With Thanksgiving weekend in full swing, many families will be gathering around their traditional meals which often feature a turkey.
Regina Chef Leo Pantel of the Conexus Arts Centre gave the CJME Morning show some non-traditional ideas for Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.
He said some non-traditional ideas include ham or stuffed pork.
“If you want still a bird you can work with duck. Duck is a really good flavourful bird for Thanksgiving as well,” Pantel said.
We’re in an age where many people are watching for gluten and there are a lot of vegetarians out there. Dawson asked Pantel if there was a vegan option for some sort of protein for the middle of the plate.
“Well, it’s a little extra hard to do that but of course you can always have protein. It may not be in the shape of turkey but you certainly want to include the protein, that could include lentils or chickpeas, or anything like that,”
While many people don’t want to stray away from the tradition of having turkey, Pantel said you can always change up the side dishes and make those non-traditional.
A lot of people are now smoking their meats these days and it’s still nice enough outside that many people could choose that as an option.
Pantel said if you’re planning on smoking meat, go with ham or pork.
“A really nice flavourful pork shoulder that has a lot of juice and flavour in it, that would be something you could work well with,” he said.
Pantel said it’s a good idea to brine it or put dry rub on it.
“Roasting for weather like this on a Thanksgiving weekend, to really get a nice smoky flavour, is a good idea,” he continued.
While Pantel loves cooking, some people step up and let him have a rest on the weekend, but he’ll always bring something to the Thanksgiving meal.
“It’s always a pleasure to be invited over and have a dinner and have someone else cook. It’s something I love to do but I also appreciate it, very much, when someone else cooks.”