Mateys, one of me favorite times o’ year be good ol’ Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday dedicated to being appreciative that we celebrate by eatin’! I love turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and really anything else ye might serve. That’s why I’ve gone on a hunt for Thanksgiving feastings ye don’t usually see.
Cranberry Poached Pears
YUM! Cranberries be such a classic ingredient in Thanksgiving celebrations. This recipes gives yer meal a welcome twist on the traditional dish.
- 8 small pears, peeled, stems intact
- 5 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 four-five inch strip orange zest
- 1 four-five inch strip lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 3 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 1 fruit tea bag
- 2 ¼ C. fresh or frozen cranberries
- Place pears in saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add enough water to barely cover. Add honey, sugar, orange and lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon stick.
- Using tip of paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds out of pod and add to pan. Toss in pod and add tea bag. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender when pierced with tip of knife, about 10 minutes.
- Add cranberries and return to simmer until they burst, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard tea bag.
- Transfer pears to large bowl and pour cranberries and syrup over them. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
- Remove and discard citrus zests, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. To serve, arrange pears on platter. Spoon cranberries and as much of poaching liquid as desired over pears.
Midnight Mocha Cheesecake
Cheesecake isn’t a dessert ye usually see at a Thanksgiving dinner, but with its chocolate, espresso, and cream cheese, this recipe is sure not to disappoint.
- 2 C. gluten-free crispy chocolate cookie crumbs (from about 8 oz. Cookies)
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 C. sugar
- 1/8 tsp plus pinch salt
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
- ¼ c. cold strong coffee
- 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
- ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine crumbs, butter, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/8 tsp salt; transfer to prepared pan. Press into even layer that comes up side of pan slightly. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 10 min. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in small microwave-safe bowl, microwave 6 oz chocolate on High in 30-sec intervals or until mostly melted, stirring in between; let cool. In small bowl, stir together coffee, espresso powder and vanilla. With mixer on med-high, beat cream cheese until smooth. Reduce speed to low. Beat in cocoa and remaining 1 C sugar, scraping down side of bowl occasionally. Beat in coffee mixture. Increase speed to medium. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions, scraping down side of bowl occasionally. Beat in melted chocolate just until well mixed. Pour batter into cooled crust. Bake 50 min. on rimmed baking sheet.
- Turn oven off and prop door open with wooden spoon. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hr. With small icing spatula or knife, loosen side of cheesecake from pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 hrs. or up to 2 days.
- When ready to serve, loosen cheesecake once more from side of pan; remove springform ring. In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave remaining 2 oz. chocolate on high 30 sec. or until just melted, stirring. Drizzle over cheesecake.
Turkey & Cranberry Turnovers
What do ye do the day after Thanksgiving when ye’ve got mountains of leftovers? Try this turnover recipe that will knock out two of yer leftovers in on delicious meal!
- 1 cup cold mashed potatoes
- 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
- ¼ cup cranberry sauce
- 1 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1½ tsp. minced serrano pepper
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- Juice of ½ lime
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6-8 egg roll wrappers
- 6-8 cups canola oil
- Stir together potatoes and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper; set aside. In a small bowl stir together flour and ¼ cup water to make a soft paste; set aside. Pour a little extra water into another small bowl; set aside.
- Slice an egg roll wrapper diagonally into two triangles. Top each piece with about 2 tbsp. of potato filling.
- Dip your finger into the reserved water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold one corner across and over, then repeat with the other corner to form a cone. Slather the reserved soft paste on the third flap; then fold over to close. Apply extra soft paste along seams to seal shut. Place them on a plate, and cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
- Heat oil in a medium heavy-based pot until it reaches 375°. Carefully fry a few turnovers at a time until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turning to ensure even browning. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with more cranberry sauce.
Happy Thanksgiving, Mateys!