What Famous Chefs Eat on Thanksgiving
It’s true: chefs eat better than us
Mario Batali's thanksgiving will involve a turkey porchetta, ravioli, and a whole lot of '97 brunello.
It must be nice to be a professional chef come holiday season. Or, for that matter, to have one in the family. Because we spoke to a few of them, and it sounds like they’re making some to-die-for Thanksgiving dinners for their guests this year. From Tom Colicchio to Alton Brown and Mario Batali, we spoke with some of the country’s most well-known chefs, restaurateurs, and food TV personalities, and asked them what they have in the works for Thanksgiving.
What Famous Chefs Eat on Thanksgiving (Slideshow)
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and loved ones, and even some of the country’s busiest chefs know that. It’s a chance for them to take a step back from the everyday hustle and bustle and relax. But while you might think that this is a good opportunity to let someone else do the cooking, it’s pretty hard to pull a chef away from their stove, especially when their family is depending on them to whip up something amazing. These chefs might not have had a day off in quite a while (more than one is in the middle of opening a new restaurant), yet they’re taking the time to do Thanksgiving right.
"I love the process of cooking Thanksgiving with my family every year," Tyler Florence told us. "We can really get into the ceremony of it, and it’s a lot of fun." Chef Jeff McInnis, who’s hard at work on a new restaurant in New York, will be heading down to Florida to be with family, including his daughter Bryce, before moving her up to New York.
And while many chefs brine their turkeys, two very notable ones — Bobby Flay and Tom Colicchio — don’t, and rely on basting instead.
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Thanksgiving is as American as apple pie and cornbread stuffing. Except that the United States is made up of so many cultures and people who have become part of the diverse landscape of the nation, and not everyone wants cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes topped with mini marshmallows. I know Italian families who serve baked ziti alongside their roast turkey, Filipino families who serve a big roast pig instead of the turkey, and Jewish families for whom kugel is a staple of their Thanksgiving menu.
And so we wanted to ask some Israeli chefs: What do you serve for Thanksgiving? Their answers were surprising and delightful. Cheers to diversity and deliciousness, and have fun trying out some of these new takes on the holiday.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Asian Tahini
Chef Einat Admony, of Taim Falafel, Balaboosta, and her newest venture, Kish Kash, serves this squash at home for Thanksgiving. But she has also been known to serve it in her restaurants during the autumn season. For an even more Thanksgiving-perfect twist, she suggests replacing the sesame seeds with pumpkin seeds and topping it with more pumpkin seeds and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. This recipe serves 4.
For roasted butternut squash:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tsp kosher salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled
- 1 cup tahini
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1&frasl2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp cold water
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1&frasl4 cup honey
- 2 Tbsps soy sauce
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F
- Whisk together the oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pick the leaves from the sprig of thyme and add them to the mixture.
- Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch thick cubes and toss them in the bowl along with the honey mixture. Mix well to coat evenly.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the butternut squash side-by-side in a single layer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any remaining mixture from the bowl and drizzle it on top of the butternut squash.
- Bake them in the oven until tender and crispy about one hour.
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, water, and salt. Process the mixture for few minutes then add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. Process the mixture until smooth and creamy.
- Serve the roasted butternut squash on flat plate, drizzle tahini on top and garnish with sesame seeds.
Turkish-Style Meat Pie
Chefy Meny Vaknin is known for his stellar pizzas, burekas, and other savory baked goods at Marcel Bakery in Montclair, New Jersey. These Turkish pizzas, or meat pies, are a filling and impressive appetizer to serve a hungry crowd. This will make 3 meat pies that can be cut into pieces and serve 4-6.
For meat filling:
- ½ lb ground beef
- ½ lb ground lamb
- 2 small onions diced
- ½ bunch chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp white pepper
- Salt to taste
For the dough:
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (500 g)
- 1 ¼ cups water (220 g)
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil (39 g)
- 2 tsp salt
For meat filling:
- In a large sauté pan heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook diced onions for few minutes.
