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Potluck Thanksgiving--advice on what side dish to bring?

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  • Sarah W-R Nov 24, 2004 05:44 AM

We're having a somewhat impromptu potluck Thanksgiving with several other couples, some houndish and some not. I've been asked to bring a dessert (which I've got sorted out) and a side dish, for which I have carte blanche and am somewhat overwhelmed by possibilities. I was wondering if some hounds would look at the list of what side dishes others have committed to and tell me what would supplement them well.

I'm not sure how any of these will be prepared.

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Salad of romaine hearts with mint-marjoram vinaigrette
Asparagus
Mashed white potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Stuffing (no idea what kind, probably bready)
Cranberry relish
Crescent rolls
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These will be accompanying a traditional roasted turkey.

It looks like it needs to be something vegetal, not starchy, since there are plenty of potatoes. Do you think brussels sprouts? Braised celery? Roasted beets? Would turnips, parsnips, carrots, or other rooty things also be too heavy? Green beans are probably out because asparagus fulfills the "long thin green things" category.

We always had creamed pearl onions when I was a kid--neither green nor light, but traditional. Does that have general appeal, or do you think "ick"?

Thanks!

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  1. Creamed pearl onions is a great idea. Lov'em. Or butternut squash soup, not a "side dish" admittedly, just a good starter.

    1. I agree - that menu needs a good veggie dish. I would also say those dishes are Here are a couple suggestions:

      roasted fennel and/or beets tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and any cheese you like (I love feta, peccerino (sp?), asiago)

      There are a lot of root starch veggie dishes, but what about a simple squash dish. I like to bake spagetti or acorn squash and serve it simple.

      Have fun!

      1. In my family, we always have deviled eggs on Thanksgiving...

        1. We often have sucotash. It's quick to make and travels/reheats well. I use frozen baby limas and frozen or canned corn ( Course if there's good fresh - that's best). Cook up in a bit of water & butter. Some chopped red pepper for color. Add some milk as you like. A dash or too of hot sauce, salt & pepper and you're good to go !

          1 Reply
          1. re: beuhlie

            Here's another really tasty corn recipe

            Shoepeg Corn & Green Chile Casserole #103506
            by SkysMama
            This is one dish I look forward to every Thanksgiving. My husband's aunt used to make it every year at my request, but since she gave me the recipe, that job is now mine. She got the recipe from a fellow juror while she was on jury duty, but she doesn't know where it originally came from. My family has this every Thanksgiving, but it's so easy and quick, it makes a perfect dinner sidedish. It goes great with ham, chicken and steak. Be careful of this one - it's quite addicting and not for the diet conscious! It's rich, cheesy, a little spicy and absolutely delicious!! I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. — Nov 7, 2004
            2 tablespoons butter
            1/2 cup onions, diced
            2 (12 ounces) cans white shoepeg corn
            2 (4 ounces) cans diced green chilies
            8 ounces sour cream


            pepper, to taste
            6-8 servings | 30 minutes 10 mins prep
            1. Melt butter in a large saute pan on medium heat.
            2. Add onions and saute until translucent.
            3. Add corn and green chiles (including juices), stirring until warmed through.
            4. Stir in sour cream, Monterey Jack, salt& pepper and mix well until cheese just starts to melt.
            5. Transfer to a 8 x 8 casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

          2. I always make broccoli with cheese sauce and crushed Ritz crackers on top, everyone would be very disappointed it I didn't (and that's people that don't eat broccoli the rest of the year!).

            1 Reply
            1. re: coll

              Along these lines, I've become the regular provider of broccoli au gratin in my family. I adapted the recipe from Julia Child's recipe for cauliflower au gratin -- admittedly, the outcome isn't as pretty as when you make the dish with cauliflower, but I've got some pretty picky relatives. Still don't really understand how someone can like broccoli but hate cauliflower, but that's what I'm up against.

              As to the potluck menu above, I think it looks like there are enough side dishes and a salad already; I'd probably bring a light starter, like proscuitto and melon -- something to offset the heavier starchy dishes to be served with the turkey.

              The other thing we always have that would go well with the above menu, that is on the lighter side, is artichoke hearts in lemon-butter sauce. We use canned artichoke hearts (not the marinated ones, but those packed in water), dotted with butter and drizzled with lemon juice, and simply heat them up in the oven while the turkey is resting.

            2. Roasted root vegetables tossed with olive oil and herbs. Suggestions: "baby" carrots, parsnips peeled and cut into strips, turnips peeled and cut into strips, fennel bulb cut into quarters, celery, fingerling potatoes, whole peeled shallots. Not all of these, pick any three.

              Roasted halved and trimmed brussel sprouts, strips of red bell pepper, and trimmed green beans (not French) tossed together with olive oil and roasted.

              Roasted asparagus. This is fabulous, IMO. Snap off the woody ends first, toss with olive oil.

              All of these are better with a sprinkling of sea salt, or, even better, sel gris.

              1. Since I am right in the middle of making creamed pearl onions for our feast tomorrow, I think it's a great idea! Donna

                1. Artichoke hearts sauteed with fennel, combined with with roasted red peppers julienne, a sprinkle of salt, a sprinkle of tarragon.

                  If you want, you can pour a bechamel with cheese over it and bake for 20 minutes. au gratin.

                  1. i made creamed pearl onions for our early thanksgiving last sunday and they were a huge hit. however, i can see where you'd want to do something greener/lighter. some suggestions...

                    --a slaw (perhaps asian-style, with sesame oil/rice vinaigrette, napa cabbage, beansprouts, etc)
                    --broccoli dishes are always nice (as many have noted), or broccoli raab for a zippier flavor...tossed with citrus squeezes perhaps.
                    --a cool noodle salad. this lands in the starch category, but has a nice fresh presence and can be greened up with chopped blanched greenbeans or the like. i'd go asian-style with this, too...soba noodles, sesame oil/rice vinaigrette, toasted sesame seeds, scallion tops.

                    but, those creamed pearl onions sure are good!

                    1. I made this for a potluck last weekend and it stole the evening. Everyone loved it and it tasted amazing, the presentation is also impressive.

                      Jimmy

                      Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...