Thanksgiving side dishes
Side dishes are just as important on Thanksgiving as the big bird. Dressing, vegetables, potatoes, and even the ubiquitous green bean casserole with those crunchy canned onion rings.
Side dishes should not be a challenge. Many can be prepped a day or two ahead of time. On the big day you cook them. They do not take long.
Brussels sprouts are a favorite holiday side. This recipe is easy, and they can be cooked while the turkey is resting before carving.
Asparagus is pretty versatile and easy to cook. I like the thinner ones.
Bring an inch of water and a hefty pinch of salt to a boil in a pan. Lower to a simmer.
Place asparagus into water and spread out.
Cook 3-5 minutes until just tender (If you have real thin asparagus you can place them in a pan or heat proof dish. Pour boiling water over them and let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and serve.)
Immediately place asparagus into an ice bath (Bowl of ice water) to stop the cooking and preserve color.
Asparagus can be served plain, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, or with sauce. You can wrap them with prosciutto or smoked salmon. The variations are numerous.
Many of you will fry, smoke, or barbecue your turkey. Coleslaw is a great accompaniment. This sweet and spicy coleslaw will compliment the flavor of your fried, smoked, or barbecued bird. It is quick and easy to make. You can adapt the recipe to make it sweeter or spicier.
Belgian endive with fennel, grapes, apples, and rosemary is a nice alternative to the usual or traditional side dishes. It is another dish that can be made while the bird is resting. The recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.
The combination of sweet from apples and grapes, bitter from the endive, spicy from the fennel, and herb from the rosemary go well together. The grapes add some acidity along with the white wine. The butter gives the dish a nutty taste.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are common sides for Thanksgiving. There are way too many good preparations to list here. Mashed, whipped, baked, boiled, etc.
Just remember seasoning and flavorings are important. Try this recipe for salt baked potatoes with rosemary and roasted garlic. You could bake small or medium sweet potatoes like this. Substitute sage for the rosemary and omit the garlic.
Let us not forget the cranberry sauce, another Thanksgiving staple. Try putting some pomegranate seeds in the sauce after it is cooked. They add an extra tartness.
Side dishes should be things you like to eat. Serve what you want, or better, what you do best. The object of the game is to sit down with friends and family to celebrate and enjoy the feast.