Tips from local chefs for your Thanksgiving dinner

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Thanksgiving is just days away, which means many people will be planning their Thanksgiving dinner recipe strategies.

KELOLAND News reached out to two local chefs, Chef Ellen and Chef Jeni, who took the time to tell us about their favorite Thanksgiving dishes and gave us some insight into their tips for making them!

Manager Ellen

Chef Ellen is a native of Sioux Falls, who moved out of state in 2013 to attend cooking school in Colorado.

After graduating and moving back to Sioux Falls, I worked in local restaurants for several years before settling down with my husband and two boys. I missed the culinary world too much, and chef Ellen was born as a personal home chef service in 2018,” she says.

In 2020 (mid-pandemic), the doors to our storefront have opened, where we offer take-out meals for one, two or the whole family, with a focus on diet and allergy-friendly dishes, and by sharing our love of food with both public and private cooking classes.

When asked about her favorite Thanksgiving dishes, Chef Ellen first gave a rather unique answer:

Cucumber salad. It may not be a traditional side dish, but I remember it gracing the dinner table for the holiday meal for as long as I can remember, and it has always been a favorite. Besides being a great way to get some extra veggies on your plate, there are plenty of easy ways to tweak the recipe for the basic Italian dressing with cucumber and onion slices that most of us know.

This was followed by a much more traditional fare:

Mashed potatoes. Full disclosure, these weren’t always a favorite. In fact, I don’t remember liking potatoes very much until I spent an entire week preparing (and eating) them at cooking school. Holiday potatoes call for more butter and cream, but you can boil celeriac or parsnips with the potatoes for a splash of flavor in addition to the regular garlic or Parmesan flavor additions.

Chef Ellen also provided recipes for her take on the two dishes listed above:

Cucumber caprese saladToss sliced ​​cucumber with halved cherry tomatoes, pearl mozzarella balls and torn fresh basil. Toss with great-tasting olive oil, salt and pepper, and garnish with a balsamic reduction for a side dish everyone will love! Prepare this dish just before dinnertime so the balsamic doesn’t stain the cucumber. English cucumbers (sometimes called greenhouse cucumbers) have thinner skins and smaller seeds, and are often preferred for cucumber salads.

Mashed potatoes Mix 1 lb of potatoes with 1/2 lb of parsnips and 1/2 lb of celeriac. Make sure the ingredients are peeled and cut roughly the same size. Cover with water in a saucepan and boil until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and toss with salt, pepper, heavy cream and butter until desired consistency. Garlic, cream cheese, parmesan, sour cream and herbs can all be added as desired.

You can find Chef Ellen’s storefront at 2210 W. 69th St #130, Sioux Falls.

Boss Jeni

Chef Jeni runs Dinner Birdie, a Sioux Falls-based meal service.

I started my career over 25 years ago working for a caterer as a preparer and waiter. When I started on my own, I cooked right in people’s kitchens, making them meals for their fridges and freezers.,” she explained.

Caterers quickly took over the majority of my business, but then when the pandemic canceled almost all of our parties, we went back to our roots and started Dinner Birdie to give the business a lifeline and good people homemade dishes!

At Birdie Dinner, Chef Jeni and her team take comforting family recipes and prepare them in small batches for people to take home and cook.It’s a different experience from restaurant cooking because you’re sitting at your own table and pulling a nice pot of home-cooked food out of your oven like you’ve been working in the kitchen all day. Your home, family and friends eat together without the hassle of cooking or grocery shopping.!”

Boss Jeni calls Thanksgiving the ultimate celebration of family, friends, and food.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a traditionalist.”

She says her food isn’t fancy and the goal isn’t to “step it up a notch,” but rather: to make her taste like mom or grandma (if she was a great cook) and to remind you why you’re getting together.”

With that in mind, Chef Jeni had a simple dish as her favorite dish.

For me, the pinnacle of the meal is the sauce. I learned from a great teacher. The first time I had his sauce, I wanted to eat it like a big bowl of soup, it was so good.

His advice for the best sauce?

It needs to have the right consistency and blend of flavors so you can pour it over the mashed potatoes and, let’s be honest, everything else on the plate. A good sauce is when you know you’ve nailed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is about being with people, about passing on the traditions of those who came before us to those who will be here after us. I’m not trying to make Thanksgiving better. Some things don’t need to be changed or changed. On the contrary, I am simply trying to make Thanksgiving more of itself! We only eat this meal once a year, so I’m just saying do your best to reminisce about old memories and create new ones.said Chef Jeni.

You can find Dinner Birdie at 3638 S. Southeastern Ave. Sioux Falls.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: