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Take a page from the books of some of our talented chefs here on the North Shore this Thanksgiving with these inventive and original recipes. (Hint: you can make them any old regular day, too!)

Raymond’s Turkey Farm, Methuen

Perfectly Cooked Turkey

Raymond’s Turkey Farm recommends estimating a serving size of one pound per person for a sit-down meal, assuming no leftovers. Depending on appetites, you may want to adjust the poundage. Cook for 20 minutes per pound in a 350° oven.

  1. Place 1″ water in bottom of roasting pan, along with neck and giblets (if desired).
  2. Place aluminum foil tent with holes in it over the turkey. Put meat thermometer in the heaviest part of the thigh.
  3. Check turkey every hour to hour and a half, basting and adding water to pan, if needed. When the temperature reaches 170°, remove foil to brown. When the turkey reaches 180°, it’s done.

Chef Daniel Gursha

Ledger Restaurant, Salem

Apple Cider-Pickled Mustard Seeds

  • 2 cups yellow mustard seeds (soaked in 4 cups of water overnight)
  • 3 ½ cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1 cup of apple cider
  1. Strain the mustard seeds from the night before so that they are completely dry.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a pot (the liquid should cover the mustard seeds). Allow the ingredients to come up to a slow boil. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes thick (about 15-20 minutes). 
  3. Place the ingredients in a glass container and allow to chill. This condiment will keep in the refrigerator for a few months. Use the same way you would use mustard.

Maple Grilled Acorn Squash with Urfa and Walnuts

Photo by Gary Tardiff
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/8 cup maple
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/8 cup of walnuts
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Urfa (Turkish chili)
  • salt and pepper
  • cake tester or bamboo skewer
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Light Applewood charcoal for the grill. Place your walnuts on a tray and toast in the oven until golden brown (approximately 8 minutes).
  2. Using a chef knife, split the acorn squash in half from the point of the acorn squash to the stem (your knife should go inside one of the ribs of the squash). Using a spoon, scoop the seeds out. Season the squash with oil, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  3. Place the squash on a sheet tray with the skin side up. Place in the oven for 10 minutes and check for firmness using a cake tester (flip the squash over and use the cake tester to see how much resistance there is when you puncture the flesh). Check every 5 minutes. You want little resistance but not for the cake tester to just go through. Allow the squash to cool. 
  4. Next, place the squash flesh side down on the grill to get some smoke on them (if you don’t have a grill you can do this in the oven). Flip them over and fill them with the maple, Urfa, walnuts and butter. Once the maple syrup starts to boil, they are ready to serve.

Chef Brenden Crocker

Black Arrow, Manchester-by-the-Sea

Curried squash soup

  • 2 tsp. virgin coconut oil 
  • 4 lbs. squash
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stocks chopped 
  • 1 qt. (enough to cover vegetables) vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • curry paste or powder (I use Patak’s paste or Madras powder or both. Thai red curry paste also works. About three heaping tablespoons, but if you like it stronger, add until satisfied.)
  • ½ cup of lemon or lime juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch of cilantro 
  • honey or brown sugar to taste (optional; I like it sweet)
  1. Sauté onion, carrot, squash, and sweet potato in coconut oil for 6-8 minutes over medium high heat, add stock or broth and cover.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all veggies are fork tender.
  3. Add coconut milk, lemon, lime, or vinegar. Bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Purée either in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add chopped cilantro and sweetener and stir. 
  5. Serve with a number of garnishes: candied nuts, fresh mint and basil, creme fraiche, toasted seeds, sweet potato chips, or chili oil—be creative!

Chef Paul Callahan

Brine, Ceia Kichen + Bar, Newburyport

Sausage and Corn Spoonbread

  • yellow or white cornmeal
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup fresh shaved corn
  • 1 cup cooked cotechino sausage or pork and garlic sausage (if you can’t find the cotechino)
  • 2 tbsp. chives or scallions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.Butter the inside of a baking dish, preferably something taller rather than something wider—this will help the spoonbread hold its shape. 
  2. Beat egg whites untilthey are stiff, using an electric mixer set on medium, or a rotary beater. Scrape the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Continue to beatthe eggs untilthe peak stands straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture.
  3. Pour the milk into a small mixing bowl and add the 3 cups of cornmeal and whisk together.
  4. Pour the remaining 2 cups into a small sauce pot and bring to a slight simmer.
  5. When the milk has scalded, add the cornmeal mix and place back on the stove and continue to cook the cornmeal, stirring constantly. At this point, the cornmeal will start to thicken. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides.
  6. Add the salt, sugar, corn, butter, chives, and cotechino sausage and whisk until the butter has melted into the mixture.
  7. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating continuously after each addition. Do not cook the egg yolks. Continue and do not overcook. The mix should look smooth.
  8. Carefully fold the egg whites into the mixture using a spatula. Use an over-and-under motion. Gently fold until all the egg whites are incorporated. Pour into baking dish.
  9. Bake for 1 hour or until golden.

Privateer Rum, Ipswich: 

Harvest Highball

Photo by Gary Tardiff
  • 2 oz. Privateer Amber Rum
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. grade A dark amber maple syrup
  • 2 oz. apple cider
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine in a highball glass over ice and shake. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Stone Fence

  • 2 oz. True American Amber Rum
  • 6 oz. apple cider
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine in a highball glass over ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Rum Old Fashioned

  • 1 oz. Privateer True American Amber Rum
  • 1 oz. Privateer Navy Yard Rum 
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Combine in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir. Strain into a double old-fashioned glass over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist.