Monday, November 25, 2013

The BEST Thanksgiving Sides

Let's face it - the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is not the turkey. The SIDES are where it's at, ya'll. I could take the bird or leave it (unless it's smoked, which is a different story #YUMZ), but I LOVE me some sides!

My aunt in New York is hosting Thanksgiving, like usual, and has already come up with a menu that sounds phenomenal. We don't get into NY until very late on Wednesday night, so most of the cooking will already be done, which means I won't be able to help cook as much as I'd like... but I thought it would be fun to do a little research ahead of time, in the name of deliciousness :) I'd love to eat ANY of these on Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Chickpeas
A couple of years ago, my mom made Thanksgiving dinner - and kicked things off in the BEST possible way with soup. And not just ANY soup... a delicious, silky, creamy butternut squash soup. Hers actually had caramelized onions and butternut squash chunks on top, which was awesome, but I'm intrigued by this recipe - which comes with maple roasted chickpeas on top. SOLD.


I MEAN. These mashed potatoes have butter AND cream cheese, so they're basically a heart attack on a plate, but goddamn if they don't look delicious. 


I actually made stuffing for Thanksgiving using this recipe last year, so I can vouch for how delicious it was! I subbed chicken apple sausage - my family's favorite - for the spicy Italian sausage and it was awesome. 


I love cauliflower - but not more than Ram does. He LOVES it. I can picture his face now... cauliflower AND parmesan AND breadcrumbs? That boy would be in heaven.


The Shiksa's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Pomegranate Molasses
I love recipes that elevate a simple vegetable in a really special way. This recipe calls for roasting brussels sprouts til they are crispy and brown, then tossing them with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a delicious vinaigrette. A platter of these on your table would look unbelievable - and taste even better!



But of course, there's one classic I will not mess with. No need for any special cranberry sauce fancied up with nuts or pecans or oranges - NOTHING beats the good old fashioned kind straight from the can! 



When Thanksgiving rolls around next year, it'll be right after our wedding - we'll be married for one month and two days, to be specific :) and I'D like to host our first married Thanksgiving!  I have a feeling some of these delicious sides will be on our menu... but you know, I have a full year to think about it :)

1 comment:

Diana M. said...

You are definitely right that it's ALL about the SIDES, but you seriously got the cranberries all wrong!! I have two cranberry dishes that I love so much that it really isn't Thanksgiving unless they're included (even if I have to make them for our leftovers party the next day)! This one is what I grew up with and it's so fresh, tart and bright!

Cranberry Pineapple Relish
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 can (1 lb. 4 oz.) pineapple chunks in syrup
1/2 cup syrup from pineapple
1/4 cup sugar
3 thin slices of lemon
3 thin slices of orange
1 stick of cinnamon

Drain pineapple - reserve liquid. Pour syrup in saucepan. Add sugar, lemon, orange and cinnamon. Bring to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Simmer until they begin to burst. Stir in pineapple chunks. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

And this next one is a relatively new addition to my tradition. I found this recipe a few years ago and I MUST have it every year! It's so amazing and nothing like my other recipe. Where the other one is light and bright, this is deep and savory and OMG...
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cranberry-Shallot-and-Dried-Cherry-Compote-108761

Hopefully you'll expand beyond the can!

xo,
Di-