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Oct 1, 2010 08:47 PM

Need Thanksgiving side dish and/or dessert ideas

So I'm making Cornish hens for my Canadian Thanksgiving, but don't really have any ideas for side dishes or desserts. I salt the hens and then roast them at a high temperature in a skillet (a la Zuni Cafe in San Francisco), which makes for deliciously tender and juicy meat with crispy golden skin, but it's fairly salty, so I don't want to cook anything else really salty as a side dish. Any ideas? I often cook sweet potatoes and/or squash dishes (sometimes with apples) to go with chicken, and pumpkin-based desserts, but I'm open to other suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. my absolute two favorite recipes for thankgiving are 1) this scalloped sweet pot with lemon,ginger cream: (to die for)
    2) this 4 onion gratin that is out of this world:

    ok, and one more, found on chowhound.fennel/mushroom bread pudding:

    good luck

    3 Replies
    1. re: lexpatti

      Oooh... that lemon, ginger & cream sweet potato thing is making me drool... Thanks!

      1. re: lexpatti

        That mushroom bread pudding sounds wonderful. I love the idea of baking them in individual servings. That would be good to do and then freeze for winter breakfasts or lunches. I may try that.

        We do a mushroom bread pudding for Thanksgiving from the Herbfarm cookbook. It has dried mushrooms and fresh, a bunch of fresh marjorum, eggs, milk instead of cream.

        Another good one.

      2. How many are you cooking for?
        For dessert:
        Generously butter a 9x13 baking dish and cover the bottom with a layer of crushed corn flakes (about 1 2/3 cup). Melt four ounces of butter in a pan and mix in 4 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp cloves and 1 Tbsp sugar,. 4 Tbsp orange zest. Drizzle that over the corn flakes. Warm 3/4 cup of evaporated milk in a sauce pan and add a cup (more or less) of miniature marshmallows. Heat to melt the marshmallows. Stir in a cup of chopped pecans and pour this mixture over the corn flakes. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of Nestle's chocolate morsels over the top and, finally, sprinkle about 2/3 cup of flaked coconut over all. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
        Cool completely on counter, then chill to ensure it's nice and firm. Then dip a biscuit cutter into some warm water and cut rounds of the dessert to plate alongside peeled orange segments.
        Makes a nice "fancy" dessert without a lot of work.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          Most likely three, possibly four. That dessert sounds fantastic!

        2. I would do roasted cubes of butternut squash, onions, and apples or add in some cubes of sweet potatoes. I also love roasted broccoli and cauliflower sprinked with Parmesan cheese as it comes out the oven. Delicious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: vafarmwife

            Ooh, yummy! I love butternut squash with onions and apples.

            1. re: persephonesgift

              And if you have leftovers, puree them with chicken stock and you have soup!

          2. last year I did a pumpkin cheesecake, and it was so so good. I love pumpkin pie but this makes a great change while sticking with the traditional flavour (I can't have Thanksgiving without pumpkin dessert!).

            1 Reply
            1. re: onecaketwocake

              Ooh, sounds good! I usually make a pumpkin spice cake, because my Dad always hated pumpkin pie, so I said "I'm going to make a pumpkin dessert that he'll like!" and I was successful. I've never tried a pumpkin cheesecake.

            2. How about some Potatoes Au Gratin and I love the acorn squash or maybe butternut squash idea. If there is leftovers, you can always make soup! Hmmmm.... this is giving me some ideas!

              1 Reply
              1. re: boyzoma

                Thanks! I love potatoes au gratin... I may do that and some squash dish.