The Marine Room’s turkey dinner is complete with ocean views and candlelight. PHOTO BY GREGORY BERTOLINI
Thanksgiving is intended to be a holiday about feeling grateful; a time to reflect on what we appreciate in life. However, for many, it’s increasingly becoming a day of resentment. Sorry, but a leisurely cruise up the coast to see the in-law’s this thankful holiday isn’t the definition of relaxation- traffic will be a nightmare.
Add listening to frustrated kids while trying to ignore your own “ungrateful” thoughts resembling something like “I should have just stayed home,” and well, you’ve got a recipe for a complete family-meltdown. And since a holiday meal can be served to you from a bountiful kitchen just a few minutes from home, it’s not really that hard to decide where to spend the holiday, is it? We’re talking about all the trimmings minus the work at two of the most delectable restaurants on the La Jolla coast after all.
Travel plans aside; if you’re a cook hosting the dinner, we’ve also got the inside seasonings from the experts on what makes for a trendy meal for this Thanksgiving. Finally, if you have to host this year but aren’t really a cook (but, perhaps would like to pretend you are), then head to Gelson’s Market now and order up your turkey-dinner for later. No one will know. We promise.
Staying home on Thanksgiving? Saunter over to The Shores,
then roll home stuffed
At The Shores Restaurant there’s quite the feast being offered under the direction of Chef de Cuisine Percy Oani. Chef Oani leads the restaurant and catering teams with over 15 years of experience in the culinary arts. And for Thanksgiving, he’s got the best way to cleverly garnish every dish. Here’s the low-down on what’s being offered for the most memorable meal in the culinary calendar. The website states one can “Enjoy a variety of savory appetizers, delicious main courses including Molasses Sage Glazed Ham, Herbs de Provence Butter Basted Tom Turkey, and Rosemary Roasted Angus Prime Rib, seasonal sides, delicious desserts and much more.”
When: The Thanksgiving Day Buffet is available from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. $56 per person with special pricing available for children 12 and under. Reservations can be made by calling 858.456.0600 or by visiting www.TheShoresRestaurant.com.
Or simply stroll over to The Marine Room for oceanfront dining
sans the stress
Maître Cuisiniers de France and award-winning chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room will be serving an array of culinary classics for palate-pleasing on Thanksgiving. Prepare to salivate with the entrees from this executive chef’s creations. The Marine Room’s website states the menu will feature local ingredients with a global flare. “Thanksgiving Day- Choose from a wide selection of main courses including Julian Harvest Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast, Marcona Almond Crusted Swordfish, Colorado Lamb Osso Buco and more. Top off your meal with a selection of delectable desserts such as Five Spice Pumpkin Torte, Fair Trade Chocolate Guava Dacquiose and Warm Heirloom Apple Rhubarb Berry Cobbler.”
When: From noon to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Prices are per entrees ordered. www.marineroom.com.
Maître Cuisiniers de France and award-winning chef Bernard Guillas joined La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, Inc. as executive chef in June 1994. In addition to The Marine Room, Guillas is responsible for directing the resort’s other two restaurants, including The Shores Restaurant, and all catering operations for the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.
Cooking on Thanksgiving?
Here’s an inside look at some of executive chef Guillas’ plans for the perfect turkey and mouth-watering sides. Keep in mind that he joined as executive chef of the Beach & Tennis Club in June 1994, this means he’s no spring chicken when it comes to a tasty turkey. Following, we’ve got cooking recommendations from Chef Oani from The Shores Restaurant.
Q & A with Chef Guillas
Q: Are there any new dishes that are trendy this year for Thanksgiving?
Chef Guillas: As fall is in full bloom and winter is knocking on the door, my favorite ingredients are organic root vegetables. The Rainbow Beets, harvested by Suzie’s Farm, are the perfect platform to celebrate the season. Their supporting cast: La Quercia prosciutto, beemster aged gouda, car acara orange from the farmer’s market, lemon-infused chile olive oil and maple anise vinegar reduction brings synergy to the dish.
Q: Can you please include a recipe for families?
CG: My sister, Sylvie, lives in a remote village close to the Mont St. Michel castle. Her historic stonemanor is a treasure, with walls so thick that they trap all the aromas of the food being prepared inthe kitchen. She grows her own vegetables and raises chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and sheep.
There is no need to go to the market when you have such a boon in your backyard! Her tip for keeping this dish moist is to baste the turkey with a lot of butter during roasting.
*See recipe bar for Sylvie’s Turkey Breast Ballotine.
Q: Can you recommend a recipe that you think stands the test-of-time for a popular dish?
CG: My friend Alfred in El Cajon has two persimmon trees that are priceless during the Thanksgiving season. The fruit is aromatic and dense, creating the perfect pairing for my cranberry relish.
Persimmons are available at farmer’s markets and at your local grocery store. Prepare your cranberry sauce a week ahead and store in the refrigerator. The flavors will intensify daily.
Making that turkey the “chef’s way” (and what other way is there?)
Q: Is there any advice you could provide on what one should follow as they prepare a turkey dinner?
CG: Buy a fresh turkey, if possible. If not, defrost your turkey in the refrigerator three days in advance. If you are going to brine your turkey, experiment with different flavors. There are several ciders with which to experiment: apple cider, pear cider, Julian Cherry Bomb cider. And different aromatics like juniper berries, sage, lemon thyme, star anise, chiles… your pantry and garden has no limit!
