Thanksgiving dinner with a twist

With so many things to be thankful for, the tradition of Thanksgiving is a beautiful one and the most important in this country. It´s an opportunity to be together like a family and to share food and love with all the important people in your life. We don´t have this celebration in Latin America, but now that I live in the US, I like to be a  part of it, with a different approach and bringing my own personality into it. After all, we all have things to be thankful about, whether you´re from here or not.

This post has several recipes and is very long, so  I´m going to keep this intro short, and just wish very happy holidays to you all.

Turkey with aguaymanto (golden berries) sauce

Recipe by Chef Paola Marsano

  • 1-10 lb turkey brined in salted water for 8 hours, drained and patted dry with paper towel


  • ½ cup Soy sauce
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme


  • 3 cups sweet white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or turkey stock
  • 1 cup golden berries compote  (or apricot). You can make the compote cooking the dried goldenberries with half the amount of sugar (by weight), and one cup of water. Boil at medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and syrupy.
  • 4 oz. butter
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 4 oz chopped bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Pisco or other Brandy
  • 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup golden berriescompote (or apricot)  



  • Combine the ingredients for the marinade, and marinate the turkey for two hours. Drain and reserve the marinade.
  • In a bowl combine the ingredients for the stuffing, season with salt and pepper, cover the bowl, and keep in the fridge.
  • Heat the oven to 300ºF. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the stuffing to the cavity, tie the legs loosely, and tub all the skin with oil.
  • Bake for 2 ½ hours (20 minutes for every two pounds), basting with the sweet wine and the chicken stock, every 30 minutes.
  • Take the turkey out of the oven, transfer to a plate, cover with foil and reserve.
  • Strain the pan juices into a saucepan.


  • You can bake the stuffing in a buttered pyrex or baking pan, covered with butter pieces, for 45 minutes.

For the sauce:

  • Boil the reserved marinade until reduced by half. Add the juices from the baking pan and the compote and continue boiling.
  • Add the butter and parsley, cooking at low heat until smooth.
  • Serve in a sauce boat.


  • Put the whole turkey in a plate, garnish with golden berries, grape tomatoes and mint leaves.


Braised lamb shanks with purple rice (Serves 4)

Recipe by Chef Jean Paul Desmaison

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 galic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup lamb stock, or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper


*Heat the oven to 300ºF.

*Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat and cook the shanks until golden.  Transfer the shanks to a plate, cover with foil, and reserve.

*In the same saucepan sauté onion, carrot, garlic and parsley. Add wine, return the lamb shanks to the pan, cover, and cook for 3 hours in the oven.

*When the meat is fork tender, boil the remaining juices until slightly thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Side dish:

•             4 portions purple rice *

•             8 asparagus, cooked

•             2 artichoke hearts, cooked

•             2 tablespoons olive oil

•             3 garlic cloves, chopped

•             Salt and pepper


*To make the purple rice you need chicha morada (cook purple corn that you can buy in Latin grocery stores, with pinapple, quince, cinnamon, cloves, and apple), to cook the rice. Otherwise, you can buy the purple rice in the supermarket, and cook it according to the instructions of the package.

*Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the asparagus with the artichoke hearts. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:

*In every plate put a lamb shank , sauce, purple rice and some vegetables.


Causa and crab rolls, sushi style

Recipe by Chef Sandra Stein

  • Causa (only the potato dough)
  • Nori seaweeds
  • 8 oz cooked crabmeat
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili sauce


*Spread the potato causa dough on a sheet of parchment paper or plastic film. Cover with the nori.

*Combine the crabmeat –in a bowl- with a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, drops of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread over the nori.

*With the help of the parchment paper, roll like a sushi roll. Rest and cut in 1-inch pieces. Serve with the chili sauce.

Chili sauce:


  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Reserve.


Chocolate macaroons with lúcuma mousse, custard and chocolate ice cream

Recipe by Chef Jean Paul Desmaison


  • 3 oz powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cocoa
  • 3 oz almonds, peeled , toasted and ground
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ tablespoon sugar


  • Sift the dry ingredientes, but the ½ tablespoon sugar.
  • Heat the oven to 250ºF.
  • Beat egg whites with ½ tablespoon sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Make sure the bowl is completely clean and dry, with no traces of fat or egg yolk because the whites won´t beat properly.
  • Fold the dry ingredients with a spatula. Pour in a piping bag and form small circles (2 inches, aprox.) in a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Lúcuma Mousse

  • 2 tablespoons lúcuma powder
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream, very cold


  • Combine lúcuma powder with condensed milk.
  • Mix the gelatin with 1 tablespoon water. Reserve. Before using, melt over very low heat.
  • Whip the heavy cream until it is very thick and add the melted gelatin.
  • Combine with the lúcuma mixture and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Vanilla custard

•             1/ 2 cup milk

•             2 egg yolks

•             2 tablespoons sugar

•             1 teaspoon vanilla essence


  • With a wire whisk beat the egg yolks until thick and pale. Add vanilla essence.
  • Meanwhile boil the milk. Turn off the heat and add in a thin stream to the egg yolks, beating all the time.
  • Put back in the saucepan and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly until it begins to look thick.
  • Take off the heat, strain and let cool.

To serve:

  • In a plate put 2 macaroons. Over them two tablespoons lúcuma mousse, top with 2 macaroons.
  • Add a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and drizzle with vanilla custard.


  1. These all look great – especially the stuffing! Makes me wish I was cooking on Thursday!

  2. OMG I want the Causa and crab rolls like right now! 🙂 Que rico!!

  3. Que rico se ve todo! La causa me mato!!!!

  4. Ok…I’m so hungry now!

  5. Yes! The causa and crab rolls! They are beautiful…..

  6. The cran rolls are superb!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. WOW…I can only imagine what you will be having for THanksgiving this year!! Those braised lamb shanks look DELISH!!!

  8. The crab rolls a la sushi look great! super creative.

  9. OK, I’m SO excited seeing the macaroons with the lúcuma mousse because I had no idea you could buy lúcuma powder!!! Do you know where I can buy it in the US?

    • Amazon sells lúcuma powder online, and sometimes I´ve bought it at Whole Foods. This is powerful stuff, stick to the recommendations of the producer to get the best flavor.

  10. Those lamb shanks look succulent! My papi’s making a rack tonight with Middle Eastern flavors! So excited to have some! I’m making more of the traditional dishes, so the twist will be nice!

  11. Whoa– I’ve never seen purple rice before! Love it!! Ay qué tortura…going to bed know dreaming of the kitchen…


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