A very Vegas Thanksgiving menu

Pavochon: Mojo-marinated turkey with cornbread linguica stuffing by SushiSamba.
Photo: Scott Den Herder

It’s not the tryptophan in turkey that makes you sleepy after eating a Thanksgiving meal, it’s that the food has bored you to bed. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce are, of course, comfort food classics, but as far as excitement is concerned, ho hum.

This year, we thought our Thanksgiving meal should reflect the city we live in. We’re not cooking each course using alcohol or serving it all buffet style; rather, we decided to take advantage of the culinary wealth and variety in our own backyard and create a holiday menu that taps the talented kitchens of some of Vegas’ best restaurants. We invited a few of our favorite eateries, representing a wide variety of styles and flavors, to send us their recipes for an traditionally filling Thanksgiving feast updated for 2008 tastes. From South America marinades to Indian breads and Spain crepes, here’s what they had to offer.

Complete Menu:

Naan bread by Origin India

Savory mini-crepes with smoked salmon and dill sour cream by Firefly

Roasted duck and berry salad by Rosemary’s

Creamed corn by Piero’s

Pavochon: mojo marinated turkey with linguica stuffing by SushiSamba

Pickle spiced mahi mahi with green pea risotto by Origin India

Blackberry apple cake with ginger streusel by Social House

Naan By Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh, Origin India


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

4-1/2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise one hour. Dough should double in volume.

Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow rising until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with melted butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until the desired quantity of naan has been prepared.

Savory mini-crepes with smoked salmon and dill sour cream by Firefly.

Savory mini-crepes with smoked salmon and dill sour cream By Chef John Simmons, Firefly


2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/3 cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted, (plus 2 or 3 teaspoons butter for coating the pan)

fresh dill

sour cream or creme fraiche

smoked salmon

caviar (optional)

fresh cracked black pepper


Combine first six ingredients and whisk together. If you blend the ingredients rather than whisk, let the batter rest in the fridge for an hour before making the crepes. Heat a small sautee pan over medium heat. Coat with the reserved butter or with oil. Add one tablespoon of batter to the pan and swirl around to form a thin crepe about two inches in diameter. Cook until the edges start to curl, about 15 seconds, then flip and cook for 10 more seconds. The crepes should be golden brown on the bottom when you flip them. Remove from pan to a paper towel. Repeat until you have the desired number of crepes.

This batch size will make about 100 mini-crepes. You can separate them with wax paper, wrap in plastic, and freeze the extra for your next party.

For the dill sour cream, strip dill fronds from the thicker stems and chop. Reserve some whole dill pieces to use as garnish. Add dill to sour cream and mix well. To plate, top the crepe with a small piece of smoked salmon, a dollop of dill sour cream, a hit of caviar and a sprig of dill.

Roasted duck and berry salad by Rosemary's.

Roasted Magret Duck Breast salad with fresh berries, camembert and candied hazelnuts in a mixed berry balsamic vinaigrette By Chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan, Rosemary’s

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1 each (5-1/2 ounces) duck breast, Magret or smaller Peking

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups (2 ounces) mixed baby greens

1 cup mixed berry vinaigrette* (recipe below)

Salt and white pepper

1 cup mixed berries, left whole

12 wedges camembert cheese

1/2 cup candied hazelnuts* (recipe below)

4 teaspoons balsamic extraction* (recipe below)

4 teaspoons chives, freshly shaved

4 pinches micro basil

fresh black pepper in pepper grinder


Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add the olive oil. Score the duck breast by making slits in the fat from one side to the other and then back the opposite way. This opens up the fat and allows it to render and crisp evenly. Season both sides of the duck breast with salt and white pepper, and when the pan is hot add the duck breast skin side down. Turn the heat to medium and season the opposite side of the duck breast with the salt and white pepper. (Use a brick covered in foil if you have one. The weight will force the skin flat onto the hot surface and will render and color the fat more evenly.) Once the skin of the duck breast is a golden brown color, about 4 minutes, turn the duck breast over and finish cooking to medium temperature (145°F), about 5 minutes.

Remove the duck breast to a plate to rest, about 5 minutes. The duck breast can be served room temperature or chilled. Slice just before serving the salad. In a large bowl toss the baby greens with the vinaigrette and season with salt and white pepper. Lay 3-5 slices of duck on the plate. Place the salad in the center of the duck slices. Surround the salad with the berries, camembert cheese and candied hazelnuts. Drizzle on the rim of the plate the balsamic extraction and fresh pepper. Sprinkle the chives around the inside of the plate and top the salad with the micro basil.

Berry balsamic vinaigrette:

Makes 1 quart


2 tablespoons shallot, minced

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons sugar

3 cloves garlic

1 cup balsamic vinegar

4 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt to make a garlic paste

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup (5 ounces) mixed berries


Smash the garlic with the flat side of the knife and cover with the 1 tablespoon of salt. Mash the garlic with the knife to make a paste using salt to help you grind the garlic. Place the garlic and the other first five ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor. Run for 30 seconds and begin slowly adding the oil to create an emulsion. Add the white pepper. No more salt should be needed. Add the berries last and puree for 30 seconds. (If a deeper berry flavor is desired you can add up to another cup of berries.) Pass through a fine mesh strainer.

