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Southwestern Style Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

I live in Greenville, SC and always make a traditional southern style Thanksgiving meal. I'm thinking about switching things up this year and cooking a SW style meal. I have some thoughts of putting together a rub for the turkey of some combination of kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, perhaps garlic powder and lime mixed with butter. I need some recipes for a SW cornbread dressing, maybe a potato dish (twice baked potatoes with green chiles or jalapenos seems appealing) or some macaroni dish, also some sort of corn dish (I'm thinking Corn Maque Choux though I know that it's actually a Cajun dish), maybe some deviled eggs with avocado (though I'm not sure if that is a good flavor combination) and some sort of dessert. I'm also considering jalapeno pimento cheese stuffed celery. I also love LeSeur peas and wonder if there's some way to southwesternize those. And my favorite part of the TG meal is the turkey, dressing and gravy. I can't figure out any way to create a gravy for this style of turkey. Does anyone have any recipe suggestions.

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  1. A few years ago, Bon Appetit (or maybe still Gourmet) had a few great recipes for Latin-flavored T-G. I made the ancho-chile rubbed turkey and it was a hit. Check out Epicurious and see if they still have those recipes posted.

    1 Reply
    1. re: brownie

      It was Bon Appetit. I saved the issue, and still use variations on the Southwestern theme. It was a maple syrup/chili powder rub on the turkey, and it was on the cover. Turned out very very good, and really pretty. My favorite from that issue was the Crab/corn souffle that used pasilla chili's. Epicurious carries all the recipes. There was also a cornbread stuffing. I have the issue at home if you need more info and can't find on Epicurious. It was a wonderful spread.

    2. Sounds like you have a lot covered. For a dessert, the first thing that came to mind, since you're doing a variation on a theme, as opposed to a southwest feast, would be to make a traditional pumpkin pie and then add cayenne and some chili powder to it. Add some lime zest to the whipped cream. That would especially work because pumpking is used a fair deal in southwest cooking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: katecm

        That sounds good. I've considered maybe a pumpkin or sweet potato bread pudding.

      2. My mom did a SW TG one year when I was growing up and it was a big hit so I did some researching since it may be a theme I want to do in the future. I haven't tried these recipes but some of them look really delicious.

        A SW menu including Southwestern Turkey with Garlic-Ancho Chili Paste and Gravy (I think this is the one brownie was talking about)

        Southwest Corn Bread Stuffing with Corn and Green Chilies

        Guajillo-Tamarind Turkey
        Cornbread-Chorizo Dressing
        Roasted Poblano Gravy
        Chipolte-Corn Mashed Potatoes
        Turkey with Cornbread, Chorizo and Pinon Nuts
        Sweet Potato Soufflé with Pecans and Red Pepper Flakes
        Cauliflower Gratin with Queso Cotija
        All on http://www.santafedecor.com/Newslette...

        This page talks about the flavors of the SW which might help you put spins on other recipes.

        Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup

        And finally, a recipe of my own:


        ¼ cup sugar
        3 Tablespoons flour
        2 teaspoons baking powder
        1 ½ teaspoons salt
        6 large eggs lightly beaten
        2 cups whipping cream
        1 stick butter melted (1/2 cup
        )6 cups fresh or frozen corn
        4.5 ounces of roasted green chiles
        1/4 teaspoon cumin
        Combine first 4 ingredients

        Whisk together eggs, whipping cream and butter. Gradually add sugar mixture whisking until smooth. Stir in corn. Pour mixture into lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

        Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 5 minutes.

        Yield 8-10 servings.

        1. I do Nellies smoked turkey[food network]Collards ,green bean cassorole,Sweet potatoe pie.Way better than punpkin.

          1. Tomatillo based sauce could work as a gravy.

            1. I do a lot of Southwest style cooking. For TG I usually start with a Red Chile Pumplkin Soup with Crema Mexicana, Turkey I do a Raspberry Chipotle Glaze, for the dressing I like to do cornbread and I add sage & rosemary ( which grows wild all over New Mexico) then I do roasted corn and roasted Pablano Peppers with toasted Pine Nuts. Mashed Potatoes You can add Hatch Green chiles and for Gravy I would add a little onion and Chorizo. For dessert Pumpkin Flan

              1 Reply
              1. re: Analisas mom

                This sounds like a fantastic menu. Would you mind posting the recipe for the glaze to the turkey and your soup?

              2. What a great idea. I have done a southwestern take on Thanksgiving before and everyone loves it.

                Just wanted to say that the Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime that can be found in this link:
                that AmandaCA posted is wonderful. I make it often during the winter season. Great with or without the rosemary. Most of the time I leave it off as my spouse is not particularly fond of it.

                I served the butternut squash with our Thanksgiving meal the year it came out in the magazine. Instead of a turkey we had Cornish game hens that were basted with a homemade pepper jelly glaze. I just used my regular cornbread dressing recipe and added chopped poblanos along with the onion, bell pepper, and celery to give it a southwest flavour. For another side we had green beans with toasted pine nuts. Dessert was pumpkin pie.

                re: stuffed eggs with avocado. I have a recipe for Avocado Egg Salad that we like. The flavours do go well together, so I think you could add avocado to your stuffed eggs. Here is the recipe, if you would like to use it as a starting point.

                Avocado Egg Salad

                6 eggs, hard cooked
                1 small to medium red onion
                ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
                1 large Hass avocado
                2 Tbsp lime juice

                Chop eggs fine. Process onion till finely minced. Stir eggs and onion together with the Creole seasoning. Mash avocado with lime juice and mix well with eggs. If it seems too stiff, add a little mayonnaise to get a better consistency.

                1 Reply
                1. re: decolady

                  Your egg salad recipe sounds good. I will have to try it or either Chipotle Deviled Eggs which also sounds good. I'm assuming that if I do the avocado I should mash the yolks in with the mixture. Some of the recipes I've seen do and some don't.

                2. A few years ago, some friends made the entire NYT food section menu, including mashed sweet potatoes with maple syrup and chipotles. This appears to be the world's longest link, but if it doesn't work you can go to www.nytimes.com and do a search on the title - just be sure to do it in all dates, since the recipe is from 2003.

                  Anyway, they were spicy and tasty. I know the maple syrup isn't so SW'ern, but the chipotles are, and the combination was killer.


                  1. Thanks all for your suggestions. I have checked out the links you have provided as well as your personal recipes and it has given me some good ideas. Also, on delish.com I found recipes for Roast Chili-Lime Turkey Breast, Tequila Pan Gravy, and Sangria Cranberry Sauce. I don't know whether to eat them or throw them in a blender and drink them but they sure sound interesting!