- Add both meats and cook for 3-5 min more on medium-high heat. Break down the ground meat with a fork or wooden spoon while its cooking.
- Add the spices and herbs, check seasoning and cool down.
For the dough:
- Place all the ingredients in a mixer, adding the salt last and let it knead.
- For about 10 min or until the dough is smooth, cover and let it proof for about 30 min.
- After 30 min punch dough down and let it proof for another 30 min.
- Then divide the dough to 6 equal pieces, turn into bowls and let them rest, covered for another 30 min.
- Flatten each dough to about 8&rdquo diameter over a lightly floured surface.
- Spread cold meat mixture over the bottom and cover with another 8&rdquo flatten dough, then seal the edges with a fork. You&rsquoll end up with 3 &lsquopies&rsquo.
- Heat up a heavy bottom, 10-12&rdquo skillet for 5 min then lower flame to medium heat, put a table spoon of butter and a table spoon of canola oil, then carefully place pie inside and cook 4 min each side until golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Set each one on a plate with paper towel to soak access fat.
- Divide to 6 slices and serve with tzatziki sauce or tahini sauce.
Breads Bakery Challah Stuffing
This stuffing recipe actually comes from Breads Bakery&rsquos kitchen manager, Shaili Grosman, after she noticed that there was extra challah that wasn&rsquot being used. As an Israeli, she had never tasted American-style stuffing before, but quickly understood what a great combination it was for this dish when the bakery&rsquos co-owner Gadi Peleg suggested using the extra challah in this unique stuffing. This recipe serves 10-12 people.
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Even with a little bit of day-of finagling, Louisville chefs like Varnese have it down. So we've pulled together some Thanksgiving Day chef recipes from our extensive archives to give the at-home cook a little bit of inspiration this holiday with a side of advice from some of Louisville's best chefs.
Once your sides are out of the way, you can focus on the star of the show — the turkey.There are lots of ways to cook a turkey, and you'll want your temperature thermometer handy for all of them, said The English Grill's chef de cuisine Dustin Willett.
"If you're cooking the whole bird together, use plenty of butter," he said. "Keep your thermometer handy and cook slow enough that the breast isn't totally dry by the time the legs get done. Baste it as you go along with the juices."
Willett said he likes to start the turkey on a higher temperature for the first half-hour to crisp up the skin before turning the temperature down for the rest of the cooking time.
"You get a little bit of a sear on there to lock in the seasoning and melt the skin on the outside," he said. "It keeps it more moist."
Willett also suggested using the turkey's pan drippings for gravy, and extra turkey fat as a thickener along with flour — because "most of the flavors you need are already there."
So before you make your final menu for your Thanksgiving Day feast, check out these Louisville chefs' favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
O's All-Time Favorite Thanksgiving Menus
Looking to do something a little different this Thanksgiving? Let us help! O turns to an all-star cast of chefs for their most delectable holiday menus. From classic roast turkey to a tradition-bucking, maple-glazed duck, from a buffet to unchain you from the kitchen to some lighter fare that won't make you feel like the stuffed bird, get ready to be inspired. We've even collected recipes for the perfect holiday cocktail. Pull up a chair there is much to be thankful for.
/>7 Different Ways to Cook with Cranberries
Cranberries aren't just for Thanksgiving—these fruitified recipes for roast chicken, pound cake, and French toast add zest to everyday celebrations.
/>Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving
Love Thanksgiving but hate the way you feel afterward? The holiday doesn't have to spell food coma, if you know which dishes you can eat with abandon—and which you should abandon entirely.
We asked chefs Mark Bittman, Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Joyce Goldstein, and David Waltuck for their simplest no-stress, bound-to-please holiday recipes. All you have to do is cook—and that part will be a breeze.
