A Locavore's Thanksgiving
This year, we’ve challenged Westchester’s locavorian chefs to give us their best low-mileage Thanksgiving recipes.
Photography by Dawn Smith
Guess what? Our fabled American pilgrims weren’t buying onions from California. Their apples didn’t come from Washington State, and their cheese didn’t come from Italy. In fact, plopped on the edge of the known world, those clueless, buckle-shoed pioneers had to make do with what they found. But thanks to a sympathetic home team—a savvy tribe of Wampanoag Indians—that first Thanksgiving turned out to be pretty tasty. In fact, the spread was so good that we’re still remembering it 387 years later.
This year, with astronomical transportation prices and local products coming into their own, we’ve decided to take the Wampanoags’ hint. We’re turning our backs on distance-shipped goodies. The harvest’s in, and autumn’s bounty is at its peak—we’ve got all the deliciousness we need right here.
So we threw down a challenge to the county’s biggest promoters of locally raised fare, those outspoken chefs who celebrate it in their menus. We asked them to give us a locavorian Thanksgiving. The (largely) non-container-ship-dependent feast that follows is in the truest spirit of an American Thanksgiving—it celebrates the land under our feet. And as Westchester’s green space continues to fall to development (while a gallon of gas creeps toward $4), we feel this message is as important today as it was in the 17th century.
Oh, and don’t be afraid that you can’t replicate these recipes at home, where there’s no livestock or farm acreage out back. We’ll show you where to source our chefs’ local finds (which appear in bold type in the following recipes), too.
So undo your top button and tie a napkin around your neck. It’s time to feast on the following.
Millbrook Vineyards and Winery
In 1979, John Dyson planted vines on a former dairy farm in his hometown of Millbrook, New York, about 15 miles northeast of Poughkeepsie. After six years of experimentation, John and his wife, Kathe, released their first commercially available vintage; their ultimate success raised awareness of Hudson Valley wines. While the Dysons also own vineyards in Italy and in Napa Valley, their hearts still are with Millbrook Vineyards and Winery. Visit their picturesque site for tasting schedules, or look for their products at several Westchester wine dealers, including Westchester Wine Warehouse, 53 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains (914) 824-1400. For a store near you, check millbrookwine.com.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
After a stint in UC Davis’s fermentation science department (and further honing at Sierra Nevada and England’s Andam’s Brewery), Scott Vaccaro opened Westchester’s first microbrewery in Pleasantville in 2006. Currently, you’ll find his suds at top-tier spots like Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern and The Spotted Pig, as well as at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company also has won its share of awards; BeerAdvocate magazine recently named Captain Lawrence number five of America’s top 50 microbreweries. Look for Captain Lawrence beers at Whole Foods Market in White Plains, Siebert’s Beer Distributors (861 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers 914-965-0571), and DeCicco Marketplaces in Pelham, Bronxville, and Scarsdale. You also can pick up half-gallon “growler” jugs at the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, 99 Castleton Street in Pleasantville, on Fridays 4-7 pm, and Saturdays, 12-6 pm, or online at captainlawrencebrewery.com.
It’s hard to imagine, now that Tuthilltown Spirits is the toast of the whiskey-drinking world (and, having conquered New York, it’s moving into lucrative European markets), but Ralph Erenzo got into the distillery business by the back door. This Manhattan-based, avid rock climber bought his 18th-century Shawangunks gristmill as a campsite for other ‘Gunks climbers. Thwarted by NIMBYist neighbors, he found himself stuck with non-paying land. When the New York State prohibition against the industry was lifted, he began distilling with free apple peelings from a local Hudson Valley orchard. Since releasing that first apple-based spirit in 2005, Erenzo has overseen an explosion of Tuthilltown products, including New York State’s only home-distilled rye, 100-percent New York State corn bourbon, and single-malt whiskey. Tuthilltown’s efforts have been praised in the pages of Time Magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and their growing range of products can be found in top restaurants everywhere. You can find Tuthilltown Distillery products at several local liquor stores (visit tuthilltown.com for a full list), including Mount Kisco Wines and Spirits (195 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco 914-666-5255).
Last Call for Westchester Farmers’ Markets
Want to know when those farmers pack up their trucks and go home? See below for days, locations, and end-of-season points for your local farmers’ market. And remember, when your local outdoor markets stop, you can always shop in comfort at the Westchester County Center’s Indoor Farmers Market. Dates scheduled are November 16, December 14, January 4, February 8, and March 15, 10 am to 3 pm. Visit countycenter.biz for more information.
