Q.

What’s the must-make new dish for Thanksgiving 2012?

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A.

In my experience, people tend to prefer traditional dishes and flavors for their Thanksgiving, so when people ask for recommendations I usually point them to ingredients and recipes that have some sort of “spiritual connection” or similar flavor profile to what their guests will expect.

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipe ideas and products:

Heirloom Potatoes – These potatoes are an easy way to take Thanksgiving dinner to the next level.  Generally you can use them to make any dish calling for new potatoes (and several dishes that call for russet or Yukon gold potatoes), but the results will be better tasting and (depending on the variety you pick) more colorful.

They push the comfort food button and won’t clash with the other colors on your table, but bring something new to the party at the same time.

Potato Recipe Collection

Twice-Baked Delicata Squash – This is one of my wife’s favorite recipes on the whole blog…she’s absolutely addicted.

It’s also easily adaptable to suit your tastes…you could mix in nuts (I’d recommend pecans), honey, maple syrup, spices (I’d try nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or allspice), chile powder, or herbs (sage would be an excellent choice) instead of or in addition to the garlic we used.

The garlic ends up being pretty raw at the end with this version, so it adds a nice bite, but you could also use sautéed or roasted garlic for a sweeter flavor.

Fresh Wild Mushrooms– Autumn is when a lot of the best wild mushroom varieties start popping up.  Try serving chanterelles, matsutakes, lobster mushrooms, etc.  Mother nature packs them full of flavor, so you don’t have to anything fancy to them to enjoy a fantastic meal.

Roast GooseLet’s face it…some people don’t like turkey.  We often recommend goose as a Thanksgiving turkey substitute.  Roasting a whole goose gives you a very impressive bird to present at the table, but a very different (more duck-like) flavor.

Szechuan Buttons – These little flowers have the unique ability to make your mouth tingle for a few minutes with a buzzing “electric” sensation.  They aren’t very autumnal or Thanksgiving-esque, but they are a great way to break the ice at parties or show your relatives something they’ve never had before.

You can use them to make cocktails (as we have – check out our Szechuan button recipes for ideas), sprinkle petals on salads, or just pass them out to guests as a novelty party food (I recommend people pinch off just a few petals for their initial taste – so it’ll be less intense & long lasting their first time).

– Question Submitted by Lisa K.




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