GAZELLE STL NOVEMBER 2017 - Page 73

CUISINE mixed in diced pumpkin." Taking inspiration from his memories of mama’s cooking, Pittia creates a contemporary Thanksgiving turkey that’s deboned, butterflied and rolled with a stuffing of chestnuts and black truffles. It’s a gourmet take on turkey that Cibare will serve with a side of butternut squash - prepared as gnocchi seasoned with pecorino cheese and sage. Chef Jeff Friesen of Jupiter learned the family tradition of stuffing from his aunts, Susie and Mara, who each had her own preferred recipes. Susie prepares a simple bread stuffing, while Mara, who's from Louisiana, makes a spicier cornbread dressing. As a chef of a Southern restaurant, Friesen embraces cornbread stuffing, which he likes to enhance with butter sautéed mushrooms, chopped Granny Smith apples, and fresh thyme and sage. He plans on a variation of this dressing for his stuffed quail that is featured on Jupiter’s fall menu. "This is the stuffing I’d make at Thanksgiving if I was in control, but I’m content to let my aunts cook as long as they’d like." Diehard barbecue fans have also made their mark on Thanksgiving. Just ask Sugarfire pitmaster Zack Dingman, who, over the past few years, has watched smoked turkey nudge the traditional roasted bird off the dinner menu - no surprise considering the barbecue craze. In fact, smoked turkey has even gained ground on fried turkey, causing some cooks to swap their fryers for smokers. "Every year, we sell more and more smoked turkeys, and we expect the demand will be up again this year," said Dingman, who noted Sugarfire’s birds are smoked without stuffing. "We sell our turkeys as a single item or as part of full Thanksgiving dinners, which includes the stuffing." He recommends opting for an old-fashioned cornbread stuffing to complement the subtle smoky flavor of smoked turkey. Jennifer Kassel, Dierbergs School of Cooking director at Southroads, recommends making more than one stuffing to satisfy the hungry at your Thanksgiving table. "Even adventurous eaters don't like to stray very far from the traditional. However, you want to have more than one dressing to satisfy the cravings and expectations of guests. The food police won't come and stop you, or cause problems if you make nontraditional stuffing." Kassel points her customers to the cooking school’s recipe for Bread Dressing Three Ways, a classic dressing (stuffing) that’s made quickly using packaged stuffing mix, sautéed onion and celery with herbs, which is easily modified into two other dressings. It’s one of the recipes Dierbergs and the chefs have shared with Gazelle STL readers - recipes I‘m betting you’ll be thankful to have on Thanksgiving Day. Suzanne Corbett is the author of “The Gilded Table,” “Pushcarts & Stalls: The Soulard Market History Cookbooks” and "Unique Eats and Eateries of St. Louis." She can be contacted at suzannecorbett@me.com. SAVVY I SOPHISTICATED I SASSY 71