Sign up for our Newsletter

74.6 F
Monday, July 4, 2022

Stay Connected

  • Patel Conservatory

Sign up for our Newsletter

Tampa Chefs Share Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Chef Chad Johnson with Daughter Thanksgiving Side DishALPINE CAULIFLOWER GRATIN | Chef Chad Johnson, Executive Chef of the Epicurean Hotel, Haven and Élevage Restaurants

Start to finish: 65 to 80 minutes (20 minutes active) Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

This is a simple dish that is great for the holidays since you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time and just bake when ready. It’s great to get the kids involved breaking apart the cauliflower, picking the herbs or peeling the apples depending on their age. It’s a delicious way to introduce cauliflower into a little one’s diet.For a kid-friendly approach, substitute crushed Goldfish crackers for the breadcrumbs.

Chef Chad Johnson Alpine Cauliflower GratinIngredients:

2 heads cauliflower, broken into 1 inch florets

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated

1 Spanish onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon chopped sage

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

Pinch of grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

½ cup sour cream

½ cup chicken stock

½ cup grated gruyere cheese

½ cup bread crumbs

Procedure: Heat oven to 375 F. In a large pot, melt butter until frothy. Add onions to the pan and cook until translucent. Add herbs, spices and flour. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant and flour is worked into a smooth paste. Reduce heat, and add chicken stock, grated apples and sour cream. Allow to slowly come to a simmer. Stir mixture to make smooth. Remove from heat.Add grated cheese and cauliflower. Stir to evenly coat cauliflower.Transfer to an oven-proof dish. Dust top of mixture with bread crumbs and bake uncovered at 375 F for 45 to 60 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Romeo Patron of Bianchi's Enoteca Roasted CauliflowerROASTED CAULIFLOWER | Chef Romeo Patron, Bianchi’s Enoteca (

Start to finish: 50 minutes (20 minutes active) Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

This is a crowd favorite that can be made vegan-friendly or meat-lover style! Despite its creamy and luxurious texture, this simple dish is dairy-free.




IngredientsRomeo Patron of Bianchi's Enoteca Tampa Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets

1 fennel bulb sliced very thinly

1 link of spicy Italian sausage (omit if vegan)

4 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of chopped garlic

2 teaspoons of fennel seeds

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs

½ cup water

For the puree: Heat oven to 350 F. While the oven is heating, cut cauliflower head in half, and then cut around the stem on each half to assist in pulling apart individual florets of cauliflower. Place ¼ of the florets and 4 garlic cloves on an oven tray, coat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Roast in oven for 30 minutes at 350 F. Remove from oven and place into blender. Blend at low to medium speeds, slowly pouring water into blender, until a thick paste forms that has the consistency of yogurt. Set aside.

For the Italian Sausage: (Omit this step for the vegan dish). Heat a frying pan with medium heat. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise down the Italian sausage link and remove the skin from the sausage. Break apart the sausage and place into the frying pan. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

Procedure: In a cold frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the remaining ¾ of the cauliflower, fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon of salt, and red pepper flakes. Heat on medium. When the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and sauté until you smell the garlic and aromatics (1 to 2 minutes). Pour ½ cup of water into the frying pan, and allow the water to boil and braise for about 10 minutes on medium heat, until the water has evaporated. Pour in the puree and toss for 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl and finish with panko breadcrumbs.

Chef Courtney Orwig of Haven TampaWILD MUSHROOM & GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE | Chef Courtney Orwig, Chef de Cusine, Haven
Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active)  Makes 6-8 servings

I enjoy making this recipe any time of the year but mostly during the holidays when my daughters are helping in the kitchen while some holiday music plays in the background. It is a simple dish but one you can put your own touch on. I swapped out the green beans with long beans and use crispy shallots once after we shopping at the local Asian market. I love using golden chanterelles when they are in season.



