With Thanksgiving just around the corner, faculty members share recipes that they will include at their dinners.
What will you be cooking or eating for Thanksgiving this year? If you're still creating your menu, consider these thoughtful dishes provided by faculty in Arts & Sciences.
Natalie Mueller's wild rice salad
As an archaeologist and paleoethnobotanist in the Department of Anthropology, Natalie Mueller specializes in the historical ecology of North America and the origins of agriculture. While Thanksgiving is a colonial holiday, Mueller believes that it is also an opportunity for people to acknowledge that fact and be thankful for Indigenous people. "It’s an opportunity to be thankful to Indigenous people for giving us these foods that we have for Thanksgiving and to be thankful for the land that we’re living on,” she said.
Mueller’s Thanksgiving recipe pays homage to the Indigenous people of North America. Her wild rice salad calls for the usage of a wild rice called Manoomin in Ojibwe. “Manoomin is both sacred and a staple food for many Indigenous people in the upper Great Lakes,” Mueller said. She plans to buy wild rice specifically from Indigenous-run businesses, rather than from companies that undermine Indigenous food sovereignty.
Her wild rice is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, highlighting the rice’s nutty, earthy taste. It also has a sweet accent due to the orange juice in the dressing and the multitude of dried fruits.
- 1 pound of wild rice
- 1/4 cup of orange juice
- 3 tbsp of chopped shallot
- 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp of dijon mustard
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1 cups of chopped nuts (pecans if possible)
- 1.5 cups of chopped parsley
- 3/4 cup of sliced dried apricots
- 3/4 cup of cranberries
- Cook rice according to instructions on the bag.
- Whisk next 5 ingredients together to make dressing.
- Mix rice, dressing, nuts, fruits, and herbs.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Ignacio Sánchez Prado's mole poblano
Ignacio Sánchez Prado, the Jarvis Thurston and Mona Van Duyn Professor in the Humanities, researches Mexican food cultures. Though he is not originally from the United States, he has participated in the Thanksgiving tradition since graduate school. He recalled when he had Thanksgiving in the middle of the cemetery with his friend whose father was an undertaker. But this year, he is making mole poblano with Cornish hen to share with his wife.
Be aware that this recipe is not for the faint of heart, with up to 30 ingredients. Sánchez Prado usually draws on three different recipes from Diana Kennedy, Enrique Olvera, and Patricia Quintana. Mole, originating from the Pre-Columbian era, usually refers to a sauce that is made up of chiles, seeds, and nuts alongside a form of meat. If you are looking for a savory, sweet, spicy, and a hint of smokiness if the ingredients are toasted, this dish is the best one for you.
For an ingredient list and detailed preparation instructions, see Ignacio Sánchez Prado’s mole poblano recipe.
Megan Daschbach's Maryland crab cakes
Since Megan Daschbach, teaching professor of chemistry, hails from Baltimore, she remembered that every Thanksgiving there was some form of seafood included at dinner. Since St. Louis is not exactly a seaside city, Daschbach recommends going to Bob’s Seafood, where they get fresh deliveries in the morning. “When you’re going to invest in the preparation of food, it’s not just about food at that point. It’s about the experience. It’s just nice to remember those good things from your childhood and growing up,” Daschbach said.
The Maryland crab cakes she makes call for specifically fresh bread crumbs and make a great small seafood dish for your Thanksgiving table.
- 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh bread cubes (Use white bread—NOT bread crumbs!)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (more or less—enough to get the crab cakes to stick together)
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Salt/pepper/Old Bay Seasoning to taste
- Cut the bread into 1/4-inch cubes.
- Dice the green and red peppers.
- Mix the crab meat, bread crumbs, egg, mayonnaise, peppers, and Worcestershire sauce together, gently by hand.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Form either small, 1-inch crab balls (if serving as an appetizer) or full crab cakes.
- Place crab cakes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning to taste.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, if desired