Talking Non-Turkey

Speaking off the toque: John A. Salazar

Speaking off the toque: John A. Salazar, executive chef of Michaeline's on West Alabama, 1512 West Alabama, (713)527-8554.

Q. What sort of Thanksgiving menu would make you feel truly thankful at the end of the meal?

John A. Salazar
Deron Neblett
John A. Salazar

A. I'd always be thankful for foie gras with a plum sauce, litchi and scoops of pear. Or oysters Rockefeller, if it's done right, is a lovely item to start off the meal, maybe with a dusting of caviar. The meal definitely would have to have some caviar, but I would use it like salt -- as an enhancer, as a garnish...I keep thinking the Pilgrims must have had access to all kinds of great seafood, but if I was to incorporate then with now, I'd say the main course should be a French cut rack of venison with a parsnip/potato puree, maybe a Wild Turkey whiskey sauce. I like utilizing sweet potatoes, everything under the sun -- chips, puree, tartlets -- so I would have something subtle like, maybe, sweet potato tartlets with a roasted walnut and molasses glaze. And, certainly, cornbread custard. When I'm on my deathbed, that's what I'll think of -- cornbread custard with jumbo lump crabmeat and a tomatillo sauce.

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