While for many Thanksgiving might be all about the bird, to me it is about the various side dishes that complement the main dish. Lets face it: without good side dishes, there is no dinner. Side dishes are humble, they never say, “here I am, look at me, eat me now!” They just wait to be chosen, to be noticed. And, if you’re going to visit friends or family and bringing a side dish, don’t you want your side to be the star of the show? Side dishes have the huge responsibility to give contrast to the meal and add balance to the other flavors and textures. For that reason alone, whenever you prepare a meal don’t underestimate the power of your side dishes. Having a holiday like this in front of you can be a bit stressful and challenging. Fear not. You can either have people a dish each, or if you are going to take it all on your own, just choose to have fun. This is how I do it: once I have my main element or the star dish, I go into “seasonal mode,” I let Nature inspire me with what it has. From there the marriage of flavors and dishes come out automatically. Let me share some of my favorite accompaniments with you. POTATO CROQUETTES Serves: 16 Though I love “everything potato”—garlic mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes with sage and mascarpone cheese, potato parsnip purée, roasted potatoes with sage and rosemary—potato croquettes has been my favorite side dish since I was little.