Our Favorite Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

Our Favorite Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes (1)

Thanksgiving and food are pretty much synonymous.  These are some non-traditional Thanksgiving recipes to surprise your guests with. Leave Mrs. Cubbisons’ stuffing and the Velveeta mac and cheese on the shelf (that stuff like …NEVER expires!) Stuffing your face has never looked so good!

Pumpkin Soup With Ancho and Apple

Thanksgiving non traditional

1 hour 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded and torn in small strips
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 3 cups plain canned pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cans)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup Mexican crema, or crème fraîche, mascarpone or sour cream

PREPARATION

  1. Melt butter in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Add half the pepitas and the onion and cook, stirring, on medium heat, until the onion is golden and the pepitas have started to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chile pieces, cook a minute or two, then add the apple, black pepper, cinnamon and pumpkin.
  2. Stir in 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the remaining pepitas on medium heat and set aside.
  3. Pureé the soup in a blender. (You will need two shifts.) Return the soup to saucepan and season with salt and the sugar. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a dollop of crema and a sprinkling of toasted pepitas on top.

 

 

Sourdough Stuffing With Kale, Dates and Turkey Sausage

Thanksgiving non traditional

1 hour 15 minutes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf sourdough bread
  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • ½ sprig rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 2 sliced chile de árbol
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or cavolo nero), about 2 large or 3 small bunches, tough rib stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces deglet noor dates (about 16), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the crust off the bread and tear remaining loaf into 1-inch croutons. Place torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, squeezing and tossing bread with your hands to help it absorb the oil. Transfer to oven and toast, tossing once or twice, until croutons are golden brown and crispy on the outside but still a little soft and tender inside, 12 to 15 minutes. When croutons have cooled, place them in a large bowl.
  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and crumble sausage into pan. Sauté, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to the bowl with the croutons using a slotted spoon.
  3. Return the pot to medium heat and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil, the onions, the rosemary sprig, the thyme and the chile. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue cooking another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft and starting to color slightly.
  4. Add half the kale and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Use tongs to turn the greens to coat them in oil and help them wilt and cook down. When there is room in the pan (from the greens wilting), add the rest of the kale and season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. As soon as all the kale has wilted, transfer mixture to the bowl with the croutons and sausage. Remove rosemary. Add dates and stir well to combine.
  5. Return pot to stove over high heat and carefully pour in sherry. Boil until sherry is reduced by three-quarters, then add stock. Boil until mixture is reduced by half, then swirl in butter until melted.
  6. Pour hot liquid over crouton-kale mixture. Add almonds and toss well to combine; using tongs or your hands, squeeze and massage the stuffing to integrate the flavors and make sure bread has really soaked in all the liquid.
  7. Transfer stuffing to a ceramic baking dish or casserole. Cover and bake 15 minutes in the 400-degree oven. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes, or until top is golden and crisp.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Thanksgiving non traditional

1 hour 40 minutes 6 to 8 servings

 INGREDIENTS
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ pound lobster
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ pound macaroni or elbow pasta, uncooked

PREPARATION

  1. Fill a large pot with salted water and set it over high heat to come to a boil. Plunge lobster into water and cover pot. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it is bright red. Check doneness by pulling an antenna; if it comes off without resistance, the lobster is done. Remove lobster to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees, with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Use a tablespoon of butter to butter a 9-inch-square baking pan.
  3. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne and nutmeg, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, add grated cheese and uncooked pasta and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, crack lobster claws and tail over the bowl and remove the meat, reserving all liquid that comes out of the lobster. Roughly chop lobster meat.
  5. Uncover baking pan, gently stir in lobster meat and up to 2 tablespoons of the reserved lobster juices, and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until browned on top. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

 

Thanksgiving Cookies

Thanksgiving non traditional

2 hours 6 to 7 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ½ cups/350 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon/5 grams salt
  • 1 teaspoon/3 grams cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon/1 1/2 grams ground cloves
  • 8 ounces/2 sticks/227 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups/300 grams light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon/13 grams baking soda
  • 1 pound/450 grams chopped pitted dates
  • 1 pound/450 grams chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Confectioners’ sugar

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line one or more baking sheets with parchment. Place flour in a bowl and whisk in the salt, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar together by hand or in an electric mixer. Beat in eggs. The mixture will not be smooth. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 tablespoon hot water and stir it in. Stir in the dates and nuts. The batter will be heavy and not easy to mix. Work in the flour mixture, about a third at a time. If your electric mixer has a dough hook, use it for working in the flour.
  3. Scoop heaping teaspoons of batter onto prepared baking sheet or sheets, making craggy mounds about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Space them about 1 1/2 inches apart; the cookies will not spread very much. (Alternatively, for neater cookies, you can roll the batter into balls between your palms, then lightly press them down with the back of a spoon or the tines of a fork.) Allow to sit at room temperature 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Depending on the size of your oven and your baking sheets, you can form the cookies ready to bake on sheets of parchment paper on your countertop, then transfer them to baking sheets in shifts.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Let cool, then dust with sifted confectioners’ sugar. If you plan to freeze some of the cookies, do not dust them with confectioners’ sugar; wait until after they thaw.

