On Thanksgiving day, Damaris Phillips will gather at her aunt’s Louisville home with her family—four siblings, aunts, uncles and more. Maybe 40 people. Maybe more.
And they all cook. And they’re all good at it, she said.
This summer, Phillips gained national attention after winning the television cooking competition “Food Network Star.” In October, her new Food Network show “Southern at Heart” debuted. She was formally educated in cooking at Jefferson Community and Technical College—but her culinary education began with her family.
“I joke with my family that I still get the salad,” Phillips said. “Like, I still haven’t proved myself as a good enough chef yet.”
The big family Thanksgiving is done potluck-style. Her brother does the turkey and a cousin brings pies. Her mom does the cranberry sauce.
And being a Food Network host can cause issues with those plans.
“My sister, she always gets to make the greens and the macaroni cheese,” Phillips said. “Although this year she’s annoyed because I made beer macaroni and cheese on the show, and so now she’s annoyed because she wants to make her macaroni and cheese but she’s afraid are going to ask for what I made. Which is ridiculous. But great.”
Phillips’ assignment will be a casserole. They’re her favorite, she said.
On Thursday, he family can expect a creamed kale and sweet potato casserole.
It’s going to look like, roasted sweet potatoes on the bottom,” Phillips said. “And then I’m going to sauté it up, take the stems out. A little garlic, a little olive oil, sautéed really nicely. And then I’m going to squeeze out all the liquid.
“And then I get good ol’ cream cheese, which I think is a staple. I warm that up and I fold in sautéed onions, sautéed kale into the cream cheese. I put some extra cheese, probably like an aged gouda, I put a little hot sauce—whatever I have, sometimes it’s Siracha, sometimes it’s Tobasco, whatever.”
She’ll layer the creamed kale atop the potatoes and stick it in the oven.
“It’s the perfect Thanksgiving casserole,” she said.
This story is part of WFPL’s Food & Drink Week. We’ll be exploring dining and libations in the Louisville area ahead of Thanksgiving. You’ll find new stories here everyday through the holiday.
Do you have a Thanksgiving dish that you want to share? Call WFPL at (502) 627-0485 or send us an e-mail here to let us know how it’s made and why you love it. We’ll post some of the submissions next week. Be sure to include your name.