Sometimes it’s fun to shake it up, with ideas ranging from seafood lasagna to lapin a la moutarde
Holiday meals are generally pretty predictable.
There’s usually turkey or ham, maybe a duck or goose, with all the fixins’, served generation after generation. Without a doubt, these traditions bring a certain comfort.
But sometimes it’s fun to shake things up, just a little. Or maybe a lot.
Holiday meals have changed in our household as our family, and cultural influences, have expanded. Bok choy has become a staple thanks to my daughter-in-law’s dad, while my husband prepares his Mississippi-style cornbread stuffing. We have matzoh ball soup and a spiral ham plus marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies.
We love our eclectic holiday meals, but you don’t have to upend the whole shebang in your household. There might be a revolt if Aunt Maggie doesn’t make her pecan pie or Uncle Bill, his cranberry sauce.
It’s possible to keep the favorites but add a few twists, said William Lawson, executive chef-owner of Mimi’s Table Tallahassee.“Normally we do traditional foods, but occasionally we’ll do a theme,” said Lawson. “One year, it was a New Orleans theme, another year Italian. We keep the cooking relatively simple, have a theme and recipes and get the whole family involved. The year we did Italian, everyone in the family was rolling ravioli.”
I have to thank William Lawson; Sam Burgess, chef/owner of Pineappetit; Brian Knepper, executive chef of Savour; Hervé Alcesilas, executive chef-owner of Little Paris Tallahassee and David Gwynn, chef-owner of Grove Market Café, Vertigo Burgers & Fries and the former Cypress Restaurant for their recipes and sharing a bit of their holidays with us.
The top picture is of Burgess’ seafood lasagna taken by photographer James Stefiuk