Maryland chefs share heirloom recipes for Black Thanksgiving

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By chef Amanda Mack, Crust by Mack



4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups unsalted butter — softened to room temperature


1½ cups sweet potato, cooked and mashed, (about 3 medium potatoes) — baked, not boiled

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

5 eggs — room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract — try vanilla bean paste with seeds for extra rich flavor

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda


2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, and set aside.
  2. Use a mixer to cream the butter, sugars and vanilla together. Follow with the eggs, one at a time, then the sweet potato. Starting and ending with the dry mix, alternate adding sour cream and flour to the wet batter. If you have a stand mixer, that would be best. But a hand mixer will also do the trick!
  3. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt or pound cake pan with a generous amount of spray and a light dusting of flour.
  4. Neatly scoop the batter into the pan avoiding spillage on the sides. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when it’s done. Cool for 15 minutes to remove from the pan.

Optional deep fried potato chips for topping the cake:



  1. Using a mandoline slicer, cut 2 medium potatoes into very thin slices. Place in a large bowl; add ice water and salt. Soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes; place on paper towels and pat dry.
  3. In a heavy skillet, heat 1½ inches of oil to 375 degrees. Fry potatoes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

For the purple sweet potato glaze:

2½ cups powdered sugar

3½ tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons mashed sweet potato

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Using a hand mixer, blend together powdered sugar, milk, potato and vanilla until smooth.


  • Place your cold ingredients on the counter one hour before getting started; it is important to have room-temperature ingredients. Great time to put your potato in the oven!
  • Bake your potatoes until tender, instead of boiling. You can wrap each in foil or oil and place on a baking sheet. This will ensure you retain the flavor of the potato and eliminate altering the texture of the batter from excess water in a boiled potato.
  • Mash sweet potatoes well in a separate bowl before adding to wet mix.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes to flip cake from pan.


By chef Tonya Thomas, H3irloom Food Group


6 tablespoons butter or palm oil

1 small onion (sliced thin)


1 pound smoked meat

2 pounds sauerkraut

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1/2 teaspoon sage (ground)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning


Water or stock of choice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter or heat oil in a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add sliced onions. Cook onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir onions until softened and slightly caramelized.
  3. Add smoked meat and stir with onions. Add caraway seed, sage, garlic powder and Creole seasoning and heat. Mix well. Will have bits stick to pan. Pour in water or stock and deglaze the pan.
  4. Once deglazed, add in sauerkraut, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Sauerkraut will brown in color and flavor will be more mellow. Adjust seasonings to taste.


By Jasmine Norton, owner of The Urban Oyster and The Urban Burger Bar



12 tablespoons / 1½ sticks unsalted butter

Cooking spray for baking dish

1 (8-inch-square) baked and cooled cornbread, should be sweet

2 large packs of Kings Hawaiian bread (toasted)

½ large Vidalia or sweet onion, finely chopped


2 celery ribs, finely chopped

½ cup chicken broth, plus more as needed

2 dozen freshly shucked or jarred oysters, drained and chopped coarsely (keep the oyster liquor)

1 tablespoon hot sauce (preferably Crystal)

1½ teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper


1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon ground sage


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Break cornbread into small pieces into a medium to large bowl. Cut toasted King’s Hawaiian rolls into 2-inch cubes and add into bowl with crumbled cornbread.
  3. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, and celery; cook until browned, stirring periodically, for approximately 3 minutes. Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Remove cover, add broth, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook mixture for an additional 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add to bread mixture and stir to combine.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together oysters, sage, hot sauce, salt and white pepper. Add to bread mixture and stir well to combine. If dressing seems too dry, add a 1/2 cup more chicken broth.
  6. Pour dressing into greased baking dish. Cut remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and scatter over top of dressing. Bake until top and sides are browned, 40 to 45 minutes.


By chef Amber Croom, And 4 Dessert confectionary studio

Praline Pecan Streusel:

2 cups pecan halves and pieces

1 cup light brown sugar


1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.


Sweet Potato Filling:

2 cups yams or sweet potatoes, cooked and puréed

1½ cups evaporated milk

4 tablespoons cognac (optional)

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 egg yolks


1 whole egg

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup cane sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less, adjust to your taste)


1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

small pinch of white pepper or cayenne

  1. Grease a glass 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend until smooth and creamy. You can also use an immersion blender or food processor to mix all ingredients together.
  4. Pour into the prepared dish.
  5. Top with praline streusel mixture.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the souffle has a slight jiggle to it. You can also stick a cake tester into the center to make sure the souffle is set properly. You can enjoy as is, or ignore all the judgy eyes and kick it up a notch by topping with spiced marshmallow fluff.