2 pounds of fresh green beans or long beans

3 cups of torn or diced wild mushroom mix (such as chanterelles, oyster or crimini)

½ onion, diced Chef Courtney Orwig Wild Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole

4 tablespoons of butter

4 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of milk

1 cup of half and half

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups of a mild cheese – cheddar (Beechers) or a young gouda, shredded

2 cups crispy shallots or canned fried onions

Procedure: Trim the ends off of the green beans and blanch in salted boiling water, after about 3 minutes the beans will turn bright green. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to shock them and stop the cooking.

Trim and clean the mushrooms if necessary. Sauté in a hot pan with a touch of oil and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have released their water and are fairly dry in the pan. Transfer to a separate dish to cool.

Heat oven to 350 F.

To start the cheese sauce, in a medium pot over medium heat, add butter and let it bubble for a minute or so. Add the flour mixture (you are making a roux) stir the roux and cook out the flour for about 4 minutes. Slowly add milk and heavy cream, stirring the whole time. After about 5 minutes or so the mixture will start to thicken. Slowly add the cheese into the pot still stirring so not to burn the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

To assemble, take the blanched beans and add the mushroom mixture in a medium sized bowl. Take the cheese mixture and add to the bowl. Lightly toss all together and add to a oven safe crock or pan. Sprinkle the crispy shallots or onions all over the top and bake for 10 minutes at 350 F.

Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Chef Eric Lackey of Ulele No Bake Pumpkin CheesecakeNO-BAKE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE | Chef Eric Lackey, Executive Chef, ū⸳lë⸳lē (
Start to finish: 4 hours (20 minutes active)  Makes 4-8 servings

Thanksgiving is a heavy meal, and when we think of Thanksgiving deserts, we usually think of big, heavy deserts. This isn’t! This is a very light, low-sugar, and creamy treat that’s easy to make, and fun for kids to help with too! Making it in a mason jar or a jar with a lid makes the dish portable, too!


4-8 glasses or jars (such as Ikea-jars with a lid or mason jars)

Crust:Chef Eric Lackey of Ulele No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

20 ginger snap cookies
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar


8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
10 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla paste (different than extract, but sold at most grocery stores)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe below, or use store-bought)
16 ounces heavy whipping cream

Homemade pumpkin pie spice:
1/3 cup cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/3 teaspoon cloves

Procedure: Use a food processor to crush the ginger snap cookies. Add melted butter and sugar and pulse to incorporate. Press 2 tablespoons of mixture into bottom of each jar or glass. Refrigerate jars for at least 30 minutes to firm the mixture.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and sugar until creamy. Add in pumpkin, vanilla paste, and pumpkin spice (homemade is always best, but store-bought works too). Beat until fully blended, about 3-5 minutes.

Using a stand or handheld mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer half of whipped cream to piping bag and refrigerate. (If you don’t have a piping bag, a locking freezer bag works too – put whipped cream in bag, seal, and cut one of the corners off the bag).

Fold pumpkin mixture into remaining whipped cream. Transfer mixture into another piping bag. Pipe pumpkin mixture into each jar and place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Pipe whipped cream on top of the piped pumpkin mixture in each jar, and then dust the whipped cream with the homemade or store-bought pumpkin spice. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours before serving. If the cheesecake is not firming up after a couple hours, placing the cheesecake in the freezer for an hour should firm it right up. Serve and enjoy! Or put a lid or plastic wrap in the jar and take it with you to Grandma’s house!

Related Articles

The BEST Places to See July 4th Fireworks in Tampa Bay with the Kids

July 4th is fast approaching, and that means it's time to figure out how and where to celebrate. This year, there are a number...

20+ FUN Things to Do in Tampa Bay this Weekend

Fourth of July is just a few days away and there are some amazing events going on around town this weekend! We've rounded up...

Esports CAN be a career and Esports Players Club in Tampa is here for it

Your kid love gaming? Don’t sweat it. Esports Players Club in Tampa says that passion could actually turn into a lucrative career. Let us explain… As...
Tampa Bay Back to School Fair