• Steven Keith

WV’s most and least favorite Thanksgiving dishes

Just in time for Thanksgiving, online retailer Crestline conducted a recent survey to determine the most and least popular Thanksgiving foods across the country.

The Food Guy's "Best-Ever Brussels Sprouts" with Caramelized Shallots & Crispy Prosciutto
The Food Guy's "Best-Ever Brussels Sprouts" with Caramelized Shallots & Crispy Prosciutto










Based on nationwide results, the five most popular dishes, in order, are mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, macaroni ‘n’ cheese and rolls. No surprises there.


The Food Guy's Herb-Roasted Turkey
The Food Guy's Herb-Roasted Turkey

The least favorite nationally, also in order, were candied yams, sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce, which pleases this sweet potato casserole-loathing guy to no end.


Why take a perfectly fine, delicious, healthy vegetable and douse it with brown sugar, nuts and … marshmallows? I can’t even.

Here in West By God, the most popular turkey day food was not mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing or pumpkin pie – any of which I would’ve expected. No, my friends, the Mountain State’s absolute favorite Thanksgiving side dish is … King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls. I kid you not.


I mean, I like them too, but really? Better than stuffing?


The state’s least favorite holiday dish is sweet potato pie. No argument here, but I do take offense to another of West Virginia’s least favorites: Brussels sprouts. They’ve clearly never had mine.


King's Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls
King's Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls

I know these mini cabbages get a bad rap from their days of once being poured out of a store-bought can. Now roasted with bacon, sauteed with caramelized onions or glazed in balsamic or sweet Thai chili sauces, however, these babies have been having a culinary moment for the past few years now.


That’s definitely evident on our Thanksgiving table, where my famous Best-Ever Brussels Sprouts with apple cider-caramelized shallots and crunchy prosciutto once made a surprise appearance and have become a mainstay ever since. (They’re too good not to try, so I’m sharing the recipe this week!)


Now back to that study. From a drink perspective, it found the average American has 3 alcoholic beverages on Thanksgiving, but West Virginia slightly tops that at 3.1.


Because that’s how we (Hawaiian) roll.


• • •


Speaking of Thanksgiving, another recert survey by Wisevoter to determine America’s favorite pie turned into a two-way battle of two familiar faces, with pecan pie barely edging out apple by a slim slice. (Just a one-state margin, to be exact.)


Thanksgiving desserts at The Keith House
Thanksgiving desserts at The Keith House

West Virginia was one of only three states picking pumpkin as its favorite, along with North Carolina and South Dakota. (West Virginia’s top five favorite pies, in order, ended up being pumpkin, coconut cream, blueberry, pecan and sweet potato.)


More fascinating to me, however, was that 32% of Americans prefer pies with no crusts on top and – get this – that 1 in 5 Americans admit they’ve eaten an entire pie by themselves. In one setting.


That’s 20% of us, folks, which would easily equate to couple of whole-pie hoarders at most average holiday gatherings.


Geez, folks, save some for the rest of us!


• • •


After the recent love I shared for WV Corner Kitchen, owner Barb King reached out to let me know the restaurant at 1701 Bigley Ave. in Charleston has extended its hours and is now open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.


One of my sister's homemade cookies!
One of my sister's homemade cookies!

“Thank you so much for all your kind words about the WV Corner Kitchen! I just wanted to let you know we are now open until 7:30,” Barb King said. “And people are always welcome to call us until 8 p.m. to see what we may still have left to serve. We are here cleaning up until about 8:30 anyway.”


She added that they were making chicken livers again the next day and hoped I’d come in soon to give them a try.


“The demand for them has been so high, thanks to you.”


A few other readers let me know WV Corner Kitchen also has an impressive selection of keto meals each day for those who are, um, keto-ing?


RECIPE


Best-Ever Brussels Sprouts with Apple Cider Caramelized Shallots & Crunchy Prosciutto


6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter, divided

1/2 lb. shallots, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

4 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

1 package cubed prosciutto

coarse salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Place cubed prosciutto in a non-stick skillet with a splash of olive oil and sauté until browned and crisp. Drain prosciutto on paper towel and set aside.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Trim the stalks from Brussels sprouts and cut each one in half, then in half again, to quarter them. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then sauté just until starting to brown at the edges, about 6 minutes.

  4. Add 1 cup chicken stock and 3 tablespoons butter. Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Fold in shallots and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  5. Place Brussels sprouts in a serving dish and sprinkle with the crispy prosciutto. Now dig in!

Serves 8-10.


• • •


Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at wvfoodguy@aol.com.

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