Thanksgiving Around the World
Thanksgiving Around the World
While Thanksgiving is a traditional American Holiday, different parts of the world have similar holidays to celebrate being thankful for what we have.
One thing I am most thankful for is that I have had the opportunity to live in some of the most beautiful places around the globe.
This year I want to dedicate Thanksgiving to Italy. Living in Italy has provided me with memories that will last forever. Some of those great memories are by far the wonderful tastes of Tuscany.
La Festa del Ringraziamento, translated roughly to, Festival of Thanks will be celebrated in my home this year with some of my favorite recipes from Italy for our own version of an Italian Thanksgiving.
Try some of these courses to add a travelers spice to your own version of Thanksgiving no matter where you are in the world.
Salvia Fritta (Fried Sage Leaves)
These are best prepared as guests arrive as they must be eaten straight away while piping hot. The recipe is easy to figure out so use amounts appropriate to the amount of guests.
Stripped, washed and dried Sage Leaves.
Light Olive Oil
Beat egg and coat sage leaves. Coat with flour and shake off excess. Dip leaves in hot olive oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of allspice. Serve with red wine as a guest greeter.
Roasted Pumpkin and Pear Soup
2 White Onions
3 Cloves Garlic
2 cups Roasted Pears
4 Cups Roasted Pumpkin
4 Tablespoons Butter
½ cup Heavy Cream
4 cups Chicken Broth
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin and pears into large cubes. Place pumpkin on a foil covered baking pan and cook for 30 minutes. Remove pan and add pears. Cook both for an additional 30 minutes. Pumpkin and pears should be at the point where you say “oops I almost burned them”.
Chop onions and garlic and sauté in butter on medium heat until translucent. Add chicken broth and bring to a low boil.
Mash pumpkin and pears and add to the broth carefully. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add cream and bring to a just before boiling point. Pour soup into a terrine and sprinkle top with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Porcini Injected Turkey and Stuffing
This is an easy to play with method for making your Thanksgiving turkey. Every family seems to have their own traditional stuffing so this is just a little twist.
1 pound (roughly depending on turkey size) whole fresh porcini mushrooms.
½ pound Butter
6 Cloves Garlic
Melt butter in a saucepan. Put half of the mushrooms in a food processor along with the melted butter and garlic until it turns into a liquid.
Inject the liquid just beneath the skin of the turkey with a syringe. (no needle) A syringe can be obtained at any pet shop. Make sure to evenly inject the liquid over the entire breast area as well as the legs and thighs.
Add the remaining whole mushrooms to the stuffing mixture to add a meaty Italian flair to your traditional turkey.
The Thanksgiving meal is all about the side dishes. The contorni are side dishes. Here are two easy ones to add to your list.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Slice Mozzarella into half inch thick slices. Top with sliced tomato, whole basil leaves and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with black olives
This is a favorite and super easy to make side dish.
1 Block of whole Asiago Cheese
Slice Asiago cheese into 1/8th inch slices. Spread a thin layer of almond paste on cheese and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
Choosing an Italian dessert is like choosing your favorite child. It cannot be done. So for arguments sake I am choosing one at random.
This is a simple yet unusual tart that must be tasted to be appreciated. A description will not do it justice. I have had several versions of this but I found a recipe by Deborah Mele that beats them all by a mile.
9 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Finely Ground Cornmeal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Cups Fruit Jam
Mix together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended. Add the egg and egg yolk and continue to mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until the dough comes together.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Take about 3/4 of a cup of the dough mixture and set it aside. Press the remaining dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Spoon the jam into the crust and use a spoon to smooth across the bottom crust. Using your fingers, break up the remaining crust mixture into small pea sized pieces and drop along the outer edges of the tart, leaving the center section of jam uncovered.
Bake the tart in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature before serving.