Bronxville: Stone Place at Paxton Ave Saturdays through November 22
Hartsdale: Hartsdale Train Station, DiSanti Plaza Saturdays through November 22
Hastings: Library lot off Maple Ave Saturdays through November 27
Katonah/ Lewisboro: Front of John Jay H.S,
Rte 121 Saturdays through November 17
Larchmont: Metro-North upper lot # 3, Chatsworth Ave Saturdays through December 20
New Rochelle: Municipal lot, S Division St and Leroy Pl Fridays through November 21
Ossining: Corner of Main and Spring Sts, center of village Saturdays through December 20
Peekskill: Bank St between Main St (Rte 6) and Park St Saturdays through Ends November 22
Pelham: Harmon Ave, off Fifth St Sundays through November 23
Pleasantville: Manville Rd and Wheeler Ave, Memorial Plz Saturdays through December 20
Rye: Sunday Parking lot # 2, Theodore Freund Ave Sundays through November 23
Tarrytown: Patriots Park, Rte 9 Saturdays through November 22
White Plains: Parking lot next to City Hall, 255 Main St Wednesdays through November 26
See below for our chefs’ favorite sources, though here’s a hint: some of these tiny farms will require some driving—and a few don’t offer other retail sites. And while a Sunday drive into farm country might be fun, hitting your local market will save a buck or two in gas. If you’re looking to keep the food miles down, stop into one of Westchester’s 15 local farmers’ markets and source your locavorian feast there.
New Minglewood Farm
99 Country Rte 52, Greenwich, NY (518) 692-8579, newminglewoodfarm.com
396 County Rte 68, Eagle Bridge, NY (518) 686-0750
Johnboy’s Mountain View Farm and Smokehouse
336 Stanton Rd, Cambridge, NY
(914) 646-4263; johnboyssmokehouse.com
While Bedford Post cures its own guanciale (made from pork sourced at Johnboy’s Mountain View Farm), Johnboy’s offers a full range of its own smoked products on its website and its Cambridge, New York, farm stand.
Quattro’s Game Farm Store
2251 Rte 44 (about ½ mile off the Taconic Parkway), Pleasant Valley
Call Quattro’s to order your Thanksgiving turkey, then pick it up at Quattros’s Pleasant Valley farm store. If it’s easier, there’s a Quattro’s Game Farm stand at Manhattan’s Union Square Greenmarket. Visit cenyc.org for more information.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture Farmers’ Market
The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, 630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
Wednesdays 3 to 6 pm, Fridays and Sundays 1 to 4 pm. The Stone Barns Center’s farmers’ market sells meat, poultry, eggs, and produce raised right onsite. On Fridays, the market also features Red Jacket Orchards fruit and cider (from Geneva, New York) and Consider Bardwell farmstead cheese (from West Pawlett, Vermont).
46 Freeborn Lane, Tivoli, NY (845) 757-3276
Migliorelli Farms runs stands at the following Westchester farmers markets: Lewisboro, Rye, and Pelham. All three markets will remain open through Thanksgiving week; see Last Call for Westchester Farmers’ Markets (page 100) for sites and dates.
Mushrooms & More
37 Fulton St, #4, White Plains (914) 682-7288
329 Underhill Ave, Yorktown Heights (914) 962-4306
Chef Jon Pratt of Peter Pratt’s Inn lays in his haul of Meadows Farm squash before their season ends on October 31. In fact, last year, he took an entire truck full. You can either do as he does, and stop by Meadows Farm’s Yorktown Heights farm stand before October 31, or you can source your locally raised butternut squash from any of Westchester’s other farmers markets.
Blooming Hill Farm
1251 Rte 208, Blooming Grove, NY
Blooming Hill Farm Market 1251 Rte 208 Blooming Grove, NY
(845) 782-7310, bloominghillfarm.com
Saturdays 9 am to 4 pm, Sundays 9 am to 2 pm
Blooming Hill Farm Stand: Otterkill Rd, Mountainville, NY (845) 782-73101
Wednesday 12 to 6 pm
Blooming Hill vends at its farm market and stand, plus, its organic products are available at the Nyack Farmers’ Market and the Union Square Greenmarket. The Nyack Market is held every Thursday thru mid-November, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm (Main St and Cedar St, 845-353-2221), and information about the Union Square Greenmarket can be found at cenyc.com.
