13 Must-Try Thanksgiving Recipes from Some of Atlanta’s Best Chefs (Part 2 of 2)

ThanksgivingImage: Mr. TinDC (Creative Commons)

Tradition is nice, but serving the same old dishes year after year for your family’s Thanksgiving feast can get monotonous. Thankfully (see what we did there?), Atlanta’s talented chefs have generously shared 13 of their favorite recipes to help spice up your holiday. From unusual sides and gluten-free gravy to vegetarian soups and ingenious plans for your leftovers, these dishes are sure to bring some excitement to the table. Yesterday, we brought you six recipes from chefs at restaurants such as Bantam + Biddy, Chai Pani, Southbound, and the Farmhouse at Serenbe. Today, we wrap up with seven more from chefs at Gunshow, Aria, Noni’s, Forage & Flame, and Ocean Catering Company plus convenient downloadable recipe cards of all 13 recipes for your own kitchen.

Chef Kevin Gillespie‘s latest restaurant, Gunshow, opened in May of 2013, but it’s unlikely that that’s the first you’ve heard of him. The former Top Chef finalist was also a co-owner and executive chef at Woodfire Grill and has won more awards than you can shake a whisk at. For WellATL readers’ holiday feasts, he has offered this “total experiment.” He writes, “I love the classic flavor combination of oranges and fennel. But I didn’t want more orange flavor in this marinade. I didn’t want the harsh taste of vinegar either. I wanted the Creamsicle effect you get with oranges and milk. Buttermilk popped into my head. It’s acidic and creamy at the same time. I wasn’t sure it would work, but it accomplished exactly what it needed to. It softened the raw fennel fibers, and its milk fat mellowed out the other flavors in the dish.”

Buttermilk-Marinated Fennel With Satsumas and Jalapeños

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow)

Fried Croutons


  • About ¾ cup olive oil (for a simple variation, replace the olive oil with strained, rendered bacon fat)
  • 3 slices day-old rustic Italian or sourdough bread, each about ½ inch thick
  • About ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to a ¼ inch depth in the pan and heat the oil to 325°F. The relatively low frying temperature allows the croutons to soak up a little oil, which adds flavor and keeps the croutons from being too crunchy all the way through.
  2. Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels.
  3. Trim and discard the crusts from the bread. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into perfect ½-inch cubes. Add the cubes to the pan and stir for 1 minute to coat with the oil. Cook undisturbed until the croutons turn a light golden brown (about 2 more minutes). The croutons will continue cooking a little after you remove them from the pan, so keep that
in mind; you don’t want them too crunchy.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the croutons to the paper towels and immediately sprinkle with the salt. These croutons should be made just before using because their high oil content gives them a short shelf life of only 2 hours or so.

Buttermilk-Marinated Fennel

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 12.26.08 PMIngredients

  • 1 baseball-size bulb of fennel with fronds
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 satsuma oranges
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (a fat one)
  • Finishing-quality olive oil
  • ¼ cup fried croutons (see recipe above)


  1. Rinse the fennel, then remove and reserve the fronds. Slice the bulb in half lengthwise—north pole to south pole — and using a sharp knife, carve around the core, removing and discarding it. Shave the fennel on a mandoline.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and salt in a medium bowl until the salt dissolves. Toss the fennel in the buttermilk, cover, and refrigerate. The buttermilk marinade will be very salty, which helps to draw water out of the fennel, and it’s the only component in the salad that is seasoned.
  3. Cut the oranges into supremes: Cut the ends from the fruit, then stand the orange on one flat end. Following the natural curve of the fruit, remove the outer peel and inner white pith with a sharp knife, taking off as little of the flesh as possible. Working over a bowl, carefully run your knife in a V around each side of each segment to remove the segments from the membranes that separate them. Combine the juice and segments in the bowl and reserve.
  4. Separate the whites from the green stems of the scallions and trim and discard the roots. Slice the whites into thin rings and thinly slice the greens on the diagonal. Put the whites in a small bowl and the greens in another small bowl. Shave the garlic and jalapeño on the mandoline. Gently toss the scallion whites, garlic, and jalapeño with the satsumas and juice to combine.
  5. Pick the fennel fronds from the stems and toss with the scallion greens and a few drops of olive oil. Pluck the shaved fennel from the buttermilk and drain on a paper towel, patting off the buttermilk.
  6. Place a 4-inch ring mold in the center of each plate. Pack the mold with one-quarter of the fennel, pressing with the back of a spoon to compact. Layer one-quarter of the orange mixture on top of the fennel, gently shaping it into the ring mold. Carefully lift the mold straight up to remove it from the plate. Sprinkle with the fennel frond mixture and croutons.

