This Southern Thanksgiving menu includes red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, creamed collard greens and buttery biscuits.
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Turkey Liver Mousse Toasts with Pickled Shallots
This hors d’oeuvre is a Louisiana riff on traditional French chicken liver pâté. The Rushings create a silken mousse with livers from the quintessential American bird, turkey, but you can also use chicken livers. Instead of cornichons, the little French pickles, the Rushings add a sweet-and-tangy Southern accent—pickled shallots.
Most Thanksgivings include pumpkin in some guise. The Rushings’ version is a pumpkin soup topped with lobster bathed in a spicy butter. The natural brininess of the lobster helps bring out all the deep, earthy flavor in the soup.
If you have a grill with a lid and a bag of hickory chips you can smoke a turkey. Braising the bird first in a mix of coffee, apple cider vinegar and cane syrup or brown sugar results in marvelously complex flavors—sweet, bitter and herbaceous.
This is the Rushings’ Southern interpretation of French creamed spinach. The collards add a pleasant bitterness to this lush side dish, but it’s important to shred them finely before you simmer them in the cream or they’ll never get tender.
When they’re not adding a Southern ingredient to a French recipe, chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing are adding a French ingredient to a Southern recipe. Here, crème fraîche takes the place of buttermilk in these extremely fluffy biscuits.
Southern red velvet cake is usually a tall layer cake, slathered with cream cheese icing and studded with pecans. In this deconstructed version, the cake is low (like a torte), the pecans are coated in caramel to make pecan praline and the cream cheese icing is transformed into cream cheese-flavored ice cream.