/>Colin Cowie's Incredible Thanksgiving Feast
Oprah's favorite event planner shares a menu to shake up your holiday tradition: turkey so juicy you'll swear it's a whole new bird the nuttiest, crunchiest, most over-the-top stuffing ever invented and pumpkin—no, not pie, deep-fried fritters dusted with cinnamon sugar.
/>Gobble, Gobble: A Light Thanksgiving Menu
Thanksgiving without the guilt: juicy organic turkey, yogurt-infused mashed potatoes, Merlot-poached pears with a vanilla-cinnamon drizzle—and it doesn't leave you feeling as if you're the stuffed bird.
Dinner for 20 with the Greatest of Ease
For Ina Garten, holiday celebrations aren't about stress, spending a fortune, or racing around. They're about delicious, just-help-yourself food, friends around your table, and going back for seconds. To maintain your sanity this holiday, serve this no-fail, delicious buffet.
/>Duck! Here Comes Thanksgiving
Give thanks for chef Govind Armstrong's variations on a feast: The noble bird is a maple-glazed duck, the cranberry sauce is spiked with Grand Marnier, and if the marshmallows taste a little different, it's because they're homemade.
The Party Season Starts Here
Something about this season makes you want to gather your nearest and dearest and kick off the holidays with a splendid feast. Chef, restaurateur, and author Debra Ponzek created this menu that's sumptuous, surprising, and easier than it looks!
/>Holiday Recipe Kit
Entertaining just got easier. Here's a wardrobe of six recipes you can reshuffle to suit any occasion, so no matter what comes up—brunch, potluck, big sit-down dinner—you're covered. In glory, may we add.
Steamy Passion. Pink Halo. Dark and Stormy. No, we're not talking romance novels, but the glorious technicolor cocktail. In a flute or on the rocks. With a twist or with a shout. Add flair to your holiday bash with these divine concoctions. Bottoms up, darling.
/>Desserts to Give Thanks For
Thanksgiving, the greatest feast of the year, shouldn't end with a whimper. So we created seven bang-up desserts—from spicy gingersnap-crusted pumpkin pie to luscious, bite-size pecan truffles—sure to make you pie-eyed with delight.
/>5 Genius Ideas for Turkey-Day Leftovers
If your fridge is jammed with leftovers from the Thanksgiving feast, transform them into these innovative treats.
/>From The Oprah Winfrey Show:
Cristina Ferrare's Holiday Menu
Oprah says her friend Cristina Ferrare makes the best holiday meal she's ever tasted! Now you can create her feast in your own kitchen. Wow family and friends with this seasonal extravaganza.
3 Mediterranean-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes from Local Chefs
This has been a challenging year on so many fronts with tremendous loss. Yet when we gather together on November 26, we still have much to be grateful for, including the rich cultural melting pot that comprises our nation.
To celebrate a taste of Europe at the Thanksgiving table, three New England chefs share with you the Mediterranean flavors they bring to this traditional feast, either at home or in their restaurant. They each have even shared a favorite holiday recipe.
“Normally, I don’t offer Thanksgiving in the restaurant because I want the staff to be with their family on that day,” says Barry Edelman, chef-owner of the Mediterranean-French bistro, 5 Corners Kitchen in Marblehead. “However, our tradition for the past several years has been to make a Thanksgiving meal for the staff and their family and friends the day before.”/>5 Corners owner Barry Edelman
As in previous years, Edelman’s feast will begin with a selection of charcuterie and the staff favorite, chicken liver mousse. For the turkey, Edelman plans to confit the legs and then sauté the meat until “crispy, salty, crunchy, and moist.” He’ll serve these golden bits alongside roasted turkey breast with an orange-sage cranberry sauce and hearty gravy made from all the turkey bones and trimmings.
For the sides, Edelman plans to make his stuffing with Pain au Levain from A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem. “It’s a traditional French sourdough with a very dark crust and some of the best bread I’ve ever had,” he says. “I’m going to toss it with pine nuts, golden raisins, celery, onion, and some of my gravy.”
