Best sides to serve with Turkey dinner
- theSauce Nov 7, 2005 04:45 PM
Getting tired of mash taters and green bean casseroles as the hot sides for turkey. Looking for new recipe and suggestions.
I am serving a very rich spoonbread instead of mashed potatoes. It is wonderful with gravy on it. I'm not sure about the greenery, I'm not in charge of that, but you can bet it will not be green bean casserole. The person doing the greens has mentioned Sicilian Broccoli from the old NYT International Cookbook. It is steamed broccoli with a sauce made from butter, shallots, garlic, flour, chicken stock, anchovies, black olives, pepper and mozzerella. Hmmmm I've been wondering what to make for dinner tonight and I have not made that in a long time.
My favorite side has always been my mother's recipe for turnips.
She roasts them (you can always boil them), then mashes them and mixes in the fattiest drippings from the turkey and pepper...
I also mash my sweet potatoes with bourbon and butter.
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving around here(Baltimore)
with side dishes of saurkraut and keilbasa...
I always make sure to include a variety of textures, temperatures and flavors: cold, crunchy, sweet, sour, et cet. And lots of fiber-rich foods to help with digesting a large meal.
So my sides include things like a non-mayonaisse based vegetable slaw, a bulgur pilaf, rutabagas whipped with potatoes and apples, roasted/grilled vegetables, homemade applesauce and cranberry compote, in addition to the star attraction: the sausage and giblet-studded dressing.
Oh, and there's turkey and giblet gravy, too.
Wait at least an hour for the dessert course....
Some random ideas:
Roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon. Strew some caramelized red onions w/ balsamic on top.
Fennel and/or artichoke gratin
Celery root and potato puree. Run through the food mill and add warmed buttermilk and butter, S&P, and nutmeg.
Braised cabbage and apples
Second the carrot pudding linked below! Tasted great and would be very economical for large crowd.
Sweet potato gratin w/ chipotles that was posted last year.
Not really, just an idea for inspiration. Gratins are very easy to make and improvise on, so I usually just apply my general formula. Fiddle w/ proportion of stock to cream depending on how healthy vs. creamy you want it to be. I sometimes use milk or half and half, just depends on what I have on hand.
My general method: Slice veggies to uniform thickness (1/4-1/3"). For artichokes, quartering would be fine too. Fresh would taste best, but frozen would be fine too. For fresh, soak in acidulated water first to minimize discoloration. Butter bottom of gratin or pyrex dish. Layer: veggies (slightly overlapping), S&P, minced fresh herbs, cheese if using (parmesan for artichokes), and dots of butter.
Layer as much as you'd like, but leave at least a 1/2" clearance from top. Before seasoning top layer, pour in liquid (stock or dairy) til it surrounds the layers, but doesn't drown the veggies. Finish seasoning top layer and dust w/ bread crumbs as well.
Cover w/ foil and bake at 375F. Check for tenderness of veggies. Once they are about 10-15 min. shy of being done, uncover and bake til cooked through and browned on top. Broil briefly at end if desired. Cool for about 10-15 min. to let set.
Amen to the Brussels sprouts, though I braise them in a little stock with the bacon strewn throughout. Also gotta have oysters - either scalloped oysters (see Fanny Farmer or J of C for that) or oyster dressing. Don't - WON'T - do candied yams, but I sometimes do a puréed squash casserole, with mace or nutmeg in there, lots of butter, and brown-sugared walnuts scattered on top.
My mom used to roast and then mash acorn squash, which she would then stuff into candied oranges. Really, not that sweet, just sweet enough. I think it's a Silver Palate recipe. Really tasty b/c the orange was just tart enough to temper the squash.
I like to make a fennel salad, dressed with pomegranate seeds. That way you can add a nice crunchiness to the T-G table.
I always try something new each year, though my family only lets me experiment with the types of stuffings and vegetable sides. Everything else is sacrosanct.
Here are some dishes I've done:
- Fennel slices braised in milk, broiled with parmesan at the end
- Fresh orange glazed yams
- Tomato slices baked with cheddar/breadcrumb/onion/brown sugar/thyme mixture (a family favorite for many years, not allowed to come off the menu)
- Pancetta wrapped whole baked onions (very pretty with a rosemary sprig holding the pancetta on)
- Pear, Stilton and Arugula salad with champagne vinaigrette
- Green beans with balsamic shallot butter (on lighter side than green bean casserole)