Put a new spin on the traditional holiday meal by adding a bit of Texas and Southwest flair.

Thanksgiving approaches quickly, but one question remains, what’s for Thanksgiving dinner?

What happens when the thought of roasting another turkey and serving the same old thing seems like more of a chore than a pleasure to prepare? Well, to answer all these questions with another question, why not do something different?

Blend a little spice with tradition by adding some zip to a green bean casserole. Mix a little savory with some sweet potatoes for a true taste bud treat. Cook up some chipotle mashed potatoes, and for the dressing, add a southwest flare and a bit of extra flavor. You may not want to completely abandon the turkey for Thanksgiving, but if you are looking for something new, why not try some chicken fried turkey. That’s right, buy turkey breasts and

thinly slice it into cutlets, bread and fry – it’s a great way to get people to eat a bit of turkey. Bake up a batch of sourdough rolls to round out the meal.

For dessert, how about a delicious pumpkin cake topped with a cream cheese icing, pecans and drizzled with a touch of caramel?

Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup oil

3 eggs

 

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 can pure pumpkin

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together sugar, brown sugar, butter, oil and eggs. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a third at a time, alternating with buttermilk and pumpkin, fold in chopped pecans.

Pour into three 9-inch round baking pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of cakes comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound (2 packages) cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

8 tablespoons butter, softened

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix powdered sugar mixture with the cream cheese a cup at a time, continue to beat until smooth; add in the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth.

 

Frost between each cake layer, then sides and top. Top cake with pecan halves and drizzle with caramel. Refrigerate any unused portions of cake.

Southwest Cornbread 

Dressing

Cornbread

4 cups corn meal

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Mix together all ingredients and pour into baking pan and cook in 400-degree oven 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool and then crumble.

Dressing

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

4 sticks celery, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 cup canned chilies, chopped

3 to 4 cups chicken broth

3 eggs

Cornbread, crumbled

3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Melt butter and sauté celery, onions, garlic and fresh sage; cook until vegetables are tender. Add in salt, pepper and chili powder; stir in chili peppers and corn and heat through. Remove from heat and mix together with cornbread, chicken broth and eggs. Place in baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

To make this a main dish, try adding a boiled chicken, or even a couple pounds of smoked sausage to the dressing.

Chicken Fried Turkey Breast

1 package turkey breast, thinly sliced

2 to 3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 egg

Oil for frying

Mix the egg and buttermilk in a pie plate or other similar dish. In another dish mix together the flour, salt, pepper and chili powder. Dip turkey cutlets into buttermilk mixture then dredge through the flour mixture. Place into heated oil; oil should be 350 degrees. Fry until golden brown and juices run clear. Serve hot.

Savory Sweet Potatoes

4 or 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 small onion, sliced

1/2 cup apple juice

5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Place all ingredients, except for the cheese, in a baking dish, stirring thoroughly, cover with foil and cook in 350-degree oven 35 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender, remove foil, sprinkle cheese evenly over sweet potatoes, return to oven and cook another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Chipotle Potatoes

4 to 5 pounds Russet or red potatoes

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Peel potatoes, place in pot and boil until tender. Drain potatoes then return to pot. Meanwhile, mix the chipotle pepper puree with sour cream, add sour cream mixture, along with butter to the hot potatoes and mash or blend with a mixer until smooth or desired consistency. Adjust amount of adobo peppers to reach desired level of spice.

Southwest Green Bean Casserole

2 pounds frozen green beans

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Sauté onions and garlic in bacon drippings until tender, add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, season with salt and pepper. Add the cream and half the cheese and cook about 5 minutes or until thick. Place green beans in baking dish, pour mixture over top of beans and stir to coat beans. Bake in 400-degree oven about 20 minutes, add the remaining cheese and cook an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Sourdough Rolls

3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 packet instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons instant potatoes

1 egg

6 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons instant potatoes

Combine 3 cups of flour and the rest of the dry ingredients, then stir in the sourdough starter, softened butter and warm water. Turn onto dough board and knead, adding the remaining flour as needed. Work dough about 10 minutes, or it becomes elastic. Place dough ball in a greased bowl, turning dough to coat all sides, cover and allow to rise 60 to 90 minutes, or until at least doubled. Gently put fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces, shape into ball and place into greased baking pan. Cover and allow to rise about an hour, until doubled.

Before baking, coat with melted butter and bake in 350-degree oven about 12 to 15 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.