R5 A Toast to Thanksgiving

A Toast to Thanksgiving


- Advertisement -

Who needs another turkey recipe? Favorite chefs share their favorite holiday cocktails and appetizers with us, to start the day out right. Save some room for the main course.


By John Bruno Turiano • Photography by Phil Mansfield

- Partner Content -


Chicken soup for the soul? How about turkey gumbo for the tummy? For a new twist on tradition, we asked chefs from some of the area’s finest American restaurants to give us the recipes for their best, most creative, Turkey Day cocktails and appetizers. (We figured you already know how to roast a turkey.) Their creations are guaranteed to thrill your guests—and keep them out of the kitchen while the turkey’s roasting. Save your diet for the New Year—Thanksgiving is all about abundance!




- Advertisement -

Courtesy of Lime Restaurant

Larchmont, NY

—Makes one cocktail—

The Turkeytini not only takes advantage of cranberries, a wonderful seasonal ingredient, but it features Lime Restaurant’s favorite ingredient, lime juice.


2 oz. Wild Turkey bourbon

2.5 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. lime simple syrup (1/2 fresh
  squeezed lime juice & 1/2
  superfine sugar)


In a shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients. Mix well, strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with sun-dried cranberries and a slice of lime.


Warm Pilgrim

Courtesy of Strega Restaurant

Pleasantville, NY

—Makes one cocktail—

 A cocktail of fresh apple cider with spiced rum and cinnamon should put a smile on even the most
serious of pilgrims, says Chef Daniel Petrilli, who reports that this drink was inspired by Thanksgiving and the season’s harvest of apples.

2 oz. Captain Morgan spiced rum

1/4 tsp. brown sugar

squeeze of lemon

dash of cinnamon

3 or 4 grates of fresh nutmeg

1 tsp. honey

5 oz. warm fresh apple cider

cinnamon stick and orange

   slice garnish


Mix ingredients—and cheers!


Purple Haze

Courtesy of

the Inn at Pound Ridge

Pound Ridge, NY

—Makes one cocktail—

6 Concord grapes, muddled

2 1/2 oz. Ketel One citron

1 oz. Triple Sec

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/4 oz. simple syrup

   (superfine sugar and water)


Place ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and stir. Drain into a martini glass with three Concord grapes on the stem for garnish.


 Legend of the Fall Cocktail

Courtesy of Trotters

White Plains, NY

—Makes one cocktail—

“Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the bounty of our natural surroundings with family and friends,” says chef Anthony Goncalves of Trotters. “When guests arrive at our home, we begin with the cocktail we call Legend of the Fall.”


1 Tbs. minced ginger

2 oz. pear purée

1 splash of Poire William liquor



Rim a Champagne glass with cane sugar, add the above ingredients and top off with Champagne. Garnish with pear flavored candy.



Smoked Turkey Gumbo

Courtesy of Lime Restaurant

Larchmont, NY

—Serves 8—

Says Lime’s chef Jonathan Dorf: “If you choose not to prepare a roast turkey, you can still enjoy the traditional staple of the Thanksgiving table.” He adds, “Or prepare this soup the following day with your leftover turkey.”


1 onion, finely diced

1 red pepper, finely diced

1 yellow pepper, finely diced

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. gumbo filé (ground

   sassafras leaves)

1 Tbs. oregano

1 Tbs. thyme leaves

1 Tbs. black pepper,

   finely ground

1 tsp. cumin      

1 Tbs. chili powder

1 Tbs. paprika

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 cup flour

2 quarts chicken stock

1 pint diced plum tomatoes,
  peeled and seeded

Tabasco to taste

1 pint frozen okra, cut pieces

1/2 lb. smoked turkey breast,
  diced large


In a heavy-bottomed pot, slowly cook onions and peppers in butter until soft. Add all seasonings and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add flour, stir and continue to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add stock, tomatoes and Tabasco and bring to a boil, stirring frequently (be careful not to let scorch on bottom). Add okra and let simmer until the starch from the okra has thickened the soup. Add smoked turkey and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.


Roasted Butternut

Squash Risotto with

Porcini Mushroom

Courtesy of Strega Restaurant

Pleasantville, NY

—Serves 8 as an appetizer—

For Fried Spinach:

1 quart canola oil

3 cups spinach leaves

Heat canola oil to 360˚F in a medium saucepan. Use enough oil to submerge the spinach, approximately 1 quart, but do not fill the pot more than halfway. Flash-fry spinach leaves for 30 seconds and blot on paper towel. Spinach should appear translucent yet vibrantly green (If using a deep fryer, use a high setting).


For Squash Purée:

1 large butternut squash

1/4 cup water

salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Halve and seed the butternut squash.  Place the halves on an oiled roasting pan, flesh side down. Add water to prevent burning. Roast for 40 minutes or until squash is soft. Let stand until cool. Remove flesh from skin and purée until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


For Risotto:

2 oz. olive oil

5 oz. butter

2 cups Arborio rice

salt and pepper to taste

5 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups of squash purée   

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

pinch of thyme

drizzle of white truffle oil



In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and 2 oz. of the butter.  Stir in rice and salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, stirring continuously. Add 1 3/4 cups of hot chicken stock until it is absorbed. Keep stirring.

Add another 1 3/4 cups of stock and repeat the process.  Add the remainder of the stock, and stir until it is absorbed and risotto is creamy.

Add the squash purée and
the rest of the butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, white truffle oil and salt and pepper to taste.


For Porcini Mushrooms:

8 roasted porcini mushrooms          

2 cups chicken stock

salt & pepper to taste


To roast mushrooms, coat  mushrooms in olive oil. Heat the halves in the oven at 350˚F for 15 minutes. Then cook mushrooms in chicken stock until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.


To Serve:

Arrange the fried spinach
on platter. Top with the risotto and arrange the porcini
mushrooms around the platter. Top with fine diced tomato and sprinkle with Parmesan.


Shrimp, Scallop & Chanterelle Bundles

Over Buttenut Squash Coulis

Courtesy of

the Inn at Pound Ridge

Pound Ridge, NY

—Yields 8 bundles—

The bundles created by chef Brendan Treyball are reminiscent of tiny purses or “gifts,” wrapped in edible scallion “bows.”


For Butternut Squash Coulis:

1 butternut squash

6 pieces smoked bacon

2 shallot cloves

1 qt. chicken stock

4 oz. sweet butter


Preheat oven to 350˚F. Split the butternut squash in half and remove and discard the seeds. Roast the squash until it is soft, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pulp.

Fry the bacon until almost crisp, then add the shallots. Cook two minutes, then add
the squash. Cook another
three minutes. Add chicken stock and cook until it is reduced by half. Add sweet
butter, then purée. Put the mixture through a fine sieve. Season to taste and set aside.


For Bundles:

14 sea scallops

14 peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 lb. Chanterelle mushrooms

2 oz. dry sherry

1 Tbs. chopped herbs

  (parsley, thyme, chives,


4 sheets phyllo dough

4 oz. melted sweet butter

1 bunch scallions

   (green tops only), grilled


Preheat oven to 400˚F. Pan-sear the scallops, shrimp and Chanterelle mushrooms, cooking only until half done. Deglaze with the dry sherry and let cool. Add herbs.

Cut the sheets of phyllo
into quarters. Brush with
melted sweet butter. Place
two scallops, two shrimp and    Chanterelles in each. Pull the four corners together and tie with a grilled scallion. Bake until golden, approximately eight minutes.


To Serve:

Pour the butternut squash coulis onto a plate. Place a 
“bundle” in the center and garnish with Chanterelles and herbs.  


Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.