Tiki Turkey Dinner

Tired of the same ‘ol, traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu year after year? Mix it up giving the menu an exotic twist! What a great way to make Thanksgiving fun. If you think about it’s our most boring holiday – all we do is eat – but not any more. Greet each guest with a lei, spin Martin Denny on the stereo console and serve your fave tropical cocktail,. After desert do the limbo. How low can you go … after a Tiki Turkey Dinner???

Replacing the roast tom turkey with a turkey meatloaf shaped like a Tiki gives “carving the turkey” a whole new meaning. Mangoes make cranberry sauce sensational. Cornbread stuffing becomes Hawaiian bread stuffing with diced ham and crushed pineapple. Doctor the yams up with bananas, Kahlua and macadamia nuts on top of the toasted marshmallows.

Coconut curry completely reinvents the green bean casserole. Mashed potatoes are served in the shape of a volcano and the gravy is “lava.” For desert – something really special…and flaming – the pineapple upside down cake version of the Cherpumple – a three layer yellow cake. An apple pie and a pumpkin pie are each baked into the bottom two layers of cake and the top layer is Pineapple upside down cake. Frost the sides with white icing finished in coconut. Flambé top and serve.

menu and recipes:

Tiki Turkey Meatloaf
You won’t 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.)

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 large 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 multicolored toothpicks with maraschino cherries and pineapple chunks. In a raised serving dish or vintage electric skillet, prop the Tiki up by leaning it 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 small cans chicken stock
1 small can pineapple chunks
1½ cups diced ham
1½ cups finely chopped onion
1½ cups finely chopped celery
1½ cups finely chopped carrots
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning

Tear bread into small pieces. Saute 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. Serve.

Banana Yams Kailua
4 cans of yams
3 mashed ripe bananas
½ stick of salted butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup Kahlua
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Saute bananas and brown sugar in the butter until it bubbles. Pour mixture over well-drained yams and add Kahlua. 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 marshmallows are toasted on the top and serve.

Coconut Curry Green Bean Casserole
8 small cans French cut green beans
1 small can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar coconut curry simmer sauce
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 large 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 small 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.

Lava Gravy
3 small can of turkey gravy
Heat and serve

Flaming Coconut Pineapple Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Pie Cake
1 8-inch frozen pumpkin pie
1 8-inch 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 flambe)

2 9-inch 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-inch 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!