Thanksgiving side dishes in New England vary slightly from dishes that are located throughout the rest of the United States. During the holidays, if you're like a lot of people, you spend time thinking about the first Thanksgiving and want to tap into your roots by sprucing up your holiday table with some traditional New England fare. These dishes will give your table a unique and tasty blend of the old and the new while giving your guests plenty to talk about afterwards.
The first recipe that we'll cover is a delicious oyster soup: a great way to start off your family's holiday meal and a favorite side dish in New England.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 pints fish stock
- 12 large oysters, shucked and quartered
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
- First, you will need to heat the butter and, using a wooden spoon, add the flour, cooking for two minutes.
- Add the stock slowly. Stir continuously until the mixture is smooth and thick.
- Put the oysters in the stock and simmer for no more than three minutes. Leaving the oysters in longer will cause them to overcook and become too chewy.
- Sprinkle the soup with parsley. Serve the lemon wedge on the side.
Tip: This recipe serves four people, so for larger gatherings, you should be prepared to adjust as needed.
The next side dish that would go well with your New England Thanksgiving dinner is corn bread. Corn bread pairs up wonderfully with your oyster soup or is excellent for dipping in your turkey gravy.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups of self-rising cornmeal
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet inside the oven for 8 minutes.
- Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and the butter from the skillet until well blended. Add the cornmeal and continue whisking until smooth. Spoon into the hot skillet.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden. Cut into wedges and serve.
Tip: Before adding the butter to the milk and egg mixture, swirl it up onto the sides of the skillet to make certain that the edges won't stick.
Thanksgiving in New England would not be complete without chestnut stuffing inside your bird.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 lb. bulk pork sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 granny smith apples, cored and chopped
- One 1 lb. bag of herb stuffing mix
- 8 oz. of jarred roasted chestnuts, chopped
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat cook the sausage. Break the sausage into bits with a wooden spoon as it's cooking. Keep at it until browned, which should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, and apples to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Stir frequently for another 10 minutes. By this time, the vegetables and fruit should be soft.
- In a large bowl, pour the stuffing mix, chestnuts, walnuts, and the sausage mixture. Add the chicken broth and mix until it's well-combined. At this point, you should add the salt and pepper in to taste.
- Spoon the stuffing into two 3 quart casserole dishes. Cover the dishes and put them in the oven, baking them for 40 minutes.
Tip: Opening the oven during cooking times drops the inside temperature down 25 degrees every time you open the oven. To avoid soggy stuffing, keep the door closed until your stuffing is nearly done.
Using these side dishes will give you a perfect New England Thanksgiving feast, so good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving.
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