4 Ideas For What To Bring To Your Thanksgiving Feast

These ideas will help you do your part to make your Thanksgiving meal exceptional.
These ideas will help you do your part to make your Thanksgiving meal exceptional.

If you have set out to learn to cook online, you’re probably interested in contributing at least one exceptional dish to your Thanksgiving meal this year. Read on for ideas that will ensure your family or friends are grateful you brought food instead of a bottle of wine. Just remember, always check with your host to see what items are still needed before preparing anything; you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes before you even walk in the door to your happy gathering:

Add flair to your potatoes
Potatoes are Thanksgiving staples, almost as much as the turkey itself. Too often, however, they can be dull and bland in flavor. Make your side more interesting by adding spices and green onion to mashed potatoes or melting cheese into your roasted potatoes.

There is nothing wrong with a straightforward baked potato, but doing it well may require more planning than you think. Bon Appetit offered several pieces of crucial advice for baking potatoes, Begin by making sure you use large Russet potatoes, which become creamy when baked and offer plenty of space for toppings. Don’t set the potato directly on the baking sheet, as this will result in some overcooked areas; rather, place a rack atop the sheet. Finally, don’t be impatient: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the potatoes plenty of time to bake.

Stir up a classic fall soup
When the weather grows cold, nothing is as soothing as a hot bowl of soup. A creamy soup with the flavor of a seasonal vegetable like butternut squash will make an excellent start for your Thanksgiving meal.

Alton Brown  suggested first cutting two squash into quarters and removing the seeds. Then coat the pieces with butter and season with kosher salt and white pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, scoop out the flesh and place in a pot with 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, 1 cup of honey and a teaspoon of minced ginger.

Simmer for about 8 minutes, and use a stick blender to puree until the mixture appears smooth. Add a cup of heavy cream and resume simmering, seasoning the soup with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cooking Light advised substituting half and half for heavy cream to cut down on the fat content.

Ditch the canned cranberry sauce
While cranberry sauce is an obligatory part of the occasion, busy Thanksgiving hosts often resort to pouring it out of a can. You can make a significant improvement in this year’s feast by offering to bring the sauce along.

Keep the sauce simple and you can still get delicious results. Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food recommended placing 12 ounces of cranberries in a saucepan with cup of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon zest, and 1 cup of water. Heat the saucepan to a boil, and then simmer for about 10 minutes. When the cranberries grow soft, transfer the sauce the bowl and allow to cool before serving.

Assemble a winter salad
Salad can make an excellent addition to the meal and doesn’t require extensive or difficult preparation. Make your contribution appealing by choosing ingredients appropriate to the imminent winter. Epicurious suggested hardy greens like escarole or kale, crunchy textures from nuts or apples and the seasonal flavors of carrots, pomegranate seeds or squash.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t toss the ingredients together before leaving home if you want the salad to be fresh and delicious when it’s served. Instead, gather and chop the necessary quantities of your vegetables and store them in plastic bags. Don’t forget oil and vinegar if you want to whip up a quick vinaigrette.

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