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Food & Drink

Pig Out with These Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes

Photo: Casey Howell, License: N/A

Casey Howell

Clockwise: Ginger-cranberry cheesecake, Thai-style marinated rib, apples on piggyback, rice, butternut squash and bacon jam

Cook mixture uncovered on low heat for 3 hours, or transfer to slow cooker and cook uncovered on high for 3-4 hours, until liquid is syrupy. Transfer to food processor and pulse until mixture is finely minced. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

During the last hour of the bacon jam’s cooking time, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare butternut squash by coating in oil/butter and sprinkling with salt and pepper. Roast squash cut side down in glass baking dish for 30-40 minutes. Flip over, fill cavities with 1/2 cup bacon jam each, and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes or until squash is easily pierced with fork.

Place squashes on serving dish and slice cross-wise. Encourage guests to top their slices with bacon jam.

*You may also peel and slice the squash before baking and toss with bacon jam before serving. Easier for guests to eat, but not as presentable as the squash half.

Inspired by Underbelly restaurant in Houston. Jam modified from Martha Stewart.


Marinated Thai-Style Ribs
Fragrant is an understatement: These tender ribs will fill your home with a sweet, tangy and garlicky aroma. Ditch the fancy napkins for some wet naps.

1 cup sliced shallots
10 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
8 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro including thin stems
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
4 pounds pork spare ribs (ask your butcher to cut across the bone into 2- to 3-inch “racks,” each cut between the bone into individual 2-3-inch long riblets)
1 cup chicken broth

Place shallots, scallions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a loose, finely chopped paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

Place the pork ribs in a large bowl or heavy sealable plastic bags. Coat the ribs with the marinade, massaging the paste into the flesh for a minute or so. Cover and marinate at room temperature for two hours or overnight in the refrigerator, tossing the ribs once or twice.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the ribs out, bone-side down on two baking sheets. Pour chicken broth around ribs and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until ribs are deeply colored and very tender but not yet falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours. Make sure to rotate the pans for even cooking. Remove from the oven and serve over rice.

Modified from Lobel’s Meat Bible: All You Need to Know About Meat and Poultry from America’s Master Butchers by Stanley, Evan, Mark and David Lobel with Mary Goodbody and David Whiteman


Ginger-Cranberry Cheesecake
Another customizable recipe. The crust can be made with practically any kind of cookie, and the topping can be any kind of fruit, but for Thanksgiving, it’s a good way to bring cranberries front and center, instead of hiding them between stuffing and sliced turkey.

20-30 gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

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