Everybody loves turkey – right? Even the best dishes need a break now and then. If your family needs a break from America’s favorite holiday feast, here are seven delicious alternatives
#1: Stuffed Cornish Game Hens – This delicious smaller alternative comes complete with crispy skin, large enough to stuff, and a yummy better-than-chicken flavor, without the long cooking time of a big turkey. Everyone at the table can have an individual Cornish game hen…and hooray, nobody has to fight about who gets a certain size or color of piece from the carved turkey.
#2: Surf n’ Turf — Mouth-watering lobster, tiger prawns and top sirloin steak fits the bill topped off with a yummy béarnaise sauce for an evening that feels like you’ve just been on a Caribbean cruise. The term originated along the Atlantic coast of North America. Surf ‘n’ Turf epitomizes culinary kitsch: the point is to maximize hedonistic extravagance by ordering the two most expensive things on the menu – or having it for Christmas dinner.
#3: Fondue — Not just a New Year’s Eve treat. Beef and chicken in oil, bread dipped in cheese, or chocolate fondue to dip strawberries, bananas, apples and more brings everyone together no matter what time of year. Fondue originated in Switzerland in the 18th century. Derived from the French word fondre, meaning melt, the original version was a cheese fondue that combined Emmenthaler and Gruyere with garlic and Kirsch.
#4: Honey-glazed Ham — Often served at Easter, it fits the main course bill. You can even buy the ham pre-sliced to make it easier and more like the original. If not pre-sliced, try a shank-cut that has a small bone making it easier to carve. FYI, Hams can only be labelled honey-cured if honey was at least 50 per cent of the sweetener used, and has a discernible effect on flavor.
#5: Vegan Turkey and Gravy — A great alternative for the vegetarian in the family or vegan family. Brands such as Worthington contain “turkee” slices canned with a whole lot of real flavour, made primarily of vegetable protein. It has a lot fewer calories, and you still get away with the deliciousness of turkey.
#6: Roast Beef Dinner — Mashed potatoes, carrots, onions, Yorkshire pudding, gravy made from the hot juices. It all can be slow roasted in the crock pot all day long while you relax and have even more time to spend with family. Try a cut of beef chuck, cross rib or blade with a decent layer of fat to enhance the savoury flavour.
#7: For a laugh try Turducken — It’s a big ol’ turkey partially de-boned, stuffed with a de-boned duck that is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. The thoracic cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are stuffed. Turducken is often associated with the “do-it-yourself” outdoor food culture of barbecueing and shrimp boils, popular in the South; however, some now serve it in place of roasted turkey at Thanksgiving.