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No turkey for Thanksgiving

I know that sounds awful but my spouse is allergic to turkey (and chicken) and most of the relatives we have over don't eat too much either (we've tried many variations but we always have way too much leftover turkey). Ham is the usually on the menu, too but I'd like to add another festive main dish. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the input!

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  1. Along with turkey and all the trimmings and sides.....my family usually will have at least one or more of the following depending on how large the party gathering will be:

    Fresh Ham
    Cured/Glazed Spiral Ham
    Roast Rack Loin of Pork
    Standing Roast Prime Rib
    Lasagna or other Baked Pasta

    For the non-meat eaters.....there's always a large Mixed Seafood Salad served warm.

    This year, I'm thinking of having two slow roasted Flat Iron/Top Blade Roasts

    1. that's so interesting; i've never heard of a poultry allergy. Duck too?

      I would consider Beef Wellington as a 'festive dish': beef tenderloin and mushroom duxelles wrapped in puff pastry......

      along those lines but w/ seafood, Salmon Coulibiac: salmon with rice and spinach and lemon or beschamel sauce, wrapped in puff pastry of filo.

      6 Replies
      1. re: opinionatedchef

        About the allergy - yes, duck, too. Add lettuce, celery, cinnamon, sage, mushrooms and a whole page of other foods he's allergic to.

        We sometimes have salmon sashimi for holiday dinners but I never thought of cooking a whole side of salmon! Thanks!

        1. re: onigiri

          oni, just fyi, it doesn't have to be a whole side of salmon. can make the strudel/coulibiac any size you want. but you prob knew that alrdy.

          1. re: onigiri

            Salmon Wellington is really good.

            1. re: onigiri

              Turkey makes me so ill. chicken, hen, duck, no. ??? Go figure. I miss turkey. Desperately.

              I agree with anything Salmon.

            2. re: opinionatedchef

              My brother was allergic to chicken, turkey and eggs when he was a child. He got asthma attacks if he ate those foods.

            3. For my husbands birthday recently we did a veal rack. Our butcher sells amazing veal and I bought the rack pre-prepared/marinated (not something I normally do) to reduce work for myself on the day of the party. It took little over an hour in the oven, looked incredible and definitely impressed the carnivores! Most importantly it was absolutely delicious and is set to grace our plates more often.

              1. One year we did a baked salmon to accomodate a family member who wasn't eating meat at the time. It was great and very popular with all.

                1. Perhaps porchetta? Or, something that could work if you have a little time and enough fridge space, make your own gravalax. Do you have access to any game meat? I've found that serving something special like venison tends to smooth out any 'traditional' expectations. Although I've served Reindeer at Christmas before, so I might just be weird.

                  1. For your 'no turkey/no chicken' menu, I'd go with salmon and oysters in addition to your ham. If shucking raw oysters, or barbecuing oysters isn't possible, maybe Oysters Florentine? or, Cioppino or, Gumbo? Crab or Jumbo Shrimp?
                    We're roasting a capon for this Thanksgiving -

                    1. I made a standing rib roast one year for Thanksgiving. My husband and I both loved it but the kids staged a revolution over not having turkey.

                      1. I think any kind of meal that you would have for a formalish Sunday dinner would work. It doesn't have to be elaborate, either, as long as its made with love. My personal favorite is stuffed pork tenderloin. This might work well, especially if you find a recipe that uses cranberries or fruit of some sort. It would definitely be reminiscent of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, is easy to make, and certainly is festive. Cooks.com has a bunch of great recipes on its site, I'd go with any of them.

                        1. Can depend on how many people you have coming. But here are some options: crown rack of lamb, a standing rib roast, maybe a big whole roasted fish stuffed with herbs and garnished with lemon slices...

                          I think for Thanksgiving, the big impressive presentation is a nice part of the ritual. Any of the above keep that presentation element. Basically, I'm just rattling off meats that taste good and will look nice on a big platter in the middle of the table.

                          Picking a non-poultry meat that makes a nice presentation but also goes well with cranberry sauce and poultry stuffing is a little harder. Pork is probably your best bet if you want to keep the flavors playing well with each other.

                          1. We don't do turkey so we usually do rack of lamb. My husband doesn't like turkey and my kids had an unfortunate stomach flu one Thanksgiving and haven't gone back to the traditional meal since. Rack of lamb is elegant, but very simple to prepare.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jsaimd

                              We were at a party one time with a catering chef in the kitchen - much more swell that most things we go to - but the absolute hit of the evening were the "lamb lollipops" she kept sending out. Yes - she had simply roasted a lot of frenched racks to the rare stage beforehand, and was cutting these into single-rib pieces and finishing them in a hot oven. Not suggesting such an informal presentation for a TG dinner, necessarily, but it points the way to feeding a bunch of light eaters. Anybody can eat one rib, most folks two.

                            2. How about leg of lamb? Or a whole beef tenderloin?

                              1. We've done beef tenderloin, london broil, and venison as alternative mains before!

                                1. you've got tons of suggestions, but...

                                  Brisket... since it goes with gravy, it still smacks of the spirit :)
                                  Salt Encrusted Whole Fish - i love the presentation of cracking it open!

                                  happy happy!

                                  1. Leg of lamb
                                    And like another suggested, lasagna

                                    1. We always had scalloped oysters. I miss them every Thanksgiving (we have the straightjacket menu w my SO's family).

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ellabee

                                        "we have the straightjacket menu w my SO's family)."

                                        That's funny! What a great way to phrase it....

                                      2. A leg of lamb is always festive, although more associated with spring and Easter...
                                        How about a paella, with kinds of nice seafood like clams, lobsters and shrimp? It's definitely festive!