November 14, 2011
Turkey Cannon Contest: What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish?
By David Draper
Christmas came a little early this year when my UPS lady dropped off two big boxes of Turkey Cannons from my friend Steve McGrath at Camp Chef. In the spirit of the season, I’m going to hook up a few readers with some Thanksgiving-inspired contests this week. If all goes as planned, I’ll have the winning entries picked and the prizes turned around just in time for the winners to put them to use Thanksgiving Day.
I look forward to Thanksgiving dinner’s side dishes just as much, or probably more than, the actual turkey. From sweet potatoes with sugary marshmallow topping to a pile of stuffing poured over with gravy--I could, and typically do--stuff my face full of the side dishes, leaving only a little room for the actual turkey.
Out of all Thanksgiving’s great side dishes, my favorite is mashed potatoes. The peaks of fluffy, creamy potatoes are my sister’s favorite, too, which leads to some good-natured sibling rivalry as we jockey for positioning to get first dibs on the potatoes and gravy before they’re passed down the table. Heck, our mutual love of mashed potatoes even motivates us to help set the table, with an eye toward placing the heaping bowl closest to where we plan to sit.
My mom’s version is great, but really I don’t think I’ve ever met a bowl of mash I didn’t like—including those tubs of whipped taters from KFC. But when it comes to making an exceptional batch, here are a few tips I rely on at home.
• I like a waxy potato, like Yukon Golds, for a creamier end product.
• After peeling, rinse the potatoes to remove some of the starch.
• Drain the cooked potatoes, then immediately return them to the pot and set them over low heat to dry them out a bit before mashing them.
• Mash them roughly and leave a few chunks for a heartier “bite.”
So what’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day side dish? Post your answer below along with either a short explanation why you like it, or a tip for making it by 5 p.m. (EST) Saturday, November 19. We’ll pick two winners at random and send them each a Camp Chef Turkey Cannon.