Turn a Traditional Dinner into a Fiesta: The Best Thanksgiving Recipes with a Latin Twist

By admin November 18, 2014 07:15
Let’s face it — Latin homes on Thanksgiving work a little different. There’s at least 10 women in the kitchen, dinner starts no earlier than 9pm and the night ends with dancing, of course!
But specifically, Thanksgivings in Latin homes aren’t the same without your traditional Hispanic dishes. Come on, we know there will be pork alongside the turkey and that rice and beans will share the table with those mashed potatoes. 
You might still have your traditional cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, but what if we told you there are ways to add your very own Latin touch to your Thanksgiving dishes? 
We have compiled our favorite Thanksgiving recipes with a Latin twist from around the web — who knows? you might want to give one of these a try in your own home!

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes 



Courtesty of: Betty Crocker
Prep Time 15 min
Total Time 30 min
Servings 4
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 3″ stick cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup crema Mexicana
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1. Place cubed potatoes and cinnamon stick in a 5-quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain water and discard cinnamon stick and return to the pot.
2. Add butter, crema Mexicana, chipotle, salt, and pepper to potatoes and mash with potato masher. Serve warm.

Expert Tips:

Store whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week (do not refrigerate or they will dry out). Before using, scrub the sweet potatoes with a clean produce brush and rinse with cool water. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel sweet potatoes. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your hands do touch the peppers, wash them well.

Puerto Rican Style Thanksgiving Turkey

Courtesy of nbclatino.com


Also called “pavochón,” this dish is considered to be Puerto Rico’s delectable answer to the Thanksgiving turkey. If you’ve ever tried it before, you’d think this is the only want turkey was meant to be cooked!
Chef Daisy Martinez’s pavochón
Pavochon 1 small (12- to 13-pound) turkey
¾ cup wet adobo (recipe below)
1 large Spanish onion
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons arrowroot or 4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1. Remove the bag of giblets and neck from the turkey. Discard the liver and whack the remaining giblets and neck into large pieces with a cleaver or heavy knife.
2. Wash the turkey, pulling out and discarding any large pockets of fat from the body cavity as you do. Pat the turkey dry, and set on paper towels on your cutting board. Work your fingers between the skin and flesh of the turkey, working carefully and slowly to prevent tearing the skin. Once you have separated the skin from the breast, thigh and as much of the leg meat as you can, rub the wet adobo into the flesh and inside the turkey. Truss the turkey with kitchen twine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Scatter the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and reserved neck and giblet pieces into a roasting pan. Pour in 2 cups water. Place the turkey breast side down on a roasting rack (preferably a V-shaped one) and roast the turkey 13-15 minutes a pound, until the juices run clear, not pink, from the thickest part of the thigh when poked down to the bone with a paring knife. About 30 minutes before the turkey is cooked, turn it breast side up to give the breast a lovely color.
4. Remove the turkey from the rack, and let it rest on a cutting board. Add water, if necessary, to make about 2 cups of liquid in the pan. Skim fat from the liquid and place the pan over high heat. Cook, stirring up the bits from the bottom, and bring to a boil. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and return the liquid to the pan. Stir the arrowroot and 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl until the arrowroot is dissolved. Add to the gravy, and stir over medium high heat, until the gravy is slightly thickened and glossy. Check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Serves 12.

For wet adobo

12 cloves garlic, peeled

1 ½ tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil (or achiote oil; recipe below)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


Pound the garlic cloves and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the peppercorns, oregano, and cumin stirring well after each addition to incorporate them into the paste. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar. Makes 3/4 cup.


For achiote oil


1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 heaping tablespoons of good quality achiote seeds


1. Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan, and add the achiote seeds at high heat, until to see the rim of the oil in the pan start to twinkle. Immediately lower the heat on the oil so you can control how fast you leach the color and flavor out of the seeds. When your oil reaches a brilliant orange color, turn the heat off.

2.  Pass the oil through a fine sieve or chinois into a glass receptacle and let cool until ready for use. Makes about 1 cup.

*NOTE: Achiote oil is not something you can put on the stove and walk away from; you must watch it very closely to monitor the process. If the heat is too high or you cook it too long, the oil will turn green, the seeds will turn black, and the whole thing will turn into a bitter mess. It must be discarded as it is not fit for use.


Chorizo and Cornbread Stuffing



The perfect alternative to your traditional stuffing that’s packed with flavor! I guess anything with chorizo always makes things 100 times better. 

Courtesy of Aaron Sanchez for Food Network Magazine

Total Time: 55 mins. 
Prep: 20 mins.
Cook: 35 mins.

1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.

Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it’s heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.



Not a fan of pumpkin pies? Choose Flan!

Because let’s face it — what Latino doesn’t love flan?

Pumpkin flan


Courtesy of laylita.com
Yield: For 8-10 small individual flan

For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
For the pumpkin flan:
1 ½ cups of dulce de zapallo or candied pumpkin pulp, recipe here
6 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbs grand marnier or orange liqueur – optional

Directions (for caramel): 
Combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan and cook over medium high heat, bring to a boil and let it continue boiling until the caramel starts to turn a deep amber color. Do not stir while it is boiling, but keep an eye on it as it can burn very quickly during the last minutes. It should boil for about 8-10 minutes.

Pour the hot caramel into lightly greased flan molds or ramekins.
For the pumpkin flan:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
Use an electric mixer to puree the candied pumpkin or squash pulp.
Add in the eggs and continue mixing until well blended.
Use a whisk to stir in the cream and orange liqueur.
Pour the pumpkin flan mixture into the ramekins.
Put the ramekins or molds in an oven pan filled with some water – the water should cover at least ½ of the height of the ramekins.
Bake the pumpkin flans at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until the flan is set.
Let the flans cool completely, then refrigerate for a couple of hours.
To help release the flans place the ramekins in a bowl with warm water before serving to melt the caramel and loosen the flan.
Serve alone or accompanied by honey crème fraiche sauce and some slices of fresh orange.

Don’t discard those Margaritas!



Regardless of what time of the year it is, Margaritas are a Latin staple, and here’s your way to pull them off this Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Margaritas

Courtesy of myrecipes.com


1 1/4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, divided 
1/2 cup sugar, divided 
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
3/4 cup fresh lime juice 
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
3 cups coarsely crushed ice


1. Pour 1/4 cup cranberry juice into a shallow bowl. Pour 3 tbsp. sugar onto a plate. Dip rims of 4 to 6 widemouthed glasses (6 to 8 oz., suitable for margaritas) into juice, then sugar. Set glasses aside.

2. Reserve 12 cranberries. In a blender, whirl the remaining cranberries, cranberry juice, and sugar, the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and ice until smooth and slushy. If necessary, blend in 2 batches, then mix together. Divide among glasses and garnish with reserved berries, skewered on toothpicks.

By admin November 18, 2014 07:15

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