Noe Valley Voice November 1997

Noe Valley Restaurants Share Their Thanksgiving Recipes

Here's a chance to go local this Thanksgiving and try some new recipes from several Noe Valley restaurants. Or perhaps these recipes will just help you decide where to make reservations for dinner.... In any case, be sure to stop by and thank the chefs.


The Courtyard Café * 1361 Church St. (at Clipper) * 641-0678

Abed Amas, owner of the Courtyard Café, notes that this stuffing also works well with Cornish game hens. He says red potatoes and cauliflower make nice side dishes.

Turkey: Wash thawed or fresh turkey with cold water, pat dry, rub with flour, and squeeze lots of fresh lemon juice all over the bird. Rinse with cold water and let drain/dry for a couple of hours.


1/2 pound coarsely chopped chicken livers or lean ground sirloin

Pine nuts or chopped almonds

White raisins (optional)

Allspice (not more than one teaspoon)

Ground nutmeg (not more than one teaspoon)

Cinnamon (optional, about 1/2 teaspoon)

About 3 cups dry long grain white rice

While rice is cooking according to package directions, sauté the livers or ground beef with the spices and nuts. Toss the sauté and the cooked rice together, and let cool.

Stuff the turkey firmly (this stuffing will not expand as a bread-based stuffing would), and squeeze lemon juice over the entire bird. Cook the turkey at 350 degrees, wrapped in foil (start oven at a higher temperature and lower it to 350 when bird goes into oven). Cook as you would any stuffed turkey, about 3-1/2 to 4 hours, basting occasionally with lemon juice. Amas suggests adding boiled red potatoes to the roasting pan about an hour before the turkey will be done.

Cauliflower in White Cream Sauce: Lightly boil or steam cauliflower. Heat butter and add flour to make a roux. This should have a soft paste consistency. Stir until very light brown. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Add black pepper to taste. When sauce thickens, pour over cooked cauliflower.


Firefly Restaurant * 4288 24th St. (at Douglass) * 821-7652

Pancakes...they're not always for breakfast. Firefly chef Brad Levy suggests you serve this dish as a hot appetizer to your Thanksgiving meal or alongside the turkey. The recipe yields 16 to 24 pancakes, which are about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.

1 cup flour

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1 acorn squash, weighing about 1-1/2 pounds

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup milk or more if necessary

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup vegetable oil or more if necessary, divided

1-1/4 cups smooth applesauce, optional

3/4 cup sour cream with chives, optional

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Mix well and set aside. Peel and seed the squash and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. There will be about 3 cups. Transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the onion and ginger. Process to a rough purée. With the motor running, add the milk in
a steady stream. Continue to process until the mixture becomes an almost smooth purée, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk if necessary. Transfer the mixture to
a large bowl. Mix in the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture just until no streaks of flour are visible. Do not overmix. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour the oil into a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil ripples. Pour in the batter by heaping tablespoons, leaving a little room between each pancake. Using the back of the spoon, lightly pat the pancakes until the under-sides are golden, about 1 minute. Turn them with a spatula and fry until the tops are golden, about 45 seconds. Drain them on paper towels and then put in a pan in a warm oven while frying the remaining pancakes. Add additional oil if needed.
Serve with applesauce or sour cream and chives.


Little Italy Restaurant * 4109 24th St. (at Castro) * 821-1515

Little Italy owner/chef J.P. Gillen says this seafood dish, served with chardonnay, makes a wonderful romantic dinner for two.


6 ounces sea bass 1 tablespoon soy sauce

6 jumbo prawns, shelled and deveined Chili pepper to taste

6 scallops Black pepper and parsley to taste

4 mussels, in the shell 12-ounce can chopped tomatoes

4 clams, in the shell (or Little Italy Marinara Sauce to go)

5 cloves chopped garlic 8 ounces pasta of your choice

Extra virgin olive oil

Heat a non-stick skillet. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan and brown sea bass and scallops on both sides. When this is done, add remaining seafood, garlic, chili pepper, black pepper, parsley, tomatoes, and soy sauce. Simmer in skillet unitl seafood is cooked. When the shells on the mussels and clams open, they are done. Do not eat mussels or clams if the shells do not open.

