Turkey alternatives

Turkey alternatives

The holiday season is upon us, but you don’t have to settle for a regular turkey as your main course Thanksgiving. There are plenty of other options. It’s OK to break tradition, and you don’t have to be a Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. Don’t forget the sides and desserts!


Honey bourbon glazed ham



1 (9 1/4-lb.) fully cooked

bone-in ham

40 whole cloves

1/2 cup firmly packed

light brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup bourbon

1/3 cup creole mustard

1/3 cup molasses




1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove skin from ham, and trim fat to 1/4-inch thickness. Make shallow cuts in fat 1 inch apart in a diamond pattern; insert cloves in centers of diamonds. Place ham in an aluminum foil-lined 13- x 9-inch pan.

2. Stir together brown sugar and next four ingredients; spoon over ham.

3. Bake at 350 on lowest oven rack for 2 hours and 30 minutes, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes. Shield ham with foil after 1 hour to prevent excessive browning. Remove ham from oven, and let stand 30 minutes.


Braised pork belly



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice pork belly into equally

sized chunks (10 or so).

3. Put the pork in a pot and add some pepper, salt, soy sauce (or white wine) and aromatics.

4. Pour the soy sauce or white wine into the pot until about half full.

5. Cook for one hour in 400 degrees then reduce oven to 200 degrees then continue for 4-6 hours.

6. Let the pork belly rest for 20 minutes then serve up.


Thanksgiving Jambalaya



Olive oil

two boneless & skinless 

chicken breasts (cut into 

small sizes)

1 diced onion

1 diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup of celery

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 cups chicken stock

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of 

Worchester sauce

1 teaspoon hot pepper

salt & black pepper

2 cups of uncooked rice




1. Heat oil in a large pot over

medium high heat.

2. Sauté chicken and shrimp until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Season with cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper. 3. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent. Add rice, then stir in chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce.


Sweet potato sage gratin



2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, peeled 

and sliced into thin half moons

3 pounds sweet potatoes 

or yams (3-4 large potatoes)

Kosher salt and freshly

ground black pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, 

finely chopped 

1 cup heavy cream




1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9- x13-inch casserole or gratin dish with olive oil or butter. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and when it foams up, add the onions. Sprinkle them lightly with salt. Slowly caramelize the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently.

2. While the onions are caramelizing, peel and slice the potatoes in thicknesses of about ¼ inch. Tile half of them in a prepared casserole dish, overlapping them in tight rows or a spiral. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper.

3. When the onions are dark brown, add the garlic and cook just until golden. Finely chop the sage and add to the onions, along with the chipotle powder and cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cream is slightly reduced then remove from the heat.

4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions and garlic from the cream. Spread the onions over the layer of sweet potatoes in the dish. Layer the remaining potatoes on top, forming a tight spiral or rows. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the cream over the top. It will look like there isn’t enough cream; it won’t cover the potatoes or fill up the dish, but resist the impulse to add more cream; there is plenty to cook the potatoes, and adding more may cause the potatoes to get mushy and fall apart.

5. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender and the cream is golden brown and bubbling. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet and toast the reserved chopped sage and the breadcrumbs until golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat and toss with the Parmesan. Sprinkle this over top of the gratin and drizzle the top lightly with olive oil. Return to the dish to the oven for about 15 minutes or until brown and crispy. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Pecan pie bars




1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup coarsely 

chopped pecans



1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup

2/3 cup firmly packed 

brown sugar

4 eggs

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups coarsely 

chopped pecans




1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, butter and sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup pecans.

Press crust mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until edges are very light golden brown.

3. Combine all filling ingredients except 1 1/2 cups pecans in bowl; mix well. Stir in pecans. Spread evenly over hot, partially baked crust. Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set and knife inserted 1-inch from edge comes out clean.

4. Cool completely; refrigerate.