Jonathan Pinto is the food columnist for CBC’s Windsor Morning. So it should come as no surprise, he loves Thanksgiving dinner. In particular, he loves the traditional sides: stuffing, potatoes and carrots.
But he also enjoys hearing about — and sampling — alternative takes on traditional meals.
This week, he decided to assemble a less conventional Thanksgiving feast.
Pinto met with some of Windsor's best butchers, bakers and chefs and asked them: what are you making for Thanksgiving?
Spinach salad with toasted almonds, cranberries and camembert buttermilk dressing
Rob Bornais of Robbie's Gourmet Sausage Company has been a fixture at this year's Windsor’s downtown farmers market, selling what he calls "conceptional sausages,” including unusual creations like bacon cheeseburger and calzone sausages.
This Thanksgiving, he’ll be making a baby spinach salad with toasted almonds and cranberries with a camembert buttermilk dressing.
“I have to do the salad, because it’s one of my wife’s favourites,” Bornais said.
Bornais found the camembert buttermilk dressing recipe “years and years ago.”
“It’s one of those special dishes you keep for once of year,” he said. “It’s pretty simple. You have three ingredients for the salad.
“The real star of the salad is dressing, It’s a heavy, kind of rich dressing.”
Ravioli in a rich butternut squash cream sauce
Rino Bortolin of Rino's Kitchen is doing something a little different with his turkey. He's smoking it in the restaurant's smoker.
But the real treat is his ravioli in a rich butternut squash cream sauce.
“I’m not a traditionalist. But we do like to intertwine some traditional elements of the season,” Bortolin said.
Bortolin slow roasts butternut squash for 45 minutes before dicing it. Then he adds roasted garlic, salt pepper and a cream sauce.
“You’re really getting a lot of squash flavour in it,” Bortolin said.
Deep fried brussels sprouts with bacon and onions
David Dimoglou of the Willistead Restaurant will be making deep fried brussels sprouts with bacon and onions
Dimoglou has been making the dish for a while. And he’s perfected it.
Like many tasty things, he discovered it by accident when he was a chef at Origin Restaurant in Toronto.
A colleague had left the brussels sprouts roasted in a cast iron pan too long.
“They were basically shallow frying in the pan so it wasn’t that much of a stretch to deep fry them,” Dimoglou said,” Dimoglou said.
Pumpkin cream pie with gingersnap crust
For dessert, Michele Bowman of the Little White Kitchen will serve pumpkin cream pie with gingersnap crust
She runs a local food blog and business.
“In my family, dessert is the highlight,” Bowman said. “The main part of the meal is not the highlight.”
The pie is gluten free.
Bowman said she discovered the “unusual” recipe 20 years ago.
The pumpkin is cooked on the stove, not in the pie in the oven.
It’s cooked with eggs, spices and gelatin on the stove. Whipping cream is made on the side. It’s all put into the gingersnap crust.