Traditional sides get a savory twist

11/20/2013 12:00 AM

11/19/2013 10:44 AM

Thanksgiving is the one time of year when roasting a big turkey is not enough. As cooks, we wrestle with also having to prepare a string of side dishes to please guests.

Trouble is we’re often in side-dish rut. And too often we try to make complicated sides.

But if you’ve never tried vegetables like Brussels sprouts, now is your chance. And if you can’t sway from mashed sweet potatoes, try and vary them a little. Our double-stuffed potatoes is fine and flavorful with a mix of sweet potatoes and baked and mashed potatoes.

There are no set rules of how many side dishes to have. Just don’t overdo it.

Here are some tips to help you better tackle turkey day:

•  You can peel potatoes for mashed potatoes in the morning or several hours in advance and put them in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate.
•  Clean most vegetables to be used in casseroles or on their own the day before. Chop, slice or dice them and store in plastic sealable bags in the refrigerator.
•  Dishes that have a cream or milk based sauce don’t reheat well. Try to make them on Thanksgiving Day.
•  For stuffing: Sauté onions and carrots and any meats used in stuffing the night before, then cool them and store them in separate plastic bags. Then put everything together on Thanksgiving Day so it’s ready to bake.

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