Eat Travel Rock

Kelly Rizzo

"Next Door Chef" Thanksgiving Pop-up Dinner

Ahh it's that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, the weather is getting crisp, and the food is getting quite comforting.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and experiencing a unique spin on typical Turkey Day fare can really elevate the holiday.  I was so excited to be invited by Morton Salt to the "Next Door Chef" Pop-up dinner to indulge in Thanksgiving favorites...with a twist.  

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The concept was so cool.  A novice chef, Cara, teamed up with an acclaimed Chicago chef, Jason Vincent (of new hot spot, Giant) to create the pop-up restaurant, Cara's, and provide a new-age Thanksgiving feast.  The menu was also incredibly creative in that it demonstrated how plain ole' table salt isn't your only option anymore, but using Morton Kosher Salt and Sea Salt can really make a big difference in the taste and quality of your holiday dishes.  

The scene was beautiful.  Cara is not only a novice chef, but a metal artist and her home decor was amazing.  Her living area was transformed into the pop-up with several tables, a bar, and a full wait staff.   

The menu was even more incredible.  They used Morton Salt to enhance and compliment not only the dishes, but the cocktails.  Everything was so creative and outstandingly delicious.  The Salty Rita cocktail was a take on a margarita but with Gin in place of Tequila and a Morton Kosher salted rim.  The Brussels Sprouts starter dish was delectable with pecorino crispies and honey and lemon pears and finished with Morton Sea Salt.  

The stand-out dish to me was the Roasted and Brined Turkey.  Turkey breast can oftentimes be tough, yet this was so tender thanks to the kosher salt brine.  It was perfectly prepared and was complimented nicely by the spicy rice and sweet potatoe side dishes.  And my ultimate weakness was served for dessert.  Melty chocolate chip cookies with a sprinkle of Morton Kosher Salt on it to balance out the sweetness.  

"Cara's" provided us with a wonderful alternative to the typical Thanksgiving Feast.  It was especially easy to learn how to integrate different types of salt into your cooking to make it stand out and capture your guests' taste buds.  I wish Cara's apartment was open as a restaurant year round, I would definitely be a regular!

Interested in cooking these recipes yourself, or learning more about Next Door Chef? Visit MortonSalt.com/NextDoorChef. If you host your own “Next Door Chef” post your photos using #NextDoorChef.

* This post was brought to you by Morton Salt.  All opinions are my own.