by Diane Morgan
Photographs by Leigh Beisch
Chronicle Books -- 2009
Buy it on Amazon
Thanksgiving may be all about tradition, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for a bit of experimentation.
In Diane Morgan's follow-up to "The Thanksgiving Table," she looks to new culinary traditions on the American Thanksgiving table. While there are old favorites like deviled eggs and giblet gravy, they share the spotlight with linguiça sausage stuffing and hazelnut popovers. This is not a T-day cookbook for your stodgy grandmother.
Takeaway tips: Lists, lists and more lists. The key to a successful celebration is planning. Morgan helps with dinner menu ideas geared to the New England, Heartland, Southern and Pacific Northwest feasts -- with an emphasis on mapping out a plan of attack weeks in advance. (Much like we've done this year on Slashfood -- here, here and here.)
Quality of pictures: Leigh Beisch's photos are simple and luscious. Not every recipe is represented, but enough are to leave readers hungry.
What we tested: Fresh Cranberry Salsa
Yes, salsa! Fans of fresh cranberry relish should try this Mexican take on the Thanksgiving staple, which Morgan says she poached from a friend in L.A. A jalapeño or serrano chile adds heat to what is essentially a sweet cranberry salsa built upon a minced onion and celery base. Cilantro and lime juice add to the traditional salsa feel.
The recipe itself took minutes to prepare, but let it sit for a few hours or even a day in the refrigerator to help the flavors fully develop.
Worth the investment: "The New Thanksgiving Table" offers new food for thought, whether it's your first Thanksgiving meal or you're looking for something new to wow the family. If you like to stick solely to family favorites, pass on this one.