My mom, a traditional Korean lady, always impresses me with her fearlessness in the kitchen. And given her interest in culinary assimilation, it wasn’t unusual for a family meal to include traditional Korean fare and, say, a tray of lasagna or fried chicken she had just taught herself how to make.
So I’ve learned that mixing it up at the dinner table is a good thing. If you are on side dish duty tomorrow and want to bring a starch slightly off the traditional path, try the Rice Pilaf with Currants and Pine Nuts from Nick Stellino's Mediterranean Flavors (shown; available at Amazon). The homey warmth of this dish will blend well with, yet add a little cultural kick to, the holiday table.