Local Chefs’ Thanksgiving Recipes

To begin the holiday season, we asked some of the Atlantic City-Cape May region’s finest chefs 
to provide us with a few of their favorite recipes, easily translated for 
non-professional cooks. Have fun trying them out in your kitchen.

By Frank Gabriel
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 14, 2012

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Macaroni and Cheese w/ Crab

To begin the holiday season, we asked some of our region’s finest chefs 
to provide us with a few of their favorite recipes, easily translated for 
non-professional cooks. Have fun trying them out in your kitchen.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts: 
Will Savarese, Robert’s Steak House 
(Trump Taj Mahal)

2 pints Brussels sprouts quartered

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• Toss together on baking sheet in single layer and roast in 400 degree oven until golden

Tip: don’t stir until you get some color, then cook until tender. Allow to cool and dress.

Bacon dressing:

5 pieces bacon, par cooked, chopped

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon diced shallots

1 tablespoon garlic

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 cup balsamic 

1/3 cup EVOO

3/4 cup canola oil

• Blend mustard, shallots, garlic, sugar and vinegar together, then add oils. 

• Add chopped bacon, salt and pepper and toss over sprouts.



Cranberry Soufflé: 
Chef Michel Richard, Central Michel Richard (Revel)

4 Soufflé dishes

1/2 cup cranberry puree with 1/2 cup of 
 granulated sugar.

1/2 cup of sugar for egg white meringue

4 egg whites; 2 tablespoons soft butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar (for coating souffle dishes)

• Preheat oven to 325 degrees

• Beat egg whites and add the 1/2 cup sugar teaspoon by teaspoon until soft peaks form. Fold them into the cranberry puree with a wooden spatula.

• Brush four souffle dishes generously with butter, then coat with granulated sugar.

• Turn over to remove excess sugar. Spoon souffle batter into sugared dishes.

• Bake at 325 for 25 minutes, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Eggplant and Zucchini Parmigiana: 
Chef Rosalba Morici (Girasole, Atlantic City)

2 large eggplants, remove skin and slice

4 large zucchini, 1/4-inch slices

12 eggs beaten, adding parmigiano, salt and pepper

48 oz. pureed tomato sauce

1 lb. mozzarella

1/2 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano

• Coat both zucchini and eggplant slices with flour then dip in egg batter. Fry each slice delicately, remove and lay on paper towels. 

• Coat the bottom of a 10X15 rectangular pan with tomato sauce. Add first layer of zucchini topping with mozzarella, parmigiano and sauce, repeating with eggplant. 

• Alternate layers until all are used, top with sauce and parmigiano. 

• Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.



Macaroni & Cheese w/ Crab: 
Chef Jeremy (Blue Pig Tavern, Cape May)

1/2 lb. penne, cooked al dente

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups heavy cream

1 bay leaf

Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

4 oz. each shredded smoked gouda, sharp cheddar 
 and fontina

salt and pepper

4 oz. jumbo lump crab

1 tablespoon chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro and basil)

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

• In a heavy bottomed pan melt three tablespoons 
butter. Whisk in flour to form a roux.

• Keep stirring over medium heat until smooth, about 
5 minutes.

• Slowly stir in the cream and bay leaf. Simmer over 
low heat, stirring often.

• Remove bay leaf.

• Add 3/4 of the cheese to the thickened cream. Stir constantly to melt and avoid lumps. Season to taste.

• Toss the sauce with the pasta and crab meat. Pour into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish and top with 
additonal cheese. 

• Bake for 30 minutes.

• Allow to rest for 5 minutes, sprinkle with 
herbs and serve. 



Venison Roulade Beet Bread: Lucas Manteca (Cape May Point Red Store)

1 whole wild venison tenderloin

1 cup cranberry compote (recipe below)

1 cup peeled and crushed chestnuts or pecans 

1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard

1 cup minced garlic 

1 cup minced shallots

1 bunch thyme

1 cup orange juice

4 cups red wine

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup Chambord liquor

1 bunch red beets

1 whole brioche/ challah loaf

Prep venison for stuffing:

Lay the clean venison and with a very sharp knife butterfly lengthwise. Place the venison between plastic wrap and gently pound with a wooden mullet until a 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate.

Cranberry compote:

(Mix all together in a stainless steel sauce pan)

1 cup sugar

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup Chambord liquor

1/2 bunch thyme minced

Bring to a boil, reduce to minimum heat. Stir occasionally and cook until jam-like in texture. 

Beet sauce:

Peel beets, dice1/2 inch thick. In stainless steel pan saute beets with shallots, thyme and garlic. Continue until garlic and shallots are translucent, add red wine and maple syrup. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and cool on minimum heat until beets are tender.


Dice the brioche or challah bread, drizzle with olive oil and dried oregano flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Place bread on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven. Toast for 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy but soft inside. 

For chard: Tear green leaves, discarding stalks and wilt in a very hot pan, salt and pepper to taste and cool. 

For roulade: Coat an aluminum foil sheet about 16X24 with salt, pepper and olive oil, unwrap venison and place inside. Season venison with salt and pepper, spread evenly with cranberry compote, pecans/chestnuts and wilted chard along center. 

Grabbing from the widest side fold loin with aluminum (almost like making a sushi roll) then press down tightly pulling aluminum foil back, repeat procedure until all meat has been rolled. 

Roast 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes and prepare to serve. 

Finish: In a mixing bowl blend hot beets in their own juices with bread croutons. Spoon the warm beet bread on the middle of each plate, with a bread knife slice the venison roulade while still wrapped in aluminum- this keeps it from falling apart- place sliced roulade atop beet bread, peel off aluminum and plate. Serves four. 


Think you'll give one of these recipes a try this Thanksgiving?


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Comments 1 - 1 of 1
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1. Anonymous said... on Nov 18, 2012 at 04:25AM

“anyone trying any of these recipes? Would love to know how any of them came out!”


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