November is the month we food-lovers (that’s everyone) look forward to each year. Starting this month we allow ourselves to indulge in the season’s favorite foods, drinks, and sweets — at least until the beginning of January. November is all about turkey, and whether you are looking for something new to serve on Thanksgiving, or simply want a break from the bird on the other days of the month, we have five ideas that are just as satisfying. The rest is gravy.
Lamb is so often thought of as the main meat in spring season courses, but is not the first protein that makes us think “Thanksgiving!” However, lamb is a wonderful alternative cold weather meat that pairs flawlessly with fall season herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram. For serious meat eaters, lamb could be a more gratifying meat than a feathered friend. If you choose to serve the bolder meat as a Thanksgiving meal, the traditional holiday side dishes will not need to be changed, as lamb is a perfect partner for mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberries!
Yes, the other white meat is versatile enough to serve for nearly any occasion. Aside from ham, other cuts of pork, such as the roast and loin, pair perfectly with autumn fruits, like apples, pears, apricots, kumquats, and vegetables. You won’t have to worry too much about dry cuts of meat, as pork typically cooks up tender and moist.
To really celebrate like our forefathers did, have a seafood feast on Thanksgiving! The foods that are known to have been served on the original “Turkey Day” did, in fact, not include the bird. The first celebration included deer, corn, cranberries, cod, and various shellfish. For fall seafood, think shellfish stews served with hearty bread, or fish with nuts and citrus. As a major plus, a surprising and lighter take on the traditional meal can leave your guests with more room for pie!
We know it can feel a little funny to go vegetarian on holiday nicknamed Turkey Day, but veg-heads have really great options, (thanks to robust fall vegetables) when it comes to finding a hearty main course for Thanksgiving. Winter squash varieties can be stuffed with rice, veggies, and cheese for a filling and seasonally pretty dish. Or use a large pumpkin as a tureen for a rich vegetable stew. Pasta with a creamy pumpkin sauce or aesthetically pleasing vegetable tarts are dishes that would please meat eaters and vegetarians alike!
Once October rolls around we see pumpkin flavored everything, from our lattes to soups and yes, even gum and perfumes. We love a good pumpkin pie as much as anyone, but by the end of November, we are burnt out on the gourd. Apples are perfectly in season and they make a great savory side or a variety of other delectable desserts. After all, what is more American than apple pie?