Thanksgiving is always a special time of year. It officially starts the holiday season providing an opportunity to get together with family and friends.  And after the difficulty in traveling in 2020 due to COVID, it’s especially meaningful this year.  But while you’re looking forward to the holiday, you might also be struggling with what to cook.  Well, what about putting a new spin on some holiday classics?  FirstLantic found three iconic recipes from our neighbors in the states of Hawaii, Missouri, and New Hampshire courtesy of Eat This, Not That. These dishes are sure to please even the pickiest eater.   So, let’s get cookin’ and eatin’!

Brown Sugar and Pineapple Roasted Acorn Squash with Spiced Brown Butter

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squashes cut into wedges; seeds removed + reserved
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (8.5 ounces) can crushed pineapple drained
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter for greasing
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Arils from 1 pomegranate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with softened butter.
  2. Halve both acorn squash, remove the seeds *but save them for roasting! Next cut the squash into wedges. Line the squash wedges up on the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the squash and then season with salt + pepper. Now spoon the crushed pineapple over the squash wedges, allowing some of the pineapple to fill the cavity of the squash wedges while the remaining pineapple gathers around the squash.
  3. Place the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Remove from the heat and whisk the browned bits of butter off the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the cinnamon, chili powder + pepper. Pour the butter over the squash, using your hands to rub all over the squash. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes and then remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and caramelized.
  4. Sprinkle the squash with pomegranate arils and toasted acorn squash seeds (recipe below). Serve warm.
  5. To roast your reserved acorn squash seeds, rinse them off and pat them dry. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive, salt + pepper. Place in the oven at 400 degrees F and roast for 10 minutes or until golden brown and toasted.

Notes

*Instead of slicing the squash into wedges, you can also leave the squash in halves. Follow the same directions as listed above. **The acorn squash can be roasted a day in advance and placed back in a 400-degree oven for 10-15 minutes just before serving.

Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing

This simple turkey stuffing recipe is studded with dried cranberries, walnuts, celery, and onions, and scented with a mix of fresh herbs, for an easy and comforting addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups unseasoned dry bread cubes
  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 9 tablespoons butter
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place bread cubes, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. Melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and add celery and onions. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add parsley, ground sage, thyme, kosher salt, and pepper and mix well. Add mixture to bread cube mixture and toss to combine.
  5. Drizzle 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth over the mixture in a bowl and stir to combine. Add more chicken broth and salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Place stuffing in prepared pan and bake, uncovered until top is lightly browned, about 50-60 minutes.

Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Chorizo + Caramelized Apples

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small, sweet onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or chopped
  • 2 in chipotle chiles adobo Sauce minced + 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree*
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese plus more for topping
  • 1 apple chopped (I used honey crisp)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2-pound fresh ground chorizo

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 5 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers and the two teaspoons adobo sauce, stir and cook another minute or so. Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken broth, add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
  2. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until very smooth.
  3. Add the cheddar cheese and cream, stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the soup to simmer on the stove for 15 minutes while you make the topping.
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over high heat. Combine the apple and brown sugar, then cook, turning, until caramelized. Set aside and wipe the pan clean. Add the chorizo and cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked through and crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel, reserving pan juices.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl topped with crispy chorizo and glazed apples. Drizzle with the chorizo oil left in the pan. Enjoy!

Notes

*To make your own pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut your own small to medium size sugar pumpkin in half or into fourths and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool for five minutes. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1/2 cup of chicken broth, puree until completely smooth.

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