Skip to main content

Thanksgiving With A French Twist

thanksgiving with a french twist dsc 9312
Image used with permission by copyright holder
With everything going on in France recently, we at The Manual thought it would be a nice gesture of solidarity for us to honor the country that stood by us during tough times.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and we wanted to give a tip of the hat to our friends by incorporating a little bit of French cuisine into our traditional American meals. We recently spoke with master chef Sylvain Harribey about his favorite American dishes.

Chef Sylvain Harribey
Chef Sylvain Harribey Image used with permission by copyright holder

Chef Harribey happens to not only be the executive chef at the fantastic Gaby Brasserie at the Sofitel Hotel in New York City, but also a “Chopped’ champion. “Some of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving are roasted pumpkins with Chanterelle mushrooms, broccoli with garlic and herbs, and potato gratin casserole,” Harribey said.

As for his favorite French dishes?

“Honey roasted duck breast, porcini potato gratin , grilled lamb chops , garlic sauce , grilled salmon , eggplant caviar, sautéed baby kale , olive tapenade,” the Chef added.

Gaby Brasserie
Gaby Brasserie at the Sofitel in NYC Image used with permission by copyright holder
So what are some ways we can incorporate the two eclectic cuisines this holiday season? Well, it’s a lot closer to home than you’d think.
Some French staples might already by on your menu. “A wild mushroom sauce,” Chef Harribey says would apply nicely, as would “truffle mashed potatoes.”
If you truly want to “French-ify” add this dessert to end your dinner on a sweet note.
DSC_9312Pumpkin Crème Brûlée (Feeds 6 People) 
5 whole eggs
5 egg yolks
1 quart of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 small cup of sugar
8 oz. pumpkin puree
Cut one vanilla bean in half vertically, remove the beans with a paring knife, add beans to the heavy cream, and heat to a low boil.
Be sure to include the casings of the vanilla bean to the heavy cream to reinforce the vanilla flavor.
Crack the whole eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate an additional 5 yolks and add to the mixing bowl.
Pour the sugar and whip the mixture until it becomes white.
Then mix in the pumpkin puree with the current batter.
When the heavy cream is hot, pour it slowly on the batter while gently mixing with a whisk.
Once it is all mixed together, a foam will start to form. Skim this foam with a small ladle. Pour the mix into the ramequin. Cook in the oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes in a bain-marie and cover.
Once cooked, let it sit until chilled. This can be made 2-3 days in advance.
When you are ready to serve, use raw brown sugar and brule with a torch (or use your oven on broil; heat to 400- 450 degrees).
When the sugar is a nice light brown color, remove from the oven. Be careful, however, not to burn the sugar, as it cooks very quickly and will be bitter if overcooked.
Top with fresh berries for decoration.

Editors' Recommendations

Stefan Doyno
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Stefan Doyno is a two-time Emmy-winning television producer who has worked for various shows at ABC News, including Good…
Upgrade your next barbecue with elk, the healthy red meat you should be eating
First Light Farms is raising high-quality pasture-raised elk deliverable to your front door.
cooked elk with cup

First Light Farms elk backstrap. Marilynne Bell / First Light Farms

If you're looking for a red meat alternative to beef that's delicious and packed with nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, protein-packed elk might be the answer. A great place to get pasture-raised elk delivered is First Light Farms. This New Zealand-based company raises 100% grass-fed wagyu, venison, and, most recently, elk, all deliverable to your front door. First Light Farms sent us several of their items to try, and we interviewed them to learn all about this must-try red meat.

Read more
These are the wine regions in jeopardy due to climate change, study says
How climate change is affecting the wine world
A vineyard in the Russian River Valley between Guerneville and Healdsburg, California.

Photo by Andrew Davey Photo by Andrew Davey / Andrew Davey

Climate change is altering every aspect of the world we live in, and that's especially the case for agriculture. The wine industry continues to adapt, from making English sparkling wine to treating smoke impact from increased wildfires.

Read more
We know the most popular cocktails — Try these underrated drinks instead
Try some alternatives to the most popular cocktails

Recently, we wrote an article about the 10 most popular cocktails in the US. Not surprisingly, it was littered with classic drinks like the Mojito, Margarita, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule. But drinking cocktails isn’t a popularity contest. Just because many people seem to enjoy Espresso Martinis doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking your classic Dirty Martini.

But, if you take a moment to peruse the list of the 10 most popular drinks, you might see a few you like and others you aren’t sure about. That’s okay. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. That’s why today we’re all about the underdogs.

Read more