Tapas for Thanksgiving

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | May 29th, 2017 | Tasty Thoughts

As we begin week two of Thanksgiving in May, I’m continuing with my theme of tapas-style dishes. Not only are they easily prepared and require less cleanup, they also form a terrific Tapas Monday menu. Typically, Thanksgiving and tapas don’t coexist, as roasting a 15 or 20 pound turkey doesn’t sound like a small dish. However, sometimes those two concepts do align.

In 2008, my hubby and I celebrated Thanksgiving with our best friends. In our blended household, the four kids were with their other sets of parents and logistics kept extended family in different locations. With just four of us, we decided to put a different spin on the holiday. We ate turkey in ravioli form and had roasted cauliflower instead of a creamed veggie.

After a decade (?!) of making tapas dinners for two, I’ve learned almost any meal can be transformed into small plates. Think about the flavors you like, the way that you want to change a dish from a hearty portion to a smaller bite, and begin experimenting. For an easy transformation, simply serve the dish in a small container.

This week’s new recipes both use that simple technique. One recipe is baked in smaller portions, while the other is baked as a normal-sized dish but served in single serving souffle cups. Like I often write, food isn’t necessarily about meeting the strict definition of the term, it’s making something you like. So, while maybe neither of the dishes this week are truly tapas dishes, they worked perfectly (deliciously) as such at my table.

Looking through the Think Tasty archives, this recipe for Brûléed Butternut Squash, is a perfect fit for today’s column. Make a full recipe of it (then you’ll have leftovers), serve it in a small dish, and let it accompany two or three more dishes to make a perfect tapas dinner. What I like about this butternut recipe is that there’s a decent amount of sweetness, which will pair nicely with a dish that is more savory or salty. I mean, anytime you can get a dish at dinner that has a dessert topping it’s a delightful indulgence.

Let this tapas dish be your inspiration for a delightful Thanksgiving in May menu.

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