It's perfectly understandable that you, the adventurous and grossly-underated home chef, would want to push the boundaries of culinary achievement. Thanksgiving, however, may not be the best time to roll the dice. To help you avoid wasting your valuable time on Turkey Day creations that are sure to flop, Holidash has taken the liberty of nominating five dishes that you should definitely skip.
According to the FreeDictionary, one of the definitions of "mousse" is "A molded dish containing meat, fish, or shellfish combined with whipped cream and gelatin." You're not going to offend anyone with chocolate mousse, but if you bring an allegedly delicious ham mousse or chicken liver mousse, you better love the taste of gelatinous molded meats... because you're going to be taking a lot of it back home with you.
It could be the fact that meat mousses are served chilled, or the fact that they just look incredibly sketchy, but one thing's for sure: Meat molded into the shape of a dessert seems to rub diners the wrong way.
While we're on the subject, you might also want to axe any plans for minced meat pies or this seriously misleading Thanksgiving Turkey Cake as well. Imagine biting into what you think is a cake and getting a mouthful of ground turkey instead! Don't do that to your guests. Please.
This recipe was brought to our attention by an offended family member who has been subjected to this quite pungent casserole at her Thankgiving dinners (held in a very land-locked state in middle America) for many years.
In the interest of fairness, perhaps we should start with a disclaimer about freshness. If you have access to an abundance of incredibly fresh seafood, like the Pilgrims and Indians did so long ago, oyster casserole may very well be an excellent choice for your menu.
Seafood from a can, however, should nearly always be avoided when preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Sea-faring mollusks from a can, camoflaged in the form of a casserole, well... do we really need to finish that sentence? The acronym to remember here is "NEFCOAT" (Never Eat Frozen or Canned Oysters At Thankgiving). Remember that, and you'll avoid a serious Thanksgiving blunder.
That Gelatinous Pastel Dish with the Nuts/Marshmallows on Top
You know exactly what we're talking about. This brightly-colored dish goes by a number of aliases, including "jello salad," "gelatin salad," "jelly salad," and "congealed salad."
What all of these names have in common (besides containing the word salad) is that they're all made up of words that should never appear together side by side. We're not saying that this dish necessarily tastes as disgusting as these names would suggest (because really, "congealed salad???"), but we can't say for sure because there's no way we'd ever shovel that opaque, wobbly stuff onto our plates. Or into our mouths.
Throw some crunchy pecans in with this cold slimy mixture, and you've got a dish that's better suited for Halloween than Thanksgiving. Scary.
Anything With Spam
America and Spam go way back. In fact, it's hard to know for sure if America would be the great country it is today without the famous blue canned meat product (or is it a byproduct?). Not to mention, Spam practically single-handedly saved the crew and passengers aboard that stranded Carnival cruise ship.
Nevertheless, that doesn't mean Spam belongs at America's Thankgiving table -- not in the form of a Spamburger, not in the form of a potato and spam soup, and definitely not in form of a gingered spam salad. Who comes up with these recipes? They're not invited to our Thanksgiving dinner, we can tell you that.
Suffice to say, Spam has carved out its place in American history, but let's draw a thick line around it, put up some razor wire, and hire some guards to make sure it stays there.
Look, we understand that serving a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey is considered all kinds of wrong in some circles. We get that. (Even though we find it kind of interesting.) But tofurkey is even more wrong, in our opinion.
If you happen to be a serious proponent of tofurkey, we'd like you to ponder this philosophical question: Why in the world would a vegetarian want to emulate the unholy bird-stuffing excess that is the turducken? Doesn't that go against all the reasons people swear off meat in the first place?
Apart from having an opportunity to annouce that you're serving the oxymoronic "vegetarian turducken," or the even more hilarious "tofucken," what possibly purpose could this dish serve? It seem like a lot of effort, all for a cheap laugh. Not to mention, from an ojective standpoint, how could it possibly taste as delicious as a real turducken?
So what should you serve? Our friends at Kitchen Daily have some terrific ideas. And if you're a vegetarian who finds herself faced with a plate of turducken, we have tips for turning it down, politely.