PICKING OUT SOME NEW RECIPES FOR THANKSGIVING BY THE SEA
Now I’m excited that everyone is coming over for Thanksgiving by the sea!
I think I want to cook up a delicious seaside feast. While looking for good inspiration I decided to do a little research to see just how Jesus served up a seaside feast to the disciples that day on the shores of Galilee after they had been out fishing and caught nothing in their nets. Yelling from the shoreline; Jesus finally told them where to cast their nets.
Have you asked Jesus that question lately? Have you asked Him where to cast your nets?
Sometimes we can witness to people all day long and it just goes right over their heads and dissolves into thin air as if they never heard. However; if we consult Jesus first; He can really tell us where and how to be a better fisher of men. Sometimes that comes to take place within the confines of a simple meal at your table.
That day the disciples listened to The Master and they threw their nets to the other side as He had instructed. All of a sudden they drug in 143 different types of fish!
How amazing is that?
What a catch!
I want to learn how to serve a feast just as Jesus did. I have a feeling that was a wonderful day for everyone..
The whole time I’ve had this Thanksgiving By The Sea idea; I’ve been thinking of Jesus at Galilee. Those shores of Galilee were where He instructed his disciples about how to fish; and this was the day that he prepared a surprise feast for them. He cooked a feast right on the shore after they had been fishing all night. This took place after the resurrection as Christ was walking around in His glorified body. Because of this; the disciples didn’t always recognize Him. It took them awhile that day; and they were seeing Him from a distance. They had to get closer in order to KNOW who He was.
I have this feeling that the way Jesus looked after the resurrection changed according to the situations He was in at the time. That certainly isn’t a biblical statement; it was just a feeling I got while reading the scriptures and noticing that they didn’t always recognize Him at first after the Resurrection and before He ascended back into Heaven. Sometimes He appeared different from what they were used to Jesus looking like. It took being with Him for a while before they recognized Him more from his ways and habits than from how He looked.
This day Peter realized who He was talking too first and he got so excited that he dove into the water and swam to the shore to meet Jesus. I have to remember that it was Peter who Jesus taught to walk on water; and I sometimes wonder if that is not what Peter actually did on that day. I always wonder if the author just left out that little detail; because people might not think the reading of it credible if he put it in the passage. No one really knows. It could have been possible.
Peter reached Jesus first; and the others came in later dragging their nets that were heavy, full and running over with fish.
It was a great catch for them; but Jesus already had the fish He needed for their meal and it was cooking on the fire when they arrived.
The disciples would have been observing the Jewish dietary laws and they would have only eaten fish with fins and scales. These were considered “clean.” Fish without fins and scales were never eaten and were considered “unclean.”
God laid these dietary laws out to the children of Israel back during the same days that they learned the ten commandments (or the ten best ways to live. ) The disciples didn’t ask God “why;” they just obeyed God and only ate clean foods.
While conducting studies on the different types of fish, scientist have found that those that God labeled “clean” contain much less toxins in their physical makeup than those who are labeled “unclean.” This is due to the types of foods these fish eat; and the environments they exist within. These ancient dietary laws are known to be scientifically correct as well as religiously sacred in this modern-day world where we now live.
Another thing that Jesus shared with the disciples was bread. The bread they ate was usually flat and did not contain yeast. The healthiest diets today do the same.
If you are going to be authentic with your Thanksgiving By The Sea; use only flat bread; as that is the type of bread that Jesus would have served.
My bread choices here are not that authentic.
My group chose two types of breads for our feast and they do contain yeast. Here are some recipes for some breads that we liked to use with our seafood. Often, when we are not feasting, we choose to eat the other types of breads that DO leave out the yeast. They are actually very tasty and much better for you as far as nutritious value.
(These recipes that follow will feed 12 – 15 people if you follow my notes.)
CALABASH HUSH PUPPIES
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups yellow corn meal
4 tablespoons sugar
2 Teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 cup minced onions
5 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large beaten eggs
Olive Oil for deep-frying
Sift dry ingredients together and then stir in all other ingredients. Mix well. Heat olive oil inside a deep fryer and drop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. Fry until golden (about 3 – 5 minutes) and drain on paper towels before serving while hot.
(Make 2 loaves; this will disappear fast)
1 un-sliced round loaf sourdough bread (1 lb. size)
1 pound Monterey Jack Cheese
½ cup melted butter
½ cup chopped onions
Preheat the oven to 350. Place bread inside foil large enough to cover all when done. Cut the bread width-wise into 1 inch slices to within ½ inch of the bottom of the loaf. Repeat the cuts in the opposite direction. Cut cheese into ¼ inch slices; cut slices into small pieces. Place cheese inside bread cuts. Drizzle melted butter over bread. Wrap the foil over all and place on a baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes. Unwrap; bake 10 more minutes until cheese is melted.
