Taste of the Tropics Thanksgiving Brunch
As much as we all love to sit around the dinner table feasting and giving thanks, there’s no reason why we can’t do the same for brunch. These brunch recipes are sure to add a tropical twist to some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
For starters, you can begin your Thanksgiving Brunch with a warm and tasty Spanish Cream of Squash Soup. If you’re still craving a taste for breakfast, the Spanish Potato Omelet is hearty and flavorful. Add to that, Curry Corn Crab Cakes- crispy, golden brown seafood pleasers. For a real taste of the tropics, the Puerto Rican dish, Mofongo (garlic mashed plantains) is a great alternative to stuffing.
Your sweet tooth will surely be satisfied with a Guyanese Pumpkin Pone- a rich, sweet, delicious, baked pumpkin confection that can easily substitute for cornbread or pumpkin pie. Complete this light, wonderful brunch with an Apple Cider Rum Punch- a fizzling cocktail that will leave your feeling warm and fuzzy.
*Spanish Cream Of Squash Soup (Crème de Calabaza)
Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutesIngredients:
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 apple
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 1/4 roast chicken/ turkey carcass*
- 1 potato
- 1 Tbsp Spanish sweet paprika
- 24 oz (750 ml) water
- 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp oregano
- 8 oz (250 ml) whole or 2% milk*
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 baguette slices, toasted
This easy Spanish Cream of Squash Soup makes 6 servings as a first course.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet and bake in oven for about 1 hour.
While the squash is baking, prepare the vegetables. Core and slice apple. Peel and coarsely chop onion, potato and carrot. Put apple, onion, carrot and potato in a pressure cooker with the chicken, paprika, water and oregano. Cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. If not using a pressure cooker, simmer vegetables and chicken for 45 minutes, adding water if necessary.
Remove pressure cooker from heat and run cold water over it to rapidly reduce pressure. Open the pressure cooker and remove the chicken. Set aside on a plate for later. Set pressure cooker with vegetables aside until squash is cooked.
When squash is done, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. When cool enough, scoop squash out with a spoon and add to vegetable mixture in pressure cooker.
Place chicken bouillon in vegetable mixture and puree using a stick blender right in the pressure cooker. Return the pressure cooker to the stove and turn heat on low. Slowly stir in milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
While soup is simmering, pull chicken from bones in small pieces. Add chicken pieces to soup and stir. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in bowls. Top each with a toasted baguette slice.
* Substitution Notes: Use a portion of a roast turkey carcass in place of chicken. For a richer soup, use half-and-half instead of milk.
*Spanish Potato OmeletIngredients
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 pound potatoes, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tomatoes – peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle potatoes lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and crisp.
- Once the potatoes are golden, stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, beat eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into pan and stir gently to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook until eggs begin to brown on the bottom.
- Loosen bottom of omelet with a spatula, invert a large plate over the pan, and carefully turn the omelet out onto it. Slide the omelet back into the pan with the uncooked side down. Cook until eggs are set. Garnish omelet with tomato and green onion and serve warm.
*Mofongo (Garlic-flavored mashed plantains)
Mofongo, not to be confused with mondongo, is a spicy dish, easy to prepare and that has great following among Dominicans. There are many restaurants throughout the island that serve the many varieties of this dish. We are presenting here the traditional recipe.
Time: 90 Mins
Serve: 6 people
Before starting to cook: Peel the plantains and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
- 1 lb of pork cracklings
- 1 cup of oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 4 unripe plantains
- 4 cups of prepared beef stock
- 2 tablespoons of mashed garlic
- Sauté the garlic with a teaspoon of oil. Reserve.
- In a deep frying pan heat the oil and fry the plantains till golden brown. Using a pilón (wooden mortar) mash the plantains, garlic and cracklings together. Serve preferably in a pilón garnished with the beef stock.
*Curried Corn Crab Cakes
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 patty)Ingredients
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, shells removed
- 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 large egg whites
- 10 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs, divided
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Lime wedges
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add first 5 ingredients; sauté 4 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Place mixture in a large bowl; cool completely. Stir in crabmeat; set aside.
Combine mayonnaise and the next 5 ingredients (mayonnaise through egg whites) in a small bowl. Gently fold mayonnaise mixture into crab mixture. Stir in 7 tablespoons breadcrumbs. Divide mixture into 8 (3/4-inch-thick) patties. Dredge patties in 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Place patties in pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn patties, and cover pan; cook 4 minutes or until done. Serve with lime wedges.
preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
- 500 grams pumpkin
- 1 small dried coconut
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 4 Tbsp. margarine
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
METHOD / DIRECTIONS:
- Peel, wash and grate pumpkin and coconut. Grate nutmeg.
- Add cornmeal and rub in margarine.
- Add sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.
- Pour into a greased baking pan.
- Bake in a moderate oven at 190°C until crisp and brown.
- Cut into 6 cm squares before serving.
*Apple Cider Rum Punch
2 (750 ml.) light rum
1 qt. apple juice
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 c. sugar
Combine all ingredients. Stir and chill. Before serving, pour over ice in punch bowl, add 1 quart sparkling apple cider. Garnish with slices of fruit.