Long time friend of The Morning Show, David Gwynn, Chef and co-owner (with his lovely wife Elizabeth) of Cypress Restaurant and Vertigo Burgers and Fries (think gourmet burgers) has been kind enough to offer some of his secrets and best recipes.  So, here's the start.  More to be added later after Monday's show.  Be sure to listen to the segment for cooking tips.

Sweet Potato Gratin
(yields on 9” x 12” casserole dish)


  • 8-10 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8” thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt, as needed
  • pepper, as needed


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine eggs, cream and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well. Reserve.

Arrange potato slices in a single layer in a 9” x 12” baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat. Add 4 ounces of base every second layer. Frequently push down on layers to compact and to distribute cream mixture evenly. Bake uncovered at 375°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the potatoes has little resistance.

 Venezuelan Hot Chocolate

(yields ten, 8 oz servings)

  • ½-gallon whole milk
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks     
  • ½# good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • Zest of one orange    
  • 8 oz. aged rum


Combine first SIX ingredients in a saucepot. Bring to just under a boil. Lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain out spices. Return liquid to saucepot and keep over low heat. Add chopped chocolate, whisking to combine and facilitate melting. Add rum. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Turkey Brine

(For 12 people) 

  • 18 # Turkey, thawed                              
  • 1 gallon vegetable Stock, homemade or Swanson’s          
  • 1 cup Kosher salt                                    
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
  • 6 each bay leaves, whole, dried
  • 1 tablespoon juniper, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon allspice, crushed
  • 1 gallon ice water


  • ½ yellow onion, large dice                    
  • 2 stalks celery, large dice                      
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, large dice     
  • 2 jalapeños, split in half                         
  • 8 leaves sage
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 6 cloves garlic


Prepare turkey by removing goodies, gizzards et al, from inside the bird’s cavity. Reserve those items for making a stock for your gravy.

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. 

On the night before cooking the turkey, combine brine mixture with ice water in a 5-gallon bucket or large stockpot. Carefully place the turkey into the liquid. Brine for 8 to 10 hours, turning bird over at least once. Place the bucket in a refrigerator or a vessel of ice where the brining turkey can maintain a temperature of 40°F or colder. 

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325°. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine. Fill cavity of bird with aromatics. Place onto a racked roasting pan and brush with a neutral flavored oil or butter to promote browning.  Cook in oven for 3 ½ to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reaches 170°F. Cover the bird with tinfoil midway through cooking to prevent burning the skin. Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to re-assimilate.         

Cranberry-Ginger Sauce
(yields 6 cups)


  • 2-12 ounce packages fresh cranberries
  • one-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 3 cups sugar
  • juice & zest of 1 medium-sized orange
  • pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a saucepot. Cover and place over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst. Chill and serve. 


Andouille, Apple & Chestnut Stuffing


½ # Andouille Sausage, medium diced

1 tablespoon Sage

1 medium Onion, medium diced

2 quarts Cornbread, large diced,

lightly toasted

3 stalks Celery, medium diced

2 quarts White Bread, large diced,

lightly toasted

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

3 cups fresh Chestnuts, medium diced

2 ea. Granny Smith Apples, medium diced

2 quarts Chicken Stock

1 tablespoon Parsley

4 oz. Butter, melted

1 tablespoon Thyme

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 Yields 10-12 servings

In a large sauté pan, cook Andouille, onion, celery, garlic in a little oil over medium heat until soft. Add apples and cook 2 minutes longer. Add herbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat and cool. In a large bowl combine cornbread, bread, chestnuts and cooled sausage mixture. Add melted butter. Add chicken stock as needed to make mixture moist.    Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into 4-quart casserole dish. Bake in a 350° pre-heated oven uncovered for about 45 minutes or until firm and a little crispy around the edges. 

NOTE: To remove chestnut shell, mark an “X” with a sharp knife on the flat side of the chestnut shell. Roast at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Peel off shell while chestnuts are still warm.

Hispanic Spiced Poultry Rub

· 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
· 2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
· 1 Tablespoon ground fennel seed
· 2 Tablespoons bay leaves, crushed
· 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
· 3 Tablespoons oregano leaves
· 3 Tablespoons thyme leaves
· 2 Tablespoons ground sage
· 2 Tablespoons ground cumin seed
· 2 Tablespoons ground coriander seed
· 2 Tablespoons onion powder
· 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
· 2 Tablespoons ancho chile powder
· 2 Tablespoons sweet paprika powder
· 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika powder
· 2 teaspoons chipotle or cayenne powder

Combine all seasonings together in a bowl. Mix well. Store in an air tight

To Use:
About an hour before you want to cook the item, rub it liberally with the spice mix, making sure to get into crevices.

Turkey Gravy

Yield: 30 ounces
· neck, heart, gizzard from one turkey
· 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 4 Tablespoons butter
· ¼ cup medium diced onion
· 1 quart chicken stock, chilled
· 2 bay leaves
· 6 leaves fresh sage
· 6 sprigs fresh thyme
· salt and pepper to taste

1. Over medium heat, roast the neck, heart, gizzards and onion in a 2 quart sauce pot with a little oil until nicely browned. Remove from the pot and reserve for later
2. Make a roux (roo). Add butter to sauce pot and let it melt over medium heat.
Whisk in flour to combine. Cook stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes, making
sure to run a regular sized spoon around the curved edge of the base of the pot to
keep the roux from sticking.
3. Add the chicken stock, 2 to 3 ounces at a time, while whisking. This is a very
important step if you want to avoid lumps. The mixture will become thick and
paste-like but it will eventually thin out with each addition of stock.
4. Once all of the stock has been added, add bay leaves plus the heart, neck and
gizzard. Let the gravy simmer about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add the fresh herbs and cook another 8-10 minutes.
6. Strain the gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Option: You may add back to the finished sauce any tasty bits of meat from the neck and the chopped up heart and gizzard.