Thanksgiving dishes, advice and sides from some of Chicago's top chefs

  • A dish of Skordalia, from Chef Doug Psaltis of Andros Taverna, is a fancy way to get potatoes on the table.

    A dish of Skordalia, from Chef Doug Psaltis of Andros Taverna, is a fancy way to get potatoes on the table. Courtesy of Kinship

 
 
Updated 11/22/2021 6:32 AM

Today, we share a few Thanksgiving recipes from Chicago chefs who've put their stamp on traditional side dishes. Try one or all of these to impress your holiday guests.

You'll see recipes from Chef Doug Psaltis of Andros Taverna, who shares his Skordalia recipe. Chef Bill Kim of Table at Crate in Oak Brook and urbanbelly in Chicago shares his Korean pesto secrets. And Chef Johnny Besch of BLVD Steakhouse offers his recipe for Brussels sprouts. For more recipes from other chefs, see dailyherald.com/food/.

 

In an email exchange, I asked Chef Bill Kim some questions about his holiday traditions, including what his Korean pesto would go best with on a Thanksgiving table. Personally, I think it would be an excellent accompaniment to leftover turkey sandwiches, a condiment for potato puff pancakes made with leftover mashed potatoes or with scrambled eggs.

Chef Johnny Besch of BLVD Steakhouse offers a recipe for Brussels sprouts, shown here with a fried egg on top.
Chef Johnny Besch of BLVD Steakhouse offers a recipe for Brussels sprouts, shown here with a fried egg on top. - Courtesy of Kinship

"The Korean pesto can be used in many different ways," Kim said. "As a dressing for your holiday salad, by adding a little vinegar of your choice and some olive oil. Also add a tablespoon of the Korean pesto to your gravy to give it an herbal layer of flavor. One more thing you can do with the Korean pesto is toss broccoli or Brussels sprout and butter to take it to the next layer."

Besides adding this refreshing pesto to the mix on Thanksgiving, Chef Kim has a marinade to share for a holiday or anytime you're roasting poultry.

"I promise this marinade for your turkey will start a new tradition in your family," Kim said. "It's super simple. It's just vinegar, dried oregano, fresh garlic, dark chili powder, sweet paprika and olive oil. Take this marinade and rub it on the whole turkey, cover and refrigerate overnight." Then you simply roast the bird.

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At Chef Kim's house, they celebrate Korican Thanksgiving, a combination of Korean and Puerto Rican favorites.

"It's our tradition! We travel to the suburbs for Korean lunch, then drive back to the city for Puerto Rican food for dinner. I love our Thanksgiving tradition."

For the big day, he's got some advice for cooks who might look at cooking a holiday feast with trepidation.

"Please organize yourself," Kim said. "Never try to cook everything in one day. Cook dishes in stages over three days. Think about how you can use your outdoor gas grill as an oven, reheat your side dishes in the microwave, and make some cold dishes, so you don't have to have everything hot."

So, who's doing the Thanksgiving cooking at the Kim house?

"My family never wants me to cook," he said. "They want me to take the day off and enjoy being around family and food."

I hope you enjoy this early edition of the Food section. Whether you're cooking or not, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

• Contact Food Editor Susan Stark at sstark@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4586.

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