Modern Recipes For A Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and all of us at Natran Green Pest Control are excited to offer you some delicious Thanksgiving dishes that you can prepare this year in place of traditional fare!

Sides

  1. Shingled Sweet Potatoes With Harissa

Instead of serving your Thanksgiving guests traditional mashed or roasted sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving this year, try this Mediterranean twist on the classic dish.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. harissa paste
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, divided
  • 3 1/4 lb. medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. raw pistachios
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • A spice mill or mortar and pestle
  • Mandoline
  • 2 quart baking dish
  • Large bowl
  • Small rimmed baking sheet
  • Small bowl

Step 1:

To kick off the cooking process, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is heating up, whisk 2/3 cup oil, 2/3 cup harissa paste and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a large bowl. Make sure these ingredients are combined well. 

Step 2:

After your wet mixture has been combined, slice each sweet potato crossways on a mandoline, making sure that each slice is about 1/8 of an inch thick. 

Step 3:

Add the sweet potato slices to a bowl with the wet harissa mixture and toss them until each slice is evenly coated. Then, season the potatoes with salt.

Step 4:

Position the sweet potatoes in a 2 quart baking dish. The potato slices should be standing upright and arranged in concentric circles within the dish. Make sure to pack in the potato slices tightly.

Step 5:

Gently place the baking dish in the fully heated oven to roast for approximately one hour until soft and slightly brown on top. Every ten to fifteen minutes, brush the wet harissa mixture that has accumulated in the dish onto the potatoes.

Step 6:

While the potatoes are roasting, toss the pistachios, sesame seeds and fennel seeds on a baking sheet with a small rim. Toast this mixture in the oven with the sweet potatoes for about four minutes, or until it is golden brown. Let the mixture cool and then place it either in a spice mill or mortar and pestle and grind it coarsely. This mixture is a classic Egyptian spice blend called dukkah.

Step 7:

Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons harissa and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven once they are finished cooking and brush the remaining harissa mixture on the potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle the potatoes with the dukkah. 

2. Tempura Green Beans with Mushroom Salt and Shallot Dip

While classic green bean casserole is a crowd favorite at Thanksgiving, these tempura green beans with mushroom salt and shallot dip will be a hit with your guests and become a new tradition to enjoy during Thanksgiving celebrations to come. 

Ingredients and Equipment:

Dip:

  • 2 shallots, 1 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Food processor
  • Medium skillet
  • Medium bowl
  • Paper towels

Mushroom Salt:

  • 3 tablespoons porcini powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Small bowl

Green Beans:

  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chilled club soda
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • A deep-fry thermometer
  • Large pot
  • Small bowl
  • Slotted Spoon

Dip:

Step 1:

To begin assembling the dip, throw the chopped shallot, scallions and vinegar into your food processor. Season this mixture with salt, process until it is finely chopped and then pour it into a medium bowl.

Step 2:

Whisk the wet ingredients of mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk and chives into the processed mixture of shallot, scallions and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Step 3:

As a topping for the dip, you will make crispy shallot rings next. To do so, cook the 1/4 cup vegetable oil and shallot rings over medium heat in a medium sized skillet for four minutes. Stir these two ingredients occasionally until the shallot rings are golden brown in color. Use the slotted spoon to remove the shallots from the oil, place them on a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt. Set aside.

Mushroom Salt

Step 1:

Combine 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon porcini powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

Green Beans:

Step 1:

Fit the thermometer onto a large pot and pour in two inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium to high heat until the thermometer reads 375 degrees.

Step 2:

While the oil is heating up, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, kosher salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder in a small bowl. Add 1 cup of club soda and whisk until the batter is smooth with no lumps.

Step 3:

In batches, begin to dip the green beans into the batter, let the excess batter drip back into the bowl and place them in the heated oil to fry. If the green beans stick together in the oil, stir them gently with the slotted spoon. Fry the green beans until they are golden brown. Each batch will take approximately three minutes. Once each batch is done frying, remove the beans from the oil with a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towels and sprinkle on some mushroom salt.

Step 4:

Lastly, top the dip with the crispy shallot rings and serve with the tempura coated green beans.

