Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Savor those Sides

It's less than 24 hours and counting to the most wonderful, delicious holiday of the year. Whether traditional, modern or a little bit of both you're guaranteed to have some happy tastebuds by tomorrow night. Now I know this holiday focuses around the one and only turkey, but I'm a side girl myself that truly believes each appetizer, each side and each dessert deserve a prominent spot on your plate.

Having hosted "Friends Thanksgiving" for a group of 18 two weeks ago, here are my list of savory additions and the tips that help them take center stage.

Gravy - you must, must, must make your own with homemade chicken stock. Now, this doesn't mean it must be your homemade stock - I'm a fan and a purchaser of buying homemade stock. For those of you who have one oven and a tiny kitchen (that's me!), don't be afraid to pre-make the gravy and save the stress for the bird.

Potatoes - go modern classic here with garlic mashed potatoes. I always gently heat my cream/milk and throw in some whole garlic cloves to up the ante. Also, this side really comes out better when made right as the turkey is cooling down. I love fluffly mashed potatoes - they make my world happier.

Stuffing - I've been perfecting this side for the past couple of years and I think my favorite is sage with caramelized onion stuffing. This side is the perfect palette to go with what you love - try sausage and dried fruits, new breads and various spices. Just remember to use day old bread and feel free to make this one in advance.

Veggie - you can go with green beans for classic or brussel sprouts for a more adventurous crowd. However I think the key here is to make these greens stand out. Try them wrapped with prosciutto or topped homemade toasted breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Have a little fun here!

Dessert - Do what you know and love. Remember those carrot cupcakes, they're back for Thanksgiving!

Whatever you choose, take each step in stride, take help where you can and just enjoy your time in the kitchen and around the table. Happy Thanksgiving all!

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