Latin Thanksgiving recipes: Spanish turkey, pumpkin pie empanadas

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    Latin Thanksgiving recipes

    A Latin Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, side dishes and desserts. (Photo/ mascanada)

    The United States of America was the first country to have a holiday solely for giving thanks. It was such a good idea that it spread. Now countries around the world celebrate Thanksgiving (or something similar). In South America it’s called Accion de gracias. Being Latina in the United States, I feel a sense of gratitude for both the place of my birth and for the country I call home, and on a holiday where we are supposed to show our appreciation, I would like to show that gratitude on my dinner table. Here are some Latin Thanksgiving recipes that add some spice to the best of American traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

    Latin Thanksgiving recipes

    Spanish turkey


    Latin Thanksgiving recipes

    Latin Thanksgiving roasted Spanish turkey. (Photo/ finechinagirl)

    20lb turkey

    2 cups of lemon juice

    32 oz. chicken broth

    1/2 bottle white cooking wine

    12 oz. jarred Spanish olives

    2 cups butter

    14 oz. frozen sofrito

    3 oz. of minced garlic

    2 envelopes of Goya sazon with color

    2 tsp. black pepper

    4 tsp. adobo

    2 tsp. your favorite salt free spicy seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)


    Clean and wash the turkey and put into baking pan, pour lemon juice over turkey, then puncture 1 inch holes all over turkey. Pour olive juice, chicken broth, melted butter, cooking wine and defrosted sofrito. Mince olives and mix with garlic. Stuff the mixture into the punctures. Mix sazon, pepper, seasoning blend and adobo then rub all over the turkey. Let marinate overnight and bake at 375°F for 5-6 hours, baste every hour. Uncover for last baking hour and stuff with you stuffing choice for the last 45 minutes.

    Find some recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes, two recipes for gravy here and more desserts.

    Pumpkin pie empanadas


    Latin Thanksgiving recipes

    Latin Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin pie empanadas. (Photo/ katskitchentalk)

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1 tsp. ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. salt

    1/2 tsp. ground ginger

    1/4 tsp. ground cloves

    2 large eggs

    1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree

    1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk

    3 cups flour

    4 tsp. sugar

    1 tsp. cinnamon

    3 tsp. baking powder

    1/2 cup lard or shortening

    3/4 cup water

    1 egg

    oil or shortening for frying


    Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and a pinch of salt together. Cut in the lard with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg, and add 3/4 cup of water and add into the flour mixture, knead until dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Lightly flour a surface and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 4-inch circles for small empanadas, 5-inch for medium ones or 6-inch for large ones. Set aside then mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough circle for small empanadas, 2 tablespoons for medium and 3 tablespoons for large. Fold dough over to make a filled half circle and use a fork to press the edges together. Refrigerate uncooked empanadas for 3 hours. Fry in 350°F oil for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown.

    The sides for this Thanksgiving union can be a mix of Latin foods and American foods. I plan on having arroz congri and traditional sweet potatoes with marshmallows.



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