I’m fascinated by different Thanksgiving family traditions. My grandmother always hand-made thick Amish noodles in chicken broth, something we’ve carried for years since passed.
What’s something that you bring to the holiday table that’s not in the widely-accepted core menu of dishes? (Recipe-sharing is encouraged.)
Pastizzis, a palm-sized, flaky crust (think phyllo, but flakier) dumpling-kinda thing, stuffed with either beef or ricotta cheese. They’re a typical bar snack in Malta and the only appetizer our family ever serves.
I miss the Jello Ambrosia salad that was always present as a kid. Just because I'm pushing 45 now doesn't mean the 8 year old in me isn't disappointed when its not on the table. I guess its up to me to make it now but it wont be as good.
Scott, if you ever get a chance to come north to Michigan, in Frankenmuth, you can get these noodles pretty much dead on as part of the family-style chicken dinner at Bavarian Inn or Zendhers and I highly recommend it, as it is a birthday month tradition for me and my family.
“Cream of wheaties.” Basically after you cook the cream of wheat you chill it in a pie plate, once slightly firm you egg it, bread it, and fry it in butter. My grandma made them at every holiday meal and they’re the best.
I do a turchetta instead of roast turkey, occasionally, stuffed with cornbread, fennel, sausage, and red chili, that's delicious (basically a porchetta instead of turkey)
Took over hosting duties a few years back. Immediately made smoked brisket over turkey the star of the show. Also I smoke a bunch of chicken wings. Have never looked back.
Spanakopita. White girl whose mother married into a Greek family. But we’re also midwestern and who has the time or energy to make pretty little triangles, so it’s just casserole-style, phyllo on the bottom, dish filled with spinach/feta/eggs, shitload of buttery phyllo on the top.
Some years, instead of making turkey or ham, I will roast a pork loin
Usually I will infused some butter with herbs (thanks, Alton Brown) and use that to flavor the meat.
A lot of times, I put vegetables below the pork to roast, but I’ll treat them with olive oil and some seasonings. Typically it’s various squashes, some aromatics, and then some root vegetables to go with the season. I will often throw whatever slivered or sliced almonds I have in the pantry into the mix. About twenty minutes before I pull the roast out to rest, I toss in a bunch of tomatoes and let them burst and roast.
With a Korean mom and Jamaican God-mother, along with a traditional turkey, we typically do a smaller Jamaican Jerk Turkey and either Korean short ribs (kalbi) or bulgogi.
not at the the meal itself, but if i'm cooking, i keep some uncooked stuffing aside and make waffles out of it for breakfast.
Shrimp cocktail. My husband's family loves it so it appears at basically every gathering. Summer pig roast? Shrimp cocktail. Easter? Shrimp cocktail. Thanksgiving? Obviously, that's why I'm posting in this thread. Christmas? Why not?
Orange rolls - Take brown and serve rolls, soak them in an orange juice and sugar mixture, top with orange zest, and bake. They turn into a warm caramelized gooey mess that works great as a side, a dessert, or even breakfast the day after
Less something we bring, but nobody in my family liked Turkey and the regular thanksgiving foods too much, so we'd always have lasagne, spaghetti, prime rib, or something else we all really liked. Until my little brother, in first grade at the time (we're ten years apart) got really quiet when we were trying to plan what we were going to have for Thanksgiving. He bursts out sobbing that we NEED to have turkey.
True to his word, we had turkey that year, and he ate more than the rest of combined. When we go to my parents' now, it's usually turkey, cornbread stuffing, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole for everyone but be, and some grilled asparagus.
So I hope that is on topic enough. Family food traditions can be odd!
Melted onions. Take 4-5 big sweet onions, cut off the tops and cut vertically-radially several times from the top down to the root to make a blooming onion-type thing. Salt and pepper liberally. Wrap the whole thing twice in heavy foil, and before you twist it closed, douse the interior in Vidalia Onion dressing. Let sit in the smoker for 4-5 hours while you fiddle with the turkey. Remove from foil to serve.
My family also makes chicken soup with the thick Amish noodles. My dad also makes pumpkin pie but he uses condensed milk instead of evaporated milk as the recipe traditionally calls for. It makes the pie much sweeter and tastier. I look forward to it every year.
Not exactly what you asked, but my brother is allergic to poultry, so Thanksgiving turkey is no go for him. Usually he's been served a steak or somesuch instead, but one year he was particularly petulant, so my parents lost their patience and gave him a bowl of Cheerios for Thanksgiving.
Celery and onion in a processor until essentially a paste. Steep this paste in LOTS of butter in a cast iron skillet for however long you want. Add to cubed stuffing, slightly stale bread chunks, torn biscuits, etc. along with copious amounts of chicken stock, Lowry's season salt, white pepper, poultry seasoning. Form into a ball. Bake. Portable thanksgiving bliss. Can be dunked or slathered with gravy as well for a next tier experience.
probably not that non-traditional, but raw oysters or shrimp cocktail would be great as an appetizer. really spicy and tart to open up one's stomachs.
I smoke a brisket each year as addition to the roasted turkey. We have a around 30 people each year so the extra food is needed and I love smoking brisket and have the time to during the thanksgiving week.
Pretzel Jello was a Weber family gathering staple.
Essentially make a pretzel, brown sugar butter slurry, then a layer of cream cheese and sugar over it, then strawberry (or raspberry to mix it up) Jello on top.
If it was said that it was not being made for a gathering, wild protestations would go up.
I just presumed every family in the Midwest had this. I was very wrong.
Either smoked ribs or chicken thighs to go along with the turkey
My mom always fries a couple of pounds of shrimp to go along with an otherwise very traditional thanksgiving spread.
Resentment and passive aggression (real answer: had really good french fries one year and that was a nice little surprise. dunked em in the gravy)