Main Dish

General Tso’s Fried Turkey

Turkey is generally the star of the show at Thanksgiving and a tradition that many families enjoy indulging in each year. Instead of serving up the usual roasted turkey, try this asian inspired fried turkey dish. It is important to note that you will need to begin preparing General Tso’s Fried Turkey at least fifteen hours before serving.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • One 12 to 14 pound turkey, neck, giblets and tail removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons sambal
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • Steamed rice and steamed broccoli, for serving
  • A turkey fryer
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Medium skillet

Step 1:

Locate the exact weight of the turkey on its label and write it down. Place your turkey inside of a rimmed baking sheet that has a rack. Salt the turkey all over using 2 tablespoons of salt. Make sure to pay special attention to the areas of the turkey where its skin naturally separates from the meat, such as the neck, top of the breast and between the legs and breast. Chill the turkey uncovered for a minimum of twelve hours and a maximum of two days.

Step 2:

Once the turkey has finished chilling, remove it from your refrigerator and pat it down with paper towels to remove any moisture. Pay attention to the cavity of the bird.

Step 3:

Breast side up, place the turkey in the basket of the turkey fryer or on the fry stand, depending on which type of fryer you are using, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the turkey to sit in the fryer at room temperature for at least one hour, but no more than three hours.

Step 4:

Following the manufacturer instructions, fill the turkey fryer with the amount of oil required according to the weight of the turkey. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Set a rack inside of a baking sheet with a rim.

Step 5:

Carefully and inch by inch, lower the turkey into the heated oil until it is about half way covered. Once the turkey is half way submerged in the oil, let it sit for a few seconds to allow the cavity to fill up. If the turkey begins to violently splatter, this means that parts of the turkey are still wet or frozen. If this occurs, remove the turkey from the oil and make sure it is fully dry and defrosted. When the cavity of the turkey has been filled with oil, lower the rest of the turkey until it is fully covered in oil. Read the instructions provided by the fryer’s manufacture regarding what heat to cook the turkey and whether or not to cover the fryer as the turkey is cooking. Fry the turkey until it is golden brown in color. This is usually about three and a half to four minutes per pound, or forty to fifty minutes. 

Step 6:

Very carefully, remove the turkey from the fryer after it is done cooking. Transfer the turkey to the prepared rack on the rimmed baking sheet. Allow the turkey to drain and cool for approximately thirty minutes.

Step 7:

To begin making the General Tso sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a medium skillet at a medium-high temperature. Once the oil is heated, add in the garlic and ginger and stir constantly until it is browned. This should only take about one minute. Stir in the honey, soy, mirin, hoisin, samba and rice vinegar. Stir the mixture occasionally until it is very thick. This mixture should only cook for about five to seven minutes. Once cooked, remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

Step 8:

Next, remove the turkey from the rack and liberally brush the General Tso sauce all over the bird. Make sure that you brush the sauce into all of the hard to reach places of the turkey. After the first layer of glaze is applied, let the turkey sit for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes is up, repeat this process two more times. Keep any of the remaining glaze for serving.

Sauce

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is a spicy twist on traditional cranberry sauce that will add tons of zest and flavor to any dish. 

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed from 1 chile, both chiles very thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • Large saucepan

Step 1:

In the large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and jalapeños to the butter and cook, stirring often. This will only take about four minutes or until the shallot has turned golden brown.

Step 2:

Add the cranberries, honey and salt and increase the heat to medium-high.

Step 3:

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the mixture from scorching. Cook until the cranberries have burst, the juices have reached a syrup consistency and you are able to see the pan when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom. This should take about twelve to fifteen minutes.

Step 4:

Remove the sauce form the heat, stir in the lime juice and zest and let cool.

Dessert

Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These dutch apple pie tartlets are not only a cute addition to your Thanksgiving spread, but will also give you and your guests a fun twist on traditional apple pie to enjoy after your meal.

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • 1 cup finely chopped peeled apple
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 2 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 small bowls
  • Ungreased baking sheet

Step 1:

In one of the small bowls, combine the apples and lemon curd. Spoon this mixture into the tart shells.

Step 2:

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like small crumbs. Spoon this mixture over the apple mixture that is in the tart shells and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Step 3:

Bake the tarts at 350 degrees for eighteen to twenty minutes or until the tartlets have turned golden brown. Once they are finished cooking, let the tartlets cool on wire racks for five minutes.

Step 4:

Dust the cooked tartlets with confectioner’s sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from the Natran Green Pest Control team!

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