Farm to Feast: A Local's Guide to Thanksgiving in the El Dorado County and Foothills Regions
● By David Norby
Compiled by Tara Mendanha and Megan Wiskus // Photos by Dante Fontana
From holiday recipes submitted by some of the area’s best chefs to events around town, ways to give back and places offering meals to go, staying in town for Turkey Day has never seemed so tempting…
Submitted by Kara Taylor, executive chef and catering director at The Farm Table 311 Main Street, Placerville, 530-295-8140
¼ lb. The Farm Table bacon, diced
1 cup onion/leek, petite diced
2 carrots, minced
2 celery stalks, petite diced
1 apple, peeled, petite diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups dried/day old cornbread, cubed
2 cups dried/day old baguette, cubed
1 cup turkey/chicken stock, preferably homemade
½ cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sauté diced bacon until fat renders and bacon is a little crisp. Remove bacon and set aside; leave the bacon fat in the skillet. Sauté onion/leek, carrot and celery in bacon fat for about 5 minutes. Add diced apple and garlic, and sauté for 5 more minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Fill a prepared baking dish and bake at 350-375-degrees Fahrenheit until hot all the way through and slightly browned on top, 30-45 minutes. Makes 12 servings.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
Submitted by Laura Hartwick and the team at Bricks Eats and Drinks, 482 Main Street, Placerville, 530-303-3480
4 tbsp. butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 quart chicken stock
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup, or more to taste
1 dash cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 tsp. turmeric or curry powder, or more to taste
1 tsp. nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
In a 4-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat and sauté onions about 2 minutes. Add squash and pears and cook about 2 minutes more. Pour in stock and simmer till squash is fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Purée with immersion blender or in small batches in tabletop blender. Add spices, salt and pepper, and enough cream to thin to desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Roasted Poblano and Sweet Corn Casserole
Submitted by Brandon Guenther, chef and owner at Tortilla Flats Cantina 564 Main Street, Placerville, 530-295-9408
2 tbsp. butter
¾ cups leeks, whites only, diced small
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
6 oz. cream cheese
4 cups sweet yellow corn kernels (preferably off the cob)
1 cup roasted poblano chilies, diced
1 ½ cups Chihuahua cheese + ½ cup more to top, grated
1 tsp. cumin, ground
½ tsp. black pepper, ground
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Melt butter in a sauté pan over low heat and add chopped leeks and minced garlic; sweat for 3 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until combined. Transfer to a buttered 8” X 8” casserole pan. Top with remaining Chihuahua cheese and bake in 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Allow to set for up to 10 minutes; garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
Apple Arugula Salad
Submitted by Dan Moore, executive chef at 36 Handles Restaurant and Pub, 1010 White Rock Road, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-3606,
1 bag arugula
1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
1 apple (any variety), sliced
1 pomegranate worth of seeds
4 oz. walnuts, toasted
4 oz. goat cheese
2-3 oz. pomegranate vinaigrette (below)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine arugula, fennel, apple, walnuts and vinaigrette in a mixing bowl; toss together lightly. Check seasoning. Garnish salad with seeds and goat cheese.
2 oz. pomegranate juice
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 sprigs thyme, chopped
8 oz. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients. Make sure to mix just prior to use.
Submitted by Jason Doolittle, executive chef at Sienna 3909 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9694
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced large
4 tbsp. whole unsalted butter
4 tbsp. sour cream
1 ½ tbsp. kosher salt
½ tbsp. black pepper
1 ½ oz. (about two slices) Gouda cheese, diced small
1 pound yams, peeled and diced large
3 tbsp. whole unsalted butter
1 tbsp. kosher salt
½ tbsp. black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
Eggs, beaten (enough to cover potatoes)
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil Yukon potatoes until very fork tender, drain and stir in the butter, sour cream, kosher salt, black pepper and Gouda cheese. Spread half of the Yukon’s evenly into a lightly greased or sprayed 6” X 10” pan.
Boil yams (at the same time as the Yukon potatoes, but in a separate pot) until very fork tender, drain and stir in butter, kosher salt and black pepper. Spread the yams evenly into the pan on top of the Yukon’s and then spread the other half of the mashed Yukon’s evenly on top of the yam layer. Cool in the fridge until firmly set, usually a couple hours.
Firmly flip the pan upside down on a cutting board to get the potatoes to come out in a whole rectangle. Cut down middle, length wise, and then into squares (roughly 8) then cut those in half into triangles.
Set up a pan with all-purpose flour that’s seasoned with salt and pepper, a pan of beaten eggs, and a pan of Panko breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Gently roll potato triangles in flour to coat, then egg wash to coat and finally roll in Panko crumbs to coat. Set aside on a dry, paper-lined tray.
To finish cooking, brush or sprinkle the coated potatoes with melted butter and bake in the oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on the outside. Note: These will hold up for some time and stay warm while you finish preparing the rest of your meal. Makes 16 servings.
