11/19/2013 10:08 am ET

Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes With A Latin Twist

Grace Clementine via Getty Images

For the next two weeks on NBC Latino, we want to inspire you to think about Thanksgiving a little differently. Whether’s its amping up mashed potatoes with some sazón or perfecting the mojo for succulent pavochón (coming soon!), we’re here to challenge you to add some Latin flair to your annual Thanksgiving feast. And that’s why we’ve decided to tackle the ever-so-humble stuffing. No offense to Stove Top, but there’s so much to be inspired by with this classic side of bread cubes, infused with stocks and piquant seasonings – whether or not you choose to stuff your bird or bake them up as a satisfying side.

Take, for example, relleno guyaco. It’s an Ecuadorian stuffing that’s a meal within itself, made with tender shredded chicken and beef, succulent cured ham and sausage, thickened with salty Spanish olives and made sweet with the addition of prunes, brown sugar and raisins. It’s a sweet and salty, nearly pudding-like side dish that’s utterly unlike the stuffing whose recipe is found on the back of that iconic red box in supermarket aisles nationwide. And then there’s Chef Daisy Martinez’s cornbread longaniza stuffing. This Puerto Rican chef and cookbook author is an expert on Caribbean flavors; by using Spanish longaniza, Martinez gives a nod to the colonial Spain’s influence on island cuisine. Lastly, we’re showcasing a crispy, bacon-laced stuffing made from crispy, crushed tostones. Reminiscent of mofongo – a traditional Puerto Rican side dish that’s consumed throughout the year – it’s a stuffing that’s both rich and flavorful, thanks to the addition of garlic, cilantro parsley and fragrant cumin.

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