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I’ll have potatoes, rolls, greens and a side of turkey

With November days washing quickly away, it’s time to think turkey and what goes with it. Thanksgiving is a holiday when you don’t mess around much with your family’s traditions. That said, many families are doing away with tradition or starting new ones.

With that in mind, we offer a few new ideas — nothing too radical (we rejected the ambrosia recipe mentioned below).

The New York Times reports its most popular turkey sides include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Brown Butter Skillet Cornbread, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Pudding, Roasted Carrots with Turmeric and Cumin, String Beans with Ginger and Garlic, Aioli with Roasted Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts with Peanut Vinaigrette, Regina’s Butter Biscuits and Mashed Potato Casserole.

The Mashed Potato Casserole has 14 tablespoons of butter, more than a cup sour cream, chives, bread crumbs, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Mmmmm.

Southern Living suggests Mashed Potatoes with Greens, using kale, chard, cabbage or other leafy greens — perhaps collards? That recipe includes cream cheese. There’s always squash casserole, or a Two-Potato Gratin, with white and sweet potatoes, a dressing of shrimp and grits. Southern Living has a recipe called New Ambrosia, which used Ruby Red grapefruit, oranges, celery, avocado, cucumber, jalapeno pepper and a buttermilk dressing. Definitely NOT your grandmother’s ambrosia.

And they’ve got a recipe for Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach, not rich at all. If you’re going to do Thanksgiving, do it right, so that everyone is groaning by the end of the meal.

Pimiento Cheese Creamed Spinach

3 (10-oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 medium-size yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces and softened

1 cup milk

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained and rinsed

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute; remove from heat.

2. Stir cream cheese into onion mixture until melted and well blended. Stir in spinach, milk, and next 3 ingredients. Stir together egg, drained pimiento, and 1 1/2 cups cheese; stir egg mixture into spinach mixture. Spoon mixture into lightly greased (with cooking spray) ramekins or a 2-quart baking dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Toss together panko, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese; sprinkle over spinach mixture.

4. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

Believe it or not, some recipes, like Lemony Green Beans, might actually be good for you, or roasted carrots or a salad of kale and oranges.

I know you want the mashed potato casserole recipe, too.

With thanks to the New York Times and writer Melissa Clark, here it is. Clark writes that this can be prepared the day before, then topped and baked — that’s a plus.

Mashed Potato Casserole

14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, and more for the pan

6 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chuncks

2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 tsp. black pepper

6 Tbsp. finely chopped chives

2/3 cup bread crumbs

2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Lightly grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a large pot, bring the potatoes, 4 quarts water and 2 Tbsp. salt to a boil. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

Mash potatoes with 10 tablespoons butter, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mash in the chives. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Spread potatoes in the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, bread crumbs and cheese. Mix together until it forms coarse crumbs. Crumbs can be refrigerated for three days.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the potatoes and bake until golden and crisp, 30-40 minutes.

Note: If you can’t find or afford Parmigiano-Reggiano, a good Parmesan cheese will do. Not the dusty stuff. Use grated in a bag.

Here’s your one healthy-ish recipe for a Thanksgiving side, a combination of several different recipes.

Lemony Green Beans

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Juice of half a lemon

Blanch green beans in a large pot of well-salted water until bright green and tender crisp, less than 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil and butter and garlic, sauteeing until fragrant. Do not burn the garlic. Add the green beans and turn well to coat. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.

Food for veterans

Don’t forget all the places offering free food for veterans tomorrow.

• Chick-fil-A at 902 E. Innes St. is not only offering a free meal from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to veterans and active military, they’ve partnered with Bradshaw Financial Planning, which will make an $8 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project for each free meal.

• K&W is offering a free entree.

• IHOP will offer a free stack of Red, White and Blue pancakes.

• Applebees will give veterans a fee entree from a chose of seven meals.

• O’Charley’s will give a free entree from its $9.99 menu.

• Olive Garden also offers a free entree from its seven most popular items.

• Outback Steakhouse offers a free Bloomin’ Onion and non-alcoholic drink.

• Little Caesars Pizza, free pizza to veterans and active members, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Sheetz is giving a free turkey sub and fountain drink.

• Starbucks will give out free tall brewed coffees to veterans, active duty and spouses.

• Krispy Kreme will give veterans and active duty military a free doughnut and coffee.



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