A Southwest Thanksgiving

Denver chef Sean Yontz's Thanksgiving feast balances traditional Thanksgiving flavors with fresh Latin twists. (Serves 8 to 10)

Guajillo-Tamarind Turkey

Much of this menu can be prepared ahead. It will be easier to get everything on the table if you have help in the kitchen after the turkey comes out of the oven.

Up to 1 week ahead: Make spicy pecans. Make guajillo-tamarind glaze.

3 days ahead: Shop for remaining ingredients (including turkey if using a frozen one; thaw in refrigerator). Bake cornbread for dressing. Grill corn for mashed potatoes.

2 days ahead: Assemble cornbread-chorizo dressing. Roast and peel chiles for poblano gravy and cauliflower gratin; chill airtight. Make mashed potatoes.

1 day ahead: Purchase turkey, if using fresh. Make sweet potato tamales. Cut up vegetables and fruit for turkey (step 2); chill airtight. Trim green beans, chop garlic, and shred cheese for garlic green beans; cover separately and chill. Assemble cauliflower gratin. Make pumpkin pie.

3 to 4 hours ahead: Roast turkey. Remove cauliflower gratin and cornbread-chorizo dressing from refrigerator.

30 to 40 minutes before serving: Reheat potatoes. Remove turkey from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees; bake cauliflower gratin.

About 20 minutes before serving: Make garlic green beans. Make poblano gravy. Reheat tamales. Bake cornbread-chorizo dressing.

Sunset, November 2004
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