Some members of my family, who won't be together on Thanksgiving Day, decided to have an early Thanksgiving celebration since we won't be spending the actual holiday together. It was a fun and relaxing day, with far less pressure than the actual Thanksgiving dinner, and it gave me the chance to try out some of the recipes I was hoping to make on the actual day. Even if you're not having a Thanksgiving dinner dress rehearsal, it's still a good idea to start thinking about the recipes you'll be preparing, and even trying out one of the sides or two during a regular weeknight dinner. Two to consider:
- Green Beans and Mushrooms with Fried Shallots - this is a healthier and fresher riff on the ubiquitous green bean casserole that's a mainstay on so many Thanksgiving tables. Made with fresh (not canned) green beans, exotic oyster mushrooms and a luxurious, but easy to make, creamy sauce, and topped with a tangle of fried shallots, this recipe will convince you never to make the canned version again.
- Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts - I adore brussels sprouts prepared just about any way, and this recipe keeps them juicy and tender by cooking them in apple cider. I like them with crispy bacon sprinkled on top, but if there will be some vegetarians at your table, the bacon can easily be omitted.