Switch Up Your Thanksgiving Menu with These Unconventional Dishes
The holidays wouldn't be the same without traditions. However, let's get creative this Thanksgiving and switch up the menu with a few non-traditional recipes!
Spicy Pineapple Prosciutto Tarts
Pastry Chef Erin McDowell's spicy pineapple prosciutto tarts are a guaranteed winner all around!
- 1 Pineapple (skin removed, cored, and cut into 8 1/2 inch thick rings
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Egg wash, as needed
- Aleppo pepper, Korean chili powder or crushed red-pepper flakes
- 8 ounces prosciutto
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat the pineapple dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, pepper and salt to combine. Dip each pineapple into the brown sugar mixture, lightly coating both sides
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the sugared pineapple rings and cook until the sugar is caramelized and golden on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Remove from the pan and let cool.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets to ¼-inch thick. Cut each sheet into 6 even squares; you should end up with 12 squares total.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets to ¼-inch thick. Cut each sheet into 6 even squares; you should end up with 12 squares total.
5. Place a cooled pineapple ring on top of each piece of dough. Bake the pastries until the crust is very golden brown and the pineapple is tender, 15 to 17 minutes.
6. Sprinkle each tart with Aleppo pepper, Korean chili powder or crushed red-pepper flakes to taste. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then top each pastry with 1 ounce of prosciutto in a pile just before serving warm or at room temperature.
It may seem that turkey gravy is the best and only way to go on Thanksgiving, but there's another delicious option. You don't need meat drippings for this amazing mushroom gravy - it's perfect for serving with roast beef, mashed potatoes, or any other main course this holiday!
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1lb.sliced mushrooms (white button or baby bella)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp. salted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, then the mushrooms. Spread them in an even layer and let cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, salt, ground black pepper and thyme and stir to combine. Cook 2 more minutes.
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the skillet. Once melted, sprinkle the flour evenly over top of the mushrooms. Stir until the flour mixture is lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
3. Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove all the brown bits and stir until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high to return to a simmer, the reduce heat to medium and let the gravy simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
If you enjoy creamy gravy, stir in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream with the parsley.
Crispy Halloumi 'Fries' with Roasted Tomato Dip
Is there anything not to love about fried cheese? This recipe is a delicious spin off on mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce!
Roasted Tomato Dip:
- 17½ ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
- 10 to 12 garlic cloves, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 16 ounces halloumi cheese
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower or avocado oil, for frying
- Small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. MAKE THE ROASTED TOMATO DIP: In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss until coated, then transfer to a baking dish.
3. Place the dish in the preheated oven and roast until the tomatoes are charred on the top, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. MAKE THE HALLOUMI “FRIES”: Meanwhile, cut the halloumi cheese into ½-inch-thick sticks.
5. In a bowl or a shallow dish, mix the flour, paprika, onion powder and oregano until well combined. Add a few pieces of the halloumi cheese at a time and lightly, but evenly, coat them with the flour mixture. Shake to remove any excess flour.
6. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the halloumi “fries” and cook until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (Use a pair of tongs to turn them so they cook on all sides.) To get a crispy exterior, don’t overcrowd the skillet; work in batches of 8 to 10. Transfer the “fries” to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
7. When the roasted tomatoes are done, transfer all the contents, including the juices, to a blender. Blend until the mixture resembles a chunky dip. Taste the dip and adjust the seasoning to taste.
To serve: Arrange the halloumi “fries” on a large platter and place the dip in the middle. Sprinkle with the parsley.
Apple Pie Shot
This apple pie shot tastes just like the dessert! Put the entire shot in your mouth and swish back and forth a few times before swallowing.
- 1 fluid ounce vodka - 1 fluid ounce apple cider - 1 tablespoon whipped cream - 1 pinch ground cinnamon
Combine vodka and apple cider in a 2-ounce shot glass. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.
Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
If you still want to keep the traditional turkey on the table, these stuffed turkey breasts put a new twist on a traditional Thanksgiving main dish!
- 1 (12 ounce) package herb-seasoned bread stuffing mix
- 2 skinless boneless turkey breasts
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 (8 ounce) packages dried, sweetened cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
2. With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
5. Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.
Pumpkin Soup in Mini Pumpkin Bowls
The most seasonal way imaginable to eat soup!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- One 28-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 6 sage leaves
- ⅓ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- 4 small pumpkins
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces baby kale or spinach
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Reserved pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Flaky sea salt
1. MAKE THE SOUP: In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
2. Stir the pumpkin puree and broth into the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper; add the bay leaf, thyme and sage. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the soup develops good flavor, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup smooth inside the pot (or transfer it to a blender or food processor). Stir in the half-and-half.
3. MAKE THE BOWLS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Cut around the stem of each pumpkin to remove the top; scoop out the seeds. Wash the seeds and lay on paper towels to dry. Rub the inside of each pumpkin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the pumpkins to the prepared baking sheet, replace the tops and roast until the flesh is tender but not so soft that it begins to collapse, 20 to 25 minutes.
6. MAKE THE TOPPINGS: In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the baby kale and garlic. Gradually add ⅓ cup olive oil olive oil with the machine running, then add the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
7. In a medium skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and fry, stirring constantly until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne and flaky sea salt; toss well to combine.
8. To serve, remove the tops from the roasted pumpkin bowls and divide the soup among the bowls. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the kale pesto and 2 tablespoons of the fried seeds.