Ask an OC Chef: Best Unique Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Ask an OC Chef: Best Unique Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)

Spice up your family’s traditional Thanksgiving menu with the insight and southern influences of one of OC’s newest and brightest chefs, Chef Jeffrey Boullt, Executive Chef at the newly opened SOCIAL Costa Mesa restaurant.

(credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

(credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

Chef Jeffrey Boullt
SOCIAL Costa Mesa
512 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA
(949) 642-2425
www.socialcostamesa.com

Jeffrey Boullt, Executive Chef at SOCIAL Costa Mesa, a new-American restaurant offering chef and ingredient-focused dinner, brunch, late night bites and craft cocktails, has had quite a culinary career for someone who is just 35. After working in New Orleans and throughout Southern California, he is merging the two regional cuisine styles and bringing them to life through his playful and thoughtful menu at SOCIAL Costa Mesa.

Even for Thanksgiving side dishes, Chef Boullt utilizes the flavors and influences of his life experience. He relays, “My family lives in Alabama, and I spent a good portion of my formative years in New Orleans, so the menu [at SOCIAL] has a strong Southern backbone, but I am using fresh California ingredients and a more approachable take on the classic dishes.”

(credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

(credit: SOCIAL Costa Mesa)

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts w/Sweet Potato, Tasso Ham, Honey and Hazelnuts

From September to February, Brussel Sprouts are probably my favorite vegetable. They are always in the walk in at the restaurant and in my fridge at home. Tasso Ham is something I discovered while
cooking in Louisiana. This Southwest Louisiana staple will add smoke and spice to a dish brilliantly. If
you can’t find Tasso Ham you can always substitute bacon and 1 tsp. of Cayenne.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussel Sprouts – Outer leaves trimmed and cut in ½.
  • 1 pound Sweet Potato – Peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • ½ cup Grape seed Oil – ¼ cup reserved for roasting, ¼ cup reserved for sautee
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • ½ pound Tasso Ham – Cut into ½ inch pieces.
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Toss Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato, Salt, Pepper and ¼ cup Grape seed Oil
    together in a bowl.
  • Once seasoning is even spread ingredients on sheet in a single layer; roast until
    tender, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring twice.
  • Once Caramelized remove from oven.
  • Pour the remaining ¼ cup of grape seed oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Add Tasso Ham and Sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Honey, Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes into the sauté pan.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low and stirring constantly cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Hazelnuts and Butter to the Sautee pan.
  • Stir all ingredients and make sure the ingredients are equally distributed. Take off heat. Add Salt and Pepper if desired.

Serves 8

(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)

Cauliflower Gratin with Aged Cheddar Mornay and Red Fresno Chili

If you like Mac and Cheese as much as I do you will love this variation without pasta. Try it on your kids. I promise they may like it better.

Ingredients

  • 1 qt. Cauliflower Florets
  • 2 Tablespoons grape seed Oil
  • 1Tbls. Kosher Salt
  • 2 oz. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 qt. Whole Milk
  • 8 oz. Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar
  • 1 Tablespoon Aleppo Pepper
  • 1 Red Fresno Chili – sliced 1/4inch Rings
  • 1 Tablespoon flat leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • ½ Cup Panko Bread Crumb
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 400F. Combine Cauliflower florets, grape seed oil and kosher salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Incorporate all ingredients together. Lay out all ingredients flat on a sheet pan and roast for 25-30.
  • Lower oven to 300F.
  • Combine Panko bread crumbs and extra virgin olive oil in a mixing bowl.
  • Incorporate well and by hand squeeze off any access oil making sure the Panko is fully coated with the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lay out Panko on a sheet pan and place in oven checking every 10 minutes until brown.
  • Over low heat melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  • In an additional saucepan temper whole milk over low heat.
  • Add flour and incorporate until smooth and a blond roux is made. Do not color the roux. Slowly incorporate whole milk to butter and flour.
  • Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the flour taste has been omitted.
  • Add Cheddar, Red Fresno Chili, Aleppo Pepper and leave on low heat for another 2 minutes.
  • Stirring every 30 seconds. Combine 1/2 of the cauliflower and 1/2 of mornay. Stir and incorporate all ingredients together.
  • Remove from heat and pour into bowls.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  • Top with the Roasted Panko bread crumbs.
  • Serves 8

Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.