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Favorite Thanksgiving dish?

I have taken on the task of cooking all the dishes for Thanksgiving with my roommates this year, minus the turkey. I am looking for some good/innovative/new twists on classics.

Here's an example of what I mean by a new twist, I love this recipe because it has traditional flavor profiles but all jazzed up.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

We are also hosting a cocktail party that evening after dinner and I would love some cheap ideas for finger foods/ cocktails.

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  1. Grand-mama used to make Sweet Potato Hummus, and served hummus with toasted pita or bagel chips. It was a great starter on Thanksgiving Day.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sodarnhungry

      Sweet potato hummus is a phrase I never thought to hear!

      Can I serve it with Bubba Ghanoush? LOL! (sorry, I can't resist such a perfect setup for a pun)

      Seriously, how would you make that?

      BTW, in bocca, you're not doing the turkey - that's kind of a shame. Because there is a recipe on the chowhound site for some seriously twisted turkey. It sounds good, but it sure does look warped, LOL!

      Actually there are two:

      http://www.chow.com/galleries/51/holi...

      http://www.chow.com/galleries/51/holi...

    2. My mom and I fell in love, love, love with sweet potato fries recently at a restaurant called Plum's in Beaufort, South Carolina. We could not believe how delicious these fries were!
      Just the other night I saw Cat Cora praising sweet potato fries as her "best thing I ever ate" offering. "Simply Irresistible" is what this particular episode is called so you should look for it. The restaurant was called Beano's and I remember the fries were cut and coated with olive oil and baked, then deep fried and seasoned.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sensuous

        ooohhhh... i love these ideas for the party!

      2. some thoughts for updating the classics:
        - blue corn muffins or polenta instead of cornbread
        - cauliflower gratin, cheesy smashed cauliflower, or cauliflower soup instead of potatoes
        - roast pork loin instead of turkey
        - cranberry salsa or chutney (maybe with pomegranate?) instead of cranberry sauce

        you should also check out the current threads about side dishes & brussels sprouts - many terrific ideas there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          had another thought last night - turkey cutlets. you could do them piccata-style with lemon & capers, or for a more traditional Thanksgiving feel, maybe a cranberry pan sauce with orange or pomegranate.

        2. i'm not sure if my suggestions will be "innovative" or "twisty" enough, but...

          you could do stuffing in individual muffin cups, and vary the bread - use a combo of cornbread, wheat, rye breads, and add shiitake mushrooms, shallots, thyme, etc.; or do brioche or challah with sausage, celery, onions, thyme, sage, etc.

          instead of mashed potatoes, serve potato knishes with gravy (maybe i'm just anticipating channukah here)

          instead of green bean casserole, do roasted green beans, with crispy onions, and a thin creamy gruyere or jarlsberg drizzle

          cranberry sauce with pumpkin seeds is a nice variation

          pumpkin sponge cake with a vanilla bean sauce/filling

          1. This relish can be made with a food processor as well, but just be judicious not to grind it to a paste: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cran... The freshness really zings on leftovers, too. Good with pork as well as turkey or chicken.

            2 Replies
            1. re: amyzan

              This dish looks wonderful. How far ahead of time can I make it?

              1. re: trvler

                When I've made it years past, it's best within 24 hours, because it's raw rather than cooked. But, it does keep because of the orange juice--the texture and appearance just changes somewhat. The mixture will begin to seep juices and become slightly more mushy. We usually eat it all within a few days, but you could also try cooking it down after eating it raw as written initially, if you want to keep it longer than a few days. I would say make it the morning of the meal or the evening before, for best texture and flavor.