Sunchoke Soup with Sweet Onion Mostarda and Guanciale
Courtesy of Executive Chef Brian Lewis, Bedford Post
(Serves 6 as a first course)
[FOR THE SOUP]
⅛ lb guanciale, diced (Bedford Post’s Berkshire Pork is from Johnboy’s Mountain View Farm, and it’s cured in-house;
you can substitute pancetta at home)
1 Happenchance Farm white onion, peeled and diced
¼ lb potatoes, rinsed, peeled, and diced
2 stalks Happenchance Farm celery, peeled and diced
¼ lb butter
2 qts chicken stock, or water
1 lb New Minglewood Farm sunchokes—rinsed, peeled,
¼ cup heavy cream
6 chives, shaved
Salt and pepper to taste
Slowly render guanciale on medium heat, until cooked through but not browned. Strain out fat (reserve it for future use). Add white onion and cook slowly until translucent. Add potatoes, celery, and butter and ¼ cup chicken stock, and simmer slowly until potatoes are fully cooked. Mash mixture with a potato masher, adding small amounts of stock, and salt through the process to keep potatoes from developing color. Add sunchokes, and continue simmering in stock and butter until fully cooked through. Add remaining stock, cream, and purée with an immersion blender (or transfer to a conventional blender, capped with a clean folded towel). Adjusting seasoning.
Finish soup with a small quenelle of the mostarda, topped
[FOR THE MOSTARDA]
4 Happenchance Farm white onions, julienned
2 cloves New Minglewood Farm garlic, peeled and sliced
⅛ lb diced guanciale
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
Render guanciale slowly until fully cooked, then remove from pan, leaving fat. Add onion, and slowly caramelize over medium heat until amber and sweet (approximately 20 minutes). Add shaved garlic, cooked guanciale, and honey, cooking until honey begins to foam. Deglaze with sherry vinegar, and reduce by half. Remove from pan, and cool to room temperature.
954 Old Post Rd, Bedford Village
Quattro’s Farm Bourbon Red Turkey
Brined in Migliorelli Farm Vegetable Stock
Courtesy of Executive Chef Kevin Bertrand, Crabtree’s Kittle House
(Serves approximately 10 to 12 people)
(all veggies from Migliorelli’s Farm; herbs from the Kittle House’s garden)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 lb white onions
½ lb carrots
½ lb celery
½ lb parsnips
½ lb asparagus
½ tsp each white and pink peppercorns
½ tsp coriander
½ bunch parsley
2 bay leaves
½ bunch thyme
2 gallons water
Three days before Thanksgiving, combine all ingredients except the water in a large sauté pan with oil, and simmer until the onions are limp and translucent. Transfer to a large stockpot, and cover vegetables with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Strain, discard vegetables (or compost) and chill stock.
2 gallons vegetable stock (see above) or enough to cover turkey in a 5-gallon bucket
¾ cup kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
½ Tbsp allspice
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
4 cinnamon sticks
Two days before Thanksgiving, bring all ingredients to a boil, then chill overnight. Place the turkey in a 5-gallon bucket and pour the brine over it. Refrigerate 24 hours.
1 10- to 12-lb Quattro’s Game Farm turkey
On Thanksgiving day, preheat oven to 500°F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Roast turkey at 500°F for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325°F. Roast turkey for approximately 2 ½ hours further, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 150°F. It’s very important to allow the turkey to rest 30 minutes before serving; leave at least 3½ hours between the time you start cooking the turkey until you serve.
Crabtree’s Kittle House
11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua
(914) 666-8044; kittlehouse.com
Courtesy of Co-Owner and Executive Chef
Dan Barber, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
[FOR THE BREAD]
1 tsp (2.2g) yeast
10 oz flour
6 oz water
20 oz water
24 oz bread flour
12 oz whole-wheat flour
2 tsp (4.4g) yeast
A few nights before Thanksgiving, make preferment starter. Create the preferment using water, flour, and yeast. Let rest 6 minutes. Add salt. Mix on low speed 4 minutes. Put dough into greased bowl, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Punch dough down, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes more.
Divide dough into 2 one-pound pieces. Pre-shape; let rest. Shape and let proof. Round the dough pieces up into balls, cover them and let them rest for 10 minutes. Re-round them into a ball and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Make a slit down the center with a knife.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake with a pan of water in the oven for 7 minutes to create steam, vent, then finish baking, 5 to 7 minutes more.