Jesus’s crew would probably think it a bit extravagant; but let’s have some fruit and cheese and a nice tasty salad to go with our main course and bread.
FRUIT AND CHEESE PLATTER
(You can use your imagination here; I highly recommend slicing a fresh pineapple or two – just be creative. I love using different colored very cold grapes. Be sure to add crackers on the side.)
FIG STUFFED BRIE
2 round wedges brie cheese
12 very ripe figs
1 teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of sugar
Your favorite thin crackers
Preheat your oven to 350. Place first round of brie inside an oven-safe dish. Wash the figs and cut them into quarters. Place ½ of the figs on the brie. Place the second round of brie on top of the figs and place the next layer of fig quarters on top of all. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with honey. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until brie oozes and figs are caramelized on top. Place crackers around hot serving dish on a trivet. Garnish with a bunch of grapes on the side.
APPLE AND PEAR CRANBERRY WALNUT SALAD
8 cups baby spinach leaves
3 cups arugula leaves
1 red apple, thinly sliced
1 ripe pear, chopped or thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup thinly sliced celery
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small bottle Paul Newman Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
1 small bottle Paul Newman Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing
Toss together spinach, arugula, apple, pear, walnuts, celery and cranberries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon a small amount (two or three tablespoons) of the Honey Apple cider vinaigrette dressing into the mix and toss to coat. Pour salad ingredients out into a flat serving dish. Drizzle the Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette over the top in a pretty design. Set the two dressings to the side in a serving-carafe just in case anyone wants more.
10 boiled eggs
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons onion, minced
1 teaspoon fresh dill (minced)
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Your eggs will peel easier if you wait for the water to boil and lower them into the pan with a soup ladle. Boil them for 10 minutes and the peeling will come off easy. Use a sharp knife to slice each boiled egg in half. Use a teaspoon to carefully scoop out the hardened yolk. Place the yolks inside a small mixing bowl. Put the white halves into your deviled egg platter. To the yolks add the cream cheese, sour cream and all other ingredients except the heavy cream. Use your hand mixer to beat them. Using a mixer makes the stuffing creamy and it is a lot easier on your arms than smoothing out the yolks and ingredients using a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Add the heavy cream last using it slowly until you get the consistency you desire. Pipe your yokes back into the egg halves using a plastic bag with the corner cut out/or an icing piper. Garnish however you choose.
12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
¾ cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
Optional: 2 ounces gold rum
Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced. Stir occasionally. You will hear the cranberries popping – don’t worry. That is what you want them to do! Remove from heat and serve warm. Cranberry sauce can be made ahead and brought to room temperature or slightly heated before serving.
Let’s add some Sweet Carolina Seafood Stuffing (it doesn’t have seafood at all – the mushrooms will fool you) and let’s have stuffed eggs and warm cranberries on the side: for more of a traditional feel.
SWEET CAROLINA SEAFOOD STUFFING
½ cup butter
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 celery sticks – chopped
½ red bell pepper chopped
2 pounds sautéed mushrooms
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ (14 ounce bag) herbed seasoned stuffing mix
½ (14 ounce bag) cornbread stuffing mix
1 large can cream of mushroom soup
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add onion, celery, mushrooms and red pepper and cook until soft. Remove from heat. Stir in Cajun seasoning and thyme and transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT for butter) to bowl. Stir to mix well. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Scatter butter pieces over top. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
(I like to use a brown gravy on the side with this)
For the Entrees; let’s make some Hoisen Glazed Salmon with Roasted Vegetables and horseradish and tarter on the side; and also add a tray of Beef and Mushroom Sliders (for those who don’t like Salmon.)
We know that Jesus served fish; but what type fish did He probably serve?
Though my imagination tends to think of the “sea” of Galilee as being the ocean; it is actually a very large spring fed lake. Many men made their living fishing on the shores of this huge lake. Here they would catch “clean” fish and sell it at the fish gate to the merchants that came through that popular area, which was right in the middle of a busy trade route.
The fish that Jesus was cooking on the shore most likely would have been either sardines, barbels, or musht (comb), which are often called St. Peter’s fish. These fish would all have fins and scales; and He probably grilled them over an open fire with the fish hanging on a stick over the edge of the fire.
So I too chose a fresh water fish with fins and scales for our menu.
I choose salmon and decided it would be grilled too. If you can’t grill for your Thanksgiving By The Sea; here is a variation of what we served grilled; only for the oven. Grilling the fish outside eliminates the smell of fish floating through your house while you are dining. This recipe however, would probably only create delicious smelling odors; so don’t be afraid to try it.
