Winning Sides | Thanksgiving Recipes by Bob Chambers
Moderation is not a virtue that's usually associated with Thanksgiving. A hefty helping--even a second helping--of the lean breast meat from the big bird is not a risk for the health conscious, as long as that temptingly crispy skin stays on the plate. The classic side dishes are another story. Who knows how much butter lurks in those candied sweet potatoes and how much cream the baby onions are swimming in?
But I've found that I can indulge myself in good conscience with six delicious side dishes that are reassuringly low in fat. Instead of candying the sweet potatoes, I oven roast them to intensify their flavor, then puree them and spike them with bourbon. Acorn squash gets a similar treatment: roasted, then mashed and mixed with baked cinnamon-dusted apples. To give the most traditional meal of the year a less conventional twist, I toss pungent Calamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes with tender roasted fennel. And to make my favorite creamy wild rice, I replace cream with a rich-tasting sauce made from whole and skim milk.
Bob Chambers is the executive chef for Lancôme/L'Oréal in New York City.