It took me a couple of days, but I finally figured out what I'll be making for Thanksgiving.
For the first time, I'm veering away from trying to do the traditional items as best as possible. I grew up eating frozen Butterball, Stove Top stuffing, and perservative-laden green bean casserole Thanksgivings, so I spent my first two years on my own seeking to do the sage/celery heavy Thanksgiving as best as I could.
But this year, I'm ready for something else, and so I'm gonna embrace my beloved Mexican and Latin flavors and infuse them into the Thanksgiving classics.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Appetizers: Southwest Cheeseball and Mexican-style Crudite with Diosa Verde For one of my guests, cheeseball means Thankgiving, so I'm gonna add some salsa flavors and roll it in crushed blue corn chips. Then, doing tasty fresh veggies with a Mexican take on green goddess dressing. With the avocado, shouldn't be too hard to translate.
Citrus and Southwest Spice Salted Turkey with Fall Herbs I don't think I believe in the brine soak anymore...the turkey just tastes like salt water. This year, I'm doing the dry-brine process of salting the turkey 24 hours in advance, by which osmosis pulls the flavor back into the meat. Adding clementine and lemon zest, dried chiles, cumin, and smoked paprika to the salt, then bringing it back with thyme, sage, and rosemary.
Blue Cornbread Stuffing with Chiles and Fresh Corn This'll be an experiment, but I think I can pull it off. Making the cornbread Tuesday night, then the stuffing Wednesday, finishing it at the last minute while the turkey rests.
Mashed Potatoes Pounds of 'em, nothing fancy. Figuring the gravy will have the turkey flavors which will bring it all together.
Broccoli Rabe with Blood Orange Salad Need a green vegetable. This one may lean a bit Mediterranean, but might be a nice break from all the other stuff. Thinking of doing a mojo-inspired dressing to connect it.
Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Spicy Orange Molasses Butter and Fried Sage
The potatoes are straight outta Gourmet's November 2008 issue, and my sweetheart fell in love with this butter in a cookbook. Gonna try 'em together. Ridiculously indulgent, and we don't care. :)
Chipotle Cranberry Sauce - More savory than sweet, I'm imagining.
Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Canela Whipped Cream in tiny little cups...of course.
Grocery shopping and picking up turkey tonight, then got the whole make ahead/oven-temperature thing all planned out.
Please feel free to add your comments, and share your own menus or traditions in the comments below!