Other dishes he’ll offer include butternut squash seasoned with brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and sage, a beet salad with shaved fennel and Ricotta Salata and garlicky mashed potatoes. To invigorate fatigued palates, he’ll serve pungent Thai-chili Brussels sprouts that he admits are hardly French.
But his dessert is. “I am going to make Far Breton,” says Edelman, referring to the French custardy cake stuffed with Armagnac-soaked prunes that hails from Brittany. “It’s delicious warm and you can serve it with vanilla ice cream.”
Come November 26, Edelman doesn’t plan to cook. “The night before Thanksgiving is hectic, so I’m going to just chill with my family and eat leftovers,” he says. And what is he most grateful for this year? “I am thankful that my family and I have been able to remain healthy during the pandemic and for our guests, who have been supporting us through all of this. We’ve experienced hardship and it’s been a lot of work, but we’re still in the game.”
Petros Markopoulos, chef-owner of Ipswich’s Greek-Mediterranean restaurant Ithaki, also closes his restaurant on Thanksgiving to give his staff a break. “But every year around Thanksgiving, I make a turkey or roasted chicken dinner for senior citizens,” he says. (This year, recipients will receive packed meals.)/>Ithaki chef-owner Petros Markopoulos
“I also bring a bit of the holiday onto our restaurant menu the week before Thanksgiving by offering a barley mushroom soup, confit leg of turkey, turkey medallions with cranberry sauce, shallot mashed potatoes, and pumpkin cheesecake.” It’s at home with his family that Markopoulos taps into his Greek heritage for the Thanksgiving feast.
“In Greece, we have turkey or pork with stuffing for Christmas. But here, I serve turkey with stuffing for Thanksgiving,” says the chef, who traditionally kicks off the meal with roasted pork sausages and Greek egg-lemon soup (Avgolemono) plumped up with rice and chunks of turkey. For the bird, Markopoulos simply roasts it, but toward the end of cooking stuffs the cavity with his paternal grandmother’s rice stuffing—a crowd-pleasing blend of ground beef and pork, brown rice, chestnuts, dried fruit and sweet spices, like cinnamon and cloves.
“For side dishes, I’ll do my traditional roast potatoes with lemon, olive oil, and oregano, and Brussels sprouts, cooked very simply, just with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’ll also make a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and a pumpkin or butternut squash puree with butter, salt, pepper, Asiago cheese, and Amaretto liqueur. Now, you know all my secrets!” he jokes. Dessert will be pumpkin baklava and apple pie.
Despite this year’s hardships, Markopoulos still feels incredibly thankful for all that he has. “I so appreciate my family’s health and feel so grateful to my friends, as well as the country that has allowed me to have a good life and a passion for what I do.”
Douglass Williams, chef-owner of the Italian restaurant Mida in Boston, also shutters his restaurant on Thanksgiving Day to give his staff time with their family. However, this year because of the pandemic, he’s decided to offer a Thanksgiving meal as takeout. “It’s ideal for those who are not having a huge gathering and it’s also a way to support a local Black business,” he says, excited about the prospect.
“As a starter, I’m going to offer our antipasto because it’s so convivial,” says the chef, referring to the cornucopia of cured meats, cheeses, marinated and pickled vegetables, olives, fruit jams, crackers, and breads. “I’ll also offer Insalata Supremo,” a mix of cool lettuce, tangy citrus, grated Parmesan and fresh herbs all bound in a bracing red wine vinaigrette./>Mida’s chef-owner Douglass Williams has been honored as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2020.
“I know you don’t often see a big beautiful salad at Thanksgiving, but when you start with an unctuous, cheesy, crunchy, saucy salad, it gives the cook time to get everything else ready.”
For the turkey, Williams plans to offer it brined and marinated in a bright chimichurri, made Italian by swapping parsley for the cilantro, with directions for how to cook the bird at home. He’ll offer gravy and cranberry sauce, along with mashed white potatoes, tender escarole, and a stuffing made with different breads. Dessert will be Amaretti cookies and freeform pumpkin pie with mascarpone mousse and crumbled pie crust. He’ll even offer some cold-weather themed cocktails to go.
