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At Thanksgiving, If You Take Sides, Make Sure They’re As Tasty As TheseIt’s Thanksgiving, which means you’ll be seeing Aunt Martha’s sweet potato casserole encased in a marshmallow cloud that has drifted too close to the sun. Cousin Joe, who’s just here for the game, will bring his famous can-shaped cranberry sauce that looks like it’s been attacked by a slinky. Then your sister will arrive with her sad concoction of green beans drowning in cream-of-mushroom soup, flecked with floating onion strings that have been flung like debris from the Titanic.

There’s a certain charm to these standbys, and by golly, you might even like them. But maybe this year you’re ready for a change. Not a big one, like subbing tofu for turkey. Just a twist, you know — one that keeps you from being accused of breaking tradition but also says, “It’s my kitchen and unless you’re helping, go away.” And, hey, wouldn’t we also like to keep it simple so that we actually have some time to enjoy ourselves?

Morning Edition’s Steve Inskeep spoke with chef Mike Isabella, a Washington, D.C.-based restaurateur, about how to tweak that traditional dish into one you still wouldn’t mind bringing home to meet your mother.

At Thanksgiving, If You Take Sides, Make Sure They’re As Tasty As These

Photos: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR

  • cooking show host: this time, your challenge is to make a... soufflé
  • *intense devastating music*
  • *camera zooming in on everyone's faces*
  • *every chef sighing, sweating, and looking like a nervous wreck*
  • chef 1 in the confessional: why did it have to be a soufflé
  • chef 2 in the confessional: maybe I can make like... a spaghetti soufflé
  • chef 3 in the confessional: I've never made a soufflé in my life but all I know is that I gotta take chef 1 down
  • chef 4 in the confessional: I think I might actually win this challenge today because I've made a lot of soufflés before so I probably have a lot more experience than half the people here which can DEFINITELY prove to be an advantage this far into the competition but the only problem is I've failed every soufflé I've ever made so I'm definitely nervous about that

Church Lady Deviled Eggs from Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming located in Disney Springs.