Five Holiday Bites


Cipollini Onions

On a recent visit to the Quattros Farm and butcher shop just outside of Millbrook, New York I learned about a perfect braised onion recipe for the holiday table. These onions are luxurious when you cook them for an afternoon over low heat with balsamic vinegar. Served along side an arugula salad with cured meats and a poached egg to makes for an excellent post Thanksgiving snack since we choose to enjoy our main meal in the late afternoon.


Turkey Liver with Stuffing

Don’t be in a hurry to throw that Turkey liver in the gaboon. In 2011, I tried a new spin on an old recipe and it rocked. The simplest pre-Thanksgiving lunch for a hungry chef I could think of.

My mother used to make chicken livers as a snack on occasion. Not everyone liked them but I was always game. The recipe was quick and simple. Dust the livers with salt, pepper and flour. Then, fry them for about two minutes per side in a few tablespoons of bacon fat. So I did the same with the turkey liver. OK, maybe it was a little different: I used olive oil and wondra flour, added a few pieces of chopped onion for the last minute and served it over a kitchen spoonful of Hot Italian Sausage stuffing, but the idea came straight from my Mom.

Brussels Sprouts & Sage Sausage Hash

Yes, we love Brussels sprouts in our house. On Thanksgiving, it has been determined that it is just fine, in fact, to serve them twice. The first time is for breakfast where we cook them camp-out style on a grill over the fire in our fireplace. And the second is at the dinner table, simply sautéed with garlic in olive oil until brown.

For the breakfast hash, we use a combination of Brussels sprouts, small read potatoes, sweet potato, leeks, shallots, fresh-from-the-butcher sage pork sausage, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Top with locally raised eggs with a loaf of whole-grain bread for toast.

Warm Cranberry Relish Poached Pears

The Ambrose family loves a trip to the Walking Dunes with friends. The cranberry harvest can get competitive. We once had Brook Shield and her husband, Chris Henchy, along with their two lovely daughters and after the group had filled a couple of bags, Brook just couldn’t leave with us, it’s kind of addictive.

This year’s harvest was off the hook in October. With the three quarts we froze, I’ll prepare them on Thanksgiving three fine diced carrots, six shallots—soften both in butter over medium heat and add cranberries, one-cup orange juice, ¼-cup brown sugar and half-cup chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes, add pinch salt, transfer to a baking pan and top with peeled and thinly sliced pear. Place in hot oven with turkey for 45 minutes.


Butternut Squash and Walnut Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

I’ll be featuring butternut squash and walnut stuffed Cornish Game Hens on the Thanksgiving buck board this year. Our new home has a rotisserie rack in the fireplace, since not everyone loves the smokey bird we decided to spin the game hens over the fire and roast a turkey in the oven.

My daughter, Lyman, wants to be sure that we include the butternut stuffing on our menu.


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