Don’t Forget the Side Dishes for the Turkey!


Of all the holidays we celebrate, Thanksgiving is the one most defined by food. And, for most of us that food is based on tradition. My own family looks forward to a big bird with crisp golden skin served with rich pan gravy. They know there will be homemade cranberry chutney, and since our family DNA harbors deep Southern roots, cornbread dressing is a must at our table. However, when it comes to the sides—those special recipes that play supporting roles in this holiday menu—my clan is open to new creations. 
I often include new accompaniments like the delectable one featured here. A glorious mélange of the season’s robust vegetables, including butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, brown mushrooms, and leeks, this dish pairs fabulously with the traditional bird and dressing. The vegetables are sautéed, scented with rosemary, then sprinkled with toasted pecans, and Parmesan.

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The Thanksgiving Menu: A Last-Minute Trimming


Photo by Susie Cushner
Yesterday at a book signing for my new book, Sunday Roasts, I offered samples of Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey mounded on baguette slices, topped with spoonfuls of glistening Cranberry and Dried Cherry Chutney.
Those who stopped by all commented on the moistness of the turkey, but what really caught their eye and their palate was the deep crimson chutney. One woman told me that she had not been pleased with her cranberry sauce the previous year, and was eager to try this chutney.
I’ve included this special condiment more than once in my Thanksgiving classes, and each time it turned out to be one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Everyone loves the balance of flavors—the sweetness of the cherries countered by the tartness of the cranberries.
If you’re still looking for a great complement to your bird, give this chutney a try. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and can be made several days ahead. Store it in the fridge, and at serving time mound it in a bowl. Then watch your family and friends reach for seconds!

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Turkey Tips–Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey from Sunday Roasts
If you’re beginning to worry about roasting your holiday bird until it’s a rich golden brown with tender, moist flesh beneath, check out the interview I just did for The Daily Meal. There are plenty of tips and suggestions for helping you to turn out a bird that’s picture perfect!
The interview, including the recipe for the turkey pictured here, should be on The Daily Meal’s s home page for the next week or more. The photo at left is by Susie Cushner.