Distanced from friends and loved ones, you might consider channeling your love directly into your belly this Thanksgiving. For those who decide to cook on their own, there are sure to be a few experiments and new skills developed as neighborhood chefs try to spread their turkey wings to achieve full feast menus including maybe taking on some of those classics usually left to mashed potato expert friends and cranberry dressing connoisseur family members.
The CHS archives might help broaden your offerings a little. Our Capitol Hill Cooks series from a few years back now qualifies as “classic” CHS content. Below, we’ve selected a few Thanksgiving 2020-appropriate highlights and a helping or two of nostalgia for the Capitol Hill and Central District kitchens of the early 2010s.
Have a favorite recipe to share? Let us know in the comments.
Capitol Hill Cooks Thanksgiving Cookbook
- Sweet Potato Pie inspired by 12th and Madison: This pie makes sweet potato and marshmallow magic; you fold mini marshmallows into the sweet potato filling and they disappear, leaving a sweet and fluffy pie with little hint of the marshmallow secret.Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes, by Dani Cone
Pie crust, homemade or store bought (here’s my favorite), including extra dough for turnovers or muffin-pan minis
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 c. milk
¾ c. brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus one more if you’re making turnovers
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
5 c. mini marshmallowsPreheat oven to 375. If you are making turnovers, lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
To make the pie filling, boil the sweet potato chunks until tender, 10-15 minutes, then drain well. Puree until smooth in a food processor or mash thoroughly by hand. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, brown sugar, 3 eggs, vanilla, melted butter, spices, and salt. Add the sweet potato puree and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the marshmallows and mix again, gently this time.
To make a single pie, line a deep 9” pie plate with pie crust and crimp the edge for decoration. Pour filling into the unbaked crust nearly up to the crimped edge and transfer carefully to the oven. Start checking the pie (to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark) after about 40 minutes, but total baking time may be an hour or more, depending on the size of your pan. It can be tricky to tell when the pie is done, but the center should no longer appear wobbly and a knife inserted midway between the crust and the pie’s center should come out moist but clean. (If the crust starts to darken before the middle is cooked, take a square of aluminum foil big enough to cover the whole pie and fold it in half. Tear a half-circle out of the folded square about the right size to expose the middle of the pie but not the crust. Now you can fold the square over the pie, leaving the center uncovered while preventing the crust from overbaking.) To decorate the pie with a marshmallow topping, wait until the pie is done. Cover the crust with aluminum foil as described and pile marshmallows in an even layer in the middle of the pie. I used halved large marshmallows. Place 6-8” under the broiler and watch carefully, removing the pie as soon as the marshmallows are golden brown. Or maybe you have one of those little kitchen torches? That would come in handy here.
To make turnovers, roll ping pong-ball-sized chunks of pie dough into thin 6” circles. Scoop a few tablespoons of pie filling into each dough circle. Brush the inside edges of the dough circle with beaten egg, fold the dough in half, and press the edge with a fork to crimp and seal. Cut 2 or 3 slits in the turnover and place on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden (20-30 minutes).
- Bonus recipe! Pie crust: from Robin Wehl Martin’s Capitol Hill champion cherry pie. She’d go on to found Hello Robin, of course.Robin’s Winning Crust Recipe — for a 9-inch crust
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 sticks very, very cold butter cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup cold shortening
- 1/2 cup ice cold water Instructions
*I fill a small bowl with water and add some ice cubes, then spoon it out as needed.
1. Add flour, sugar and salt to a food processor bowl and pulse for 1 to 2 seconds to combine. Scatter the butter pieces and shortening over the dry ingredients. Pulse, in one-second intervals, 8 to 10 times until it forms a sandy texture, with some pieces being about the size of a pea. Don’t over-pulse the precious dough or it wont be flaky!
2. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Pulse until it forms a rough ball (add additional water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time). Turn dough onto your counter and divide into two balls. Press into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight (be sure to take out a few minutes beforehand so it will be easier to roll out).
- Tiny apple pies inspired by the corner of 12th and Madison: These little guys are easy to make, but they somehow elevate pie to an elegance which it otherwise lacks.
