Does your family fight over drumsticks, but leave a pile of mashed potatoes? Is cranberry sauce a nod to tradition, but not something anyone actually eats?
While you probably have classic family recipes that will always have a place at your Thanksgiving table, sometimes all you need is an additional ingredient to jazz up the tired dishes at your table. Try these four flavor twists on Thanksgiving classics. Yum, but they may take some getting used to ...
Out with the old: Cranberry sauce
In with the new: Citrus sauce
Instead of plain cranberry sauce, try Citrus-Cranberry Sauce. I've never been a fan of the stuff from the can, but my mom started making this recipe from fresh cranberries, and it's now one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods. The addition of lemon, lime, and orange juice, as well as a bit of ginger, complements the tart cranberries and brightens the entire dish into a welcome contrast to the heaviness of other Thanksgiving dishes.
Out with the old: Rolls
In with the new: Popovers
Forget store-bought rolls. Homemade is so, so, so much better and well worth the effort. Don't know where to start? I've got two suggestions for you. Popovers are easier than you would think, and so light and airy, you'll have plenty of room for turkey and stuffing. Try these cheesy herbed popovers using whatever cheese and herbs you have leftover from your other meal preparations. If you don't have a popover pan and don't want to buy one, try these sweet potato rolls. Don't forget real butter. Get it out the night before Thanksgiving so it's at room temp for your table.
Out with the old: Mashed spuds
In with the new: Shallot and sage mashed
Mashed potatoes are essential for a Thanksgiving table, if only as a vehicle for getting gravy to my mouth. But plain mashed potatoes just don't do it for me; I need something a bit more special. I love these caramelized shallot and sage mashed potatoes, and it's easy to use shallots and sage in your turkey preparation so your gravy will follow suit. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Out with the old: Pumpkin or apple pie
In with the new: Ginger and cider pie
If your apple pie needs a little sprucing up, try this apple ginger pie with cider bourbon sauce. You can have the regular stuff any time of year, but the spicy warmth of the ginger and bourbon combine to make a just-good classic an extra-special holiday treat.
What's your favorite way to spruce up those classic dishes that need a little something different?
Image via Muffet/Flickr