Recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes

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Surround the traditional turkey with some new side dishes for an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner
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Add some new Thanksgiving side dishes to your table this year

At center stage, there's a turkey…golden brown, juicy and oh so tempting.  It's a Thanksgiving tradition. 

But what will you serve as the supporting cast?  If you're ready for a change from the same old Thanksgiving side dishes, here are a few new ideas to bring new flavors to your holiday table.

Get your bakeware out, assemble the ingredients and start creating a new Thanksgiving favorite!

Acorn Squash With Apple Raisin Stuffing

Diana Rattray at offered this delicious alternative to the standard sweet potato casserole.

 Boiling water
4 acorn squash
4 large firm cooking apples, peeled, cored, chopped (red or yellow Delicious are too soft)
8 tablespoons raisins or coarsely chopped dried cranberries or crazins
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Heat oven to 375°.
In a large baking dish, pour in about 1/4-inch of boiling water.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds.
Place each half cut-side down in the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
Combine apples, raisins or cranberries, butter, cinnamon and sugar.
Remove squash from the oven and turn open side up.
Stuff the center of each squash half with the apple mixture.
Return to the oven for 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until apples and squash are tender.
Stir each center lightly before serving.

Serves  8 hungry guests

Honey Dijon Roasted Beets

Add the rich ruby color of beets to your selection of Thanksgiving side dishes.  This easy and tangy autumn dish is sure to become a favorite with your family and guests.  Our thanks to Michael Lomonaco at Seriously Good Recipes!

2 lbs fresh unpeeled red beets
2 tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbs cold unsalted butter
1/2 c honey Dijon mustard
2 tbs lemon juice, preferably fresh
3 tbs chopped fresh mint

Heat the oven to 375°F.
Remove greens and root end from beets, but don't trim them closely.
Wash the beets well, but do not peel.
Place the washed and unpeeled beets in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
Transfer the beats to a roasting pan and spread beets in a single layer; roast in oven until tender, 15 to 20 minutes for small, 45 minutes for very large.
Remove the pan from oven and let the beets cool.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins (wear kitchen gloves to keep your hands from getting stained!)
Quarter the beets (or cut into eighths, if very large)
Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add beets and cook, stirring often, until lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes. Drizzle lemon juice over beets and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the Dijon mustard and continue to cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped mint, stir to coat the beets.
Serve hot.

Andouille Cornbread Stuffing (makes about 3 cups of stuffing)

Take your Thanksgiving flavors south with this New Orleans-style stuffing.  It's an easy and tasty alternative to the standard onion, celery and sage stuffing.

2 tbls Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
1 c Andouille sausage, chopped
1/2 c green onions, chopped
4 tbls celery, chopped
4 tbls green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbls fresh garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 c corn muffins, crumbled but not too fine
1 c chicken stock
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
Salt and freshly ground pepper,  to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.
Add yellow onions and sausage and sauté about  1 minute.
Add chopped green onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic.
Saute about  1 minute, or until hot.
Stir in crumble corn muffins, chicken stock and seasoning.
Cook, tossing for about 2 minutes.
Serve hot.

This year, be adventurous!  Add some new Thanksgiving side dishes to your holiday table and watch your family and friends enjoy the new tastes.  Even the star of the show, your delicious turkey, will be glad to share the spotlight with these yummy additions.

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