 

Gooey Butter Cake

1 1/2 hours, plus about 3 hours’ rising 16 to 20 servings

thanksgiving non-traditional

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons/45 milliliters milk at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons/5 grams active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons/45 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon/5 grams kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¾ cups/215 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon/50 milliliters light corn syrup
  • 2 ½ teaspoons/10 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons/170 grams/1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups/300 grams sugar
  • ½ teaspoon/3 grams kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons/145 grams all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

PREPARATION

  1. In a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves. Mixture should foam slightly.
  2. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and the milk mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Beat dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from sides of bowl, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Press dough into an ungreased 9-by 13-inch baking dish at least 2 inches deep. Cover dish with plastic wrap or clean tea towel, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare topping, in a small bowl, mix corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and corn syrup mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.
  5. Spoon topping in large dollops over risen cake and use a spatula to gently spread it in an even layer. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes; cake will rise and fall in waves and have a golden brown top, but will still be liquid in center when done. Allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

Turkey French Dip

turkey thanksgiving sandwhich

15 minutes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple or mango chutney, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups leftover shredded turkey meat
  • 1 ⅓ cups warm gravy
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 1 ounce mild blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 hoagie rolls, split

PREPARATION

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cranberry sauce, mayonnaise and chutney. In a small pot, heat together turkey and 2/3 cup of the gravy.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place remaining gravy in a serving dish and stir in enough boiling water to make it thin enough to use as a sandwich dip. It should be like a rich broth. Season with salt if needed.
  3. Spread chutney mixture over cut side of bread halves. Make sandwiches with turkey, stuffing and blue cheese, if you like. Cut sandwiches in half and dip in the warm, thin gravy as you eat them.

Turkey Tamales

turkey tamales

4 hours 16 medium-size tamales

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (8-ounce) bag dried corn husks
  • 2 cups dried masa mix for tamales (do not use masa harina)
  • 5 ounces/ 2/3 cup chilled lard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1 cup cool chicken or turkey broth
  • ½ pound fresh tomatillos, husked
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, stemmed (and seeded if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white onion, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 6 to 12 cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey broth
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried chipotle chiles or chipotle powder
  • 2 cups/ 1/2 pound shredded cooked turkey

PREPARATION

  1. Prepare the corn husks: Place in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and use a plate to submerge husks. Soak 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the masa: In a medium bowl, mix masa with 11/4 cups hot water. Let cool.
  3. Combine lard and baking powder in a stand mixer and beat for 1 minute, until light. Add salt and masa in 3 additions, beating at medium-low speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup broth while beating on low speed; beat for another minute or two. Taste for salt. Test to see if masa is aerated enough by dropping 1/2 teaspoon into a cup of water; it should float to the top. Batter should be soft but not runny, holding together on a spoon if you tilt the spoon. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Beat masa again for a couple of minutes, adding remaining broth.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until softened and olive green. Drain and place in a blender. Add green chiles, onion, garlic and cilantro sprigs. Blend until smooth.
  5. Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo purée and stir constantly until it thickens and begins to stick to pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, add salt to taste and bring to a simmer; let simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in chipotles. Sauce should be creamy and coat the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded turkey.
  6. Make the tamales: Select 16 corn husks; look for large ones that have no tears. Take a few more and tear into 16 1/4-inch-wide strips for tying tamales. Use some of the remaining husks to line a steamer that is at least 6 inches deep (or a pasta pot with an insert); reserve a few husks in case you need to double-wrap tamales. Add just enough water to the pot to miss hitting the bottom of the basket.
  7. Lay a corn husk in front of you and pat dry. Spread a scant 1/4 cup of the masa into a 4-inch square, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border at pointy tapered end of the husk and a roughly 3/4-inch border on the other sides. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of turkey mixture down the middle of the masa. Pull long edges of husk toward each other and join them so that batter is now wrapped around the filling. Fold the two pinched-together edges over in the same direction and wrap the tamale. If it does not seem well wrapped, wrap in a second husk. Fold pointy end up to enclose the bottom and tie with a strip of husk. The wide top end will be open. Stand tamale up, closed end down, in steamer. Repeat with remaining masa and filling. The tamales should be crowded into the steamer so they remain upright. If they don’t, fill spaces with crinkled foil. If tops stick out from top of steamer, trim with scissors.
  8. Lay unused soaked husks over open tops of tamales. Bring water to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to medium and steam tamales for 11/2 hours. Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to a boil to replenish water in bottom of the pot, should it run out (check periodically). Tamales are done when husk comes away easily from the masa; when done, let them sit at least 15 minutes in the pot, uncovered, to firm up. Serve hot.

We hope you try and enjoy at least one of these. Leave us your feedback below 🙂

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