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Oct 23, 2013 05:17 AM

Your Most Nontraditional Thanksgiving Dish or Dessert

I'm always on the lookout for something new and interesting for Thanksgiving. I think there would be a serious revolt if I didn't serve my turkey, gravy, and dressing. I think my best option is an interesting side dish or dessert to add a little pizzazz. What do you serve?

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  1. A friend of mine makes this cranberry relish with jalapenos, and apparently it's become a big family favorite. Maybe worth a shot?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      Thanks for posting that, it's right up my alley and I usually buy and freeze a lot of fresh cranberries through the fall to use later.

    2. I make a spinach and gorgonzola "soufflé" that is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides. I got the recipe from my sister years ago.

      18 Replies
        1. re: foodslut

          Yes it does! Can you post the recipe?

          1. re: chloebell

            Here you go:

            Spinach & Gorgonzola Casserole

            1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, undrained

            1 16 oz. container small curd cottage cheese

            4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

            ½ c. butter, melted

            3 T. flour

            5 large eggs, beaten to blend

            Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 6 to 8 cup soufflé dish. Place spinach in large bowl, mix in cottage cheese, Gorgonzola, melted butter, and flour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add eggs and stir til blended. Transfer to prepared dish. Bake until spinach is set in the center, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or room temperature.

            1. re: tcamp

              That sounds great. I may have to give that a try before thanksgiving.

              1. re: tcamp

                Nice; I'll be trying this! Dumb question, but does "undrained" mean you remove the excess liquid, or not?

                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                    Right, keep the liquid - it goes into the dish.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      OK, thanks. I thought so, but I asked because some people use "unpeeled" to mean "peeled" and it can get confusing :) I thought maybe this was the same.

                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                        But, Christina "unpeeled" ALWAYS means NOT peeled . Do not let anyone confuse you on this. If someone told you otherwise they made a mistake.

                        1. re: MazDee

                          I agree, and wish people would use the terms consistently :)

                  2. re: tcamp

                    This is definitely going on my list. I may do a test run this weekend.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      It's in the oven!!!! I can't wait to try it.

                        1. re: tcamp

                          I think I may actually break tradition and add this to my Thanksgiving menu. My husband is on a gorgonzola kick lately, and he does love creamed spinach. This sounds a step or two above. I am thinking of subbing ricotta for the cottage cheese though, just to keep things Italian!

                          1. re: coll

                            It was very good! The only thing I'm going to change is making it in 3 smaller dishes.....hubby liked the crust on the edges it made.

                            Overall, it's a keeper for sure!!!!

                          2. re: tcamp

                            I just got spinach and blue cheese to make this :)

                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                              Can't wait to hear how this is... it's a pretty inexpensive recipe to boot!

                              1. re: gingershelley

                                Yeah, I hope the cheese is still good. I haven't made it yet! I will aim for this weekend.

                1. Cabbage rolls--traditional at most Eastern European celebrations... and potato salad (Olivier in Russian, "French salad" in other countries).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodslut

                    How funny you say that. I'm of (half) Ukranian decent and cabbage rolls are always on the table for the big family meals. Mrs. Sippi, as you can imagine, is Southern and their TG table is full of great Southern dishes. She keeps saying, "Nothing says Thanksgiving like cabbage rolls." Then snickers. She doesn't get it when I say "I'm sure in Eastern Europe nothing says Thanksgiving like Sweet Potato Casserole." Then snicker.

                    So anyway, part of my point is, what one region finds traditional may be very non traditional in another.


                  2. Lately, since I've been able to get cheap lobsters in the late fall, Mom has requested Lobster Thermador. In a way, I suppose an argument could be made that lobster is a truly old fashioned Thanksgiving ingredient, but I don't see it on many tables these days.

                    Raw oysters with freshly grated horseradish are another common offering for our family.

                    Last year, we had to forego these extra dishes due to the Hurricane. Now, this year Mom wants to know if I could maybe make fish tacos for my Brother's kids.

                    My personal favorite Thanksgiving eat, however, is the deep fried turkey livers that I try to hide from the crowd.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MGZ

                      I do agree lobster and oysters were at the first feast...
                      probally some smoked fish as well

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        Now, girl, lets not you and I get in the way of the myths that have made this Country so exceptional, ok?

                        1. re: MGZ

                          No way! Green bean casserole and crescent rolls were totally at the first Thanksgiving.

                    2. Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

                      I home grown and smoke dry my own chipoltes. They are not in an adobo sauce. I grind them into powder.

                      Saute chopped onion in a generous amount of butter. Add chipotle powder, brown sugar and some molassas. Toss in large chunks of sweet potato and stir to coat. Roast at 375 until tender, about 45 minutes or so.

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: chileheadmike

                        I do a similar dish with cream rather than brown sugar and molasses, but plenty of chipotles. Sweet potatoes are peeled and sliced to about 1/4 inch, same baking time.
                        Also, a sexy turkey stuffing/dressing helps. I include oysters and chestnuts, and one year I added fresh huitlacoche and it was a big hit.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          I have also made a sweet potato gratin with cream and chipotle - it is one of my favorite things EVER!

                          1. re: Veggo

                            I'm definitely trying that out. So you sauté onions then add the sliced potatoes, cream, and chipotle? How much cream and chipotle? Fresh or powdered chipotle? Thanks!

                            1. re: tcamp

                              I blend a couple canned chipotles in adobo with a little of their sauce in my little chopper and combine it with a pint of heavy cream, then pour the cream- chipotle mixture on layers of 1/4 inch sweet potato slices, usually about 4 layers, in a glass baking dish. I don't use onions, sometimes some toasted pecan pieces for another flavor and texture, then bake covered with foil.
                              chiliheadmike's recipe above with onions and brown sugar is a little different.

                                1. re: tcamp

                                  Similar, but different, is this butternut squash and poblano casserole; I made this a few years ago to have something 'different', and it was a huge hit with my family - esp. sister-in-law who is a vegetarian - this is her T-day entreé now!


                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    That sounds great! Last year I made a butternut squash, leek, and apple gratin that was a big hit.

                                    1. re: 512window

                                      That sounds awesome! Recipe source?

                                      1. re: 512window

                                        My SIL made one similar to this, and she added blue cheese. MIghty tasty!

                                      2. re: gingershelley

                                        This looks divine! I'm going to the store tomorrow & get the ingredients!

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          I made this last Thursday. AWESOME!!!! It's now on our menu. Thanks!!

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          This is how I make mine as well. Have also added some lime zest. Always well received. It's always fun to see this devoured by people who say they don't like sweet potatoes.

                                          1. re: Pwmfan

                                            Important for anyone who will try it for the first time - a couple canned chipotles, NOT a couple CANS of chipotles! I think we blew a few fuses when this recipe was first shared here some years ago...

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              Nyleve is the one that shared that recipe first, as I remember. I did the whole can too, live and learn. But with ONE chipotle pepper it is perfect.

                                              The hot stuff I portioned out and added to soup and Indian dishes until it was gone, sometime in the spring I think.