CWAT Thanksgiving Menu 2013



Appetizer – Frituritas de Malanga (Taro Nuggets)


2 pounds of Malanga (fresh or frozen)
4 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
½ cup of green onions (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Sea salt
White truffle sea salt
Black pepper

1. Defrost malanga if frozen.
2. Chop malanga into 1 to 2 inch chunks and boil until tender about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Drain, and mash malanga.
4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and white truffle salt. Add garlic, basil, and green onions. Mix all ingredients together.
5. Form malanga into small balls.
6. Add vegetable oil to pan. Note: make sure that the oil is one inch deep.
7. Place pan on high heat.
8. Once oil is ready add the balls of malanga and cook until both sides are golden brown about 2 minutes.
9. Remove from oil and pat dry with a paper napkin to remove excess oil.
10. Garnish with lemon and Parmesan cheese.

Appetizer – Crab Pot Pie


2 cups of sweet potatoes (cut into small chunks)
2 cups of parsnip (cut into small chunks)
5 sprigs of thyme
1 ham shank
½ cup of cherry tomatoes
½ cup of zima tomatoes 
½ sweet onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 packages of crab meat (lump and claw)
1 smoked ham shank
1 cup of vegetable brother
1 package of Pillsbury crescent roll dough
1 cup of fresh parmesan cheese
½ stick of butter
Olive oil
Non-stick spray

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large sauce pan add 3 teaspoons of olive oil place on medium heat.
3. Add ham shank to sauce pan, cook until all sides are golden brown. (15 min.)
4. Add ½ stick of butter and tomatoes, stir.
5. Add chopped sweet onion and four cloves of garlic, stir.
6. Once onions are translucent add one cup of sweet potato, parsnip, and thyme.
7. Add one cup of vegetable broth, allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
8. Check sauce after 25 minutes, stir and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes.
9. Spray individual ramekins with non-stick spray.
10. Un-roll crescent roll dough.
11. Place the large part of the dough on to the bottom of the ramekin dish, allow the top of the dough to fall out the dish.
12. Fill dishes with ¼ cup of ham and sauce.
13. Top with crab meat.
14. Twist the top of the crescent dough until it forms a braid, lay it over the crab meat.
15. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 400 degrees, top with fresh parmesan cheese.

Serve in small ramekin dishes available at Target ranging from $2.00 per single ramekin to $15.00 and up for sets.


 First Course – Mussel and Acorn Stew

Cuban's Thanksgiving Menu

1 acorn squash
1 butternut squash (chopped into 1 inch cubes)
1 lb. of mussels
1 cup of heirloom tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 sprig of purple basil (sub: regular basil)
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 sweet onion (chopped)
1 shallot
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green chili pepper
4 cups of vegetable stock
4 cups of water
¼ cup of Tuscan olive oil (sub: plain olive oil)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Drizzle Butternut squash with olive oil and rosemary for 30 minutes. 
3. Drizzle peppers and tomatoes with olive oil salt and pepper. Bake until tender about 30 minutes.
4. In a sauté pan add garlic and onions with one teaspoon of olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent. 
5. In a large pot add roasted tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onion. 
6. Add 4 cups of vegetable stock and 4 cups of water, allow to simmer for one hour.
7. Using a hand blend, blend stew together.
8. Add basil and mussels to stew. Simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Turn heat off and allow stew to sit for 10 minutes.

 Main Course:  Sweet Potatoes Topped with Orange Vanilla Date Sauce 

Cuban With A Twist Sweet Potatoes


3 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 c cut up green onion

1. Wash and dry potatoes
2. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil
3. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes
4. Remove from oven and remove aluminum foil
5. Mash potatoes and place in casserole dish with green onion.
6. Top with Orange Vanilla Date Sauce (recipe below)
7. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minus.
8. Enjoy.

Orange Vanilla Date Sauce[box]


1 Whole orange
4 Dates
2 Star of Anise
3 Vanilla beans
1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of raw sugar

1. Peel and chop orange into bite size pieces.
2. Remove seeds from dates and chop into bite size pieces.
3. Place a sauté pan on low heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter.
4. Add chopped oranges and 2 tablespoons of raw sugar to butter, stir.
5. Add chopped dates to sauté pan, place pan on medium heat.
6. Remove paste from vanilla beans add to sauté pan, stir.
7. Toss vanilla bean pods to sauce, stir.
8. Add 2 Stars of Anise to sauce, stir. (Remove stars of anise after 3 minutes)
9. Sprinkle one teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice, stir.
10. Refrigerate sauce until needed.

Chef tip: Sauce can be used to top a turkey or ham. Can also be used as a dessert over ice cream.



Main Course:  Sweet Ham Cornbread Stuffing with Crispy Pork Grinds
1 lb sweet ham
4 cups of corn bread
4 cups of regular dried bread (or packaged stuffing mix)
4 cups of veggie broth
2 cups of Zima sweet tomatoes
4 dry bay leaves
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 sweet onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh basil
1/2 cup of dried cherries
2 oz of dry white wine
1 cup of pork fat back (tocino)
1. Brown ham in a pan until golden brown
2. Add onions and veggies sauté until tender
3. Add broth and white wine and bring it to a roaring boil
4. Add cornbread and dried bread stuffing.Tocino: (pork shoulder fat)
1. Sliced pork fat into one 1/8 in quarter pieces
2. Pan fry in vegetable oil until it’s golden brown and crispy 3. Place on paper till dry
4. Set aside until ready to serveMy suggestion (optional)Place all ingredients inside of the turkey and let bake for the last 30 to 40 minutes of the turkey’s cooking time.When ready to serve:Top with tocino (pork shoulder fat) and enjoy!

