Eat Celebrate Southwestern Thanksgiving Traditions
The holiday season in Santa Fe can be summed up in one word: Magical. Over at Bishop’s Lodge, we’re starting our festive season a day earlier with our Socially- Distanced Thanksgiving Dinner—a take-home meal with a whole or sliced turkey and a host of sides. A lot of our pre-orders have come from our neighbors, and we’re very excited to give them a first taste from the SkyFire kitchen, as well as a first look at the renovated reception area at Bishop’s Lodge when they come to pick up their dinner.
As a starter, we’ll offer a spin on our Bishop’s Tortilla Soup, which will be poured tableside at SkyFire when it opens in December. We’ll package the different components—smoked pheasant in the rich soup, avocado, and shredded cheese—in Ball jars so the soup can then be composed at home.
Around the Texas-Mexico border and the Gulf Coast, a deep-fried turkey is tradition. We’re keeping true to that, but will be offering our own twists. We’ll first brine our turkey—a wild-breed, free-range organic bird—in a buttermilk cure, cook it low-and-slow by sous vide, then deep-fry it. The buttermilk brine and sous-vide cooking will keep the meat juicy and tender, while deep-frying for just a few minutes will give the skin an unbelievable crisp. The perfect complement? A riff on my great-grandmother Aumi’s gravy. She was from Tyler, Texas and was known for her really dark gravy, prepared in a cast-iron skillet.
Scalloped sweet potatoes with ancho-brandy cream provide a double dose of Southwestern flavor. Sweet potatoes are earthy and sweet, and ancho chiles are earthy and spicy, so they go exceptionally well together. The pairing is one of my personal favorites for Thanksgiving, and I love making this dish every year.
Black bottom pies are a Texan tradition, and I remember my grandmother always made one every Thanksgiving. In honor of Bishop Lamy, who grew pecan orchards on the grounds of Bishop’s Lodge, we’ll be making a Black Bottom Pecan Pie. It will offer a real sense of place and history—not to mention a delectably sweet Thanksgiving ending.