Just because Thanksgiving mostly is about tradition doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to going off script when it comes to side dishes and exactly how to cook the big bird.
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The only time I have celebrated Thanksgiving where I live in London, it was with a couple of incredibly homesick American friends. Hoping to comfort them, I cooked what I felt was a spirit-lifting roasted tandoori turkey, only to receive steely glances, awkward silences and, “No thanks.”
Lidia Bastianich is America’s Italian grandmother. In a dozen books and on her public television program, Bastianich has schooled American cooks in homemade pasta, the proper use of escarole, and the need to slow down and come to the table.
To brine or not to brine? High heat or low and slow? Jellied or whole berry? And of course, to stuff or not to stuff?
They are, of course, the perennial Thanksgiving debates. So let us give you a little clarity this year. And if your relatives disagree and want to argue about it, you can blame us.
This year we decided to reverse engineer the vegetarian Thanksgiving.
We apologize if you are a huge fan of green beans. We apologize if you are the sort of person who longs for the green beans at Thanksgiving. We think it’s a little strange, but we still apologize.
Heading into crisper weather, I start to crave the holiday classics that beg to be made this time of year. One of my favourites is stuffing (technically “dressing” since I haven’t stuffed it in the turkey ever since Alton Brown talked me out of it over a decade ago when I read his recipe for roasted turkey).
Plain old mashed potatoes are always brilliant, and it’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving table without them. Still, every once in a while we like to change things up. But not too much. Here, a small amount of Parmesan cheese adds earthiness and nuttiness to the classic smooth, creamy potatoes, and turns a traditional side into something inspired with no extra work.
Any number of tasks may strike you as easy as pie, but anyone who’s ever actually made a pie can tell you that it actually requires some care if you want it to turn out well.
Oyster dressing is a traditional Thanksgiving side dish in the South. It also is pretty darn controversial.