Main Course:  Turkey Tips

There are several ways to “brine” a turkey. I am going to provide some different ways for you to consider when brining. I thought about this segment quite a bit and found that in order to do it justice, I should on the most popular options.

Rule #1 When brining or thawing the temperature of the turkey’s environment should be at below 40 degrees at all times.

My brining tip (as in the video) is fairly simple.

I use a dry brine with an acidic component. This is a process that is delicate, as I don’t want to over brine my turkey.

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup of kosher salt (for a 15 pound turkey)
1 1/2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
1 1/2 tablespoon of pink peppercorns
¾ tablespoon of white peppercorns
1 tablespoon of dry thyme
1 tablespoon of dry rosemary
Zest from 3 lemons
Zest from 3 oranges

Other Ingredients:
12 oz of apple cider
3 cups of ice cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Begin with a clean (remove giblets and other packaging from cavity) and thawed turkey.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush all of the dry ingredients.
3. Put oven-roasting or brining bag, into disposable aluminum foil roasting pan.
4. Put the turkey into the brining bag in the foil pan, breast facing up.
5. Rub all the dry ingredients over the turkey; coating evenly.
6. Add three cups of ice cubes to the brining bag.
7. Add 12 oz. of apple cider vinegar to the bringing bag.
8. Seal tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning–

1. Remove turkey from refrigerator
2. Remove brining bag from aluminum foil disposable pan
3. Remove turkey from brining bag and put turkey into aluminum foil disposable pan.
4. Pat dry.
5. “Drizzle it” with two tablespoons of olive oil.
6. Bake in oven per package instructions.

Supplies I used:

1 – Oven roasting bag
1 – Disposable aluminum roasting pan (optional)

*May substitute HARD apple cider vinegar with REGULAR apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar with MOTHER.

**”Drizzle it** is a term used to describe lightly coating the food with olive oil.

Optional Brining Idea:

Traditional Brining

The ‘traditional’ way requires completely submerging the turkey in a solution. This can become a huge process, should you have a have a big turkey, as it will need a pot/bucket big enough to brine then finding a place to keep it cold.

2 cups of kosher salt
2 gallons of water
Note: Some recipes might include sugar or acidic ingredients to balance the saltiness.

1. Dissolve salt in two cups of hot water.
2. Stir in remaining gallon plus 3 ½ quarts of cold water.
3. Remove giblets and neck from turkey.
4. In a pot or bag large enough.
5. Submerge turkey in brine.
6. Refrigerate for at least eight hours no longer than 16 hours.

Dessert: Caribbean Crisp w/Vanilla Ice Cream

Caribbean Crisp

2 cups of mango
2 cups of pineapple
2 cups of papaya
2 tablespoons of raw sugar
2 tablespoons of real butter
1oz of vanilla extract
1 fresh vanilla bean
1/4 of chopped pecans
1.  Place all ingredients and sauté pan simmer until fruit is tender and falls apart with ease .
2.  Split the vanilla bean (directions on how to split vanilla bean are in Click Here: Orange Vanilla Date Sauce) and take out the paste add to the sauté mix with the pecans.
3.  Place in an oven safe baking dish (I used a 9’inch pie plate) – and set aside.
Crisp topping ingredients:
3/4 cup of rolling oats
1/3 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter.
1/3 cup of brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
Crisp topping directions:
1.  Mix all ingredients and then top the Caribbean crisp
2.  Bake in oven at 375  degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

To Serve:

  • One scoop of your favorite ice cream
  • Drizzle the ice-cream with caramel sauce


After Dinner Beverage:  Cafe Cubano



Café Bustelo (espresso coffee)
Raw Sugar

1. Using a cafeteria (stove top coffee percolator maker), fill the bottom with water making sure that it doesn’t pass the “fill to” mark.
2. Place the filter into the bottom of the cafetera and fill with 3 tablespoon of espresso coffee.
3. Screw the top part of the cafetera back on
4. Set your stove on medium heat and place cafetera on burner.
5. In a coffee cup add 2 tablespoons of raw sugar.
6. Once the espresso begins percolating, quickly pour 2 tablespoons of espresso into the cup with sugar. (This will allow for the sugar to melt and to allow the cafetera to breathe)
7. Place cafetera back on stove to continue the process.
8. Using a spoon quickly stir espresso and raw sugar mixture until it turns thick and light brown, almost like caramel.
9. When the espresso is done brewing pour the remaining into the sugar mixture and gently stir, this technique will create the froth.
10. Pour desired amount of espresso into each cup of warm milk.
11. Add a teaspoon of rum. (optional for after dinner)
12. Add raw sugar to taste

To Serve:

  • Pour into little cafecito (espresso) cups.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon

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