As for how Williams plans to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, it will be low-key. “It’s just me and my wife this year and I know I’ll be pooped, so I’ll probably just get some of the takeout for us,” he says, laughing. And, despite the difficulties he’s faced this year, what does he feel most thankful for? “Definitely the health of myself and the people around me, including my customers. And, honestly, I am so grateful that we still get to operate—to host birthdays and weddings, no matter how small, and be a part of people’s lives.”
Petros Markopoulos’s Greek Rice Stuffing
Please note, this recipe calls for 2 cups of slightly undercooked brown rice (it will continue cooking in the bird), which you can make in advance. Also, if you plan to serve the stuffing on the side, Markopoulos suggests garnishing it with chopped parsley and fresh pomegranate seeds.
1/2 stick (4 tbsp. ) Sweet butter
1/4 cup Olive oil
4 fresh Sage leaves
1 sprig Thyme
2 medium Carrots, trimmed, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium White onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup Chopped fresh fennel
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1/2 pound Ground pork
1 tsp. Tomato paste
1/2 cup Dry sherry
1 cup Chopped roasted chestnuts (jarred)
1/2 cup Pine nuts
1/3 cup Golden raisins or snipped dried dates
2 cups Chicken stock (plus another 1/2 cup if serving stuffing separately)
2 cups Slightly undercooked brown rice
1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
1/3 tsp. Ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1. Heat the butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the carrots, onion and fennel and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the beef and pork, stirring often to break up the meat, until it browns, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add the sherry and cook until it all but evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chestnuts, pine nuts and raisins and cook mixture for another five minutes.
5. Stir in the chicken stock and undercooked brown rice and continue cooking the stuffing until the stock has been absorbed. Add the cloves and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. At this point, the stuffing is ready to tuck into your turkey (add it when the bird has cooked halfway). If you prefer to serve the stuffing on the side, add the additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cook the mixture for approximately 10 minutes more.
Barry Edelman’s Far Breton
Edelman, like most European pastry chefs, prefers to weigh his ingredients for accuracy. However, since most home cooks do not own a scale, you’ll find approximate conversions to standard measures below. If possible, use European butter in the recipe, since it contains less water than American brands. Please note, the batter rests for 4 hours at room temperature before baking.
About 24 Pitted prunes
1/2 cup Armagnac
3 cups Whole milk
4 large Eggs
Scant 1/2 cup Granulated white sugar
2 tbsp. Melted lightly salted butter
2 1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. Sea salt
scant 1 cup White flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting baking pan
3 tbsp. Lightly salted butter for greasing the pan and drizzling over the cake
1. Combine the prunes and Armagnac in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the saucepan, turn off the heat, and let the prunes plump as they cool in the Armagnac.
2. In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, melted butter, vanilla and salt. Cover and blend. Add the flour, cover, and blend until the batter is smooth, scraping down the blender’s sides as necessary. Transfer the batter to a lidded container and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature.
3. Using approximately 1 tablespoon of the solid butter, grease a decorative baking dish that is approximately 10 inches wide (for a round one) or long (for a rectangle or oval one) and 2 inches deep. Lightly flour the dish.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Gently stir the rested batter (the flour will have settled to the bottom) and pour half into the prepared dish. Drain the prunes, saving the soaking liquid for another use, and evenly distribute the plumped prunes around the batter. Slowly pour in the remaining batter, trying to avoid displacing the prunes.
6. Place the Far Breton in the oven and reduce the heat to 365 degrees. Bake the cake for 45 minutes it will be golden brown on top.
7. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of solid butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Pour the melted butter over the cake. Enjoy warm or let cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar before cutting into pieces.
Douglass Williams’s Insalata Supremo
Williams likes to use blood oranges in this salad, but navel oranges are a fine substitute.
