Thanksgiving cooking is something that Robert Del Grande usually leaves to his relatives. “I might tell them when I think the turkey is done,” says the critically acclaimed chef and co-owner of Houston’s elegant Cafe Annie. Del Grande has made an exception this year, though, and created some special dishes for a Texas Thanksgiving dinner.

As he does in his restaurant, Del Grande improvises here on traditional American foods, jazzing them up with his trademark accents. The turkey breast is glazed with cinnamon, molasses, Tabasco, and vinegar. Fricasseed turkey legs come in a spicy ancho chile gravy. There’s goat cheese in the cornbread dressing, and chopped jalapeños give a lift to normally ho-hum spinach. The result is a provocative mix of hot, sweet, and sour tastes that together create an imaginative blend of Mexican, Southwestern, and Southern traditions.

Despite his sophisticated offerings at Cafe Annie, Del Grande doesn’t like complicated, finicky recipes at home. His adventuresome menu should satisfy Texans who are tired of the same old turkey and want to give the family a Thanksgiving feast they won’t soon forget.


Cinnamon Turkey Breast With Molasses Glaze Recipe
Turkey Dark Meat in Cranberry and Ancho Chile Sauce Recipe
Sweet Potatoes with Ginger, Pecans, and Jalapeños Recipe
Spicy Cream Spinach with Cheddar Cheese Recipe
Cranberry and Orange Marmalade Relish Recipe
Mushroom-Apple-Poblano Cornbread Dressing Recipe
Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie with Brown-Sugar Cream Recipe