Your Worldly Thanksgiving Table
In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the native Wampanoag people. Turkey was added to the menu many years later, as were mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Instead, waterfowl and venison probably graced that first table.
As waves of immigrants have come to our shores, they’ve brought their own customs and foods to the holiday feast. Try the exotic flavors cooked up by chefs born outside the U.S.; you’ll find infinite pairings for your favorite wines, and never set your Thanksgiving table the same way again.
“I aspire to host the most elaborate dinner party for our family and friends every night,” says Hannah An, proprietor of The District by Hannah An in Los Angeles. In this recipe, she substitutes earthy eggplants and mushrooms for a hearty take on traditional Vietnamese summer rolls.
- 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or vermicelli
- 3 Japanese eggplants, julienned
- 3 Portobello mushrooms, cut into matchsticks
- 16 (8.5-inch) round rice paper wrappers
- 8 bibb lettuce leaves, cut into thin strips
- 10 ounces mung bean sprouts
- 32 fresh mint leaves (about 1 bunch)
- 32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
- 32 fresh tiato leaves (if available, or 64 mint leaves)
- 16 fresh cilantro sprigs
- 2 serrano chilies, stemmed, halved, seeds removed and sliced thin lengthwise into 32 pieces (optional)
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Spicy-sweet Sauce:
- 5½ ounces coconut milk
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, grill eggplant and mushroom sticks until well charred.
Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish with hot tap water. Completely submerge one wrapper at a time until soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove from water and place on towel.
Working quickly, lay lettuce strips just above center of wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer ¼ cup rice noodles over lettuce, followed by single pieces of eggplant and mushroom, a few mung bean sprouts, 2 mint leaves, 2 basil leaves, 2 tiato leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro and 2 pieces of serrano chile (optional). Place 1 piece of cucumber in the middle. Roll 1 piece of lettuce into a cigar shape and place it on top of the noodle pile.
Fold bottom half of wrapper over filling. Holding firmly in place, fold sides of wrapper in. Pressing down, roll entire wrapper horizontally from bottom to top. Set roll seam-side down.
Repeat until all wrappers are used, replacing hot water as needed. If not serving immediately, keep rolls tightly covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Yields 16 rolls.
Place spicy-sweet sauce ingredients in small pot. Whisk continuously over medium heat until well integrated. Let cool before serving.
“Its brisk acidity, clean minerality and ripe stone fruit keep you coming back sip after sip. This is a perfect way to showcase the versatility
of Riesling, and how well it pairs with modern Vietnamese cuisine.” —Morgan Wallen, sommelier, The District by Hannah An
Boston hotspot Beat Brasserie features seasonal cuisine with a Latin twist, prepared by executive chef Ignacio Lopez, a native of Mexico, and complemented by co-owner Bertil Jean-Chronberg’s selection of American wines on tap. Lopez keeps his cooking approach as simple as possible to highlight the natural flavors. His hearty, Mexican-style soup is loaded with autumn vegetables and a fiery kick, thanks to the jalapeño peppers.
- 1 pound kabocha squash, diced into ¾-inch pieces, divided
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup peeled, diced carrot
- ½ cup peeled, diced turnip
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced Spanish onion
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ¾ cup canned, rinsed black beans
- ¾ cup canned, rinsed hominy
- ½ lime, juiced, divided
- 3 cups shaved green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 radishes, sliced thin
- 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced thin
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Toss ½ pound squash with 2 tablespoons canola oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven until golden brown.
Meanwhile, add remaining canola oil to a large pot over medium heat. Sauté remaining squash, carrots, turnips, celery, onion and garlic. Add adobo and oregano, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally so vegetables don’t stick. Add stock, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Add oven-roasted squash, followed by black beans and hominy. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add half of the lime juice.
Toss cabbage with extra-virgin olive oil, remaining lime juice, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cabbage, radishes and jalapeños. Serves 8.
Anne Amie 2014 Cuvée A Müller-Thurgau (Yamhill-Carlton)
“The wine should provide a welcome contrast and a fresh flavor combination. I recommend Anne Amie’s Cuvée A Müller-Thurgau from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It’s crisp, fresh and dry, and it will bring refreshing notes to the soup.” —Bertil Jean-Chronberg, co-owner, Beat Brasserie
Born in St. Lucia, Chef Nina Compton worked in Jamaica, Miami and New York and competed on Top Chef before opening Compère Lapin in New Orleans. In her first solo venture, Chef Compton combines local ingredients with the flavors of the Caribbean. Most culinary historians agree that corn was served at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. Compère Lapin’s version of this all-American favorite offers a taste of the islands via its
- 8 ears fresh corn, shucked and cleaned
- 1 tablespoon garlic, roasted and chopped
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice, finely ground
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg, finely ground
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, finely ground
- ½ pound butter, softened
- Homemade Mayo (recipe below)
- Ranch Bread Crumbs (recipe below)
- 8 lime wedges dipped in chili powder
- Homemade Mayo
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Ranch Bread Crumbs
- 1 cup toasted panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup ranch powder
- 1 teaspoon scallions, finely sliced
Steam the corn in a large covered pot for 5 minutes. Set aside. Combine all of the above dry ingredients, then fold in the butter. Place the steamed ears of corn on a large piece of aluminum foil on a grill or griddle and brush with jerk butter. Keep brushing with additional butter as you rotate the corn.
Arrange roasted corn on a serving platter, brush with mayonnaise, and top with bread crumbs. Garnish with chili-dipped lime wedge. Serves 8.
To make mayo, place egg yolks in a food processor and add mustard and lemon juice. Pulse ingredients until well combined. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream (mixture should become thick and emulsified). Season with salt and pepper.
To make the ranch bread crumbs, heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add panko bread crumbs, ranch powder and scallions and cook for 30 seconds to one minute until heated through.
With its bold cherry and pomegranate flavors bolstered by notes of spice, this wine can handle the complex medley of flavors created by a juicy turkey paired with peppery and lightly sweet Masala Okra and Roasted Jerk Corn.
- 1Autumn Rolls
- 2Mexican Harvest Soup
- 3Roasted Jerk Corn