Candied hazelnuts

Makes 2 cups


2 each egg whites

2 cups (10-1/2 ounces) hazelnuts

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 225°F. Beat egg whites just to loosen. Add the seasonings and stir well to combine. Roll nuts in the mixture and spread onto an oiled sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once they are done remove from the oven and stir again every 5 minutes as they cool to completely coat the nuts in the mixture. Store in an airtight container and use within 1 week or freeze for about 1 month.

Balsamic extraction

Makes 3/4 cup


1 quart balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup honey


Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that there is no motion to the mixture, only steam wafting off of the surface. This will take quite a while; maybe 4-5 hours or longer and the slower the reduction the less chance of burning the natural and added sugars. Be sure to skim off any scum that forms on the surface as it reduces. To test when it is done, place a small plate in the freezer for 5 minutes. Spoon a teaspoon or more onto the plate and swirl gently; the consistency should be like honey.

Piero’s Creamed Corn By Piero’s Italian Cuisine


2-1/2 pound bag frozen kernel corn (do not defrost)

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 ounces melted butter

1-1/2 ounces flour

Parmesan cheese, grated


Combine first 6 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Blend freshly melted butter and flour, stirring to completely blend the two and form a roux. Add mixture to corn, mix well and remove form heat.

Put finished corn in a heatproof casserole and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until the top is evenly browned.

Pavochon: Mojo-marinated turkey with cornbread linguica stuffing by SushiSamba.

“Pavochon” – mojo marinated organic pastured turkey with cornbread linguica stuffing and pan gravy By SushiSamba

Mojo Marinated turkey

Ingredients (serves 8):

4 heads garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black peppercorns (whole)

1 cup orange juice

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup lime juice

1 cup minced onion

2 teaspoons oregano

1 cup Spanish olive oil

1 8-10 pound whole organic pastured turkey, divided into parts


Blend all the ingredients except for the turkey together and save. You can make the marinade two or three days early. Marinate turkey with mojo one day before cooking.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Remove turkey from marinade and place skin side up, on racks set in two medium roasting pans (be sure to leave space between parts for air circulation). Pour one cup water into each pan. Drizzle turkey parts with olive oil. Place one pan on each oven rack and roast until beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

Lower heat to 400°F, switch positions of pans, and rotate each pan 180°. Continue roasting until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast, avoiding bone, registers 165°F, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer turkey parts to platter and tent with foil.



2 cups chicken stock

3 garlic cloves

2 shallots

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup crema fresca or sour cream


Scrape juices and browned bits reserved from roasting pan into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat, reserving 2 tablespoons. Add enough stock to juices to measure 1 2/3 cups. Heat reserved 2 tablespoons fat in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot; sauté 2 minutes. Add flour; whisk until golden, about 4 minutes. Add degreased pan juices and 2 cups stock. Bring to boil, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer until gravy is reduced to desired consistency, about 4 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and sugar. Whisk in crème fraîche, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cornbread linguica stuffing


4 cups of corn bread crumbled

4 tablespoons diced onions

2 tablespoons diced celery

2 tablespoons diced carrots

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons linguica sausage, diced

2 cups chicken stock


Pre-cook the linguica in the oven until done and allow to cool. Cut the linguica in small dice (brunoise). In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions, celery, carrots. When caramelized, add the corn bread and linguica. Add chicken stock little by little, while you stir the cornbread mix.

Pickle-spiced mahi mahi with green pea risotto by Origin India.

Pickle-Spiced Pan-Fried Mahi Mahi Supreme, Served on Green Peas Risotto By Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh, Origin India

Ingredients for risotto:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Pinch of cumin

1 tablespoon of finely chopped yellow onion

1 whole green chili, finely chopped

5 tablespoons of risotto rice, sweet rice can be used (100 gm)

2 tablespoons of fresh green peas (5 gm)

Method for risotto:

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan. Add a pinch of cumin, green chilies and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped yellow onion. Sautee at low heat for 1 minute; then add raw risotto rice. Stir for 1 minute, add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook covered on medium heat for 8 minutes, add fresh peas and cook together for additional 2 minutes.

Ingredients for fish:

1 mahi mahi supreme

Pickling spice mix: a pinch of coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard, chili, turmeric powder and salt to taste

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for pan-frying

Method for fish:

Marinate fish with pickling spice mixture for 5 minutes then pan-fry with a tablespoon of

oil on both sides for 5 minutes. Serve the fish on the bed of green peas risotto.

Apple blackberry cake with ginger streusel by Social House.

Blackberry apple cake with ginger streusel By Social House

Yields 12 cakes

Ingredients for cakes:

8 tablespoons butter

100 grams granulated sugar, about 1/2 cup

62 grams brown sugar, just under 1/4 cup

1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 eggs

Zest of 1 orange

90 grams blackberry puree, about 3/4 cup

142 grams all-purpose flour, about 1-1/8 cups, sifted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup diced apples


Cream butter and sugars together evenly in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, zests and blackberry puree slowly to butter and sugar. Mix in sifted flour and salt. Fold in diced apples. Spoon into muffin tins.

Ingredients for ginger streusel:

1/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon dried ginger


Combine all ingredients into a rough mix. Sprinkle ginger streusel over tops of dough. Bake at 300°F for 15 min (or until tester comes out clean). Serve with caramel ice cream.

Photo of Sarah Feldberg

Sarah Feldberg

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