Two Kosher Chefs in the Kitchen

Country Captain-ish Thanksgiving Feast
This Year the Turkey Gets a Makeover

cheflaura-1 chefdennis

Wife/Husband  Team, Chef Laura Frankel & Chef Dennis Wasko

Laura: I love turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. But, does the world really need me to write another recipe for the All-American Classic? I think not. Last year, Koshereye and I knocked Herb Roasted Turkey out of the park. It is a great classic and delicious recipe. But, this year, let’s have a little fun with it. The world is a big place and there is a lot of flavor and food to discover.

I try to explain my food concept/mantra like this. Recipes are just words on paper. The chef or home cook interpreting the words makes the dish come alive. This year, I am playing with the classic COUNTRY CAPTAIN flavors for the holiday. Country Captain is a 19th century dish usually made with chicken and curry flavors that probably originated in India and was enjoyed by British officers. The dish was brought to the port in Savannah by a British sea captain working the spice trade.

I am taking the flavors of Country Captain and reinterpreting them for Thanksgiving by rubbing my turkey with curry and warm toasty spices and roasting it instead of the Country Captain’s method of braising. I am going to riff on the captain by adding some of the traditional flavors to my Thanksgiving sides. This is a whole new Thanksgiving feast. I love the classic, but just like I bought a new outfit (Yes Dennis, I bought some new clothes!) and do not wear the same outfit every Thanksgiving, the feast is getting a make-over!

Dennis:  What a great idea!  I love Country Captain and think that those flavors will blend very nicely with Thanksgiving!  It’s nice to see a fresh idea.  I love traditional Thanksgiving too, but a roasted turkey is a roasted turkey is a roasted turkey…  I have a great dessert planned that will pair very nicely with your fusion feast.  Riff away!  Now, about the clothes…..???

Laura: A girl’s gotta shop.

KosherEye: And what did this dynamic chef duo create for their Thanksgiving dinner? The menu is divine and the comments accompanying each recipe are delightful! Enjoy this "she said" – "he said" cooking team!

Garam Masala Spiced Turkey with Spiced Pan Jus
Cranberry–Tangerine Chutney

Curry Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Basmati Rice with Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Almonds
and Fresh Herbs

Curried Creamed Kale and Pearl Onions
Pumpkin Chestnut Roulade

About the Authors

LAURA FRANKEL is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley). Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.

Frankel is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. She has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. After Frankel had a family and began maintaining a kosher home she found that there was nowhere in Chicago serving the quality of food that she knew she could offer. She opened her first restaurant in 1999, offering kosher fine dining with a produce-driven menu. Frankel opened Shallots NY in 2000 in midtown Manhattan. In 2004, she moved her Chicago restaurant to Skokie, (a suburb with a large Jewish population outside of Chicago) and created Shallots Bistro.

Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played and taught both alto and baritone saxophones professionally. Frankel has three children: Zachary (24), Ari (21) and Jonah (17), who all love to cook and eat great food. Follow Laura on her website, and on Twitter, cheflaura1.

DENNIS WASKO is a professional Chef with many years of experience in fine dining, upscale catering, country clubs, and corporate dining.  He has also worked as a Private/Personal Chef for families around the country.  Chef Dennis is the author of New Israeli Cuisine and Kosher Cooking Online (Coming Soon), and is a frequent contributor to popular food blogs and The Jerusalem Post Online.

Chef Dennis specializes in working with families who require specialty diets including kosher, gluten free, diabetic friendly, and more. He has worked closely with dieticians and nutritionists to create modern, delicious and healthy menus.

Wasko is passionate about pastry and kosher food and teaches classes and gives demos all over the country featuring innovative and delicious recipes. He is a highly sought after Private/Personal Chef and also teaches at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago where he is a popular and requested Chef/Instructor.

November 16, 2011

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