Gobble, gobble! It’s that special time of the year on Hilton Head Island and everywhere when thankful families and friends gather and feast. Maybe you already have some recipes in your repertoire, some have been handed down, or this is your first time hosting! Whatever your turkey day situation, we have some tasty, Hilton Head Island-inspired dishes for you. So tie on those apron strings and get ready to impress as you show off your cooking skills:
Low Country Turkey Recipe
It’s just not Thanksgiving without the turkey. In the Low Country, this is a classic recipe for the main event.
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 bunch of thyme sprigs
¾ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the turkey in a roasting pan. Rub the turkey with butter, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and add the orange segments and thyme sprigs to the turkey cavity. In a small saucepan, cook the vinegar over medium-high heat until it’s down to half. Stir in the honey, orange juice, dried thyme, and butter and simmer for five minutes. Brush the turkey with some of the glaze and place it in the oven. Roast turkey, brushing with the glaze every 15 minutes until it’s gone.* Continue roasting, basting with the juices in the pan every hour, until a meat thermometer inserted into the turkey thigh (make sure you are not touching the bone) registers 165°F. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover it with foil, and then serve.
*Cook your turkey based on the weight and stuffing. Visit USA’s Food and Safety’s Meat and Poultry Roasting Chart to learn more.
Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs
Here is a fun seafood spin on a classic holiday staple!
6 large eggs
4 ounces of fresh crabmeat, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 pinch of seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)
3 drops Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon creme fraiche, or more to taste
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, divided
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish
Place cold eggs from the refrigerator into a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Place over high heat, bring to a simmer and cover pot once eggs start to move around. Remove from heat and let stand for 17 minutes. Drain the hot water from the pan, cover it with the lid and shake the pot to crack eggs lightly. Fill the pot with cold water, pour off the cold water, and refill it with more cold water. Let eggs stand in water until cold. Peel eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Separate yolks from egg halves and then place yolks into a mixing bowl. Place crab meat onto a plate and separate it into two equal portions, one containing the small bits and one containing the attractive larger pink chunks. Reserve the portion with the larger chunks. Chop the portion of crab meat with the smaller chunks; add to egg yolks—mash yolks with a fork. Stir in mayonnaise, tarragon, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, seafood seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Transfer the yolk mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium tip. Pipe crab filling into cavities of egg halves. Chop the largest crab pieces and place the remaining crabmeat into a small bowl. Lightly stir in lemon zest, creme fraiche, Aleppo pepper, and cayenne pepper with a fork. Taste and adjust salt. If the mixture seems dry, stir in more creme fraiche. Top each stuffed egg with a generous pinch of crab mixture. Sprinkle each deviled egg with a pinch of chives and a light dusting of cayenne pepper. Transfer eggs to a serving platter; refrigerate until serving time.
Crab ‘n’ Cheese Spirals
Guests getting impatient? Add these crab ‘n’ cheese spirals to your snacking platter. They are sure to be a hit with your hungry friends and family!
2 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
2 cups chopped imitation crabmeat
1 can (4 – ¼ ounces) chopped ripe olives
¼ cup minced chives
3 tubes (8 ounces each) of refrigerated crescent rolls
¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, crab, olives, and chives. Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Cover with 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch the seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut into ten slices; place cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crescent dough, cream cheese mixture, and cheeses. Bake at 375° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Savannah Seafood Stuffing
Mmm, did someone say stuffing? Whether you’re spending your thanksgiving holiday in fabulous Hilton Head or not, this seafood concoction will make your group feel like their tastebuds are on vacation!
½ cup margarine
1 pound crabmeat, drained and flaked
½ pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (6-ounce) package of cornbread stuffing mix
½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste
1 (10.5 ounces) can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (14.5 ounces) can of chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add crabmeat, shrimp, onion, celery, and bell pepper; cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Stir the stuffing mix, bread crumbs, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in cooked vegetables and seafood from the skillet before adding the condensed soup and chicken broth. Spoon into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly toasted on top, about 30 minutes.
Extra Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese
Cheese, please! You can never go wrong when serving up this time-honored dish. This year, let’s take it up a notch, shall we?
8 ounces of lobster meat cooked, chopped, about 2 cups
16 ounces dry pasta cavatappi, penne, or shells
⅓ cup butter
⅓ cup flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
2 ¾ cups milk
½ cup light cream
2 cups sharp cheddar shredded
1 ¼ cups Gruyere cheese shredded, or swiss cheese, mozzarella, or Havarti
½ cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13 pan. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water and set aside. While your pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings and cook for 2 minutes. Combine milk and cream. Add to the flour mixture a little bit at a time whisking in after each addition. The mixture will be very thick initially but will smooth out as you continue adding liquid. Once the liquid is added, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thickened while whisking. Remove from heat and stir in the cheeses whisking until the sauce is smooth and melted. Combine the sauce and the pasta. Gently stir half the lobster meat and spread it into the prepared pan. Add the remaining lobster meat on top and sprinkle with the topping mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is browned. Do not overcook.
We hope that these dishes inspire you to get creative this Thanksgiving. Your guests will thank you for a most inventive and delicious Turkey Day!