I’m gonna be honest, I’m a terrible cook. I love food and it’s an unfortunate fact. But this Thanksgiving, I decided to host my family for the holiday. Partly because it gave me an excuse to buy a nice table and invest in a new stove. #gaymanproblems It also gave me the opportunity to decide the menu and stay away from as many carbs as possible. I chose a mostly Mediterranean menu with a few Latin dishes here and there. It was a little ambitious but I’d like to say I did mostly a good job. A few of the dishes weren’t much to my liking but nothing too terrible.
If you’d like some inspiration for your holiday menu, here’s what I served:
Herb Roasted Turkey – I didn’t cook the turkey because I felt that was absolutely too ambitious for me. My mom mostly followed this recipe, but I allowed her free reign on how to prepare the bird.
Green Beans and Carrots in Charmoula Sauce – This was probably my least favorite dish. I don’t have a food processor, which is needed to make the sauce. I finely chopped everything and then mashed them. In any case, the steamed veggies mostly melt down the sauce . It was a little too citrusy for my taste so I’d definitely watch out for that.
Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine – This cranberry sauce was amazing. Like most people, I tend to eat cranberry sauce on its own as a dessert, but you definitely can’t with this recipe. It’s a little too sweet for that but works perfectly as a topping for turkey.
Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo – I’ve made this recipe before and it’s one of my favorite. I cheat and replace the Spanish chorizo with regular Mexican breakfast chorizo. It makes me happy.
Pomegranate-Balsamic Glazed Carrots – This dish was pretty great and I’m looking forward to noshing on the leftovers all week.
Broccoli with Smoked Paprika, Almonds, and Garlic – The recipe originally calls for broccolini but I couldn’t find that vegetable to save my life. I replaced it with broccoli and it was perfectly fine with me. This dish went over pretty well with everyone.
Papas con Rajas – Possibly the most ethnic dish I served and the most popular one on the menu.
Sweet Potatoes in Syrup with Guava – This dish really excited me since I’ve never prepared a guava before and it seemed so playful. The recipe calls for a can of guava wedges, which I could not find. I did find a canned whole guava, so I used that. The flavor is amazing and sweet but the canned guava includes the fruit’s hard seeds. It makes chewing almost impossible. I found myself lightly chewing and just swallowing chunks. Not fun at all. In the future, I may choose to make this using only guava syrup or juice and not the actual fruit.