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FoodWire, November 2010

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Food Channel KitchensA Gulf Coast Thanksgiving Menu

This year The Food Channel Thanksgiving menu is a tribute to the resilient people along the American Gulf Coast who are once again picking themselves up after yet another disaster, the horrific oil spill of this past summer. We’ll continue to chronicle their comeback in the coming months, so check back often for those stories of courage and perseverance.

Our Thanksgiving menu features turkey, stuffing , crab, shrimp and sweet potato pie—with Bourbon Street flair and lots of Creole accents. You’ll find 17 tantalizing recipes in all, including such standouts as Crab-Stuffed Artichokes—a traditional New Orleans favorite, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese, a refreshing fresh fruit Ambrosia, and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sauce. And don’t miss our “How We Do It” recipe videos. You’ll find them for the Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Corn Maque Choux, Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls and more.

Food Channel KitchensTop Ten Side Dish Trends for 2010

Side Dish Trends

This month we unveiled our picks for the top trends in side dishes for this year. The list is based on research conducted by The Food Channel in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists®, and Mintel International, and is sponsored by McCain Foods USA. Side dishes have elbowed their way onto center stage of late, thanks to Americans’ continued efforts to eat healthier, coupled with pinched budgets in a struggling economy. Here’s a glimpse at what we see happening (click here for the full list, which is annotated with links to cultural and recipe evidence).

  1. Intentionally Seasonal. In the old days, as they say, we ate when things came into season. There was no magic to it—it was simply a reflection of when products were available. But over the years, the lines got blurred as we processed food and seasonal selections began to offer year-round availability. Lately we’ve become more intentional about eating with the seasons. We think it’s because we recognize the sheer joy that comes from freshly picked vegetables and fruits shining up from a side dish.
  2. Growing Your Own. To be seasonal, you have to have access, and what better access than your own garden? Whether it’s a back yard affair, a community garden, or produce from a Community Supported Agriculture farm (where you can till and weed as payment for your share of the crop), gardens are big.
  3. A Toast to Roasted. Roasted is the new grilled, the new fried, the “why didn’t we think of this before” preparation that adds a depth of flavor to side dishes. There is something about the brown bits of caramelization that makes vegetables new, particularly when you roast a blend. Because, you see, it’s not about one vegetable anymore—it’s about pairing those flavors, putting the Red Bliss, the blues, and the fingerling potatoes together, for example, with a bit of fennel, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  4. You Say Potato. In fact, say it over and over again, because potatoes are creeping back onto our plates. But, they are healthier, more interesting, and—if you’ve noticed—more likely to be sweet potatoes than anything else. This is one of those vegetables that is big enough to call out on its own as a top flavor trend.
  5. Rice Is Nice. The new whole grain rice blends are shaking up the side of the plate with fancy risottos and new strains. Black rice, red rice, all of a sudden, it seems, there is a plethora of new varieties. Even the white rice is a better-for-you rice. If white rice has always been your white bread staple at the dinner table, be prepared to embrace the new grains.

Click here to see the remainder of the list, along with trend and recipe evidence.


Food Channel KitchensSuper Sides and Turkey, Too
You’ll find a plethora of superb sides this month to complement our Side Dish Trends story, and of course, Thanksgiving is always a celebration of sides. But our Creole Butter Roasted Turkey plays second banana to nobody. This recipe results in a juicy, flavorful bird everyone will love.
Pickled Shrimp Spicy Pickled Shrimp.
This festive appetizer is a perennial party favorite around The Food Channel.
thyme gravy Thyme-Cream Turkey Gravy.
Perhaps best of all, this gravy can be made ahead to help keep the big day
more peaceful.
grilled peaches Creole Kick Sweet Potato Fries.
We chose this dish as recipe evidence for the “You Say Potato” side dish trend.
Food Channel KitchensSurfingThe Channel
America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood
New Orleans restaurateur Ralph Brennan and a group of other Gulf coast area chefs and restaurant owners are inviting restaurants across the country to designate December 1, 2010, as America’s Night Out for Gulf Seafood. Participating eateries will offer at least one menu item consisting of Gulf seafood on that day.

Leaders with Guts: Todd Graves
Named after Todd Graves’ beloved yellow labrador, Raising Cane’s has grown from a single location to 94 restaurants in 15 states. Along the way Graves has managed to rack up an amazing resume of firsts. Graves has been featured in Entrepreneur’s Young Millionaires cover story, was named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year,” and has appeared on Fox’s “Secret Millionaire.” An involved member of many national and local organizations, Graves works with the Young Presidents Organization, Share Our Strength, and United Way, as well as the National Restaurant Association. The founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s, Graves is the latest subject in our FoodChannelPRO™ in-depth video interview series, Leaders with Guts.

And if you missed our Leaders With Guts series with Craig Culver, co-founder of Culver’s Drive-ins, you’ll want to check that out, too. Just click here.

Videos
Videos. We’ve Got Lots of New Ones.
Check these out.
  • Top Ten Side Dish Trends for 2010. Our trends list in video form.
  • How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sauce
  • How to Make Black Walnut Fruit Crisp

Food Channel Facebook page
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Network with fellow foodies from around the world. Check out the Food Channel’s Facebook fan page.

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