Forget about the turkey and all the fixins. This year, consider starting your own untraditional Thanksgiving food traditions inspired by these local recipes.
Low Country Boil by Catie of College Park
Ten years ago Catie’s family began a new Thanksgiving tradition of serving this low country boil along with grilled oysters in Glennville, Georgia. The idea was introduced so the holiday could be enjoyed outdoors, and the simplicity of the recipe allowed family members of all ages to join in preparing the meal.
-2.5 lb. unpeeled shrimp
-5 quarts water
-1 12 oz. beer
-1 bag of shrimp and crab boil
-¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
-2 tablespoons salt
-2 lemons, halved
-1 onion, diced
-1.5 lb. small red potatoes
-4 ears of corn, halved
-1 lb. sausage
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
In a large stock pot, add water, beer, shrimp and crab boil, Old Bay seasoning, salt, halved lemons and diced onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes. Add potatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add corn and sausage and continue cooking for five minutes. Add unpeeled shrimp and cook until pink. Drain broth and toss with melted butter and minced garlic. Serve on a bed of newspapers with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.
Grilled Squash with Goat Cheese
Inspired by Bulla Gastrobar
You won’t find this side dish on the Bulla Gastrobar menu. Instead, the restaurant’s Chef Rebolledo prepares it each Thanksgiving for his own family at home.
-1 Kabocha squash
-½ lb. Leonora cheese
-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 oz. Maldon salt
Wrap the squash in aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Cut the cooked squash in four sections and remove the seeds. Add Leonora in chunks. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for four minutes. On a plate, add the squash with cheese. Add salt and olive oil.
Tip: Add some fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary or sage, to increase the flavor to your liking.
Caribbean Lobster Mac and Cheese
Inspired by the Bahama Breeze menu
This recipe was created with bright Caribbean flavors just like the regular menu items at Bahama Breeze. The lobster can be served as an accompaniment to complement another meat entrée, or it can stand on its own with the macaroni and cheese side dish. Your choice!
-4 lobster tails (approx. 7 to 8 oz. each)
-1 quart vegetable oil
-Salt and pepper, as needed
-1 cup flour
-2 cups tempura batter (store-brought, follow package instructions)
Using a sharp knife, cut the lobster tails in half lengthwise then use your fingers to remove the meat from the shell, leaving it attached at the very end. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge the lobster tail meat in flour then dip into tempura batter. Let excess batter drain off — you only want a light coating. Fry in vegetable oil at 325 degrees for about five minutes or until the internal temperature of the lobster reaches 145 degrees.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
-3 oz. butter
-1 cup red bell peppers, ¼-inch dice
-1 cup scallions, ¼-inch slices
-½ cup flour
-3 cups milk
-1.5 teaspoons salt
-6 oz. shredded Mexican mix cheese
-6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
-2 lb. Cavatappi pasta, cooked and chilled
-Tomato sauce for serving
-Pesto sauce for serving
-Lime for serving
Melt the butter in a sauce pot. Add diced red bell peppers and scallions; sauté until the vegetables lose their raw appearance. Add flour and use a whisk to combine with butter. Add milk and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook for two minutes while constantly stirring. Turn off heat and add both cheeses; stir until cheese is melted. Add cooked pasta and coat evenly with sauce. Place into a large heat-proof dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. When all components are complete and you are ready to serve, place macaroni and cheese and fried lobster tails next to each other in the center of the plate. Using a ladle, pour the heated tomato sauce around them. Drizzle some pesto on the tomato sauce. Garnish with lime.
From the Publisher’s Kitchen!
Cuban Pork by Marisabel Wolfinger
Originally from Cuba, Marisabel serves her famous mojo pork dish every Thanksgiving alongside yucca as well as beans and rice. She says this is an easy recipe that is always full of flavor and a hit with guests. Muy rico!
-Cuban mojo (bottle found in the international food section)
-4 to 6 cloves garlic
-1 cup beef broth
-Salt and pepper to your liking
-Disposable roasting pan
-3 to 4 garlic gloves, minced
-1 tablespoon salt (or to taste, depending on your liking)
The night before Thanksgiving, place the pork in the pan, cut slits in the pork and insert garlic cloves. Add some salt and pepper then pour the bottle of mojo on the pork. Cover with tin foil, put it in the refrigerator and let it marinate overnight. The next morning, drain the excess mojo and let the pork sit for about 30 minutes. Pour about an inch of the beef broth in the bottom of the pan and place it in a 275-degree oven. Let it cook for about eight to 10 hours at a low heat, checking throughout to ensure the bottom of the pan always has some broth and occasionally pouring some of the juices over the pork to keep it from drying out. You will know it is ready when you can easily pull the meat with a fork. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside. Make the mojo by mixing together the lime juice and garlic. To serve, shred all the pork onto a serving plate, pour the mojo and salt over the shredded pork, mix together and enjoy.