Scallops with Summer Squash
This dish has a very fresh herb sauce with olive oil and unblanched parsley, tarragon and chives. Prosciutto is just an accent, which seriously lightens the dish.
Glazed Carrots with Cardamom and Ginger
Most people cook carrots in water, Shawn McClain says, which dulls their flavor. His secret to keeping them supertasty is to cook them in carrot juice and orange juice until glazed.
Bulgur with Tangy Artichokes
To cut cooking time, use delicious, tangy jarred artichokes in the salad and steam the asparagus for just five minutes.
Hazelnut Profiteroles with Blue Cheese and Grapes
Shawn McClain serves some form of these savory cream puffs with drinks at both of his Chicago restaurants. He pokes a hole in the sides of the puffs when they come out of the oven to release the steam, then fills them with a creamy mixture of blue cheese and mascarpone.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomato Vinaigrette
When Shawn McClain makes it, Alaskan halibut is the star of this dish, served with labor-intensive lobster dumplings and topped with a warm tomato-water vinaigrette. We use local halibut from the fishmonger and omit the lobster dumplings. Instead of making tomato water, we coarsely chop heirloom tomatoes for a fresh, chunky tomato vinaigrette.
Fall Harvest Salad
This salad epitomizes fall flavors, with its chunks of butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pecans and greens. The easiest way to peel the butternut squash is with a sturdy U-peeler (named for its wide, U-shaped handle), which is available at most supermarkets.
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
This bubbly, sweet-tart cocktail combines sparkling wine, dessert wine and deep-red pomegranate juice.
Grilled Beef with Sesame Dressing
Brush the meat with a sesame dressing before grilling, then drizzle more dressing over a salad of edamame, radishes and watercress.
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Gravy
"I wasn't always a briner," says Shawn McClain, "but when enough people tell you it's the thing to do, you try it." He's glad he did: The brine here, which is a simple combination of salt, sugar, spices and water, keeps the turkey moist in the oven and seasons the meat perfectly.
Shawn McClain says cranberries and quince need a bit of sweetness to taste their best, so he combines them with apples, raisins and sugar, as well as cider vinegar and spices, to make a tangy chutney.
Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette
At Custom House, the salty and piquant anchovy- and-Parmesan dressing for this salad gets pounded by hand in a mortar with a pestle, then tossed with lettuce and home-roasted pimiento peppers.
Pear Tarte Tatin with Red-Wine Caramel
Instead of apple pie, Shawn McClain ends his Thanksgivings with this stunning tarte Tatin. Because the recipe calls for store-bought puff pastry (McClain is a huge fan of Dufour's), it's quite easy to prepare.