Thanksgiving meal ideas

Keep the turkey traditional, but experiment with side dishes

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Susan M. Selasky

With Thanksgiving only
days away, beautiful,
golden-brown roasted
turkeys are the eye
candy on the covers of
many magazines.

Some have put different spins on traditional
holiday foods, but most are not
reinventing the turkey-roasting wheel this
year. They’re sticking to the basics —
herb-seasoned and salt-and-pepper-seasoned
birds.

Some magazines offer side dish and
dessert ideas, which many folks use to
add a new twist to the holiday meal. Here
is a glimpse inside a few magazines this
month:

Bon Appetit: Thanksgiving is made
easy with 10 sample menus and recipes
keyed with four strategies: Make ahead,
show off, quick and easy, and take along.
It offers three flavor spins on turkey, as
well as stuffing, sides, breads, potatoes,
relishes and desserts. There are healthy
holiday foods, entertainment ideas and 68
recipes to mix and match. Worth trying is
the Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard
Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans (recipe
below). You can make most of it in
advance.

Martha Stewart Living: As the cover
says: “Thanksgiving, simple and sensational.”
The magazine has it all — from
table settings to that quick-roast turkey to
a traditional whole roasted turkey. And
there are plenty of side dishes — from
Marinated Cauliflower Salad to Roasted
Parsnip Bread Pudding, along with
mashed potato and stuffing recipes. Pie
1-2-3 is a highlight that gives the goods
on making several flavors of pie dough.
The magazine’s take on pumpkin pie this
year is to use a press-in shortbread crust.

Fine Cooking: The editors suggest a
simple, basic Thanksgiving done just
right. The magazine highlights turkey,
gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry
sauce. If you can master these, it
says, “the rest will be easy.” It features a
dry-rubbed roasted turkey with a simple
pan gravy that is seasoned overnight in
the refrigerator so the skin dries and it
crisps up nicely. Worth trying is
Pomegranate-Balsamic-Glazed Carrots
(recipe below).

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard
Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans

Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 20 minutes
/ Total time: 40 minutes (plus marinating
time) All the components of this slaw can be
made in advance and assembled before serving.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup large pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon coarse
kosher salt plus additional for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black
pepper
1/4 cup regular Dijon or whole-grain
Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray large sheet of foil with nonstick
spray. Set aside. Place pecans on small
rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk the maple
syrup, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4
teaspoon pepper. Pour over the pecans
and toss to coat; spread in single layer.

Bake nuts 5 minutes. Stir. Continue
to bake nuts until toasted and glaze is
bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes.
Immediately transfer nuts to prepared foil
and separate. Cool completely. You can
make these two days ahead and store in
an airtight container.

In another small bowl or glass measure,
whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice
and sugar; whisk in oil. Season with
coarse salt and pepper as desired.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add
1 tablespoon coarse salt. Add the Brussels
sprouts. Cook until crisp-tender and still
bright green, about 3-5 minutes, depending
on size.

Drain and immediately rinse with
cold water. Cool on paper towels. Using
processor fitted with 1/8- to 1/4-inch
slicing disk, slice the Brussels sprouts.
Transfer to large bowl.

Dressing and Brussels sprouts can be
made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.

Toss Brussels sprouts with enough
dressing to coat. Let marinate 30 to 60
minutes. Mix in some pecans. Place slaw
in serving bowl. Top with remaining
pecans.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, November
2009 issue. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for
the Free Press Test Kitchen. 223 calories (68
percent from fat), 17 grams fat (1 gram sat.
fat), 17 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams prohtein, 180 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 grams fiber.

Pomegranate-Balsamic- Glazed Carrots

Serves:
8 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 50 minutes Cut the
carrots and prepare the rest of your ingredients up to six hours ahead.
Cook the dish just before serving.

1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice (or use
a cherry-pomegranate blend)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled and
cut into sticks about 2 inches long and
3/8-inch wide
Kosher salt
1/3 cup lower-salt chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh
chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon
or mint

In a glass measure whisk the juice, vinegar and honey. Cut 1 tablespoon of the butter into 4 pieces and refrigerate.

In a 12-inch skillet,
heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the olive oil over
medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the carrots and 1-1/2
teaspoons salt and toss well to coat.

Cook
without stirring until the bottom layer of carrots is lightly browned
in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, stir and flip the carrots and
then leave undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to brown.

Continue
cooking, occasionally stirring and flipping, until most of the carrots
are a bit browned in places and are starting to feel tender, an
additional 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium if the bottom of
the pan begins to brown too much.

Carefully add the chicken broth, cover quickly, and cook until all but about 1 tablespoon
of the broth has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat
to medium-low, and add the pomegranate mixture (rewhisk, if necessary)
and the cayenne.

Cook,
stirring gently, until the mixture reduces and becomes slightly glazy,
about 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat, add the chilled butter and
gently toss with a heatproof spatula until the butter has melted, 30
seconds to 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and stir in about
two-thirds of the herbs. Serve in a warm shallow bowl or on a platter,
garnished with the remaining herbs.

From
Fine Cooking, October/November 2009. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the
Free Press Test Kitchen. 110 calories (57 percent from fat), 7 grams
fat (2.5 grams sat. fat), 13 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 280
mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.

Walnut Rice

Serves: 2 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 20 minutes 1/2
cup long grain white rice 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and
cook 10 minutes. Remove about 3 tablespoons water from the rice and mix
with olive oil and garlic. Drain the rice. Toss with olive oil mixture
and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

From and tested by Linda Gassenheimer.

243
calories (27 percent from fat), 7 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 39 grams
carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 7 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gram
fiber.

(c) 2009, Detroit Free Press. Visit the Freep, the World Wide Web site of the Detroit Free Press, at http://www.freep.com —MCT