Chef Marcus Samuelsson Shares Thanksgiving Recipes

Chef Marcus Samuelsson says he did not rejoice Thanksgiving till he moved to America in his 20s. (Picture: Getty; Designed by Areta Jijikli)

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Movie star chef Marcus Samuelsson was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, so Thanksgiving is his “adopted vacation,” having come to America as a younger chef in his 20s. Now, he loves conventional meals, seeing it as a chance to combine cooking traditions from all over the world to make it the “most inclusive” meal of the vacation season.

Of this 12 months’s Turkey Day, he says, “It could be the primary Thanksgiving that numerous households have been in a position to sit down collectively in a number of years, so it is actually particular.” “We’re a rustic of immigrants, and it’s in aspect dishes that we are able to really showcase the meals and elements of different cultures as we rejoice all that we’re blessed with.”

Samuelson remembers certainly one of his first Thanksgivings in America as a “Friendsgiving” celebration, making new connections in his first few months in New York. He hosted pals from Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands and different international locations. What they dropped at the desk – fairly actually – wasn’t conventional Thanksgiving aspect dishes like inexperienced bean casserole and candied yams, but it surely was all scrumptious and mentioned one thing about their background. “Thanksgiving is a time to rejoice new household and new pals, regardless of the place they arrive from,” Samuelson advised Yahoo Life.

a choose on the Meals Community sliced For years, Samuelson says that if he was requested to create a Thanksgiving dish for a cooking contest, he would begin with the leg and thigh meat from the turkey (one of the best half, he says), and greens like Brussels sprouts. Sides embrace Ethiopian honey with berbere spice and candy potato puree and gravy.

For his Thanksgiving, Samuelson might be on the range as standard, however he will not be alone. “My son is 6½ years previous,” he says. “So he is all the time concerned in what we’re doing, whether or not it is inflicting a stir or inflicting bother.”

“My spouse cooks conventional Ethiopian meals,” he provides, “in order that might be on our desk as nicely. We all the time have pals over, so often a dozen folks come over to rejoice. Coming collectively and Celebrating one another is basically vital.” Us.”

Samuelson lately partnered with Ritz Crackers to contribute a limited-edition cookbook brimming with cultural recipes that make for an amazing Friendsgiving unfold. “The Ritz Cracker is one thing uniquely American,” says Samuelson. “It is also an amazing car for simple appetizers which are simply bursting with taste.”

Samuelson additionally created a limited-edition Friendsgiving dinner package that features a recipe she contributed to the Ritz Cookbook: Berbere Honey Brussels with Hen Meatballs and Ritz Cracker Crumble.

limited-edition cookbook Welcoming the Style: A Celebration of Meals and Tradition Options immigrant households and their tales and recipes to rejoice the season. It highlights a various vary of important household vacation recipes, together with appetizers, most important dishes, sides, and desserts. Samuelson lately hosted a Friendsgiving feast for 10 fortunate winners at his new Swedish-Ethiopian fusion restaurant, Havaldar, in New York Metropolis’s Chelsea neighborhood.

However what goes into internet hosting the right Friendsgiving? “The appropriate playlist is essential,” says Samuelson. He suggests a various, eclectic combine in order that when everybody comes within the door “the vibe is up.” He additionally suggests beginning with a conventional Swedish mulled wine known as Glogg, which is served heat with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

“Having one thing able to eat straight away can also be vital,” says Samuelson. He suggests the recipe for Avocado Hummus with Crushed Ritz from the cookbook. “It is easy. It is crave-worthy. It is easy so you do not have to be caught within the kitchen and you’ll mingle together with your friends and introduce them to one another,” he says.

The vacation’s roots could be problematic – did Native Individuals and Pilgrims sit collectively amicably, or did not they? — however Samuelson says Thanksgiving would not must be an evolution. “You’ll be able to have a various menu that represents the melting pot and variety that makes America so nice,” he says. “Turkey is all the time going to be the star, however the delicacies based mostly round turkey can solely be as thrilling and different because the nation we stay in.”

Nonetheless searching for Thanksgiving recipes? Beneath are two Samuelson shares from its partnership with Ritz Crackers.

Avocado Hummus with Crushed Ritz

Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson and Ritz Crackers

(Photo: Marcus Samuelsson/Ritz Crackers)

(Picture: Marcus Samuelsson/Ritz Crackers)

serves 6


  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and halved lengthwise

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup peas

  • 2 tbsp hummus

  • 1 teaspoon contemporary dill, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp berbere

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

  • 1 tsp floor almonds

  • 26 Ritz Crackers


  1. In a pan over medium-low warmth, sauté the garlic, salt and jalapeño with half the olive oil for 10 minutes.

  2. Take away from warmth, and put in a blender with lime juice, peas, hummus, avocado, berbere, and dill. mix till easy.

  3. In a separate bowl, crush 2 Ritz crackers till finely floor and toss with almonds and sesame seeds.

  4. To serve, line remaining 24 Ritz crackers and prime every cracker with 1 tablespoon avocado hummus. Garnish with a mix of crushed Ritz crackers, almonds, and sesame seeds.

Hen Meatballs and Berbere Honey Brussels with Ritz Cracker Crumble

Courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson and Ritz Crackers

(Photo: Marcus Samuelsson/Ritz Crackers)

(Picture: Marcus Samuelsson/Ritz Crackers)



  • 1 pound floor darkish meat rooster

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 6 Ritz Crackers, finely crushed

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon berbere or smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup tomato juice from jar, or tomato sauce

Ritz Crumble:

Brussels Sprout:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts

  • 1/2 giant shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tsp soya sauce

  • 1 pinch cumin

  • ½ tsp berbere

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • salt and pepper to style


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Crush Ritz crackers in a bowl and whisk with heavy cream and half the olive oil. Then add the egg, Parmesan cheese and spices; Whisk nicely. As soon as blended, add the bottom rooster and blend nicely.

  2. Roll combination into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on tray (about 8 meatballs). Preserve it within the fridge for 20 minutes to chill down.

  3. Then, fry meatballs in remaining 1/4 cup oil in a nonstick, ovenproof pan till evenly browned, 4 minutes. Add tomato juice, then put the pan within the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Take away and relaxation for 10 minutes earlier than serving.

Making Ritz Crumble:

Mix all crumble elements in a bowl and toss till blended.

Making Brussels Sprouts:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Minimize off ends of Brussels sprouts and pull off any unfastened outer leaves; Minimize in half.

Toss the Brussels sprouts with the remainder of the elements.

Roast within the oven for 15-20 minutes until the sprouts are properly caramelised.

to assemble:

Take away from oven and plate, sprinkle Ritz Crumble on prime. Serve with Meatballs.

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