Sonoran Inspired Thanksgiving Menu

It’s that time again to start planning your Thanksgiving menu. We all have family favorite recipes and tried and true ways to wow our guests, but this may be the year you want to do things with a twist! If so, try Miraval’s Sonoran inspired menu. You and your guests will enjoy the spice and flare that the Southwest brings to thanksgiving with these wonderful recipes.


Green Chile Posole

makes 6 cups

  • 2 Tbsp. Miraval Oil Blend or vegetable oil
  • 1 c. chopped yellow onions
  • ½ c. chopped celery
  • ¼ c. chopped garlic
  • 1 c. chopped poblano pepper
  • 1 lb. lean boneless pork loin, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1½ c. chopped fresh tomatillo, or canned
  • 1 c. canned hominy, rinsed well and drained
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 c. Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium, nonfat chicken broth
  • ¼ c. thinly sliced red cabbage, garnish
  • 3 tsp. crumbled Cotija, feta, or parmesan cheese, garnish
  • 1¼ tsp. finely grated fresh lime zest, garnish

HEAT a large saucepan over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. of the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of pan. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the onions, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the celery, stir, and cook for 45 seconds. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

ADD the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil and stir well. Add the pork and cook, stirring to sear on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatillo, hominy, 2 Tbsp. of the cilantro, the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, stirring to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a high simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meat is tender and cooked through, 40 minutes.

REMOVE from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp. cilantro. Divide the stew among 12 serving bowls (half cup per serving). Garnish each portion with 1 tsp. of the cabbage, ¼ tsp. of the cheese, and 1/8 tsp. of the lime zest; and serve immediately.



Blue-Corn Crab Cakes with Avocado Corn Salsa

makes 4 servings

  • 1¼ tsp. Miraval Oil Blend or canola oil
  • 3 tsp. chopped yellow onion
  • 4 tsp. chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 tsp. chopped red bell pepper
  • 8 oz. lump crabmeat, picked over for shell and cartilage
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1½ Tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce, or other hot red-pepper sauce
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. blue cornmeal
  • Avocado-Corn Salsa (recipe follows)

PREHEAT the oven to 400° F.

HEAT ¼ tsp. of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, and cook, stirring, until fragrant and soft, 2 minutes. Spread onto a plate to cool while assembling the other ingredients.

COMBINE the remaining ingredients except the panko and blue cornmeal in a large bowl, and fold together gently so as to not break up the lumps. Add the onions, peppers, and panko; and fold just to incorporate. Divide in eight portions and form the crab cakes.

SPREAD the cornmeal on a clean plate. One at a time, place the cakes in the meal, turning to lightly coat on both sides. Place the cakes on a clean plate until ready to cook. (The crab cakes can be assembled up to this point, covered with plastic wrap, and kept refrigerated for up to four hours.)

HEAT a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¾ tsp. of the oil and 4 of the crab cakes, and lower the heat to medium. Cook until the crab cakes are golden brown, 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 1½ minutes and transfer to a baking sheet or baking dish.

HEAT the remaining ¾ tsp. of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 4 crab cakes, lower the heat, and cook the same way as the first batch. Transfer to the baking sheet with the other crab cakes and bake until cooked through and hot, 5 to 6 minutes.

REMOVE the crab cakes from the oven and place two on each of four plates. Arrange the salsa to the side of the crab cakes and serve immediately.


Avocado Corn Salsa

makes 4 servings

  • ¼ tsp. Miraval Oil Blend (page 19) or canola oil
  • ¼ c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • ¾ c. chopped avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. minced red onion
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. minced cilantro
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

HEAT the oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. Add the corn and cook, stirring, until starting to turn golden brown, 1½ minutes. Spread the corn on a clean plate to cool.

COMBINE the remaining ingredients and the cooled corn in a small bowl and mix well.

SERVE immediately. (The salsa can be made up to four hours in advance, tightly covered, and kept refrigerated until ready to serve.)

Side Dish

Parmesan Sage Whipped Sweet Potatoes

makes 4 servings

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lb.)
  • 3 Tbsp. nonfat milk
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ? tsp. kosher salt

HEAT oven to 400°F.

PLACE the sweet potatoes on a small baking sheet or dish. Roast until very tender and the skin starts to split, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and pull the skins off. Put into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or sturdy whisk.

HEAT the milk in a small saucepan until just warm, add the chopped sage, and then fold into the potatoes. Add salt and half the Parmesan. Mix together well, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top, and serve.



Prickly Pear Marinated Duck Breasts with Ancho Chili-Mango

makes 4 servings

  • 4 four-ounce duck breasts, trimmed of all fat and sinew
  • Prickly Pear Marinade (recipe to follow)
  • ¼ tsp. Canola Oil
  •  Ancho Chili, Dried Cherry & Mango Salsa (recipe to follow)

PREHEAT the oven to 400° F.

PLACE the duck breasts in a shallow baking dish and cover with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and no more than 2 hours.

REMOVE the duck from the marinade and pat dry.

HEAT the oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the duck and sear on both sides for 1½ minutes each, turning once. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the duck breasts and return to the oven. Roast until nearly medium-rare, 4 minutes.

REMOVE the duck from the oven and let rest for five minutes.

TO serve, place one duck breast on each of four large plates. Spoon the salsa over the duck.


Prickly Pear Marinade

makes 1 cup

  • 1½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ c. apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. prickly pear syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. Ruby Port
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tsp. canola oil
  • 1½ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chopped garlic
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

HEAT a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the seeds to a medium bowl.

ADD the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the seeds and stir well to combine.

USE as a marinade for duck breasts or chicken. (About 10 percent of the marinade is absorbed into the meat when marinating, and the remainder is discarded.)

Ancho Chili-Mango Salsa

makes about 1 cup

  • 1½ c. mango, peeled, seeded, and diced small
  • 1 Tbsp. dried ancho chili pepper, rehydrated and diced small
  • 2 tsp. cilantro, chopped fine
  • 4 tsp. kiln-dried cherries
  • 1 tsp. mint leaves, chopped fine
  • ¼ c. red onion, diced small
  • ½ c. Roma tomato, diced small
  • ½ tsp. garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp. sherry vinegar
  • ¾ tsp. raspberry vinegar

SOAK the ancho chili in hot water until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the stems, split open, and dip in water to remove seeds before dicing.

COMBINE with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.


Baked Apple Tortelli

makes 12 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • ½ vanilla bean, cut in half horizontally and seeds scraped out
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ¼  c. pineapple, diced
  • 1 tsp. raisins
  • 1 tsp. mixed orange and lemon zest
  • ½  tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • Pinch of clove
  • Pinch of aniseed
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  • ? c. evaporated raw cane sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼  c. fat-free milk
  • 2. c. unbleached flour

FILLING In a large sauté pan, heat the orange juice and vanilla bean and seeds to a low boil. Add the remaining ingredients, and sauté until the apples and pears are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled.

PREHEAT oven to 350°F

BEAT flour in a large bowl or on a cutting board. Make a well in the center of the flour and place egg mixture and milk into the center. Stir the center ingredients with a fork, and then begin drawing the flour, starting with the inside walls of the well, into the center until all of the flour has been incorporated. The dough will form into a moist rough ball.

LIGHTLY flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1⁄8 inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch circles and place 1 teaspoon of the filling onto the center of each circle. Fold the circles in half and seal edges with the tines of a fork. Place tortelli on a baking sheet lined with parchment and sprayed with a nonstick spray. Brush each tortelli with the lightly beaten egg and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Calories: 200; Total Fat: 46 g; Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 6 g

Check out some of our other recipes >

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