An Untraditional Feast: Thanksgiving, Appetizer-And-Dessert Style

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This year, The Angry Chef and I celebrated Thanksgiving with my folks belatedly, yesterday.

In lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving feast, my mom put together a heavenly appetizer and dessert extravaganza. She’s hands down one of the best cooks I know.

If anybody wonders where I get my love for cooking, this should give you a pretty good hint.

Some of you have sent me pics from your dinner. I’ll post those up tomorrow. If you still want to send me a shot or two, please do ([email protected])!

An Untraditional Thanksgiving Feast: Here are some pictures from our dinner

(I think we each left the table at least two pounds heavier.)

Dinner at my folks’ house always starts with plenty of red wine and olives. This was a mix of black and green olives, tossed with olive oil, salt, freshly cracked black pepper, chopped garlic, lemon peel, and rosemary.

Mom made a few Greek specialties, including tiropetes (phyllo triangles stuffed with feta)

and spanakopitas (phyllo stuffed with feta and spinach).

They go on a sheet pan into a hot oven til they’re brown and crisp.

She also made some other cheese-y goodness, including these cheese puffs. Cubed French bread gets dipped into a rich cheese sauce, then baked in the oven til brown. (These are amazing.)

There was a savory tart filled with a custard-y mix of fresh corn and basil.

And a gigantic platter of shrimp cocktail, served with cocktail sauce and mayo that had been enriched with fresh basil, as well as garlic and lemon confit.

There were also a couple of really fun appetizers done in puff pastry. These little square guys are stuffed with a sausage and mushroom filling.

These puff pastry triangles are stuffed with a mix of butternut squash, mushrooms, leeks, and the tiniest bit of feta.

Pork meatballs with ginger, garlic, and scallion go into a hot frying pan til they’ve developed a nice brown crust.

Now, all this stuff was great, don’t get me wrong. But the potstickers absolutely stole the show. (Whenever Mom makes them, they usually do.)

She made a bunch ahead of time, with fresh wonton skins from her Asian market and homemade shrimp and cabbage filling. They went right from the freezer to the frying pan.

They get fried in oil til the bottoms are golden brown.

Then a little water goes into the pan.

They get covered to steam for a few minutes.

Dexter, our faithful Barking Sous Chef, was glued to my mother’s side—nose in the air—as these were cooking.

When they’re totally cooked through, they get transferred to a platter.

Oh, in keeping with at least one Thanksgiving tradition, there *was* a delicious bowl of stuffing…just no turkey.

For dessert, Mom put out a plate of homemade fudge with nuts.

And two pies. Pumpkin:

And apple.

And last but not least, a plate of homemade Hungarian pastries. If I can get her to divulge the recipe, I’ll write it up for everyone. The crust is an amazingly flaky cream cheese concotion. The fillings include apricot, chopped nut, and plum.

Cheers! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Ooh, yum Jessie! I have the pics, I took them on my husband's work camera, which is now at work (duh). I'll send them to you tonight!
  2. You wouldn't think I would want to look at food after how bad I was on Thanksgivig but I am already thinking about cooking for Christmas. All that looks so good. I love pot stickers and pierogies and dumplings. Anything that that is enclosed with dough is my thing. That fudge don't look halfway bad! Yum! Maybe we could steal her recipe?
  3. Hey my mom makes those Hungarian cookies too, except we call them Croatian cookies haha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM, and she will be baking up a ton of them this Christmas.
  4. I think have the recipe for the pastries. They look very similar. The recipe may differ but I think they are very similar in taste. The rest makes me want to eat like no tomorrow (even though I am sick)

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