By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

No Turkey Talk

During the holidays, there's a lot of talk in the cooking world about turkey. In fact, at Viking headquarters our consumer hotlines are abuzz with consumer questions about roasting, grilling and smoking the perfect holiday bird. I've even shared my favorite rotisserie turkey recipe on this site.

While the pursuit of the perfect holiday turkey can be consuming, the fact is that most families only serve turkey once, maybe twice, during the holiday season. This means there's plenty of holiday entertaining that goes on that doesn't involve turkey.

With this in mind, I'm sharing an autumn-themed menu I developed for a November cooking class I called "No Turkey Talk." The menu highlights in-season produce and the earthy flavors of the fall.

The menu starts with a crisp Citrus Salad that's tossed with Champagne Vinaigrette. Add some bakery rolls with this first course if you like. The main attraction is simple Roasted Halibut fillets drizzled with a tangy Rosemary Vinaigrette. The fillets are served atop a sublime White Bean and Butternut Squash Ragout. The finale for the menu is a classic combination of almond and pears, as Individual Almond Cakes are topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Caramelized Pears.

The menu makes a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving dinner or a fun fall supper club. And, the individual recipes are great on their own. Who needs to worry about turkey with a menu this good?


Recipes:

Tuna-Caper Spread
Just three ingredients can result in something absolutely delicious in this Tuna-Caper Spread. A friend sampled a similar creation as an accompaniment to a Caesar salad in an Italian restaurant and asked me to come up with the recipe.
Citrus Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
While citrus fruits are available year-round, the first true in-season oranges hit stores in November, followed closely by big, juicy grapefruits. When they’re at their peak, you’ll see citrus fruits frequently on the menu at my house.
Individual Almond Cakes with Caramelized Pears
If you’re a fan of the flavor of almond you’re going to love these luscious little almond cakes topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with luscious caramelized pears. In fact, for lovers of the combination of almond and pears, this could be considered the “perfect” dessert.
Roasted Halibut with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Learning that fish can be roasted in a hot oven is often an epiphany for home cooks who are intimidated by the prospect of cooking fish. The simple equation of a 450 degree oven and 10 minutes per inch of thickness makes turning out perfectly cooked fish at home a breeze.