Should be enough for 4 people.

At six years and three months old, Noni’s Bar & Deli loved Edgewood Avenue way before it was the hot place to be. The menu includes a wide variety of homemade pastas and sauces, entrees and antipasti as well as deli sandwiches during the lunchtime hours. Chef and owner Matt Ruppert named the place after his little old Italian grandmother, who still whips up batches of this soup in her Maine home at the age of 93. There is simply no better way to use up that leftover turkey:

Noni’s Wedding Soup with Leftover Turkey

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Matt Ruppert of Noni’s Bar & Deli)


For turkey broth:

  • 3 pounds leftover Thanksgiving turkey, meat and bones
  • 2 big yellow onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • A couple bay leaves
  • A couple peppercorns
  • ¼ cup salt

For Noni’s meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground veal (optional)
  • 10 slices bread (darker bread is good)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 4 good pinches salt
  • ¼ cup salt

For other stuff:

  • 4 cups escarole (arugula and spinach work well too)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmegiano reggiano



  1. Put all ingredients into a large stockpot, fill pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, skimming fatty film occasionally.
  3. Taste. Add salt till delicious.
  4. Strain and put back on low heat to keep hot.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread, parsley, salt, egg, garlic, and milk. With your hands, thoroughly break down the solid ingredients into the milk.
  2. Add all meat and work with your hands to ensure uniformity. But don’t overdo it! Meatballs toughen if overworked. The mixture should be soft and wet.
  3. Roll out mixture to ¾ inch diameter balls and arrange on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until dark brown (about 20 minutes).


  1. Bring strained broth back up to a boil and add escarole. Let escarole cook for about 15 minutes in broth until almost translucent.
  2. With broth at a rolling boil, drop beaten eggs into soup and stir slowly in a crisscross fashion as egg scrambles. Do not stir too fast! Egg should scatter and scramble in streaky pools, not emulsify.
  3. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls. Add hot meatballs to bowls and finish with a healthy dusting of Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

Widely regarded as one of Atlanta’s best restaurants, Aria is known for its creative take on American cuisine. Chef Gerry Klaskala has won national acclaim and awards, including the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence in 2001. For your holiday table, he offers this flavorful soup option:

Pumpkin Soup

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Gerry Klaskala of Aria)


  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 1 leek, large dice (white part only)
  • 1 pumpkin (5 pounds), peeled, seeded, large dice
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded, large dice
  • 2 turnips, peeled, large dice
  • 1 potato, peeled, large dice
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt


  1. In a bowl, combine walnuts oil, vinegar, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Heat a heavy-bottom stockpot. Add oil. Add onions, reduce heat to medium, and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add leeks and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add pumpkin, butternut squash, and turnips and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Add wine and cook until wine is reduced by ¾.
  4. Add cold stock and potatoes. Bring to a slow simmer and cook at a slow simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Pass soup through a food mill fitted with a medium screen. Return soup to pot. Heat to a low simmer and adjust seasoning. Serve in warmed bowls and top with a spoonful of the walnut mixture. Butter toasted croutons can also be used as a topping.

PeachDish collaborates with local chefs to develop recipes then delivers locally sourced ingredients to customers’ doorsteps so that they can create the dishes in their own kitchens. The two recipes below were provided for PeachDish by Chef Seth Freedman, who is formerly of NYC’s Oceana, March, and Tabla and Atlanta’s Four Seasons and Bacchanalia at Star Provisions, and creator of Atlanta-based catering company Forage & Flame.

