ARLO GUTHRIE – Happy Thanksgiving (part 1)





at Alice’s Restaurant of course and what I have in mind this Thanksgiving week is to give you some great recipes for the grand feast and what to do with all that leftover turkey.  So, today I’m offering you three wonderful side dishes to accompany your roast turkey.  There are well over a hundred different ways to prepare a turkey dinner and I’m not going to bore you with another one because they don’t vary that much.  The fun is in what unique side dishes you can design to make the table and your plate exciting.

“Let me tell you about the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts”.  I’ve actually been there many times.  I’ve had a lot of family living in the Berkshires area for many years.  If you’ve never been there it is just as described in the song.  The famous Red Lion Inn, one stoplight, and train tracks.  There used to be a sign where Alice’s restaurant was located but I haven’t been back in a very long time, so I can’t verify if it still exists.  I’m a big traditionalist and every year on Thanksgiving Day I play Alice’s Restaurant for everybody.  I think it lasts maybe seven minutes at most before my wife turns it off, but the legend survives regardless.  It’s a timeless classic and must be revered.

So, here’s the deal for this week.  As I said today we will have a few side dishes to consider for the big day on Thursday.  Since football is a big part of the Thanksgiving tradition tomorrow I will move our usual Friday series to Wednesday for a totally unrelated holiday recipe.  On Friday I will give you three great ideas on what to do with all that leftover turkey.  Hope this plan works for everybody.  It’s my way of saying thanks to all of you for reading this blog.  Happy Thanksgiving everybody!







2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 TSP + ¼ TSP fine Sea Salt

½ TSP + 1/8 TSP ground White Pepper

4 strips of Bacon

1 TBSP finely chopped Shallots

1 Garlic clove, finely chopped

½ TBSP Dijon Mustard

½ TBSP fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

½ TBSP Sherry Vinegar

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut the stems off any Brussel Sprouts that need trimming. Cut each Brussel Sprout in half lengthwise.
  3. You will probably need 2 baking sheets. Line each with parchment paper and place the Brussel Sprout halves in a single layer on the sheets.
  4. Drizzle the Olive Oil over all the Sprouts and season with 1 TSP Salt and ½ TSP Pepper. Mix together evenly.
  5. Roast the Brussel Sprouts until brown and crispy. About 25 minutes depending on how crispy you like them.  Leave them in longer if you prefer them extra crispy like I do.
  6. While the Brussel Sprouts cook fry the Bacon strips until nice and crisp. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.
  7. To make the dressing in a small to medium bowl combine with Shallots, Garlic, Mustard, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, 1 TBSP reserved Bacon drippings, EVOO, ¼ TSP Salt, and 1/8 TSP Pepper and stir. Crumble the cooked Bacon into the dressing and stir until blended.
  8. Transfer the roasted Brussel Sprouts to a ceramic serving tray. Pour the dressing over and gently toss a few times to combine.  Serve warm.





12 oz. Game Sausage Links or Sweet Italian Pork Sausage Links

1 TBSP unsalted Butter

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Large Fennel Bulb, chopped, fronds reserved

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 large Carrot, peeled and chopped

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 ½ cups homemade Turkey Stock or Broth

1 cup toasted Pecans, chopped

1 cup dried Cherries, chopped

½ TBSP fresh Thyme leaves, finely chopped

12 oz. package Cornbread Stuffing cubes

2 Eggs

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large frying pan poach the Sausages in water up to half the height of the links until cooked all the way through turning a few times. About 10 minutes.  Do not replaced water once it boils off.  Transfer to a cutting board.
  3. In the same pan heat the Butter and Olive Oil over medium heat
  4. Sauté the Fennel, Onion, and Carrot until soft. About 10 minutes.  Season with Salt and Pepper.
  5. Add the Stock, raise the heat slightly, and cook until the Stock reduces about 1/3. Turn off the heat and add the Pecans and Cherries.
  6. Dice the cooked Sausages and add them to the pan.
  7. Finely chop the reserved Fennel fronds. Add them, the Thyme, Salt, and Pepper to the pan and mix all together.
  8. In a large bowl place the Stuffing and crack both eggs over the bread cubes. Season with Salt and Pepper and toss to combine.
  9. In a 9 x 13 well-greased baking pan place the bread cube mixture in the pan and then the contents of the frying pan. Stir together and then bake for about 40 minutes.  Drizzle with EVOO and serve warm.




1 small to medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 small to medium Rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 large Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Salt, to taste

Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 oz. Goat Cheese crumbles

½ TBSP fresh Thyme leaves, chopped

2 TBSP chopped fresh Chives



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all the vegetables on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle Olive Oil on top and season with Salt and Pepper.  Stir to combine evenly.
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. While vegetables roast in a small frying pan heat the Vinegar on medium. Reduce until Vinegar has a syrupy consistency.  Don’t overcook.  Remove from the heat.
  5. In a greased baking dish place the roasted vegetables and toss with 1 TBSP EVOO. Add the Goat Cheese, Thyme, Salt, and Pepper and toss lightly again.
  6. Drizzle the Vinegar syrup evenly over the vegetables
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to heat through
  8. Remove from the oven. Garnish with the chopped Chives and serve warm.



WINE PAIRING:  I am always of the belief that Thanksgiving is kind of a free for all.  With so many dishes beyond just turkey and gravy being passed around it’s hard to come up with the right match.  Given that I usually recommend you go as neutral as possible with your wine selection.  Having said that Rosé is actually a great choice for Thanksgiving.  If you are a red wine drinker I wouldn’t go heavier than a young Pinot NoirGamay would also be a good choice.  Chardonnay will pair well with a few Thanksgiving staples but it’s such a temperamental grape, especially in the United States because of the oaky quality, it will not work well with other food on the table.  Riesling will work with the sweet and spicy dishes but miss the mark on the savory ones.  The best choices for white really come from the old world especially France like a Roussanne or a Marsanne combination or a Viognier.

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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