Thanksgiving may be the only time of year when the entire U.S. orders dinner off the same menu. Everyone knows the basics ingredients for a successful turkey day – mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and cranberries. These are tried and true side dishes that are as American as the Norman Rockwell painting that codified their place at the table. But, like the Volkswagen Beetle, even the classics can benefit from some updating! Try these twists on the standard fare and liven up your Thanksgiving table this year.
Why not add a little spice? After the potatoes are boiled and mashed (we use lots of butter and heart-clogging half & half), add one of these combinations for a delicious update to a traditional favorite.
* Bacon, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions
* Pureed fennel and rosemary
* Half and half, basil, and Parmesan cheese
* Canned pumpkin, sage, and nutmeg
* Leeks, chives, and crème fraiche
Stuffing is the ultimate blank canvas – dried bread cubes and broth — so add lots of color and flavor with these tasty variations:
* Apple, bacon, and onion
* Wild mushrooms and leeks
* Wild rice, dried cranberries, and pecans
* Andouille sausage and green and red peppers
If Aunt Sally just has to have cranberries in jellied form, oozed out of the can and cut in rounds, fine. But why not serve one of these cranberry dishes alongside for everyone else to enjoy?
* Try this not too sweet, Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon by Epicurious, an adult favorite.
* Mix raw cranberries with apples and orange in this refreshing Cranberry Relish by Simply Recipes.
* Or on a salad! We love this baby spinach salad with roasted onions, pecans, dried cranberries and goat cheese from our friends at the FoodNetwork.com.
After all, we should be thankful for a variety of creative food on our table this Thanksgiving!
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