Thanksgiving came a little early

I think everyone would agree that the best thing about Thanksgiving is not the Turkey or the pumpkin pie. It is the side dishes. The stuffing that soaks up all the turkey juice and fat; the sweet potatoes and winter squashes; and the maple glazed carrots. These make our tummies go umm-umm. So that kind of obsession compelled me to make a 3-dish dinner after a long day's work on a Friday night. Compared to my weeknight routine of 1-hour dinners (ok so Rachel Ray can make two 30-minute meals while I cook just one. But she sucks), this is actually more work!!!

Martha has been publishing 15 years of readers' favorites in all the magazine issues this year. And in this November issue, she reviewed our favorite holiday side dishes. I am really grateful for this, for I had been kicking myself for not saving a creamed spinach recipe from 2 years ago. So on this night, I savored the silky spinach yet again, for the 3rd time, mixed with sweet and crunchy pearl onions and smoky bacon. I also got tempted into making the mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized apples. The entree was our stand-by dinner -- broiled lamb shoulder steak marinated with parsley, rosemary, pepper, and garlic, served with a cucumber yogurt sauce. Believe it or not, I actually made all this within 2 hours, and this includes blanching and peeling >20 pearl onions; blanching and squeeze-drying spinach; roasting and scooping sweet potatoes. The result? I definitely don't regret making the creamed spinach. I can eat this every other day. I can do without the sweet potatoes. And like how everyone treats the turkey on Thanksgiving day, I only finished half of my lamb because I saved room for the side dishes and dessert.


Sean Carter said…
Well according to me everything is great about Thanksgiving dinner. Apart from the food you get to spend some quality time with you family and close friends without anything to worry about. It's a time to be enjoyed and treasured. Hey visit my
Thanksgiving Blog sometime soon. It's got some cool ideas to make Thanksgiving celebrations more memorable. Well visit soon and enjoy!!!
charles said…
Yeah, side dishes rule on Thanksgiving -- especiallly for me since I'm not a big fan of turkey. I don't why people like turkey -- it's so dry and there's so much meat on it that unless you're inviting 50 people over, you can never finish the whole thing in one sitting, and then it just becomes even more dry (yuck!) after a day or two.
Albertitto said…
Turkey is difficult to cook -- remember Professor Duncan's ChemE 101 class? The fundamental problem with turkey is its "hollowed sphere" shape, uneven distribution of heat transfer coefficient, and different desired final temperatures for different parts of the turkey. I did have some success by following the Best Recipe, published by the same people running the Cook's Illustrated Magazine. First, the turkey has to be brined -- it gives the meat a much needed flavor injection. The salt that enters the turkey also helps it retain more water as it cooks. Then some turning tricks in the oven helps the heat distribution and even browning on the skin. I actually think the second-day fridge-cold turkey leg leftover is the tastiest part of a turkey.

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