Atlanta Chefs Dish On Their Thanksgiving Favorites

Nov 19, 2016

On this edition of “Two Way Street,” we present our annual Thanksgiving cooking show. Every year we gather some of the finest chefs in the South in our studios to talk about their own Thanksgiving holiday memories, and to share with us recipes and tips for creating an outstanding holiday dinner. This year we have an exceptional group of chefs.

Anne Quatrano is best known for her acclaimed, game-changing restaurant Bacchanalia. She also operates Floataway Café, W.H. Stiles Fish Camp and Star Provisions. You still have time to order Thanksgiving dinner from Star Provisions if you aren’t eager to cook.

And if you are cooking, here’s Anne’s recipe for buttered rutabaga, which we talk about on the show.

Mrs. Carver’s Buttered Rutabagas

Serves 12

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 medium rutabagas

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, diced
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground pepper

Bring an 8-quart pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

Meanwhile, peel the rutabagas: They are very dense and the skin can be 1⁄4 inch thick, so best to cut off the bottom of the root first to stabilize, then work around the root, slicing away the skin from the top to the bottom in sections. There is often a lighter colored underskin that should also be removed as it can be bitter.

Cut the peeled rutabagas into 1 1⁄2-inch cubes and add to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. They should be tender to the touch while retaining their shape. Drain in a colander, then return to the pot. Add the butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and gently fold together; avoid breaking apart the rutabaga cubes. Serve immediately. 

Steven Satterfield is the executive chef and co-owner of Miller Union, another of the most highly respected restaurants in Georgia. He’s a big proponent of elevating produce on his menus, and is the author of “Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons.” 

Steven shared with us his recipe for green tomato gratin.

Green Tomato Gratin

6 to 8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 6 large or 8 medium green tomatoes

  • 1 cup bread crumbs made from day-old baguette
  • 2 cups Celery Cream, warmed

Butter a 9-inch baking dish. Measure out the salt into a small bowl and set aside. Slice off and discard the tip of the bottom of each tomato. Cut each tomato into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Layer the tomato slices across the bottom of the prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle lightly with some of the salt. Continue layering and lightly salting until all the slices are used. Place a similarly sized and shaped dish or plate that fits just inside the baking dish to cover the surface of the tomatoes. Weigh down the top dish and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F.

Remove the weights, and holding the two dishes together, invert them to drain off the liquid that has been drawn out. Apply enough pressure so that the tomatoes stay in place, while you press out as much of the liquid as possible.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly across the top of the tomatoes. Carefully pour the celery cream over the bread crumbs, making sure to soak them evenly, but not displace them. Bake until the bread crumbs are crisp and toasted and the tomatoes are bubbling, about 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Celery Cream

  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering ramekins or bowls
  • 6 ribs celery, including leaves, roughly chopped

  • 1 shallot, including skin, sliced

  • 1⁄2 small onion, including skin, sliced
  • 12 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups heavy cream


In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter until foamy. Add the celery, shallot, onion, peppercorns, salt, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. With a wooden spoon, smash the cooked vegetables against the bottom of the pan to release more of their flavors. Add the cream to the pan and heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream into a medium bowl, gently pressing on the solids. Discard the solids and reserve the flavored cream, keeping it warm. 

Sarah O’Brien is a baker whose Little Tart Bakeshop has been called the best bakery in metro Atlanta by a number of food writers. You can still order pastries and pies from her here.

On the show, Sarah talks about making the perfect pie crust. You can follow her recipe here.

Jarrett Stieber is one of the newer young chefs making an impact on the Atlanta dining scene. He operates Eat Me Speak Me three nights a week at Gato in Candler Park.

Here is Jarrett’s recipe for spicy cranberry sauce.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Yields: 1 Quart

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 nob of ginger
  • 4 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 serrano pepper
  • 2 pats of butters
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 tbl of white sugar, plus more if needed to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Canola oil, to sauté with

Pre-heat a medium size sauce pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Chop the ginger (peel first if it’s larger commodity stuff but don’t bother if it’s pretty young local stuff), garlic cloves, shallot and serrano chiles.

Turn the heat up under the pot to medium high. Add a coating of canola oil to the pot. Sauté the chopped aromatics, stirring often, for about two minutes or so until things begin to soften. Add a pinch of kosher salt to season everything.

Next, add the fresh cranberries and stir them around with the aromatics so that everyone becomes friends.

Turn the heat to high and cover the mixture with water. Add the white sugar, cider vinegar and pats of butter. When the liquid comes to a boil, cut the heat to low and cook the sauce at a hard simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, for about fifteen minutes or so until everything has softened and the liquid is getting thick. Season the mixture with kosher salt.

When the sauce is done cooking, turn the heat off and add the fresh zest and juice from the two limes. Puree the sauce in a blender or food processor (if you want a silkier texture, pass it through a fine mesh strainer afterwards). If the blender is struggling to puree the sauce (the cranberries can become quite thick as the pectin releases), add more water or canola oil until it the blender is able to create a proper vortex to spin the sauce.

Taste the sauce and add kosher salt, sugar or more acid, as needed, to your palette’s preference. The sauce will keep for a month or so in the fridge or many months in the freezer. Enjoy!

Have fun listening…and have a very happy Thanksgiving!