Recently on the radio program The Splendid Table, host Lynne Rossetto Kasper entertained a question from a listener who wanted to serve goat on Thanksgiving.
While goat has many fine qualities that endears it to chefs across the country, your guests might grouse at finding it on their Thanksgiving table. It’s just not part of our food culture – yet.
But the discussion left us considering alternatives. After all, the turkey is a finicky bird. We try brining and basting, smoking and deep frying. One year, it comes out perfect; prepared the exact same way the next, it’s dry as dust.
On the topic, one person – having grown up Italian – suggested lasagna. But frankly, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without all the sides. In fact, savory stuffing, mashed potatoes and flaky pies are what most people actually look forward to eating.
Which means that alternatives to turkey must pair well with all those beloved dishes. That’s why we’re suggesting Soy-Ginger-Laquered Cornish Hens. But we’re curious. If you served an alternative to turkey at Thanksgiving, what would it be?
Courtesy of Food & Wine
These Asian-inspired hens are simple to prepare and beautifully burnished. Plus, they allow each guest to have his or her own small bird.
4 cups mirin
2 cups soy sauce
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
1-1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1-1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1-1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
Ten to twelve 1 lb. Cornish hens, legs tied together with kitchen twine
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the Cornish hens. Put the hens in three large resealable plastic bags and pour in the marinade. Seal the bags, pressing out the air, and turn to thoroughly coat the hens. Transfer the bags to a small roasting pan or large rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning the bags occasionally.
Let the hens stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425° and line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil. Remove the hens from the marinade and transfer them to the baking sheets. Strain the marinade into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Roast the hens in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°. Roast the hens for 50 minutes longer, basting with the reserved marinade every 15 minutes and shifting the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through roasting.
The hens are done when the cavity juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thighs registers 160°. Transfer the hens to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
For a wine pairing, these beautiful Cornish hens go well with a clean, crisp and refreshing white wine. Try the delightful Lemon Hill Viognier 2012 from the Frontgate Wines Refreshing Whites Dozen. If you prefer red, sip the medium-bodied DeLoach Private Collection Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2012, part of the Boisset Family Estates Six.
A beautiful meal deserves a gorgeous table. Here are simple ways to “Set the Most Beautiful Thanksgiving Table.”
Cool. Collectible. Or just flat-out fabulous. Delight even the hardest-to-buy-for with a treasure from our Ultimate Gift Guide.
Ms. Pac Man. One of the most popular video games of all time – and an icon to 1980s pop culture – refurbished to play like new. They’ll gobble this one up.
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You may risk losing your partner to the Rebel Alliance, but this meticulously refurbished 1992 Star Wars Pinball Machine will make him think you’re a Jedi Master.
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Why settle for an ordinary game room, when you can create a real retro revolution?
First, you don’t have to be a car buff to appreciate the 1965 Mustang pool table. Sure, the fact that it’s directly molded from the body of an original 1965 Ford Mustang and finished in a state-of-the-art body shop (in Rangoon Red, no less) gives it street cred that he will admire. But you’ll love it because it’s also a dynamic work of pop art. Tip: order soon, as you can bank on 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.
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Though the form is reminiscent of the 1950s, you won’t ever have to put another dime in the jukebox. In fact, this retro music player is more than up to date with Bluetooth wireless stereo streaming, 300 CD Mega Changer and auxiliary inputs for any other music source. Plus, you can create your own little light show, in seven jazzy colors.
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Curved screen technology – just like that used in movie theatres – finally makes it’s way home.
With Samsung’s cutting-edge Curved TV, you’ll experience panoramic viewing with cinematic depth and richer contrast. In fact, with four times the resolution of standard HD, sporting events and nature programs alike have never looked so compelling. Couch potato alert: the built-in camera and microphone let you control the television using hand motions or your voice.
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Across the country or around the globe, you can recount a lifetime of travels on our Magnetic Travel Map. This perennial favorite is printed on parchment style paper and framed in mahogany and burled wood, so it looks good enough to hang prominently in your home or office. Hint: order the additional magnets – you’ll be glad you did.
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She won’t be any happier than when she’s nestled on the sofa in her Cashmere Loungewear. As comfortable as yoga pants or jammies after a long day, but far more indulgent and sartorially savvy, this set is made of premium two-ply cashmere yarns. Add the robe for an extra cozy layer of warmth.
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A luxurious sleep, night after night, season after season. What better gift is there than that? Silk sheets are just the ticket. In the winter, their body-hugging drape holds in heat for toasty warmth. In summer, they wick away moisture for cool comfort. But the real benefits that she’ll love are that silk sheets help keep hair smooth and skin soft, plus they minimize facial sleep lines. Intrigued? Read more on the benefits of silk sheets.
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Mark Roberts has been designing Christmas collectibles for 30 years, creating charming accents, ornaments and stocking holders that are prized worldwide.
The company’s signature fairies each have a unique story, expressing the wonders and joys of the holidays with playful and mischievous flair. Mark and his team achieve this by creatively marrying classic elements with unexpected touches.
Over the next few weeks, Mark will share with us how some of the exclusive 2014 collection for Frontgate came to life.
Each year, my unique collection of Mark Roberts Fairies, Elves and Santas comes to life, detail by detail. From facial expressions to exquisite fabrics, my designers and I carefully plan each design. We know exactly what materials we need to procure to make each one spectacular.
So it was with our 2014 collection. Off to market we went – my esteemed designer Jong, our magnificent assistant Gina and me – armed with a budget and ready to find specific trimmings for our dolls, notably our “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend Santa.”
We were meandering in the subterranean depths of the market center when what to our wondering eyes should appear but an area brimming and glittering with every type of jewel imaginable.
Like a pirate discovering treasure, I grabbed every gorgeous bauble I could hold. Arms overflowing, I turned to ask my more reserved (yet still dazzled) colleagues which they thought we could use. Jong’s simple reply said it all. “Well … all of them, of course!”
So I promptly – and enthusiastically – burst my budget and bought as much as we could carry.
With our bounty in hand, we headed to a casual Chinese dinner, where the ever-sensible Gina reminded me that we now needed to use all these jewels. So … with more than 25 pounds of jewels mounded on the table before us, we started playing.
Rough ideas became enchanting visions. I literally was laying out design ideas and jewelry combinations on the table while Jong was making rough drawings on the back of the paper placemat!
And thus were born our exquisitely decorated, handblown designer ornaments. As things often happen, these jeweled ornaments were never even on the drawing board … but from our serendipitous find and dinner table brimming with jewels came these gorgeous Christmas ornaments!
Next post, I will share with you how we got back on track and designed the most exquisite “Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend Santa.”
Shop Frontgate’s full selection of Mark Roberts Christmas Collectibles.
Red & green. Steeped in nostalgia, they’re the colors of Christmas. Yet just because they’re traditional doesn’t mean they have to be tired.
Enter our vibrant Glad Tidings Collection. Exuberant reds and lime greens look fresh, warm and full of vitality. Especially when they’re played out in a medley of spectacular sequins, playful plaids and dazzling gemstones on handmade glass.
A bright color palette with this much presence lets you update your tree without starting over. A little can go a long way. And the 60-piece Glad Tidings Ornament Kit makes this possible at less than $5 per ornament – an amazing value, we think, for designer-inspired, European-quality glass ornaments. […]