For those of you who are cooking a little more than just meat on Thanksgiving, (and Thanksgivukkah) it's T-minus about 48 hours. Hopefully you've already done some shopping to avoid the last-minute crowds.
We have a Thanksgiving treat for those of you who are still looking for that special dish that will surprise and delight your guests. Over the last couple of days, Take Two traveled all over this great city to find — and sample! — unique Thanksgiving recipes from some of L.A.'s best chefs.
Locro de Quinoa (Quinoa Pumpkin Stew)
AOC with Suzanne Goin
Sweet potatoes with bacon, spinach, and romesco
4 pounds sweet potatoes, Jewel or Garnet
1⁄3 cup brown sugar
1 cup sherry, reduced to 1⁄2 cup
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sliced sage leaves
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
3⁄4 pound slab bacon
1⁄2 pound young spinach, cleaned
1⁄2 cup Romesco (see recipe below)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into 11⁄2-inch cubes. Place them in a large bowl, and toss with the sugar and reduced sherry.
In a medium sauté pan, cook the butter over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until it’s brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat, and let cool a few minutes. Add the sage and thyme to the butter, and pour it over the sweet potatoes, scraping the pan with a rubber spatula to get all the brown bits. Toss with a large spoon, being careful of the hot butter. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large roasting pan, and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until they are caramelized and tender. Stir with a metal spatula every so often, to coat the potatoes evenly with the butter and sugar.
While the potatoes are cooking, slice the bacon lengthwise into 3⁄8-inch- thick slices. Stack them in two piles, then cut the strips crosswise into 3⁄8-inch- thick even-sided rectangles, or lardons. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the bacon, and cook for about 5 minutes, until it’s tender and lightly crisped. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a plate.
When the sweet potatoes are done, remove the pan from the oven and toss in the bacon and spinach. Taste for seasoning, and arrange in a shallow bowl or large platter. Spoon the romesco over and around the sweet potatoes.
5 ancho chiles
2 tablespoons raw almonds
2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts
11⁄4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice country bread, about 1 inch thick
1⁄3 cup canned tomatoes, San Marzano or Muir Glen
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from the chiles, and then soak them in warm water for 15 minutes to soften. Strain the chiles, and pat dry with paper towels.
Meanwhile, spread the nuts on a baking sheet, and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until they smell nutty and are golden brown.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and wait a minute. Fry the slice of bread on both sides until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pan, and cool. Cut it into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the chiles, and sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until the tomato juices have evaporated and the tomato starts to color slightly. Turn off the heat, and leave the mixture in the pan.
In a food processor, pulse together the toasted nuts, garlic, and fried bread until the bread and nuts are coarsely ground. Add the chile-tomato mixture, and process for 1 minute more.
With the machine running, slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup olive oil, and process until you have a smooth purée. Don’t worry: the romesco will “break,” or separate into solids and oil; this is normal. Add the parsley, and season to taste with lemon juice, pepper and more salt if you like.
The Roof with Eric Greenspan
The Thanks a Latkes
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and grated
1/2 cup flour
salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped green bean casserole
1/2 cup chopped turkey meat
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
Combine potatoes and onions in a large colander and drain vigorously. Add to a large mixing bowl with the eggs, flour, salt, casserole, and turkey, and mix vigorously. Form mix into 3 inch patties, and shallow fry in a low pan until crispy on both sides. Remove and season.
Mix the cranberry sauce and sour cream vigorously. Top each latke with the cranberry sour cream. Light candles, spin dreidels, watch football, take off work, give thanks, and best of all, enjoy.