about cooking prep, the best ways to prep a turkey, some vegan Thanksgiving options, desserts for the holiday, beverages and more. He also shared a few of his favorite recipes— mashed potatoes and a roasted squash with vegan stuffing.
Chef Brandon's Delicious Mashed Potato recipe:
- 5 russet potatoes
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 pound butter
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 6 sprigs thyme
- Peel the potatoes ahead of time and store them in water
- On Thanksgiving morning, boil the potatoes until completely soft
- In a separate pot, add the cream, butter, herbs and garlic cloves
- Simmer the cream mixture on very low throughout the whole time the potatoes are cooking
- Once the potatoes are soft, drain out the water
- Remove the herbs from the cream mixture and turn off the heat
- Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes directly into the cream mixture, and whisk until completely smooth
- Season with salt to taste
Chef Brandon's Roasted Squash with Vegan Stuffing recipe (feeds four people):
- 1 butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1/4 loaf of dried sourdough cubed
- ½ cup small diced onion
- ½ cup small diced celery
- ½ cup small diced carrots
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon picked thyme
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon sage
- ½ cup dried cranberry
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 stick vegan butter
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Melt vegan butter and mix all ingredients together in a bowl
- Stuff squash with stuffing. You can remove more of the inside of the squash with a spoon to fit more of the stuffing on the inside.
- Close squash and place on a sheet tray
- Drizzle olive oil and salt over squash and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, depending on size of the squash
- Check if squash is cooked all the way through with a fork
The KPBS Midday Edition team thanks former 'Turkey Talk' guest, Chef Bernard Guillas for joining the show in previous years and sharing his expertise with listeners over the years. Chef Bernard retired from The Marine Room earlier this year.