Brooklyn chefs share their secret recipes for a tasty Thanksgiving celebration

for The Brooklyn Paper
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In the spirit of holiday giving, I asked eight Brooklyn chefs to share their Thanksgiving creations with GO Brooklyn readers. Days later my fax machine buzzed with recipes that are not only delicious, but many that are uncomplicated, and a few that taste even better made a day or two ahead.

To take the guesswork out of your wine selection, I’ve asked Christy Vaughan, who along with husband Charles Swartz, owns Park Slope’s Big Nose Full Body [382 Seventh Ave. between 11th and 12th streets, (718) 369-4030], for suggestions. The wines she chose are all reasonably priced and perfectly complement each course. A rich port is included for an after-meal toast to the chef that would be you.

To begin, Laura Taylor of DUMBO’s Superfine turns the usual tomato and basil bruschetta into a holiday treat by substituting butternut squash and mint. Marc Elliot of Carroll Garden’s Whim, follows with an easy-to-prepare, luscious cream of chestnut soup.

Of course, there’s turkey. Our recipe hails from the kitchen of Mark Lahm’s Henry’s End in Brooklyn Heights. His simple, homey bird gets the herbal treatment with loads of fresh rosemary and sage. An apple-and-walnut dressing bakes separately, cutting down on your cooking time. Bill Snell of Cocotte in Park Slope and Loulou in Fort Greene offers a turkey alternative: his loin of pork with Brussels sprouts and bacon.

Knowing that what surrounds the bird is the favorite part of a Thanksgiving feast for many diners, David Silver of Second Helpings in Park Slope offers tiny pumpkins filled with corn-and-crab pudding, and a complex - but simple to prepare - cranberry chutney. Ted Mann of Cebu in Bay Ridge rounds out the meal with his easy velvet mashed potatoes with garlic.

And what a sweet finale! I asked two Park Slope pastry chefs, Jodi Gordon of the 12th Street Bar & Grill (and the newly opened Five Front in DUMBO), and Valerie Pryor of Cocotte, for creative alternatives to pumpkin pie. Gordon’s chunky apple cake is a rustic delight and Pryor’s cranberry pecan tart is luscious and beautiful - holiday eye candy at its best.

All recipes feed eight to 10 guests.

Butternut Squash Bruschetta

Creamy Chestnut Soup

Roast Turkey with Apple-Walnut Stuffing

Marinated Pork Loin

Crab-stuffed Pumpkins

Cranberry Chutney

Velvet Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Pecan Tart

Chunky Apple Pecan Cake

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