Tiki Turkey Dinner, My Kitchen, Thanksgiving, 2007
Thanksgiving Dinner Reinvented!
Do you love Thanksgiving dinner but like me you’re getting tired of the same ‘ol, traditional dishes year after year, decade after decade. Well this year I decided to do something about it and mix it up a bit by making a Tiki Turkey Dinner. It’s the traditional thanksgiving dinner menu that I grew up with but I gave everything an exotic Polynesian twist! And what a taste treat sensation it turned out to be!
I replaced the roast Tom Turkey with a turkey meatloaf carved into the shape of a Tiki! This gives “carving the turkey” a whole new meaning. Mangos make cranberry sauce sensational. And there is no more cornbread stuffing. It’s now Hawaiian bread stuffing with ham and pineapple. I doctored up the yams up with bananas and Kalua, and macadamia nuts on top of the toasted marshmallows. YUM!
I had a feeling coconut curry would completely reinvent the green bean casserole and it did. The mashed potatoes were served in the shape of a giant volcano and I renamed gravy lava. And for desert I wanted something really special (and flaming) so in invented the Flaming Coconut Pineapple Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Pie Cake – a two layer yellow cake with a pumpkin pie baked into one layer and an apple pie in the other. The top of the cake looks just like a pineapple upside down cake and the sides like a coconut cake. As if the flame effect before serving wasn’t enough the guests gasped when I cut it to it revealing the pies hiding inside.
I mixed tropical cocktails, Played Martin Denny on the stereo console and greeted each guest with a lei. What a great way to make thanksgiving fun. If you think about it Thanksgiving is out most boring holiday. All we do is eat. But not any more. After dinner is served its time to do the limbo. How low can you go???
Listen for coverage of my Tiki Turkey Dinner Party on NPR’s Day to Day on Thanksgiving Day morning at 10am.
Here is the menu and the recopies:
Tiki Turkey Meatloaf – A Tiki carved out of meatloaf.
You wont eat this one until the next day. It’ll be you’re the centerpiece of your buffet table and the talk of the town the day after thanksgiving. (You’ll make two smaller loaves to serve.) Your guests will be mesmerized and have a new reason and place to give thanks!
9 lbs ground turkey
3 lbs sweet (or spicy) Italian sausage
2 packs of Lawry’s meatloaf seasoning mix
2 Tbsps. onion powder
2 Tbsps. garlic powder
2 Tbsps. Ground pepper
3 cups bread crumbs
6 lg. eggs
2 8” x 4” loaf pans
1 10” x 14” disposable tin roasting pan
Squeeze sausage from casings and add to turkey, bread crumbs, seasonings and well beaten eggs. Fill each of the two small loaf pans with mixture. Fill the large tin with the remaining mixture, get creative and shape like the face of a Tiki god. Smooth the meat’s surface with olive oil “painted on” with a spatula. Bake at 350 for 40-55 minutes or until a probing meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Drain off fat and remove from pans. Let sit 15 minutes before serving. Slice and serve only the smaller loaves.
Make a “face”on the Tiki loaf by sticking maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks on with multi colored toothpicks. In a very special raised serving dish or vintage electric skillet prop the tiki up by leaning him on a tall glass fixed in a bed of mashed potatoes dyed orange. Garnish with more maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks (lightly tossed in yellow food coloring) and lit votives “sunk into the mashed potatoes.
Cranberry Mango Salsa
1 can Whole Cranberry Sauce
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup fresh or frozen chopped mango
Combine ingredients, chill and serve.
Hawaiian Bread Stuffing
2 loaves of day old Hawaiian Bread
2 sticks of salted butter
¼ cup soy sauce
2 sm. cans chicken stock
1 sm. can pineapple chunks
1½ cups diced ham
1½ cups finely chopped onion
1½ cups finely chopped celery
1½ cups finely chopped carrots
1 Tsps. sage
1 Tsps. Thyme
1 Tsps poultry seasoning
Tear bread into small pieces. Sauté onions, celery, carrots, ham and well-drained pineapple in butter until the onions are translucent. Combine mixture with bread, stock, soy sauce and seasonings. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered 5 more minutes until its crunchy golden brown on top and serve.
Banana Yams Kailua
4 cans of yams
3 mashed ripe bananas
½ stick of salted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup Kalua
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Sauté bananas and brown sugar in the butter until it bubbles. Pour mixture over well-drained yams and add Kalua. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with marshmallows and macadamia nuts and bake uncovered 5 more minutes until the marshmallows are toasted on the top and serve.
Coconut Curry Green Bean Casserole
8 sm. cans French cut green beans
1 sm. can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar coconut curry simmer sauce
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 lg. can French fried onion rings
Combine well-drained beans with soup, coconut curry and peanut butter. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with onion rings and bake uncovered 5 more minutes and serve.
Volcano Mashed Potatoes
10 pounds russet potatoes
1 stick butter
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 sm. tub of sour cream
Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and boil in salted water about 15-20 minutes until tender. Mash in milk, butter and sour cream. Shape them into a volcano and serve.
3 sm. can of turkey gray
Heat and serve
Flaming Coconut Pineapple Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Pie Cake
1 8” frozen pumpkin pie
1 8” frozen apple pie
1 box yellow cake mix (mixed)
1 tub vanilla frosting
1 cup shredded coconut
4 canned pineapple rings
9 maraschino cherries
2 Tbsp. Lemon Extract (for flambé)
2 9” round cake pans
Defrost pies to room temperature. On top of the pumpkin pie place well-drained pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in symmetrical pattern (think pineapple upside down cake.) Place decorated pumpkin pie face down and centered in a 9” round cake pan. Remove pie from tin and cover with half of the batter. In the other cake pan place the apple pie face down, remove tin and cover with the remaining half of the batter. Bake according to box instructions. Cool and remove from pans. Place apple pie layer face up on very special cake plate and frost the top. Place pumpkin pie layer pineapple side up on top of that. Frost the sides with remaining frosting and cover with coconut. Just before serving pout lemon extract in the middle of the top of the cake. Gather guests around, turn out the lights and light it with a match it. Everyone will gasp then eat it!
Here’s to YOUR TIKI TURKEY DINNER!