Q: What are one or two things you think most people overlook when cooking their own Thanksgiving meal?
CG: Rest your turkey for 20 minutes after you take it out of the oven. This will keep it very moist as the juice will be flowing during resting time. Prepare your holiday pies two days prior to Thanksgiving. As they rest in the refrigerator, the flavors will continue to develop. And, plan your menu well in advance – including your wine selection. Make a shopping list and a timeline to avoid any stress during this very special day.
More advice for cooking on
Thanksgiving - Q & A with Chef Oani
Here are some exclusive tips for trendy new dishes from the master of the kitchen himself, Chef Oani. Get ready to cut these culinary classic recommendations out for your recipe book.
All about preparing that turkey:
Q: Chef, are there any tried-and-true recipes for Thanksgiving? And are there any special tricks to include in a dish to give it an extra kick?
Chef Oani: I like to brine (marinate) my whole turkey for two days, then cook it at a low temperature with the breast side down. The turkey is actually hanging up that way the breast isn’t touching the pan. Having the turkey inverted while cooking makes the turkey breast juicy. All the drippings from inside the cavity seeps through the breast making it juicy.
Q: What’s one or two things you think most people overlook when cooking their own Thanksgiving meal?
CO: I think people tend to overlook the time it takes to cook the turkey. When you’re at home and oven space is limited, overlooking the cooking time for the turkey can throw everything else behind.
Q: Is there any advice you could provide on what one should or shouldn’t do as they prepare a turkey dinner?
CO: I’d say plan well ahead. All the extra time that you take in planning and executing your thanksgiving dinner will help you stay relaxed. Everyone knows that when a meal is made from the heart, it just tastes THAT much better!! You can’t really put all your heart into it if you’re rushing to get things done.
Gelson’s Market offers the entire Thanksgiving meal for order; the samplings were delicious- goto http://gelsons.com/entertaining/holiday-meals (858) 488-0044
Sylvie’s Turkey Breast Ballotine Croissant Sausage Stuffing, Glazed Carrots,
Cipollini, Apple Cider Gravy
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup stemmed, diced oyster mushrooms
2 cups minced leeks, white part only
1/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup diced sun dried tart cherries
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chicken stock
6 links hot Italian sausages, casings removed
8 large croissants, cubed
to taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 4-pound boneless free range turkey breast
1 stick butter, diced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, leeks, hazelnuts, cherries, sage and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes without browning, stirring often. Transfer mixture to large mixing bowl. Add chicken stock. Fold in sausage and croissants. Place turkey breast on cutting board. Butterfly-cut breast lengthwise to create pocket. Place two thirds of stuffing in center. Roll. Tie with butcher twine. Transfer remaining stuffing to baking dish. Cover. Place turkey in roasting pan skin side up. Dot with butter. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Bake 1 hour or until center of stuffing reaches 160 degrees, basting often. Bake reserved stuffing during last 30 minutes of cooking turkey. Transfer turkey to cutting board. Place roasting pan on stovetop over medium heat to make sauce.
Apple Cider Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 green apples, cored, chopped
4 leaves sage
2 tablespoons sifted flour
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup sparkling apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
to taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Add butter, shallots, apples and sage to roasting pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add balsamic and apple cider. Bring to boil. Add chicken stock. Bring to simmer. Reduce to sauce consistency. Strain through fine sieve. Season with salt and pepper.
1/2 cup verjus
1/2 pound young carrots, peeled, trimmed
1/2 pound cipollinis, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced mint
to taste sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add butter, verjus, honey, cipollinis and carrots to large skillet over medium heat. Bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cover. Cook 2 minutes. Uncover. Cook until liquid is syrupy. Add mint. Toss. Adjust seasoning. Set aside. Cut turkey breast into 1-inch thick slices. Place in center of warm serving plate. Garnish with carrots and cipollinis. Spoon sauce onto plate.
Persimmon Cranberry Relish
(Makes 2 cups)
2 cups ruby port
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stalk lemongrass, split
2 star anise
1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries
2 cups fresh persimmons, stemmed, peeled, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
Combine first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove lemongrass and star anise. Stir in cranberries, persimmons and ginger. Cook over medium heat until liquid is slightly reduced and berries burst. Stir occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to bowl. Chill until cold. Cover. Keep refrigerated. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead.)
Oani Family Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple Brown Sugar Glaze
1 ½ pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter plus 1 teaspoon for pan
1 ¼ pounds (1 box plus ½ cup) dark brown sugar
2 cups peeled, cored, diced ripe pineapple
Butter all sides 13x9x2 baking pan with 1 teaspoon of butter.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Make sure it does NOT boil. Add brown sugar. Combine well using a wooden spoon. Cook 2 minutes or until sugar is melted. Remove from heat. Allow to rest for 2 minutes. Stir mixture until fully combined and there is no butter floating on the surface.
Pour glaze in to prepared pan. Allow to cool to room temperature. Top with pineapple evenly distributed. Set aside.
6 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole milk
Preheat oven to 375F°.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
With a countertop mixer (such as Kitchenaid), cream butter and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs two at a time. Add vanilla extract. Alternate the flour mixture and milk until combined using 2 cups of flour mixture and ½ cup milk at a time. Pour cake batter in to prepared baking pan on top of pineapple. Bake 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes. Invert on to a cake platter. Serve with your favorite ice cream.