How is Thanksgiving next week? Are you in need of some last-minute recipe inspo? We got you! Here are two tantalizing sides from talented female chefs plus a classic pumpkin pie recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!
Carolina Gold Rice Grits with Sweet Potato, Ginger, Sage, and Baked Goats Cheese
Courtesy of Vanessa Miller, Senior Director of Food & Beverage at 21c Museum Hotels, who was promoted earlier this year from her role as Executive Chef at Metropole at 21c Cincinnati. Vanessa has had an interesting path to F&B director, her unique perspective on restaurants and hospitality combines front-of-house and back-of-house management experience with an analytical approach to operations, fueled by Economics and Political Science training from Tufts University, where she also played basketball. Starting in restaurants at the age of 16, Miller quickly climbed the ranks and, with no formal culinary training, transitioned to the kitchen where she discovered her passion for food and honed her culinary talent. In 2013, at the age of 24, Miller became the youngest female Executive Chef in New York City when she opened The Dalloway in SoHo. Here's her recipe:
Carolina Gold Rice Grits w/ Sweet Potato, Ginger, Sage, and Baked Goats Cheese Recipe
Base: 1 cup Carolina Gold Rice 1 tbsp blended oil 4 cups diced sweet potato 1 tbsp diced ginger 1½ quarts water ¼ cup ginger juice ¼ cup lemon juice 1 tbsp fresh sage, sliced Salt to taste
Directions: Combine sweet potatoes, ginger, and blended oil in a saucepot over medium heat until ginger becomes fragrant. Add rice and water, and let gently simmer until rice has fully absorbed the liquid, the sweet potato is soft and all water is evaporated. Add ginger juice and sliced sage and season to taste with salt. Once all liquid is evaporated and the rice has a porridge-like consistency, turn off the heat. Add lemon juice right before serving.
2 oz goats cheese
1 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
Roll goat's cheese into 2 1 oz balls, and once room temp flatten into disc shape. Coat with breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven at 350 until warmed all the way through.
Spoon grits into a bowl and serve warm breaded goat's cheese over top. Garnish with additional sage, Maldon salt, and a squeeze of lemon for an extra pop of flavor.
Raised in a large Filipino family in the melting pot of Forest Hills, Queens, Ria Montes, Chef de Cuisine at Estuary at Conrad Washington, DC developed her deep love for food and passion for cooking while learning the ropes alongside her aunties, cousins, and other extended family members as they cooked traditional meals for a small village of relatives. The idea of connecting with the cultural ties of her heritage through cooking delicious food lit a spark in Chef Ria, which took her to the French Culinary Institute for her education.
After graduating, Chef Ria spent time in several kitchens throughout New York City, including Smith and Wollensky in midtown East and Andaz on 5th Avenue, where her exceptional work ethic drove her promotion to Executive Sous Chef.
Then Chef Ria moved to Washington, D.C. to accept the position of Sous Chef working under Executive Chef Brad Deboy at Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern. From there, Chef Ria worked at several other DC restaurants before landing at Estuary as Chef de Cuisine of Estuary, where she brings a new, innovative take on the seasonal flavors of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. She loves celebrating Thanksgiving with her family and making the stuffing because she can get her nieces and nephews to help. Here's her recipe:
Mushroom Stuffing Recipe
400 g croissants
200 g sourdough bread
300 g chopped mushrooms
80 g garlic
40 g chopped thyme
400 g beef stock
150 g heavy cream
4 whole eggs
Tear all bread into the same size pieces and set aside.
Mix beef stock, heavy cream, and whole eggs in a bowl until all are incorporated.
Pour mixture into bread.
Fold in mushrooms, thyme, and garlic.
Salt to taste.
Let set overnight. Cover with foil.
Bake in a 375 F oven until the bread is firm.
With almost two decades of professional culinary experience, Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Logan, Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC is no stranger to luxury, world-class service, drawing from an impressive career that expands from the West Coast and Hawaii to the Bahamas and Grand Cayman. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Melissa jump-started her career in Las Vegas, as part of the opening team at The Venetian Resort & Casino, a 4,000-room hotel. Next, she took on executive positions at hotels such as The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, The Four Seasons Hualalai, and Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, where she refined her culinary skills, menu development, and staff management. She shares her famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, influenced by her southern setting. Here's her pie recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
(Yields 1 x 9” Pie)
1 ¾ Cup Butter, Cold
2 ¾ Cup Cake Flour
1 ½ Cup Bread Flour
2/3 Cup Ice Water
1 tsp Salt
Sift together the flours with the salt
Cut the cold butter into small cubes, cut this fat into the flour, salt mixture. This can be done by hand or preferably with a kitchen aid and paddle attachment as your hand can be hot and melt the butter. Only mix till the butter looks like little walnut-size pieces throughout the flour mixture, do not over-mix this, it should not come together at all, it should look very dry and floury
Remove the ice from the water, slowly pour the water into the mixer while running on 1st or low speed
Allow this to mix just long enough to come together, you may not need all of the water or you may need a little extra, it should not be sticky but should be combined and not crumbly
Remove from mixer and wrap in plastic wrap, allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to chill the dough
Roll dough to 1/8” thick, relax the dough after rolling, cut out 12” circle
Spray the 9” pie tin with pan spray, mold the pie dough into the pie tin
Place the molded pie into the freezer for 30 minutes to set the dough
Blind bake the pie shell by placing another pie tin inside of the pie shell and putting beans or rice inside
Bake at 360°F for approximately 22-25 minutes, remove the top pie pan with rice or beans and place back in the oven and bake till light golden brown, an additional 10-15 minutes
Tip: Always par-bake your pie shell till almost done for pumpkin pie, it ensures the dough is cooked through before putting in the filling, if the edges start to get dark cover them lightly with tin foil till the pumpkin is set.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
8 oz Sugar
2 oz Brown Sugar
1.5 oz Cake Flour
3/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1 3/4 tsp Salt
10.5 oz Pumpkin Puree
4 oz Light Corn Syrup
12 oz Milk
13 oz Cream
Mix pumpkin, corn syrup milk, and cream and mix with a whisk till smooth, lowest speed, then add dry ingredients, mix till smooth again. Let rest for one hour then add:
2 oz Egg Whites (white of one egg)
Mix with a whisk on the lowest speed till incorporated and pour into the pie shell.
Bake at 350° till set about 50 minutes to an hour, it should be slightly browned on top.