Monday, November 3, 2014
An American Feast
What makes an American feast?
That's a good question to ponder 24 days before Thanksgiving, an American feast like no other. Unlike that other holiday where we also get to indulge ourselves (Christmas, 52 days from now if you're counting), Thanksgiving isn't an international holiday. We claim it as our own.
Yet, that doesn't mean that Thanksgiving can't have international flair. After all, American is the great melting pot--another food metaphor--and Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate America's strength in diversity. Depending on which part of the country you grew up in, and where your family has roots, your Thanksgiving table may look a little different. Whether you rely mostly on recipes passed down through the generations or like to shake it up with new recipes each year, Thanksgiving's multiple dishes are ideal for bringing variety to the table. Thinking about the all the delicious possibilities is already making me salivate.
This year, I'm celebrating that diversity with my Thanksgiving content starting today and lasting up to (and just past) the Big Day. This first week, each Thanksgiving dish is inspired by flavors from a different part of the world, but all of the dishes will work great on a Thanksgiving table. For today's first post, I'm starting with the Thanksgiving centerpiece, the turkey, brined with spice mix inspired by the wonderful moles from our neighbor to the south. There's a deliciously spicy mole gravy to go with it, perfect for fluffy mashed potatoes. (Recipes posted later in the week include Asian Grain Stuffing, North African Green Bean and Sweet Potato Couscous Salad and Sautéed Parsnips with Dates and Spiced Yogurt.)
Then next week, the dishes stay a little closer to home but still incorporate flavors from around the U.S. Week three is all about Thanksgiving indulgences: decadent desserts, cocktails and wine. There will be a Thanksgiving leftovers dish too on Friday the 28th inspired by our recent Southwest trip.
I hope you enjoy this year's recipes. Please leave me a comment if you try making them. Are you eager to start planning your menu now? Check out my Thanksgiving recipes from 2013 and 2012.
Thanksgiving Central (all Thanksgiving recipes)
Mole Brined Roast Turkey Breast
Thanksgiving Mole Gravy
Asian Grain Stuffing
North African Green Bean and Sweet Potato Couscous Salad
Sautéed Parsnips with Dates and Spiced Yogurt