Thanksgiving Sides

Few things make me happier than Thanksgiving side dishes. I certainly love moist turkey with crisp skin but ultimately a plate of side dishes is all I need. While I gave you some excellent sides in the Thanksgiving post, here are a few more that will wow anyone at your table .

Recipes and at the bottom of the page.



My good friend Elizabeth Boyd, a wonderful chef, shared this recipe a few years ago and I have been making it ever since. And not just on Thanksgiving! I make them any time I want deliriously good mushrooms.

Except for the ridiculously long cooking time, these are also very, very easy. Don’t let the cook time ward you off. You start them and then basically forget them.

Mushrooms don’t come any better.

NOTE: If you have a large pot, make a double batch. They reduce considerably and also freeze beautifully. You really can’t make too many of these mushrooms.


rfl_3658I visited Indianapolis for a film festival a few years ago and fell in love. Who knew? What an amazing city. I also fell in love with St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, a killer restaurant with a world famous Shrimp Cocktail. Seriously, this clubby restaurant with martinis and steaks to die for is worth the trip alone. And then there is the house recipe for Creamed Spinach.

creamed-spinachI love greens cooked just about any way but creamed spinach?? (Or kale, or chard or…) Life doesn’t get much better. This is an easy and particularly terrific version, one I’ve tweaked just a little.


mirage-heritage-steak-creamed-cornThere are a lot of great creamed corn recipes out there. I’ve even posted one before. This year, however, I went to Tom Colicchio’s CRAFT and had his version of ‘creamed corn.’ When I tasted it, I thought it might be what heaven tastes like. If you like corn, this is The Recipe of all corn recipes. And no cream! Just corn, wonderful corn. Damn.

Here come the recipes and links. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Click for the recipes:


Creamless Cream Corn: Click here


St. Elmo’s Creamed Spinach

NOTE: you can add a little bit of this or that to the recipe.. more cheese or artichoke hearts, or less, it is very forgiving. Just taste!


2 sticks butter

2 finely chopped onions

6 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz chopped artichoke hearts

1 qt heavy cream

¼ cup lemon juice

3 cups sour cream

1 cup parm

6 lbs frozen chopped spinach

Tabasco (a few good shakes)

Worcestershire Sauce (a few good shakes)

salt and pepper


Saute the onion and garlic in butter until soft.

Remove from the heat and toss in everything else. Mix well. 

You can cook it on the stove at low for an hour or put it in a baking dish and bake at 350 an hour as well.


Drunken Mushrooms


4 pounds button mushrooms

1 pound butter

1 bottle decent red wine

2 T Worcestershire Sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

4 beef bouillon cubes

4 chicken bouillon cubes

NOTE: any combo of bouillon is fine, all beef or all chicken. I have been using BETTER THAN BOUILLON, which is, quite frankly, amazing stuff.

1 T Dill Seed

LOTS of salt and coarsely ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cook 5-6 hours with pot covered. Removed cover and let simmer another 5-6 hours, checking every hour or so, until liquid barely covers mushrooms.

Serve in chafing dish at cocktail buffet or as a side dish with beef. Leftovers freeze very well, but there probably won’t be any.

NOTE #1: Don’t let the long cooking time throw you. I usually start the 1st step at night and let them simmer, covered, overnight. 8 hours is fine. Just put them on your lowest setting after bringing them to a boil. A trivet is great for this, btw.

NOTE #2: Check the pictures and see how much they reduce! I always add more mushrooms to the top in the first hour to get as many mushrooms as possible.

Drunken Mushrooms at the start
Drunken Mushrooms cooked down

7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Sides

  1. Tom, I feel famous! 😉 I should give credit where credit is due and I got this recipe from the “Chi O Cooks” cookbook that my sorority chapter put out when I was in college sometime around 1990! I can’t remember whose mom submitted the recipe, but aren’t we glad they did??! Happy Thanksgiving!

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