Add A Twist To Thanksgiving

November 18, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Chef Anthony Espinosa with the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel & Bar Novo ( came into our ABC7 studio kitchen to show us a few great recipes to let you cook like a pro.

Chef Anthony's Recipes:

Chestnut & Sage Stuffing
2 cups of chestnuts
½ cup of unsalted butter
½ cup of diced onions
½ cup of diced carrots
½ cup of diced celery
2 loaves of light rye bread/ diced
4 oz. of chopped sage
½ cup of white wine
4 cups of chicken stock or broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat pan on stove, melt the butter, add carrots, celery, and onions and sauté until tender and aromatic. Add in the chopped sage, chestnuts, add white wine, reduce until almost all liquid is evaporated. Then add the rye bread, mix well until all ingredients are incorporated, add chicken stock, place in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Top should be brown and crispy.

Black Pepper & Maple Brine
1 12-lb turkey
4qt Water
2/3 cup Sugar
1 cup Salt
2 cups
¼ cup whole black pepper corns
1 cup maple syrup

Take all the ingredients except the turkey, and bring to a boil.
Whisk together until all the salt and sugar are combined with the water.
Clean and drain the turkey of all excess moisture.
Completely submerge the turkey in the brine.
Brine the turkey for 12-24 hours.
Remove turkey from the brine, and rinse thoroughly with water.
Pat dry, and place in oven for 4-6 hours, "slow and low" temperature of oven between 325 to 375 degrees.
Temp turkey at 165 degrees to ensure completely cooked through.

Honey Roasted Parsnips
3 lbs parsnips/ cut into large squares
½ cup of honey
2 oz of fresh thyme/ chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and peel parsnips, cut into large square, and toss with salt and pepper and vegetable oil.
Place in a covered baking dish at 325 degrees until almost fork tender.
Remove from the dish and toss with thyme and honey, then place them back in the oven for another 7 minutes so all the flavors can melt nicely.

S'mores cheesecake
- Chocolate crisp
- Brulee marshmallow
- Graham cracker - Strawberry sauce

Cheese Cake (Yield two 9" pies)
2lbs Softened cream cheese
2 cups Sugar
3oz Corn starch
2 cups Chocolate chips
1oz Vanilla extract
Pinch Salt
2 Eggs

3oz Egg yolks
2oz Heavy cream
1oz Lemon juice

Cream together with paddle attachment, the cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Slowly add in the eggs and the egg yolks.
Add in the heavy cream and the lemon juice.
Blind bake the gram cracker crust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes
Pour 4.5 pounds of batter in the baking pan
Place the pan in a water bath, and place in the oven.
Cover with a sheet pan
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

- Place the blackberry coulis down & smear with a spoon
- Place three circles next to the coulis
- Break some gram cracker and rustically place on & around
- Garnish with two slices of candied lemons

Homemade Marshmallows
10 tbsp + 1 tsp of gelatin
2 cups Water
8 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups syrup
1 tsp salt
8 egg whites
4 tsp vanilla

Take the 8 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water and heat until sugar is evaporated.
Take the bloomed gelatin and use a kitchen aid or a whisk to mix all of the remaining ingredients until the mixture resembles marshmallows.
Recommendation: use a kitchen aid or some type of electric mixer because this will take a lot of mixing to bring together the ingredients.

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