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Granulated sugar
Salt and pepper
1 Pound Salad greens
2 Oranges, peeled, segmented and each segment halved crosswise
1/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
1/4 cup Torn fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup Chopped fresh dill
1. Place the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small jar. Cover and shake well to blend. (You may have more dressing than you need.)
2. Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl, along with the orange pieces, Parmesan, mint and dill. Pour some of the dressing over the salad and toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper, adding more dressing as desired.
What Famous Chefs Eat on Thanksgiving - Recipes
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Monica Gellar Recipes To Try IRL
Not only was Friends' Monica Geller-Bing the glue that held the favorite TV group together, she was a chef extraordinaire. Throughout the NBC series’ ten season run, Monica cooks up a storm — while rocking “Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love In My Tummy.” And, over the course of Friends , there were some memorable recipes that I'm pretty sure we all wanted to try for ourselves.
After all, that woman knew how to cook. Monica was always the hostess and she had the big apartment and the culinary skills to back it up. Sometimes, her food was too sophisticated for the group, like her salmon mousse that Joey so lovingly called “whipped fish,” her desire to poach things for fancy parties, the multi-syllable foods for poker night, or her amuse-bouche that Chandler mockingly calls “amuse-ing.” But, there were plenty of other, less intimidating dishes that the gang gobbled up. From her gorgeous Thanksgiving spreads, to her party platters, to her well stocked fridge (mostly in anticipation of Joey showing up at any moment), Monica’s food always looked incredibly appetizing and was the basis for some of the show’s best plots.
Here are Monica’s nine most memorable recipes — from the Moist Maker to Mockolate — ranked in the order I most want to try them, from best to worst, of course.
1. Ross’s Sandwich
“My sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the middle. I call it the Moist Maker.” — Ross
Guys, this is THE sandwich, made from leftover Thanksgiving food, that’s good enough to cause a nervous breakdown. When Ross’s sandwich is stolen from the museum fridge, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back (Ross’s back) after a hard year. and yeah, another failed marriage.
Make your own "moist maker" leftover sandwich with this recipe via SpoonForkBacon.com.
After Monica’s failed jam plan, she moves onto the baby plan… she’s going to need bigger jars. But, before she abandons the jam, we see Joey eating jars and jars and jars of it. Joey loves it so much that he can’t even imagine choosing the girl from the copy place over it, though he does come up with a creative solution for that hypothetical would-you-rather situation.
Suffering from a recent Richard-esque heartbreak? This strawberry jam recipe from AllRecipes.com will the spot.
3. All The Different Kinds Of Thanksgiving Potatoes
“Potatoes are ruined, potatoes are ruined, potatoes are ruined.” — Monica
When Monica hosts Thanksgiving for the first time, in “The One Where Underdog Gets Away,” she over extends herself by making different kinds of potatoes that are reminiscent of home for each friend. Phoebe’s has peas onions, Ross wants lumpy mashed potatoes, and Joey needs tots. But does anyone care what Monica wants? Nooooo!
Vegan food blogger Laughrodisiac tackled all three of Monica's ruined potato recipes.
4. Life Changing Thanksgiving Mac And Cheese
We all know Chandler doesn’t eat Thanksgiving food. So, when Ross brings him home for Thanksgiving, Monica meets Chandler for the first time and makes him some mac and cheese. It’s so good, Chandler says she should be a chef. This visit certainly changes the trajectory of Monica’s life, in more ways than one!
5. Blue Fingernail Quiche
When Monica caters a party for her hypercritical mother, she gets a lot of backlash from her mom when she loses a blue false fingernail in the quiche. Her mom then pulls back-up frozen lasagna out the freezer, saying she had it all along just in case her daughter pulled a Monica, i.e. screwed up. Monica and Phoebe then change the definition of Judy Geller’s cruel phrase and make a spread that puts the frozen lasagna to shame. They really end up pulling a Monica. But, you know, nail or no nail, someone needs to eat the ruined quiche. Somebody like Joey… or me.