- Kale Caesar salad inspired by 14th and Union: As Josh Henderson says in his new Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto (Sasquatch Books, 2012), this salad tastes both healthy and hearty at the same time.Kale Caesar Salad
(c)2012 By Josh Henderson. All rights reserved. Excerpted from The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto by permission of Sasquatch Books.My buddy Cormac Mahoney inspired this salad. He has a kale salad on the menu at his restaurant in Seattle, Madison Park Conservatory. He taught me that using raw kale is OK. Most kale recipes call for cooking it down into a mush, robbing it of its dense texture and strong, wholesome taste. Cormac freed me from that. I played around with a few dressings and discovered that kale and Caesar are a match made in heaven. Most other greens can’t stand up to the rich and creamy Caesar dressing, but the kale just shines through. In turn the dressing helps quiet the bitter kale taste, which can be too strong on its own. This salad tastes healthy and hearty at the same time. To top the salad, we like to use boquerónes, little Spanish anchovies that are packed in vinegar. You can find them in the deli section of well-stocked markets and specialty shops. If you can’t find them, plain anchovies work fine too.FOR THE CROUTONS:
4 cups day-old bread cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE CAESAR DRESSING:
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
FOR THE SALAD:
1 pound lacinato (aka dinosaur) kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves cut into long, thin ribbons (chiffonade)
8 boquerónes or plain anchovy fillets
1. To prepare the croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, pepper, and salt until well coated. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Allow them to cool and set aside.
2. To prepare the Caesar dressing, in a large bowl mash the garlic cloves into a paste with the salt. Add the anchovy paste, lemon zest and juice, mustard, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, parmesan, and pepper and combine.
3. To assemble the salad, toss the kale with 1 cup of the dressing. Divide the salad among 4 plates, piling it so it stands tall. Scatter croutons over the top and criss- cross 2 boquerónes in an X on the top of each plate.
- Not-Guinness beer bread, inspired by 13th and Pike: You can make beer bread with any beer, but keep in mind that the flavor of the beer will influence the flavor of the finished loaf. A stout beer is a good choice, with its roasty flavors and slight sweetness. I used the Elysian Brewing Company’s Dragonstooth Stout.Beer Bread
3 c. flour
¼ c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. (that’s 1 ½ c.) beerOptional: more butter, or additional flavoring ingredients (see below)Preheat oven to 375⁰ and butter a bread pan. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add beer and mix to combine. Scoop dough into buttered pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
Optional: pour ¼ c. melted butter on top of dough before baking bread (this will make the edges of the bread a little crispy rather than just crusty). Or you can rub a few tablespoons of butter on top of the bread just after removing it from the oven.
Cheddar-Dill Beer Bread: Follow recipe above, adding 2 tsp. dried dill and 1 c. finely diced or shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the dry ingredients.
Chocolate-Stout Beer Bread: Follow recipe above, using a stout beer. Add ½ tsp. vanilla along with the beer, and stir in ½ c. chocolate chips as you mix the dough.
- Razor Clam Chowder with Turban Squash, Truffle, and Thyme inspired by Lark: Chef John Sundstrom was working on a digital cookbook honoring his classic Capitol Hill restaurant when he shared the recipe for this Lark favorite.
- Pumpkin Pie Soup — 15th Ave E inspires a seasonal soup: You might already be acquainted with this soup if you frequent the Hopvine, the Hill’s home of (great beer and) great soup. I used to hang out there, once upon a time, but now that we have munchkins I stay home and make my own soup more.Pumpkin Pie Soup
(adapted from the Southwestern Pumpkin Soup recipe in Michael Congdon’s S.O.U.P.S.: Seattle’s Own Undeniably Perfect Soups)The Spice mix:2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. red chile powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. milk or cream
32 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
½ c. real maple syrup
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped toasted walnuts
Chopped fresh cilantro
First, combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl.
Next, combine the broth and milk in your soup pot and get them started heating up over medium-high heat.
While the liquids are coming up to a low simmer, put the pumpkin in a larger bowl and add the maple syrup and the spice mix. Whisk to combine so that the spices are completely incorporated into the pumpkin.
When the soup pot reaches a simmer, whisk in the pumpkin mixture bit by bit. Cover it and continue to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes to let the soup thicken and the flavors combine.
Serve topped with the grated cheddar, toasted walnuts, and cilantro. (And, if you’re feeling ambitious, maybe a crispy green salad with apples or pears, feta, and pumpkin seeds.)
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