Meet at the market: a farm to family feast

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Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market.

This week, she asked shoppers to share their favorite market-inspired Thanksgiving dishes.

Mouths watered hearing about Chris Heimlich’s Grilled Heritage Turkey, Kirsten Soria’s Cornbread Stuffing, Sam Edelman’s Baked Quince, Shaun Belway’s Apple Cider Buttered Rum and Elizabeth Colling’s Cinderella Pumpkin Cake.

5a4a7619b7064e92b6f4f875104adef9Chris Heimlich’s Turkey Brine:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • ½ cup of mixed dry herbs, (rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and a bay leaf)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder

Combine all ingredients with 1/2 gallon of water, heat until salt dissolves, cool, then soak bird in brining bag in fridge 12-24 hours

Rinse bird well and let air dry in fridge (This is called forming a pellicle) before adding your favorite seasonings and cooking your favorite way.

I like to cook mine on my gas grill. Here’s how I do it:

Heat gas grill on high to get the temperature to around 500 degrees.  My grill has burners on the right and left side, so I just turn the left burner on high and that keeps the the right side at 500 with indirect heat. I am basically using the grill as an oven  so you could do this in your oven if you grill does not allow for indirect heat.

Bring air cured turkey to room temperature. Rub Turkey with butter inside and out (generously – remember Julia Child – everything is better with butter!). Coat with dry seasonings like celery salt, beaumonde, dried herb mix, salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Make mirepoix with 50% onion, 25% celery and 25% carrot, and put mirepoix in bottom of foil pan. Place turkey in foil pan breast side down and cover with foil.  Cook at 500 for 1 hour then remove from oven.

Turn turkey over to breast side up, scrape any mirepoix off breast, baste with buttery pan drippings, tent with foil and cook until bird is at 160 degrees in leg joint.

Remove tenting to brown for another 10-15 minutes (until bird is at 165 degrees).  Let bird rest for at least 30 mins before carving. Use pan drippings with stock (the stock that you made with the neck, gizzard and heart while your turkey was cooking!)  for a delicious gravy.

Kirsten Soria’s Cornbread Stuffing:

  • 12 c. cornbread broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 c. turkey or chicken broth
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 1/2 lbs. bulk pork sausage, broken into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Dry out the cornbread in a 250 degree oven for 50-60 minutes; cool.

Place cornbread in a large bowl. Whisk broth, half and half, and eggs together. Pour over the cornbread and very gently toss to coat. Set aside.

In 2 tablespoons of butter, cook the sausage until it loses its raw color, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

In the remaining butter, sauté the onions and celery in batches until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the salt and pepper. Add this mixture with the sausage to the cornbread and stir very, very gently so as not to break into small pieces. Cover and refrigerate 1-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 15×10 baking dish, or 2 9-inch dishes. Transfer stuffing to pan(s) and bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes.

(For a spicy variation, use hot sausage like chorizo or andouille, and roasted peeled chiles like anaheim, poblano or pasilla, coarsely chopped or in strips)

To check out all our past farmers market segments, head to