Here's an easy lasagna recipe to have as backup, just in case you "Pull a Monica" in the kitchen.
6. Birthday Flan
"Happy birthday, Rachel! Here's some goo!" — Joey
OK, in “The One with the Two Parties,” not everyone is a fan of the birthday flan. Let’s be real, two parties should equal two cakes. But, I’m also sure anything Monica makes is delicious and the poor flan is getting a bad rap.
Here's a birthday flan recipe from Scrumptious Saturdays for the next time you simultaneously host two parties.
Monica and Phoebe put painstaking effort into using the last of Phoebe’s grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies (one that’s been in the freezer for at least two seasons) to figure out the lost recipe. In the end, they realize they put days of work into what turns out to be the Nestle Toll House cookie recipe. I mean, I know it’s just Nestle chocolate chip cookies, but I still want one.
You can find the classic Nestle recipe on the back of every bag of chocolate chips, or here.
Mockolate is a "completely synthetic chocolate substitute” that Monica is tasked with making edible via Thanksgiving recipes. After using the gang as guinea pigs in her Mockolate experiments, she finds out that the food substitute wasn’t approved. Hey, she needed the cash and, after all, some Mockolate is fine.
Please don't eat Mockolate. Here is an easy chocolate mousse recipe to try instead.
9. Deli Meat Foreskin
When Joey needs to be, well, uncut for a role — and he is not IRL — Monica does what any good friend, and chef, would do. She makes him a falsie. I could be crass here. I mean, there are just so many jokes about wanting to try Joey’s… uh. meat. But, honestly, this creation of Monica’s is solid in last place on my list. Not only do some of the concoctions include Silly Putty, but we also need to look out for toothpicks — yikes.
I don't have a recipe for this one . But, knock yourself out. Whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is none of my business.
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Walter Staib has made numerous appearances on local and national cooking shows, such as the Today show and the Food Networks Best Thing I Ever Ate and Iron Chef. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show A Taste of History, which just received the 2012 James Beard Foundation nomination for Best TV Show On Location. The show is a vehicle for Staib to share 18th century cuisine with a growing audience. Currently, he can be seen nationwide for the fourth season on PBS and on national cable on RLTV. The show was awarded three Emmy awards in its first two seasons.
Originally published in 2018, this post was re-posted in 2020
Thank you for stopping by today and into our foodie world on our acreage!
From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! We’re so grateful that you’ve joined this community of people who love to prepare delicious food as well as for sharing your thoughts and questions with everyone. Please continue to let us know if we can help you in the kitchen, garden or in your travels.
Roz and Bill
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3 Indigenous Chefs Talk About What Thanksgiving Means to Them
We asked these members of I-Collective, an organization of indigenous chefs and activists, how they're spending Thanksgiving.
Let’s take a pause from the turkey and stuffing. To many Native people, reckoning with Thanksgiving can be difficult—for obvious reasons. This is partially why the I-Collective, an organization of indigenous chefs and activists across the country, was born. The group hosts Thanksgiving dinners with a decidedly different narrative, celebrating the resilience of their people and telling their stories through food. We asked three I-Collective members to tell us about their own relationship to Thanksgiving and how they spend the day.
I grew up with a really big family in a very small town in Alaska. My mom is Irish and my dad is Pawnee. We always had Thanksgiving at our evangelical church. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie. People would dress up as Indians and pilgrims. It was weird.
As a kid I wanted to be the pilgrim. Indians didn’t have the good story. They were the supporting characters, not the stars. They were scary. It never occurred to me that there could be another way. Six years ago I read an article online about the real history of Thanksgiving, including one in 1637 that marked one of the first massacres of indigenous people on this continent. I felt sad and frustrated. How could no one have told me? I called my mom, and she had no answers. We have never talked about it since.
