Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Fabio Viviani's Kitchen Academy Blog | 0 comments

#TeamFabio – can you feel the attitude of thanks that is upon us?  The mindset that something is always worthy of thanks and realizing that whatever we have, small or large, is a gift that we should honor. Today is the ultimate day of saying “We are so thankful for the world around us and the people in it.” – It’s Thanksgiving!  When you find that the word that you are celebrating is in the actual holiday, you might want to pay attention to it!  As for Italy, we don’t have Thanksgiving, but then again, we have a different view of giving thanks.  It goes a little something like this – “Grandma, thanks for giving me a bath today!”  That’s the Italian way – giving grandma kisses for helping you stay so fresh and so clean!
It’s slightly different here in the States, though.  The tradition, as many of you should know, came from the story of the pilgrims and Indians joining one another for a feast.  I bet that’s just some made up crap.  Indians probably wanted to rip the Pilgrims to shreds.  But maybe not – they could’ve been the best of friends.  Who am I to judge, you know?  As long as I get to eat, they can do whatever they want to do in their next life!
And why the turkey?  We had to find another bird to roast since we spend the rest of the year with chicken.  Its whole life goes into just being roasted on one day.  Over two million pounds consumed in that week alone!! What the heck are we feeding them – Shaq Pills?  Those things are huge!  Being over here and celebrating it for the first time, I had no idea what was going on, but now that I’ve been over here and earned my stripes, I want to switch up the turkey game and introduce some twists on the classics that you and yours can be thankful for!
•    Can It! – First of all, get rid of that crap in a can.  That’s something your dog shouldn’t even be giving thanks for!  I don’t care who brought it or how delicious you think it is, throw it out.  As long as we are giving thanks, we can be thankful that we have a kitchen to cook in – so cook something!  Apricots are bright in flavor and packed with sweetness.  Use them in place of cranberries this year and you’ll never look back.  Cook them down with a touch of sugar, lemon, water and hot sauce.  Once sticky and gooey, adjust consistency as you would please.  This is your new condiment!
•    Nice Rack – Turkey will always be the go-to bird for Thanksgiving.  Doesn’t mean you have to obey that rule, does it?  This is America… the land of the free and home of the brave – it’s time to change.  Grab Cornish game hens.  It’s like having your individual Thanksgiving turkey on your plate!  Your guests will be thrilled.  Brine game hens for about 1 1/2 hours, remove, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven at 375 F until internal temperature reads 150 F.  Remove and let sit for juices to redistribute.  This time around, you are golden, Pony Boy!  #BOOM
•    Cauliflower Mash – Everybody loves mashed potatoes.  I don’t care if you are 10 or 80; you are lying to me if you say you don’t like the spuds.  I’ll take them any way I can get them, but I really love mashed potatoes.  Whether you keep the skins on or off, just make sure to whip them into oblivion.  My twist comes in the form of extra veggies.  Simply cook the cauliflower with the potatoes after the potatoes are halfway through cooking.  This creates another dimension of flavor, a silky smooth texture, and really takes the potatoes to the next level.  Whatever butter you would use within the mash, you can just brown it!  More flavor never hurt anyone, did it?! You’ll thank me after you finish stuffing yourself silly with those potatoes!

However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, make sure it’s done with a pure heart.  In a world where some people can’t put shoes on their feet, we have so many things that we can be thankful for.  Not to mention, if you are reading this, you have sight!  See, plenty of things to be thankful for.  So while you are sipping wine and ripping into the game hens, just remember that this moment was bought at a price.  Sit at the table with your family, and maybe invite someone else over who is less fortunate than you. Keep the love coming, guys, and stay hungry!  #Thanksgiving2015