Sugar Pumpkin Gnocchi
Submitted by Jeremiah Maloney, chef at Henry’s Steakhouse (inside Red Hawk Casino), 1 Red Hawk Parkway, Placerville, 530-677-7700
1 small sugar pumpkin
1 lb. russet potatoes
3 whole eggs
3 lb. plus of 00 pasta flour or all-purpose flour
Freshly cracked pepper
1 head of escarole, cut into finger-wide ribbons
1 pound of pancetta, diced into small chunks
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 head of garlic, sliced thinly
Olive oil for roasting and sautéing
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 small wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp. salted butter
Cut the top off the sugar pumpkin, remove all seeds, and slice into wedges, keeping the skin on. Rub the wedges liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Roast the wedges, skin side up, in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven until the flesh is soft when pricked with a fork, approximately 40 minutes. Flip the wedges halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking. A slight browning of the pumpkin flesh is OK—burnt is not. The skin will become blistered and wrinkled, that is OK—you won’t need it. When the pieces are soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool for an hour or two. Note: This can be done the night before, just refrigerate the wedges.
Boil one large, or the equivalent of one pound, russet potato with the skin on. When the potato is tender, remove from the water and set aside to cool. Peel when cool by rubbing off the skin with your hands or a clean kitchen towel. Break the potato into chunks and let all the steam escape. Sprinkle the potato flesh with a small amount of kosher salt.
When the potato is cool enough to handle, place it into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix until completely smooth. Scrape the flesh from the pumpkin with a spoon. Match the volume of potato with the pumpkin flesh; add it to the potato, and mix together until both are completely smooth. Add one egg at a time, incorporating each one completely.
Add almost all of your flour to the mixer bowl, leaving the paddle attached. (I leave a small amount out just in case I need to adjust the texture.) Less flour will yield fluffy gnocchi, while more flour will yield a more toothsome texture. Once the flour has been added, start the mixer slowly and mix until all the flour is worked in and a dough ball is formed. If the mixture is too dry, add milk by the tablespoon until smooth again.
Remove dough from the mixing bowl and place onto a floured worktable or countertop. Flatten the dough with your hands, or rolling pin, until you reach an even thickness, approximately one finger thick. Cut the dough into finger-thick strips. Cut those strips into small chunks.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a hefty pinch of salt. Place the chunks into this water carefully, working in small batches. When the gnocchi float, let them cook for a half-minute longer, and then remove them and place on an oiled pan to cool.
When you’re ready to serve, warm a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a small amount of oil, approximately 1-2 tbsp. Add a hefty pinch of diced pancetta to the pan and brown it slightly. When the pancetta is rendered, add a handful of gnocchi and brown slightly on all sides. Add small pinches of shallot and garlic, and half of a cup of chicken stock and white wine. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the escarole. Cook until a sauce has formed from the broth and wine. Add 1 tbsp. of butter to finish the sauce. Taste and add salt, if needed. Place the gnocchi in a bowl and shave Parmesan over the top.
Turkey Chorizo Huevos Rancheros
Submitted by Jeremiah Maloney, chef at Henry’s Steakhouse inside Red Hawk Casino), 1 Red Hawk Parkway, Placerville, 530-677-7700
1 bag of nixtamal or ready-to-use fresh masa
4 large tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 small red onion
1 head garlic
Lard for frying or olive oil if preferred
2 cups refried beans, homemade preferred
2 cups turkey chorizo (recipe follows)
2 avocados, sliced
Roast the jalapeño over an open flame until blistered and set aside. Roast the tomato over an open flame until slightly charred and set aside. Peel the red onion and six cloves of garlic. Remove the stem from the jalapeños and the cores from the tomatoes. Place the onion, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, and half of your cilantro in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Place the mixture into a saucepan and bring to slow boil. Reduce slightly, taking great care not to scorch the pan. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Add the juice of one lime. Set this sauce aside and keep warm; this is your salsa.
If you’re making your own tortillas, roll the masa into small balls and press flat in a tortilla press or with a rolling pin. Fry each tortilla in lard or oil until browned. Place the browned tortilla on a paper towel to drain.
Brown the turkey chorizo until fully cooked through, and warm the refried beans. Fry an egg to your preference and get ready to assemble the huevos rancheros. Start with the tortilla and spread a decent amount of refried beans on it. Cover the beans with chorizo and then a healthy dose of warm salsa. Place the fried egg on top and garnish with sliced avocado and cilantro leaves.
5 pounds dark turkey meat, chopped
½ pound turkey fat
1 pound white onion
2 heads garlic
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups paprika
2 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 heaping tbsp. kosher salt
Mix all ingredients together by hand. Using a medium plate for your meat grinder, grind all the ingredients together. Mix until uniform in color. At this time, you can stuff into casings or use as a loose sausage.
Coriander Sesame Almond Cake
Submitted by Karen Holmes, executive chef and owner at Karen’s Bakery Café and Catering Kitchen 705 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom, 916-985-2665
6 tbsp. whole coriander, toasted, then ground in a spice grinder
¾ cup sesame seeds, toasted, then ground in a spice grinder
¾ cup whole almonds, toasted, then ground fine in a Cuisinart
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 oz. (6 tbsp.) soft butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest, minced
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Spray one, 10-inch spring form pan, and set aside. After the coriander and sesame are ground, combine them to make the Coriander Sesame Flour. Combine Coriander Sesame Flour, finely ground almonds, all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar to wet sand texture. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the zest, juice and vanilla seeds and add to butter/egg mixture. Beat until smooth. Add olive oil in slow, steady stream. Turn mixer off and fold in dry goods. Put in pan, and bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
Zest of one lemon
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. water
Combine ingredients; simmer to dissolve sugar. Allow syrup to cool slightly. Poke cake and drizzle syrup over the cake while both cake and syrup are still warm.
