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Thanksgiving Recipes from Restaurants on Chicago's North Shore

This Thanksgiving (or Friendsigivng), impress your guests with delicious dishes from some of your favorite restaurants on Chicago's North Shore! We've got you covered from appetizers to dessert and everything in between. Read on below for the recipes or get a printable version here.


Saranello’s Focaccia Stuffing with Italian Stuffing
Yield: 1 large casserole

¼ C olive oil
1 lb spicy Italian sausage
1 C carrots (small diced)
1 C celery (small diced)
2 C onions (small diced)
4 fresh garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
2 Tbsp fresh sage
1 Tbsp rubbed sage
½ Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
½ Gallon toasted focaccia
1 Quart turkey stock
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pan heat the olive oil.
2. Add the spicy Italian sausage. Using a spoon break it into small pieces and allow to brown on all sides.
3. Remove the sausage from the pan, leaving the oils in the pan.
4. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook until soft. Approximately 5-7 mintues.
5. Add garlic and herbs and cook a few minutes more.
6. Add the focaccia to the pan and reserved sauasge cooking until the bread begins to absorb the moisture.
7. Add the turkey stock, season with salt and pepper and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.

Di Pescara's Acorn Squash
Serves 6-8 people

2 medium sized acorn squash  (wash, cut in half then cut each half into four pieces, remove seeds)
1/4 stick of butter
1 C of packed brown sugar 
1 C of candied pecans 
1 Tbsp of salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
2. Spread out cut pieces of Acorn Squash on a sheet tray, covered with an aluminum foil.
3. Melt butter.
4. Drizzle butter over the acorn squash 
5. Season Acorn Squash with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
6. Sprinkle brown sugar over squash evenly.
7. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender using a fork. 
8. Remove from the oven. 
9. Place onto serving platter. 
10. Take residual liquid on pan and pour over Acorn Squash 
11. Garnish with Candied Pecans.
12. Enjoy!

Found's Roasted Carrots

Carrot Marinade 
1 Tbsp cumin seed
1 Tbsp coriander seed
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 oz red wine vinegar
1 Cup olive oil
2 Each garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp salt

1. Combine all in a blender and puree until smooth. Reserve.

5 lbs peeled carrots
1 Cup carrot marinade
1 Each orange cut in half
1 Each lemon cut in half

1. Combine all ingredients making sure to coat the carrots well. Place on a roasting sheet and bake at 300F until carrots are very tender and start to shrivel. 

Cashew Butter
1 C cashews
1/2 C tahini paste
1 C water
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1. Toast cashews until lightly golden brown (at 300F-325F). Place cooled cashew in food processor and chop until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice.

Green Harissa
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, with seeds
½ Tbsp cumin, toasted
½ Tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
1 C olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process at low speed until all is well combine but still small pieces. Reserve.

To serve. Toss roasted carrots with some of the green harissa and a little salt. Place a heaping spoon of the cashew butter in a bowl and serve the carrots on top with a drizzle of additional harissa to taste and some cilantro leaves.

Main Dish

Francesca's Tortellacci di Zucca

Roasted butternut squash filled pasta in a brown butter-sage sauce with shaved parmigiano.

5(L)-6(D) pc butternut squash tortellaci
1 oz unsalted butter
3 pc fresh sage leaf
2 oz pasta water
1 Tbsp Parmesan (grated)
½ oz grana padana (shaved)

1. Melt butter in sauté pan
2. Add sage leaves and sweat
3. Cook until butter browns and no longer froths
4. Add cooked pasta & hot pasta water
5. Add grated parmesan and toss together
6. Plate pasta in 12" wide-rim bowl (L/D) and top with shaved grana
7. Serve immediately and offer fresh ground black pepper & grated parmesan tableside


Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery - Aunt Marilyn's Bundt Cake
Serves 12 people

¾ C sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 C finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 package Sweet Ali’s gluten free yellow cake mix (or similar store bought version)
1 small package gluten free vanilla instant pudding (3.4oz box)
4 Eggs
¾ C water
¼ C oil
1 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Thoroughly grease all sides and bottom of bundt pan. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans (if using) in a small bowl. Coat bottom and sides of the greased bundt pan with part of the mixture. Reserve remaining for layering with the batter.
2. Blend remaining ingredients to make the cake batter. Pour ½ of batter into bundt pan. Layer ½ of remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over batter. Cover with the rest of the cake batter. Sprinkle with a final layer of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
3. Bake 1 hour at 350°. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 10-20 minutes. Turn onto wire rack and cool until just warm. Wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before serving or serve immediately, if desired*.

This cake can be eaten right from the fridge, at room temperature, or warmed in the microwave. Keep leftovers wrapped and stored in the refrigerator.


Pinstripes' Puccini

1.5 oz Stoli Peach
1 oz mango juice
1 oz sour
Splash - champagne
Orange twist
Lemon twist