We are in full holiday season swing. The holiday train has already departed spooky season, is passing through the pumpkin patches’ route and its next stop is Thanksgiving! Or shall we say a Latin Thanksgiving?
So, what’s a Latin Thanksgiving? Besides salsa, rancheras, bachata, vallenatos, cumbia or your favorite Latin music filling the air while everyone is gathered? Basically, a night that consists of your abuela kicking you out of the kitchen as soon as you lay a finger on her special sauce, your tía chasing you around the house asking you why you are still single (or haven’t had any children yet), and there are lots of food. Tons. We are talking about “feed-the-entire-neighborhood” amounts of food.
And there’s love. A lot of love.
This year, things may be different, depending on where you live. Maybe the family gathering will be smaller. Maybe it will be through video or Facetime calls. But a few things will remain the same: the disproportionate amount of food, the love, the laughter and the fact that, in some way or another, we will be sharing our “table” with loved ones while giving thanks for what we have.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about our favorite Latin holiday food!
For starters, who can resist an empanada? Or two or three … or six? It doesn’t matter that later we’ll have to deal with a whole turkey. You can never say no to an empanada. Especially these beef empanadas made with heart healthy* Mazola® Corn Oil. Check out the recipe for these crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside baked empanadas.
Let’s move to the main attraction of the day: The Turkey!
But this is not a regular turkey, our Latin Thanksgiving calls for a Peruvian-style turkey.
Here’s the recipe:
After cleaning out your turkey, pat it dry with a paper towel.
For the spice rub, combine 1/3 cup of heart healthy* Mazola® Corn Oil with 1 cup of ground cumin, 6 tablespoons of paprika and 2 of smoked paprika, 4 tablespoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper, 2 tbsp. of dried oregano, 2 tbsp. of kosher salt, or as needed, 2 tsp. of water, or as needed, 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce and 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a small mixing bowl and blend on high until you have a nice, thick paste. Feel free to adjust the spices as needed! Always a good idea to taste your paste before applying it to your turkey. Keep in mind, the flavor will be much bolder in the bowl than on the bird!
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Using a pastry brush, apply a generous amount of rub onto every inch of the turkey. Reserve any remaining rub, as you will reapply later. Add chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan and spread garlic cloves around.
Cover with a foil tent and let sit for at least 1 hour before roasting for roughly 2 ½ hours in the oven, basting regularly and reapplying more rub as needed.
You’ll know your turkey is almost done when an instant-read meat thermometer reads 170. Make sure to take the temperature from the thickest part of the thigh and don’t touch any bone. Continue roasting for exactly 30 minutes and immediately transfer to a platter to let it rest for an additional 15 minutes.
Stuff your turkey cavity with your favorite kind of stuffing or dressing. Decorate your platter however you’d like. Might we suggest bright citrus fruits and fresh green herbs to compliment the color of the turkey?
We all know Pork or Lamb Pernil (shank) is one of the top holiday foods in Latin America.
What about mixing things up a little bit this year and making some amazing sweet lamb chops that will literally melt in your mouth? “Sorry, abuela! We’ll trade your pernil for these deliciously glazed lamb chops made with heart healthy* Mazola® Corn Oil this time! We know you may not forgive us for a while, but once you’ve tried them, deep down, you’ll understand. And abuela, if you want the recipe to make it yourself… we won’t tell anyone, it’s right here.”
Thanksgiving is as much about turkey and cranberry sauce as it is about mashed potatoes. There’s even an episode in “Friends” dedicated to mashed potato preferences!
So, we are giving a new Latin twist with this potato mash recipe; velvety and creamy, mixed with honey, lime, heart healthy* Mazola® Corn Oil and topped with chopped pecans.
Nobody will argue about the right potato mash consistency after trying one of the most delicious Latin side dishes! Check its recipe right here!
Time for a Latin dessert! And this one’s a Cuban staple that will warm your heart, figuratively and literally. Just imagine that sweet guava and airy vanilla cake gently caressing your taste buds. Tempted yet? Go, get the recipe ASAP!
And while our Latin holiday food is delicious and dear to our hearts, what matters most is the ability to share it with those we love, whether it’s face to face from a safe distance or through a screen.
This article is brought to you by Mazola®.
*Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in corn oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, corn oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of corn oil. See www.mazola.com for information about the relationship between corn oil and heart disease.