Suckling Pig for the Holidays

Suckling Pig for the Holidays
There’s no better time than the holidays to turn tradition on its head. Roasting a whole suckling pig is an adventure that’s well worth the time, and this pan-Latin menu pairs the pig with rich guacamole, truffled potatoes, and a savory-sweet tart.

The menu is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based chef Jose Garces. Chef Garces has Ecuadoran roots but spent much of his prodigious career in Spain. Those dual influences are reflected in these elegant, flavorful dishes. Chefs’ recipes require a little more work than other CHOW recipes, but don’t let that turn you off. Make a day out of it, get your guests involved, and you’ll have that much more to celebrate together.

Thanksgiving for Six » Spiced Cranberry Sangría

In this version, the well-known Spanish wine cocktail is mixed with spiced syrup for a decidedly wintry touch. “This drink is a good way to get everyone feeling good and festive,” says Chef Garces.

Thanksgiving for Six » Dungeness Crab Guacamole with Endive

Rather than leave well enough alone, Chef Garces pumps up guacamole with chunks of fresh crab. But because holiday meals tend to be heavy, he uses endive to make this appetizer a bit lighter.

Thanksgiving for Six » Truffled Fingerling Smashed Potatoes

Creamy mashers are finished with truffle oil for an earthy twist.

Thanksgiving for Six » Sweet Corn Humitas

Like an ancient Ecuadoran version of grilled cheese, and similarly satisfying.

Thanksgiving for Six » Whole Roasted Suckling Pig

Brined, slow-roasted, and endlessly basted, this pig is moist and meltingly tender.

Thanksgiving for Six » Poached Fig, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Tart

The combination of poached figs, toasted nuts, and vanilla blue cheese is a delicious way to finish the meal, with classic Spanish flavors reinterpreted.

Chef Garces’s tips for home cooks

Take the time to write out a menu—planning is of the utmost importance.
Think of things that are not prepared at home—wine, table settings, etc.—and get started on all that a few weeks ahead.
Make it a fun experience; you want to be hosting, not busy in the kitchen.