[FOR THE STUFFING]
1½ sticks butter
4 small shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onions
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 lb Mushrooms and More portobello, shiitake, or a combination of wild mushrooms, stems removed, cut into ½-inch chunks
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
8 cups cubed, day-old bread (recipe above),
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
3 sage leaves, chopped
¾ cup hazelnuts, halved and lightly toasted
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp hazelnut oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt 10 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, add shallots, garlic, and onion, and cook on low heat until translucent. Add 1 teaspoon thyme and the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are light brown. Add the wine, and cook until the liquid evaporates, then repeat with the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms in a bowl.
Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or 3-quart casserole. Put bread, parsley, sage, hazelnuts, remaining thyme, and mushroom mixture in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, cream, and hazelnut oil until combined, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in the casserole, then cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, and bake another 30 minutes, until golden.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Carrot-Ginger Cream
Courtesy of Executive Chef/Owner Jonathan Pratt, Peter Pratt’s Inn
(Serves 10 as a side dish)
[FOR THE FILLING AND RAVIOLI]
2 butternut squash peeled and diced fine (about ⅛-inch pieces). The squash, taken from the solid part only, should yield about 4 cups. Save the hollow part for soup.
10 Tbsp sweet butter
8 tsp olive oil
4 shallots, minced
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
40 wonton wrappers (or use a ravioli maker and your own fresh pasta)
Sauté the diced raw squash in 4 batches, each with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tsp of olive oil, until golden brown (the squash should be cooked through when browned). Reserve each batch in a mixing bowl. After removing the squash, in the same pan, sauté shallots and thyme in the last 2 Tbsp of butter and add to the bowl with the squash. Mix together, and adjust salt and pepper.
Assemble ravioli by placing 1 tablespoon of mixture in center of wrapper, moisten edges of wrapper with whisked egg whites, cover with a second wrapper, and press edges to seal.
[FOR THE SAUCE]
1 qt heavy cream
Juice of 2 large carrots (If you don’t have a juicer, chop the carrots roughly, then purée it in a food processor. Wring its juice out through cheesecloth or a clean cloth napkin that has been rinsed until detergent-free.)
2 Tbsp of juice from a 2-inch knob of fresh ginger (see above)
Salt and pepper
Simmer cream on low heat until reduced by half. Add ¼ cup of carrot juice to color the cream a light orange. Add ginger juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
To serve, place ravioli in salted boiling water for 1 minute if using a wonton wrapper, or slightly longer if you’ve used your own pasta sheets. Place desired amount of ravioli on plate or shallow bowl and top with a tablespoon or 2 of sauce. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds or a drop or 2 of pumpkin-seed oil. Chervil—if you happen to have it on hand—is a great garnish, too.
Peter Pratt’s Inn
673 Croton Heights Rd, Yorktown
(914) 962-4090; prattsinn.com
Honey Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Chestnuts
Courtesy of Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, BLT Steak
12 oz Union Square Greenmarket chestnuts, roasted
2 lbs Migiorelli’s Farm Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 cup honey
1 Tbsp sugar
1 10-oz slice prosciutto, cut into ½-inch strips
1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
Cut the peeled chestnuts into thin slices. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the Brussels sprouts, and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the sprouts to a bowl of ice water to chill. Drain well and reserve. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to foam. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots are tender. Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts. Stir until well combined and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the honey, sugar, and prosciutto. Turn up the flame to medium-high. Cook, not moving the pan, for about 2 minutes to allow the Brussels sprouts to caramelize and the prosciutto to crisp. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.
221 Main St, White Plains
The Flying Pig Apple Gallete
Courtesy of Executive Chef Leslie Sutter, The Flying Pig on Lexington
20 Blooming Hill Farm apples
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup butter
½ vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
Peel and core apples, and cut into 1-inch pieces; toss in lemon juice. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter. Split and scrape the insides from a vanilla pod, adding the tiny, gooey black seeds to the butter. Add the sugar, half of the apple mixture, and a pinch of salt. Cook mixture until apples are just soft, a few minutes. Toss in raw apples and set aside.
[FOR CRUMBLE AND GALLETTES]
1 sheet Voila puff pastry (or 2½ sheets Dufour)
1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
8 oz butter
Cream together sugar and butter, then add flour and salt. Roll into cylinder shape in parchment paper and chill until hard (approximately 20 minutes). Cut puff pastry into 6-inch squares and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center, fold corners over the top, and crimp. Top with 2 slices of crumble. Bake on sheet pan at 375º F until brown and crispy.
The Flying Pig on Lexington
251 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco
(914) 666-7445; pigcafe.com