HOISIN GLAZED SALMON WITH VEGETABLES
6 large Salmon Filets (Cut into 3rds)
1 bunch Asparagus spears
2 cups Mushrooms
2 cups squash (sliced)
2 onions sliced
2 Teaspoons grated ginger
2 Teaspoons brown sugar
¼ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 red bell pepper (cored and sliced)
1 green bell pepper (cored and sliced)
1-1/2 cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
6 teaspoons olive oil
Sea Salt (to taste)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
Preheat to 400 degrees. Line a large baking dish with foil. Place vegetables on the foil and drizzle with olive oil. Place salmon filet pieces on top of vegetables. Brush the salmon with hoisin sauce, turning to brush on all sides. Sprinkle the grated ginger, brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper and crushed red peppers evenly over all. Drizzle hoisin sauce over all; but reserve enough to drizzle again after baking. Fold the aluminum foil around the vegetables and salmon and bake for 30 minutes until the salmon is cooked all the way through and the vegetables are nice and tender, yet still crisp and not mushy. When all is done assemble on platter and drizzle again with hoisin sauce.
SERVE FISH WITH HORSERADISH AND TARTER SAUCE
There are always a few people who will not eat fish; even though I don’t think Jesus had that problem with the disciples! So I am also cooking up a tray of these beef sliders to serve as another main dish:
BEEF AND MUSHROOM SLIDERS
(Some of my people don’t eat fish)
16 slider buns
Pkg. Swiss Cheese Slices
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 lbs Chopped Sirloin Steak Pieces
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Sea Salt
3 cups mushrooms (your favorite kind)
1 onion (chopped)
1 cup beef stock
2 cups Guinness Beer
2 tablespoons thyme
In a skillet with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; brown the sirloin steak. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of flour, the salt, the pepper. Set the meat to the side in another container. Melt the two tablespoons of butter in the skillet and then saute the mushrooms and onions together. When they are soft; dump in the beef stock and stir; then the Guinness beer and stir well. Stir in the thyme, then add the beef mixture and stir well. Put the lid over the skillet and simmer all of this on low heat for 45 minutes. Place bottom half of the slider buns in a tray and top them with a slice of Swiss cheese. Top the buns and cheese with the meat mixture, then top that with another slice of cheese. Place the bun top over all. Splash a spoonful of gravy over the top of the buns for flavor. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve hot.
For a seasonal side dish let’s have some baked sweet potatoes and serve them up with some sweet cinnamon butter. Sweet Potatoes just add to that little bit of American tradition that I know some folks will be looking for.
BAKED SWEET POTATOES WITH CINNAMON BUTTER
For dessert let’s serve Mixed Berry Pie and Pumpkin Spice Cake.
MIXED BERRY PIE
For Graham Cracker Crust:
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted)
32 ounces plain 2% Greek Yogurt
¼ cup sugar
2 cups mixed blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
For Crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients well. Press firmly into bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool crust completely before filling with pie.
For Pie: Line a mesh sieve with 3 paper towels over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the sieve. Refrigerate and drain this for 8 hours or overnight. The yogurt should be as dry as possible. Discard the liquid that drained into the bowl. Mix the drained yogurt and sugar until combined. Pour into pie shell and chill for two hours or more. Top pie with mixed berries sprinkled with sugar before serving. (I usually slice up my strawberries and serve the other fruits whole.)
PAULA DEAN’S PUMPKIN SPICE CAKE
(Got this one from Paula Dean. Check out her website for many more delicious recipes. Mom is making this one for us!)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
For Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter softened
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon orange zest
2lb. package confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
Pecans (optional for garnishing bottom of cake)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 (9×2 inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, allspice, and cardamom. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Divide butter between prepared pans. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Orange Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with pecans, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and zest with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar.
I hope you like the ideas for Thanksgiving By The Sea. If you missed the former article on decorating for Thanksgiving By The Sea; you can catch it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/thanksgiving-by-the-sea/
If you still prefer a more “traditional” Thanksgiving; you might enjoy these links too: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/thanksgiving-recipes/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/classic-fall-thanksgiving-decor/.
ENJOY YOUR FEAST
Could anything be better? Now let’s bask in our joy and thankfulness and sit by the fire and share our blessings in sweet conversations until we have to part and go on with everyday life again.
If you have open eyes to the things that God is doing around you; life with Jesus is always a feast!
Think about all the ways that Jesus enjoyed life and go out there and do the same! It will enrich you and fill your heart with wonder!
Just remember, as He always did; where the source of those blessings come from and give thanks to God for such abundance!