Spiced Marshmallow Fluff

3 egg whites, room temperature

3/4 cup cane sugar

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup water


1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the water, sugar and maple syrup on medium to high heat. Cover with a lid and cook until all the sugar has dissolved. This method allows the condensation to clean the side of the pan and stops the formation of sugar crystals.
  2. Remove the lid once all the sugar has dissolved and place a candy thermometer in the pot. When the temperature reaches 225 to 230 degrees, begin to whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in the thoroughly clean and dried bowl of your stand mixer and beat until soft peaks have formed. This can take anywhere between 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful not to overwhip.
  3. When the sugar reaches soft ball stage, at 240 degrees, remove from the heat and while the mixer is continuously running on low, stream the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the whipped egg whites. It can start to look like the mixture has lost some volume, but continue to mix because it will start to get thick and fluffy in no time.
  4. Whip for another 6 to 7 minutes, or until shiny and thick. Add the vanilla, salt and spices and whip for another minute.
  5. Spread or pipe the mixture on top of the baked souffle and place under the oven broiler until the meringue is brown and toasty. Be careful not to burn! You can also use a torch to brûlée the meringue to a beautiful toasty color.

Store the remaining spread in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature.


By chef David Thomas, H3irloom Food Group



3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar

1⁄2 cup chopped scallions

1⁄4 cup freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 1⁄2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste


1⁄2 tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon ground curry powder

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus wedges for serving

1 1⁄2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


6 cloves garlic

2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and chopped

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 whole turkey (12 pounds)


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine ¼ cup oil, sugar, scallions, ¼ cup pepper, 2½ tablespoons salt, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, chiles and ginger; purée until smooth and set aside.
  3. Mix the butter with the remaining ½ cup oil; set aside.
  4. Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Season inside and out with salt and pepper; let it come up to room temperature.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a rack set inside a roasting pan, tuck the wings behind the turkey, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  6. Brush the turkey all over with the butter mixture, reserving some.
  7. Pour 2 cups water into the roasting pan.
  8. Roast the turkey, brushing once with some of the reserved butter mixture, for 30 minutes.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting, brushing occasionally with the butter mixture, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh, without touching the bone, reads 150 degrees — between about 1 hour, 40 minutes, and 2 hours.
  10. Remove the turkey from the oven and baste completely with the reserved jerk sauce.
  11. Return the turkey to the oven and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees — about 20 to 25 minutes more.
  12. Transfer to a cutting board and let sit for 30 minutes before carving.


By Kora Polydore, Kora Lee’s Cafe

To make your roux:

6 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons flour

Heat oil in a pot and add flour and stir until smooth and without lumps.

Add 2½ cups of heavy cream to create a slightly thickened gravy.


Add the following to taste:

Cajun seasoning

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

And salt (if needed)


1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup of gourmet cheese (your choice of smoked Gouda, Gruyere or rindless brie)

Add 1 cup of gourmet cheese to your roux gravy and mix until it’s melted and well combined.

Add additional 1½ cups of cheese until coated and not melted.

Add 1 pound of cooked pasta shells of your choice (elbows, rigatoni, shells, etc.) and mix with cheese gravy.


Put in a shallow baking dish and cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese on top is a light golden brown.


By Kora Polydore, Kora Lee’s Cafe

4 tablespoons oil, canola/vegetable

1 large white onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper chopped


1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 2 habanero peppers

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

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1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon thyme

3½ cups water


1/2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 pound collard greens, 1 pound kale, 1 pound mustard greens; cleaned, de-stemmed, and cut into thin strips

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, warm up the oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the pepper and onion as cook stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Then add in the garlic, habaneros, seasonings and stir to combine. Then add the greens in batches until all the greens fit in the pot from reducing down.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the water and wine cover the pot with a lid to let mixture cook for at least 1 hour to simmer. Greens should be fork tender. You can add more seasoning to taste at this point, if needed.
For the record

This article has been updated to correct the name of the owner of The Urban Oyster and The Urban Burger Bar, which is Jasmine Norton. The Sun regrets the error.