December 1, 2010

Koci’s Terribly Late Thanksgiving Special

I know it is now December and Thanksgiving season is well over with. However, I’ve been meaning to share with you all what my family and I ate for Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, though. If you’re completely burnt out on all things turkey and cranberry, you won’t find any of it in this post today. Our Thanksgiving this year was very unorthodox—more a fun, celebratory meal than one that followed any sort of particular holiday guidelines. After so many years of making the same traditional dishes—turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, and canned cranberry sauce—we were ready to just make whatever dishes struck our fancy, with delicious results, if I do say so myself.

Let me break it down for you…

For our salad-y, starter course, I made a strawberry and candied pecan salad that I saw on Bitchin’ Kitchen, my new favorite cooking show. To the regular recipe, I also threw in some chopped avocado because, frankly, I’ll take any excuse possible to eat more avocado. It’s heavenly stuff, guys.

So, it was just a matter of tossing together the candied pecans, strawberries, avocado, and some leafy greens with a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic, and a bit of brown sugar. This was so incredibly easy and probably my favorite component of our Thanksgiving meal.

Don’t even get me started on those candied pecans. I’ve made them on their own twice again already and have been munching constantly.

We also had some delectable Cheddar Biscuits—a knock-off recipe resembling those served at a well-known American seafood restaurant. Hint, hint. You know which ones I mean. My sister made these all by herself and proved to be quite the formidable cook in her own right, which we don’t get to experience much. Being a full-fledged theater kid and the star actress and singer of the family, my sister is usually more than happy to allow the rest of us—her adoring fans—to cook for her. This time, however, she graced us with a bowl of yummy biscuits. Oh-so-yummy biscuits.

Then, because we wanted some sort of vegetable included in our meal, my dad set about making zucchini and squash tempura strips. I do recognize that our main vegetable course was fried, but it’s Thanksgiving! Gimme a break. They were piping hot, crispy, and uber-delicious.

Now comes the main course, my mom’s crawfish étouffée. Thanks to her Cajun roots back in New Orleans, my mom makes a mean crawfish étouffée and she’s been doing so since before I was born. Literally, I was fed this stuff in the womb. It is imprinted in my DNA.

And it tastes amazing.

The étouffée, that is.

Finally, for dessert, I whipped up my favorite pie recipe—Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie. I got it out of Gourmet magazine a couple years ago and we’ve all been gobbling it up ever since. The mascarpone cheese adds such a nice creaminess and density to regular ol’ pumpkin pie and turns it into a thing of beauty.

And that was it! So—with a full tummy and Ziplocs of leftovers—I wish you all a very Happy Belated Thanksgiving!


  1. Koci's SisterDecember 01, 2010

    That was a delicious and interesting Thanksgiving lunch....I'm thankful for you Koci!!! ^.^ I must say, that étouffée is delectrible, that salad was yummy, the pie was delicious, and the veggies were crispy fried perfection! ...The biscuits were okay too....;)

  2. Lord have mercy....this is a feast! A delicious spontaneous feast....I love it!!! ahhhh, the vibrancy of living outside the comfort zone.....bravo!

  3. Koci, that looks like quite a spread! It's wonderful that each family member brought something special to the table. That's the true spirit of Thanksgiving! I love your colorful salad and your mom's crawfish étouffée, I wish it's in my DNA too!

    Btw, thanks so much for your kind thoughts on my blog, I really appreciate it.

  4. Better late than never!!! Oh what a feast, thank you so much for this wonderful food porn!!! *drool* hahahahhaa

  5. What an awesome Thanksgiving dinner! I love that each member of your family contributed something.
    I'm afraid my Thanksgiving post is never going to happen. I'm proud of the meal I put together but I dropped my camera in the water the day before.

  6. @Koci's Sister: Awww, I'm thankful for you too little sis! Your biscuits were fantastic!

    @mangiabella: Thank you! It was really fun to just make whatever we wanted.

    @Foodiva: Of course! :)

    The best part of each person making a dish was how quickly we were able to put things together. I'm so used to being the one cooking on my own that I was thrilled to share. :D

    @Kimberly: hahahah Anytime! :D

    @Rachel: Oh no! At least now you have an excuse to ask for a really great Christmas present! :D

  7. Sounds like you had a delicious non-traditional Thanksgiving meal with your fam! Hope you had a great holiday :)

  8. I am seriously all about deep frying my veggies. Your dinner looks perfect times a million. That strawberry sala with pecans looks really tasty. What's your favorite dressing for salads that have fruits? Just curious because I never know what to use.

  9. Everything looks delicious. I like how your family agreed to have an unorthodox Thanksgiving, and everybody contributed something! So nice!

  10. @Dana: Thanks!

    @Damaris: Deep-fried veggies rock!! :D

    I really love just an easy balsamic vinaigrette with salads that have a bit of fruit in them. Just equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar, plus a little brown sugar. There's something about the balsamic that really plays well off the sweetness of the fruit.

    @Marisa: Thanks! I'm definitely thinking that this will become a new tradition.

  11. A smorgasbord to be thankful for!

  12. That salad looks amazing! Such a fun mix of ingredients to make an unusual salad. Yum!

  13. Oh my word, I'm in heaven just looking at your photos of your Thanksgiving feast! I loved that you made a dish with crawfish. My dad is a crawfish fisherman and sells them to restaurants! And your pumpkin mascarpone pie is calling my name!!!! :)

  14. What an astoundingly good Thanksgiving feast. I hope your family did the washing up!

  15. The salad looks awesome. My mom always finds ways to throw fruit into green salads like oranges or strawberries - I thought she was the only one, but it looks like other people have figured out how good it tastes!


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