Savor the Season

Sides dishes with celebrity status

The turkey may be the star of your Thanksgiving show, but all leading legends need a great supporting cast. This holiday, give your traditional holiday fare some sparkle by incorporating a couple of new side dishes into the mix. Here are two of my favorites.

Cornbread-Chorizo Dressing

¾ pound French bread, torn into bite-size pieces

8 ounces chorizo sausage

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups thinly-sliced celery

1 – 1½ tablespoons crumbled dried sage

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8-inch square pan of cornbread (made from a 15-

ounce package of cornbread mix),

crumbled coarsely

3 – 4 cups turkey or chicken stock

4 large eggs

½ teaspoon baking powder
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Preheat oven to 375° F. Place bread on baking sheet and toast in oven about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool, then place into large bowl.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Over medium heat, sauté chorizo in large skillet, breaking it into small bits as you cook, until well browned. Drain well. Add butter to chorizo in same skillet, and melt over medium heat. Stir in onions and celery and sauté until very soft. Add sage, thyme, salt, and pepper, and add to bowl of toasted bread pieces. Add cornbread crumbles. Pour in stock a cup at a time, and mix together until bread is very moist but not soupy. You will probably use 2 to 3 cups of stock. Cover and refrigerate dressing until you are ready to proceed. (Up to this point, dressing can be made a day ahead.) To finish dressing: taste and adjust seasoning and add a bit more stock if mixture seems dry. Whisk eggs and baking powder together and mix into dressing. Spoon dressing into baking dish. Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 20 more minutes, until lightly browned and crusty on top.

(Recipe adapted from Cheryl Alters Jamison, New Mexico Magazine)

Cranberry Apple Relish

¾ orange juice

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dash ground cloves

1 12-ounce package cranberries

1 large apple, peeled and cored
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In a saucepan, combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and apples. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook and stir for 3 or 4 minutes until cranberries pop. Chill and serve.

(Recipe from Jennifer Ruple)