Apple Pie Bread Pudding
Submitted by Alisa Smith, owner and pastry chef, and Tiffany Coburn, pastry chef, at Way Back Bakery 6211 Pleasant Valley Road, El Dorado, 530-626-1900
8 cups brioche bread, cut into medium-size cubes
3 large Granny Smith apples, diced
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. allspice
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
4 large eggs + 2 yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
Add brioche to a 9” X 13” baking dish. Add apples to bowl and coat with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and brown sugar; add to baking dish. Pour liquids and salt on top of bread and apples, and bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for at least 40 minutes, or until liquids are absorbed. The top of pudding will bake with a crust.
Caramel Bourbon Sauce
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1-2 tbsp. bourbon
Melt butter and sugar in saucepan. Add heavy cream, and continue to stir until sauce starts to thicken. Once boiling, add bourbon and let cook for 3 minutes while stirring. Pour on top of bread pudding and serve. Keep extra sauce to serve on the side.
Peanut, Pumpkin and Oat Dog Biscuits
Submitted by Teal Triolo, owner and chef at Sierra Rizing Bakery, Coffee House and Catering, 7310 Highway 49, Lotus, 530-642-9250
1/4 cup oil
8 oz. peanut butter
8 oz. canned pumpkin
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 cups white flour
Combine above ingredients through rolled oats in mixer with dough hook attachment. Mix well then add white flour. Mix well, place in bowl and cover with plastic. Don’t refrigerate! Let sit for 30 minutes then roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Use any shaped cookie cutter and bake cookies in a pre-heated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven until lightly browned and crispy, approximately 18 minutes.
Make your celebration about more than just the food this year by participating in one of these events.
Family-friendly 5K run/walk and 10K run begins and ends at Folsom City Lions Park on November 24. Proceeds benefit Twin Lakes Food Bank and other local charities.
The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is celebrating Thanksgiving by giving every animal a special holiday treat. Watch the fun, beginning at 11 a.m.
The Cappuccino Cruisers are organizing a turkey drive and classic car show on November 5 at 1011-1013 Riley Street in Folsom (between Kohl’s and Denny’s) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a frozen turkey or a bag of canned goods as entry to the show.
This 23rd annual event benefits Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. The 10K run and 5K run/walk takes place on November 24 at 8:15 a.m. on J Street in Sacramento.
Gather at Folsom Lake Bowl on November 7 to help feed 2,000 families this Thanksgiving by partaking in fun activities, winning raffle prizes and drinking for a cause. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services.
Kick off Thanksgiving at Vernon Street Town Square in Roseville on November 24, with a fun run, jog, walk, stroll, roll, or even crawl before the feasting begins. Be there—rain or shine—at 9 a.m.
Drive Out Hunger
Placer Food Bank is organizing a community-wide Turkey Drive at the Roseville Automall on November 11 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drop off a frozen turkey or monetary donation to help others with their Thanksgiving meal. 916-783-0481.
Join this 5K or 10K run or walk at Beal’s Point in Granite Bay on November 24 at 9 a.m. A free 1K race for those six and under starts at 10:30 a.m. Post-race snacks and goodies await participants.
MEALS TO GO
7310 Highway 49, Lotus, 530-642-9250
4370 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 120, El Dorado Hills, 916-932-5025
4500 Post Street, El Dorado Hills, 916-933-1433;
771 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, 916-746-7799
535 Placerville Drive, Placerville, 530-621-3663
311 Main Street, Placerville, 530-295-8140
DINE OUTFor those who prefer not to be cooped up in a kitchen all day, you’re in luck: The following restaurants are open for business on November 24.
Menu and details TBD.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal aboard the Sacramento River Train! The menu includes a starter, entrée and dessert.
Menu and details TBD.
Sienna serves a Thanksgiving buffet at their restaurants in both Roseville and El Dorado Hills that will leave you plenty satisfied.
Bring new meaning to Thanksgiving by donating your time, money or resources to the places below.
Donate money, food and vehicles, sponsor or host a food drive, or volunteer by helping with coordinating, sorting, or transporting food.
Make monetary or food donations (they’re in most need of canned goods, packaged foods, and personal and baby care items); you can even volunteer and donate in memory of a loved one.
Along with local outreach programs that provide food, clothes, resources and winter shelter, this church also runs a produce garden and Hope House—a transitional housing for women and children. Volunteer at any of their programs that suit your skills.
Upper Room Dining Hall
The Upper Room provides meals to all persons regardless of race, religion, gender, income or age on a daily basis and is staffed and funded by volunteers and organizations throughout the community. Currently, they’re in need of volunteers to help cook and serve on weekdays. 530-621-7730