Local chef Heath Schecter shares his Thanksgiving dinner recipes

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Thanksgiving, Local Chef /Cookbook Author Heath Schecter joined our morning show in-studio to create a feast with all the trimmings!

Chef Schecter had a problem many parents have experienced before him....trying to get their kids to eat real food. However, for somebody that has worked in restaurants for more than 25 years, this predicament was only magnified. So instead of getting frustrated about his children's food choices, Chef Heath took matters into his own hands and wrote a cookbook called "I'm a Chef & My Kids Want Buttered Noodles." Heath created this cook book of recipes based on his love for food. The book features a collection of his recipes from starters, soups & salads, main courses, sous vide cooking, desserts, sides, sauces, seasonings and more.

This cookbook is a collection of his recipes created over the years, from starters, soups & salads, main courses, sous vide cooking, desserts, sides, sauces, seasonings and more. The recipes are very approachable and the steps are laid out to recreate them. He is very proud of this book; however, what he is most proud of, is that 25% of proceeds from all book sales will be donated to Project Semicolon which is a nonprofit organization known for its advocacy of mental health wellness and its focus as an anti-suicide initiative.

In addition to becoming a published author, Heath has worn multiple chef hats including working alongside celebrity chef, Beau MacMillan, at the Sanctuary Resort in Paradise Valley, Arizona, contributing chef at The Gallery Restaurant in Lake Forest and a sought after personal chef catering for private dinners, BBQs and special occasions around Chicagoland.

Thanksgiving tips from Chef Heath Schecter:
-Plan Ahead! You need to know how many people your serving and what time your eating so you can properly plan out your meal. Don't forget to allow extra time for your turkey and allow time for it to sit after being in the oven.

-Tips for keeping your turkey moist? Brining it the day before is a good way to ensure moisture but if your tuning in now and preparing your turkey, you can make a compound butter and put it under the turkey skin (we can demonstrate this) you'll want to make the butter with traditional herbs such as thyme, parsley, rosemary and sage along with a good amount of garlic.

-You can save yourself time in the future by making most sides one to two days in advance and heat them up on Thanksgiving.

-If you have one oven you can use your grill as a source to keep foods warm- just use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

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Local Chef /Cookbook Author Heath Schecter joined our morning show in-studio to create a feast with all the trimmings!



Recipes:
Savory Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing:
-8-10 cups of Angelic Bakehouse 7-Grain 16 oz. Bread
-1 cup dried cranberries
-1 lb of breakfast sausage
-1 white onion diced
-1 apple
-1 cup of chopped celery
-2 tbsp fresh rosemary
-2 tbsp fresh sage
-2 eggs beaten
-3.5 cups of chicken broth

-8 tbsp melted butter (we used plant butter!)
-Salt and pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cube bread and place on a baking sheet
3. Bake bread 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside for now
4. In a large pan, brown sausage - be sure to leave grease in pan after it is cooked
5. Add celery, onion, herbs, salt, and pepper to the pan with sausage grease. Cook and stir often
6. Place bread cubes in large bowl. Add sausage, onion and celery mixture, apple, eggs, cranberries, broth and 1 tbsp of butter to bowl. Mix bread and ingredients together
7. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes
8. Remove dish from oven and remove foil. Feel free to add more broth if needed and add remaining 4 tbsp of butter
9. Place stuffing back into the oven uncovered and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown

Top with herbs and serve

Bread Pudding:
Add any flavors to make it your own, ie: blueberries or 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin and 2 T of pumpkin spice

1 lb cut Angelic Bakehouse sprouted dinner rolls cubed
1 1/2 cup whole milk
2 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 eggs
1/2 lb butter
1 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Cube dinner rolls, if they are fresh, place cubed rolls on to a sheet plan and into a 200 degree oven to dry it out
2. In a sauce pan, on medium-low heat, add milk, cream and butter. heat until butter melts, watch to make sure it doesn't boil over.
3. Whisk eggs and sugar until fully incorporated and pale yellow, then add vanilla
4. Slowly whisk warm cream mixture into eggs to temper them...if you add the warm mix into the eggs too fast, you'll scramble the eggs...not good!
5. Pour custard over cubed rolls, and allow it to soak about an hour. transfer to a coated 8 x 8 pan (or 8 inch round cake plan), cover with foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Serve with frozen custard or creme anglaise

Fresh Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Green bean casserole
Soup:
8 oz white mushroom, finely chopped
8 oz cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
2 T shallot, minced
1 T oil
1 T butter
1 T chopped thyme, fresh
3 c chicken stock (or veg or turkey)
1/2 heavy cream
1-2 tsp sherry vinegar (to taste)
Salt & pepper (to taste)
Corn starch slurry (corn starch and water)

Instructions

Place pot on med high heat
Add oil and butter to pot
Add shallots and both types of mushrooms
Season w/ s & p

Allow to cook, mushroom will release water, once released liquid has almost evaporated, add thyme, cook another 2 min
Add stock and cream, bring to a boil, then lower temp
Add slurry a little at a time until desired thickness
Add salt, pepper and sherry vinegar to taste

Green beans:
In a pot of, salted, boiling water add 1-2 lbs of beans
Allow to cook to your liking (i like some bite in there) 5-8 min
Remove from water (drain), place in a casserole dish or serving platter. Ladle soup over beans, garnish with fried onion strings.

For more information, visit www.chefheath.com, www.angelicbakehouse.com and www.freshthyme.com.
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