The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.09.06


Turkey table tricks and treats

"Thanksgiving is North America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty."

"There are four unbroken rules when it comes to Thanksgiving: there must be turkey and dressing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie."
(authors unknown_

The top five most popular ways to serve leftover Thanksgiving turkey are: Sandwich, Soup or Stew, Casserole, Stir-fry, and Salad.

It has been estimated that 95 percent of North Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

According to the National Turkey Federation, about 24 percent of North Americans purchase fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving, and 69 percent purchase frozen turkeys.

As the last of the autumn leaves are being stripped from their branches by our October winds and rain, you most likely be purchasing a turkey for the table soon, or perhaps you have done so already.

When the family gathers round for the first of the cold season holiday feasts, you will want to impress them with some new side dishes.

At the same time you will want to serve up the classics so as not to disappoint. I'll include some innovative recipes here as well as one for a true classic side dish using a famous canned soup.

Peppery Apple Salad

3 apples, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice
6 plum tomatoes, quartered, or 4 regular tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, pine nuts or pecans
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
4 bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 banana, coarsely chopped
Black pepper
1 Tbs. mint
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 Tbs. parsley
Vinegar -(Cider preferred)

Mix apples and lemon juice. Add tomatoes and nuts. Set aside. In a large frying pan or wok, fry garlic for a few moments in olive oil. Add onion and fry until softened. Add peppers and fry until soft but not mushy. Turn off heat. Add tomatoes and apples. Season to taste with salt, pepper, mint, thyme, parsley and vinegar.

Sesame-Glazed Parsnips

1-1 1/2 cups parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4" chunks
1-1/2 cups carrots cut into 3/4" chunks
1-tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2-teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 orange (1/2 cup)

Steam parsnips and carrots together until barely done. Toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat. When they begin to turn color slightly, add oil or butter, maple syrup, salt and orange juice. Stir in carrots and parsnips. Turn up heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to a glaze.

Campbell's(r) Green Bean Casserole

1 can Campbell's(r) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. soy sauce
Dash pepper
1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans
OR 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans
OR 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans
OR 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans
1 1/3 cups French's(r) French fried onions

Mix soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, beans and 2/3-cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole.

Bake at 350F. for 25 min. or until hot.

Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 min.

(Campbell's Soup Company originally created this recipe.)