My parents are divorced now, and my dad still puts religion above his Native identity. My mom celebrates Thanksgiving in Alaska, and she wants the American standards. But I see it as a time to hang out with my siblings. We make carnitas with refried beans, sweet potato pie with fried sage, and soba. We honor not just my Native culture, but the Mexican and Japanese heritages of my brothers-in-law.
Now I have a small catering company, Birch Basket, in Seattle. My clients are mostly Native. I use my traditional foods—nettles, sunflowers, wild Alaskan cranberries, maple syrup, wild rice from the Great Lakes tribes—in everything I do. Indigenous people have been eating these foods and using them in ceremonies and as medicine for a long time. They were growing on this land before we got here. They are a part of me. I know now that Thanksgiving wasn’t a nice party with pilgrims on one side and Natives on the other. But to me it’s a day to celebrate our resilience and lift each other up. –Hillel Echo-Hawk, Pawnee and Athabaskan, Seattle Owner of Birch Basket.
From an early age my dad instilled in me a love and respect of the land, plants, animals, and people. In the summer he’d take us pole fishing. We’d traverse the back roads of the Red Lake Reservation of Anishinaabeg in northern Minnesota where I grew up, scouting for blueberries, looking for deer trails. We’d go around checking on the wild rice that grows in lakes and streams.
When I was a kid, my mom told me that federal holidays like Thanksgiving were a vain attempt to celebrate something not worthy of celebration. I honestly can’t remember one Thanksgiving meal at home. I assume we ate like any other day (though I do remember liking the time off from school).
Thanksgiving is a trying time for many in the Native community. Historically we’ve had our traditions and foods held in contempt by Americans—they have slaughtered our bison and drained the lakes we depend on for survival. It wasn’t until 1978 that the American Indian Religious Freedom Act gave our way of life legal protections. This is why a lot of us, when asked to supply recipes for picture-taking and publicity around Thanksgiving—we’re hesitant.
My identity is inseparable from the food that I eat. Chokecherry syrup and mashkiigobagwaaboo (swamp tea) feel like home. They are markers of place, space, and time. I study and forage indigenous plants for a living, and I’m working on a cookbook about manoomin (wild rice).
I’m doing my best to heal and trust. Food and healing go hand in hand. No matter what our walk in life, it’s our food memories with our families and communities that bring us a deep and powerful sense of kinship, well-being, and togetherness. This Thanksgiving, my advice is to celebrate your dependence on the food you eat, and show your food respect. Don’t be afraid to tell it: Thank you. I love you. I respect you. –Tashia Hart, Red Lake Anishinaabe, Duluth Culinary ethnobotanist and writer.
I had a pretty typical American understanding of Thanksgiving growing up in Wisconsin. My father didn’t learn he was Native until his early teens, and my mom is German. We had large family gatherings where we’d play football out in the street. It wasn’t until well into adulthood, working as a chef for the Intertribal Agriculture Council in Madison, that I discovered the true costs of colonialism.
I still celebrate the day, but to me it’s about giving thanks for the chance to reconnect with my roots and helping my family reconnect as well. Each year I incorporate more indigenous ingredients into our meal. We make squash pie with amaranth and mesquite flour crust, venison, cornbread, wild rice, and whitefish. These foods help us deepen our connection to the culture and our ancestors. Sharing food stories with my family is healing.
I encourage everyone to build their own traditions and develop what Thanksgiving means to them. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating family and gratitude. My hope is that people can do so while also learning about the holiday’s true origins. Seek out Native narratives. Incorporate indigenous ingredients into your meal. Source them from tribal producers like Red Lake Nation Foods or White Earth.
I’ve worked with food my entire life, and it’s been the most natural way to give back to my community. My family’s story of disconnection is not uncommon, and my journey to connecting with my indigenous roots is just getting started. –Kristina Stanley, Anishinaabe of the Red Cliff Tribe, Appleton, WI Founder and head chef at Abaaso Foods.