Creamed Brussels Sprouts with Mustard and Shallots

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Seth Freedman, Forage & Flame)

Image: Lizzy Johnston

Image: Lizzy Johnston


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 10 leaves parsley, chopped
  • 4 leaves oregano, chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the Brussels sprouts in an even layer on a heavy baking dish. Season with salt and coat with olive oil.
  2. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once butter has melted, add the shallot and garlic, cook until they start to become translucent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the vinegar and mustard and stir well to combine. Add the cream and bring to a bubble.
  5. Toss the Brussels sprouts and cream sauce together. Season to taste, and top with the chopped herbs.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes 

Cast Iron Roasted Vegetables

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Seth Freedman, Forage & Flame)

Cast Iron Roasted Root Vegetables.  Image: Lizzy Johnston

Cast Iron Roasted Root Vegetables.
Image: Lizzy Johnston


  • 24 ounces mixed local root vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig sage, chopped
  • 6 leaves marjoram, chopped


  1. Wash the veggies with water until they are clean. If veggies are larger than one inch wide, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet in a 450°F oven. Once hot, add enough olive oil to just barely coat the pan. Add the vegetables in a single layer and cook without stirring until they just start to brown on top (about 18 to 20 minutes).
  3. Stir the vegetables to turn over and continue to cook until tender and browned all over (about 5 to 8 more minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste and chopped herbs.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

For nearly a decade, Ocean Catering Company has been serving dishes made from fresh, seasonal ingredients at social gatherings and events around Atlanta. Founder Chef Shane McIntosh took over ownership of the Babylon Café by age 20 then went on to study a variety of flavors and techniques in some of the country’s most renowned kitchens. From the Caribbean cuisine of Automatic Slims Tonga Club, to The Main Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, to the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, to private dining in Paris, McIntosh pulls these influences together, creating his own style. Below, he offers two brilliant ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Stuffed Pork Roulade with Cranberry Merchand du Vin

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Shane McIntosh of Ocean Catering Company)


  • 8 cups leftover stuffing
  • 1½ cups heavy crème
  • 1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese­­­­
  • ½ cup fresh basil (chiffonade)
  • 3-4 pounds center-cut pork loin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups leftover cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter


Stuffing for Pork

  1. Bring heavy crème to a boil. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until tomatoes are re-hydrated.
  2. Break up the leftover stuffing and add to pan. Turn and stir to coat evenly. Bring back to a boil.
  3. Turn off heat. Add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir a few times then add fresh basil.
  4. Remove from pan and let cool.

Cranberry Merchand du Vin

  1. Pour wine into saucepan. Add bay leaves. Reduce by half.
  2. Stir in leftover cranberry sauce.
  3. Add beef stock. Reduce by half. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in butter and use to baste and as a final glaze on the loin.

The Pork

  1. Trim thick cap of fat from loin. Butterfly loin starting at the bottom, making several cuts across until loin is laid out flat. Cover meat with plastic wrap, then pound loin out with small frying pan.
  2. Add stuffing to lower half of loin, making sure to evenly distribute the stuffing from the middle to the outside edges.
  3. Roll the loin like sushi until it makes a full circle. Using cooking twine, tie roulade closed from end to end.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 400°F for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 160°F. Baste with Cranberry Merchand du Vin every 15 minutes for best color and shine.

Sweet Potato Croquettes with a Honey Yogurt Caramel

(Recipe courtesy of Chef Shane McIntosh of Ocean Catering Company)


  • 6 cups leftover sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
    Note: You will need a deep fryer, and you’ll have to move fast for this recipe. Your product needs to be as frozen as possible for handling. Work as quickly as possible in small batches, using the freezer as necessary.


Honey Yogurt Caramel

  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt sugar on medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  2. Maneuver the pan to insure that all clumps are melted then remove from heat.
  3. Wait 5 minutes to allow it to cool then add yogurt. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Add lemon zest.


  1. Add eggs to the leftover sweet potatoes and stir well.
  2. Lay the mix out on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap (this will make handling later easier). Place into the freezer for 1 hour or until the mix is starts to freeze in the center of the pan.
  3. Move frozen sheet of potato mix from the pan to a cutting board. Remove plastic wrap.
  4. Cut frozen mix into squares of approximately 3 inches. Cut those pieces diagonally into triangles. Place the pieces back onto the sheet pan and put them back into the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until individual pieces are semi-frozen.
  5. Remove from freezer. Dredge each piece in plain flour then place back onto sheet pan in the freezer. Wait about 15 minutes.
  6. In small batches, drop potato pieces in buttermilk. Shake off excess buttermilk and dredge in breadcrumbs. Cover each piece evenly then return to freezer.
  7. Repeat for a second coat of breading.
  8. Deep fry until golden brown in 340°F fryer. Drizzle with Honey Yogurt Caramel and garnish with crispy bacon.

Get the six great recipes from Part 1 now!