Kitchen Focus

It's been said that the definition of eternity is two people and a turkey. If that doesn't sound like something for you, consider other alternatives this Thanksgiving. Remember, the holiday is about celebrating your blessings and if one of them involves something other than turkey, more power to you.

Since turkey recipes tend to take center stage this time of the year, I decided to share a couple non-fowl recipes that make excellent turkey alternatives and tend to leave you with fewer leftovers. So if you are hosting a smallish get together or just aren't a fan of turkey, I highly recommend thinking outside the bird! Enjoy.

Cranberry-Apricot Pork Tenderloins

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each)
  • Additional salt and pepper, optional

In a saucepan, combine the cranberries, apricots, water, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until fruit is softened. Cool.

Cut a lengthwise slit down the center of each tenderloin to within 1/2 inch of bottom. Open tenderloins so they lie flat; cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to 3/4-inch thickness; remove plastic.

Spread fruit mixture to within 1/2 inch of ends. Close tenderloins; tie several times with kitchen string and secure with toothpicks.

Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 30-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Salmon Roasted with Butter and Herbs

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (2- to 3-pound) salmon fillet, skin on (scales removed) or off
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Melt the butter (or heat the olive oil) in a medium roasting pan, either on top of the stove or in the oven as it preheats.

Stir in the tarragon, dill, and half the parsley. Place the salmon in the pan, flesh side down, and put the pan in the oven. Roast about 5 minutes, then turn and roast 3 to 6 minutes longer, until the salmon is done (peek between the flakes with a thin-bladed knife). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, garnish, and serve immediately, with the pan juices spooned over, and garnished with the parsley.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes