Navigate to News section

What The Chefs Are Making For Thanksgivukkah

Recipes for Pumpkin Custard Kugel, Sage-Scented Matzoh Balls, and more

Devorah Klein Lev-Tov
November 26, 2013
Turkey and Root Vegetable Soup with Sage-Scented Matzo Balls. (Marjorie Druker)
Turkey and Root Vegetable Soup with Sage-Scented Matzo Balls. (Marjorie Druker)

Thanksgivukkah is just days away, and in addition to local restaurants across the country offering special Thanksgiving and Hanukkah mash-up meals, many chefs are preparing their own Thanksgivukkah feasts at home.

We talked to some gourmet chefs who were kind enough to share their Thanksgivukkah recipes with us, including delicious-sounding Stuffing Tots, Pumpkin Custard Kugel, Turkey and Root Vegetable Soup with Sage-Scented Matzoh Balls, and Chicken Sausage Stuffing.

Thanksgivukkah Stuffing Tots, from Michael Leviton, chef and owner of Lumiére in Newton, MA
Makes 24 tots

1 ounce Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/3 ounce garlic, finely chopped
1/3 ounce lemon zest, grated on a microplane

3 pounds wild mushrooms, cleaned
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 pounds red onion, diced small
3 ounces butter
4 cups mushroom stock or chicken stock
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 cups challah bread, torn into small pieces and toasted
1 cup gremolata
Salt and pepper, to taste

To assemble tots:
Flour for dredging
1 egg, beaten
Panko crumbs for dredging
Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Make gremolata: In a small bowl or food processor, combine all ingredients.

2. Make stuffing: In a medium bowl, toss mushrooms with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet and roast at 500 degrees for 8 minutes, until golden brown. Lower oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large pan over medium heat, sweat red onion in butter until very tender. Pulse cooled mushrooms in food processor until coarse. Add mushrooms to sweated onions. In a large bowl, beat eggs together with cream and stock. Turn off heat on mushroom and onion mixture and add to egg mixture. Add bread and gremolata and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

4. After it is cool enough to handle, roll mixture into 1-inch thick patties, place in plastic wrap, and freeze until they are stiff enough to cut.

5. In large, deep frying pan, heat about an inch of oil to 375 degrees. Dredge patties in flour, egg wash, and then panko crumbs, and fry for about two minutes each, flipping in between. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Thanksgivukkah Pumpkin Custard Kugel, from Marjorie Druker, chef and owner of New England Soup Factory and The Modern Rotisserie in Newton, MA
Makes 8-10 servings

1 pound cooked wide egg noodles (slightly undercook noodles by 2 minutes)
1 stick butter
1 pound cream cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
8 extra-large or jumbo eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

For topping:
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whip together butter and cream cheese. Add sour cream, pumpkin puree, and sugar and mix again. 2. Add eggs one at a time, beating a little after each one. Add milk, molasses, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves and mix to incorporate the custard.

2. Place cooked noodles in a large mixing bowl. Pour custard over noodles and mix well. Pour into a large baking dish that has been generously buttered. Place this dish in an even larger roasting pan and add water so that you create a water bath for the pudding. Add enough water so it comes halfway up the side of kugel dish.

3. In a small bowl, mix topping ingredients together. Sprinkle topping on kugel and place in oven for 1 hour uncovered.

4. Remove from oven and let rest a day before serving. Cut into pieces and warm up in a 350-degree oven for 15–20 minutes before serving.

Turkey and Root Vegetable Soup with Sage-Scented Matzoh Balls, from Marjorie Druker, chef and owner of New England Soup Factory and The Modern Rotisserie in Newton, MA
Makes 12–15 matzoh balls, 12 servings of soup (photo above)

For sage-scented matzoh balls:
7 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken fat
2 cups matzoh meal
3 tablespoons club soda or seltzer
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

1. Fill an 8-quart pot three quarters of the way with salted water and bring to a boil.

2. Place egg whites in a small mixing bowl and add pinch of salt. Whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together egg yolks, salt, chicken fat, matzoh meal, club soda, onion powder, and herbs. Gently fold in egg whites. Place this mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

4. Using your hands, roll mixture into walnut size pieces and drop into boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for 35 minutes. Remove balls with a slotted spoon.

For turkey and root vegetable soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves freshly minced garlic
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound diced and peeled butternut squash
4 quarts poultry stock
3 cups diced, cooked, roasted turkey
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a large, heavy-lined stockpot, add olive oil and place on medium-high heat.

2. Add all vegetables and garlic and sauté for 5–7 minutes. Add poultry stock and bring to a boil. Once you have reached a boil, turn down slightly and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add turkey meat, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes.

4. Add matzoh balls, ladle into soup bowls, and serve.

Thanksgivukkah Stuffing, from Anthony Van Camp of SER Steak + Spirits in Dallas, TX
Makes 12 1-cup servings

1 pound ground chicken sausage
1 stick butter
4 cups yellow onions, diced
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup Spanish olives, chopped
1 cup Fuji apples, diced
1 cup golden raisins (if large, cut in half)
1 cup almonds, slivered and toasted
1/3 cup fresh sage, julienned
4 teaspoons fresh marjoram, chopped (can be substituted with more sage, poultry seasoning, thyme, etc.)
6 cups stale matzoh, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon black pepper, fine ground
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste

1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté sausage until cooked through and brown.

2. Add butter and vegetables, fruit, almonds, and herbs, and sauté briefly.

3. Add matzoh and seasonings. Add stock and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, until well mixed.

4. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees, until golden brown and crispy on top, about 20 minutes.

Devorah Klein Lev-Tov is a writer, editor, and travel blogger.