Serve over cooked pasta.


Valentine's Cafe * 1793 Church St. (at 30th) * 285-2257

Valentine's chef Eric Skokan, who is originally from Virginia, says a terrine is similar to a paté but consists of layers of ingredients shaped into a mold and baked. His butternut squash terrine is a Southern vegetarian dish "that is great to make at home for a Thanksgiving dinner party because it can all be done ahead of time and served at the last minute." Valentine's will be serving it at four seatings on Thanks-giving Day, with a portobello duxelle (mushroom sauté) and pecan gravy. The terrine recipe serves 15 as an appetizer -- sliced thinly -- or eight as a main course.

Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Terrine

3 medium butternut squashes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and minced

3 red peppers, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a terrine mold or bread pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil, tossing well to coat squash. Tightly layer 1/2 of prepared squash in the terrine mold. Follow with all of the red pepper, then the second half of the squash. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 2 hours. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Terrine is best served the day after it is prepared. To serve, either reheat the entire terrine and serve on a platter, or cut into individual slices, reheat, and serve on individual plates. Note: Butternut squash contains a large amount of water and shrinks as it cooks. When forming a terrine, layer the squash higher than the sides of the mold, securing with foil, to compensate for the lost volume.

Portobello Duxelle

4 shallots, peeled and diced finely 2 tablespoons red wine

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1/4 cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons oil Salt and pepper to taste

2 portobello mushrooms, diced finely

In a large sauté pan over high heat, combine shallots, garlic, and oil. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add portobellos and sauté 6 minutes more. Add wine, stirring to remove browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Repeat with vegetable stock. Continue cooking until stock has evaporated and mushroom mixture is dense. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 1-1/2 cups.

Pecan Gravy

1 slice wheat bread 1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup vegetable stock 1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup pecans Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine bread and stock, allowing bread to soak for at least 5 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with an "s" blade, combine pecans and garlic. Pulse several times until coarsely chopped. Remove pecan mixture to a medium sauté pan, set over medium heat. Add oil and cook until pecan mixture begins to brown and is fragrant, about 4 ­ 6 minutes.

Return cooked pecan mixture to the food processor. Add soaked bread and purée until very smooth, about 5 ­ 7 minutes. Slowly add remaining stock to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, heat gently in a saucepan over low heat. Do not allow to boil. Yields 1-1/2 cups.


Miss Millie's Restaurant * 4123 24th St. (at Castro) * 285-5598

Owner Gary Rizzo loves this recipe by Miss Millie's pastry chef Karen Shaw because it's rich but not too sweet -- the perfect pecan pie.

1-1/4 sticks butter (or 1/4 pound plus 2 tablespoons)

1 cup light Karo syrup

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups pecan halves

1 9-inch pie tin lined with your favorite pie dough, chilled and unbaked

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, Karo syrup, and brown sugar. Heat until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gently stir the eggs and vanilla into cooled mixture until combined. Strain. Put the pecan halves on the bottom of the pastry-lined pie tin. Pour filling over the nuts. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour, or until crust is golden and pie filling is puffed and just set. Let pie cool down and serve at room temperature with whipped cream.


WrapWorks * 4042 24th St. (at Noe) * 821-9333

Look for this wrap on WrapWorks' menu as Thanksgiving approaches, or make your own with Thanksgiving leftovers. WrapWorks makes this wrap with all homemade ingredients, marinated and grilled turkey, and apple-walnut stuffing.

1 spinach tortilla Big handful of leftover turkey

Giant spoonful garlic mashed potatoes Turkey gravy, to taste

Giant spoonful turkey stuffing Spoonful of corn and pepper relish

Cranberry sauce, to taste

Wrap ingredients in the tortilla. It's that easy.