Thanksgiving side suggestions?
I always like to introduce a new side dish at Thanksgiving--something simple, made with easy to find ingredients (I'm in the Midwest). Anybody have any favorites to share?
One of the best I tried was steamed green beans dressed with a small amount of olive oil, lemon/peel and chopped, roasted hazelnuts.
An easy but delicious and very fast side dish is sweet potatoes with pecans and bourbon. Just buy sweet potatoes in a can, drain them, mash them thoroughly, add plenty of melted butter and some heavy cream and some bourbon and some roasted pecans.
Put in a rectangular baking dish, make the whole thing about 2.5 inches high...and put it in a 350 degree oven until it's hot all the way through. Then sprinkle it with brown sugar and put it under the broiler briefly so the brown sugar caramelizes.
This year I'm making (in addition to turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes) the sweet potato chipotle gratin that someone posted a few weeks ago (Best sweet potato recipe ever). I think sweet potatoes are already sweet and benefit from the addition of savory elements. I'm also considering making brussels sprouts with pancetta, parsley and chestnuts from Nigella Lawson's new cookbook, Feast.
re: Caitlin Wheeler
I copied the recipe when I saw it on one of the other CH boards. I can't find it on the board, so I regret being unable to provide credit. But it sounds yummy:
Haven't tried it yet, but this sounds like a LOT of cream. But I trust Hounds, so it's probably just right! 8-) Here's the text of the original post:
I just made the most sublime sweet potato dish I have ever eaten. I'd been looking for something to do with sweet potatoes for Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, but refuse absolutely to put marshmallows or brown sugar on them. So I found this recipe online which sounded pretty good. It was unreal. Apparently adapted from something by Bobby Flay. There's not a scrap left in the baking dish.
Peel and slice 8 sweet potatoes thinly.
In a blender, blend together 3 cups of whipping cream and one canned chipotle pepper. (The original recipe called for 4 cups of cream, but I found it a bit too liquidy at the end of the baking time so would recommend reducing the amount.)
Now, in a greased baking dish (I used one about 9 x 13 or so) make a layer of sweet potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then pour over some of the cream mixture. Repeat until you have done 4 layers of potato and used up all the cream. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 30 minutes, brushing surface with some of the cream if it's bubbling up from the bottom.
This is deadly. Creamy, sweet and spicy all at the same time.
This sounds simple and good...
Title: KENTUCKY BOURBON SWEET POTATOES
Categories: Vegetables, Side dish, Christmas
Yield: 9 servings
3 1/2 lb Canned, vacuum-packed sweet
1 c Sugar
1/3 c Bourbon
1/2 c Butter or margarine
1/2 ts Vanilla extract
2 c Miniature marshmallows
Fresh sweet potatoes, cooked until soft and then peeled, can be substituted
for the vacuum packed ones. Don't use drained, canned in syrup as they are
Preheat oven to 350.
Put sweet potatoes in a large heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat,
stirring frequently, until heated through.
Mash sweet potatoes. Add sugar, bourbon, butter and vanilla; beat until
well blended. Turn into a 2-quart, shallow baking dish. Sprinkle
marshmallows over top.
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden.
From: McCall's Great American Recipe Card Collection
We always have this jello and guests cannot get enough.
Recipe doubles nicely.
APPLE CRANBERRY JELLO SALAD
2C raw cranberries
1 1/4 C water
3/4 C sugar
cook cranberries until they pop
continue cooking for 5 min longer then pour over a 3 oz pkg of cherry jello.
stil well until disolved. . . cool.
Add: 3/4 C finely minced celery
1/2 C finely chopped apples
1/2 C chopped walnuts
and a bit of salt
Use any decorative mold and chill until set.
My husband loves these Brussels Sprouts. I hate Brussels Sprouts but admit these smell wonderful. I do pick out some of the garlic and shallots to munch on.
Brussels Sprouts with Red Wine Shallot and Garlic
4 Tbs fruity olive oil
1 Tbs butter
12 large shallots, peeled and left whole, about 3/4 lb
2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled and left whole, about 40 cloves
2 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
In a heavy casserole with a tight lid, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts, toss to coat with the oil and cook about 5 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with red wine. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and braise just until Brussels sprouts are tender. Remove Brussels sprouts and reduce liquid until it just coats the Brussels sprouts. Add back Brussels sprouts, toss to heat and coat with sauce. Serve warm.
One of my friends joining our Thanksgiving said she wants to bring a corn casserole. I think that sounds wonderful.
One other thing that went over well, especially with the kids, is to simply place red grapes and whole apples on the turkey platter (placed on kale or Swiss chard). Made it clear they could eat the fresh fruit - and they did, gladly. Hadn't thought of it as a side, but it sure was.
Oh, and asparagus wrapped with a band of procuitto and tied with a green onion is another side. Blanch the asparagus for a great rich color and partial cooking. Gather four or five together, wrap a band of procuitto around the middle of the bunch, tie a (quick blanched) green onion (just the green part) around that and place on baking sheet. Brush with garlic butter or garlic olive oil. Place in oven for 10 or so minutes. Done.
Also, I have enjoyed having soup as another course instead of a side. Plus, people can sit down and start eating while waiting for the turkey and all. I have had homemade cream of mushroom soup and butternut squash soup.
(In fact, the cream of mushroom soup I had last night at Svelte was soo delicious, I might try that instead of my current recipe. The consistency was quite thin, like warmed cream (except they frothed it a bit). And, the flavor was quite intense, as if they had roasted, dried, powdered, then added a concentrated much of those mushrooms to the warm cream with butter. Absolutely delicious. But, very thin. Very much flavor while not totally filling)
Here's a really good one paraphrased from the SF Chronicle:
Braising Greens with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 pound mixed braising greens (TJ's sells a really nice Southern greens mix in a bag, but a mixture of 3 or 4 greens like mustard greens, chard, kale, spinach, beet greens, and/or collards works well)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soak raisins in water to cover about 1/2 hour to soften. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Toast the pine nuts in a frypan over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Be careful not to burn.
Place the braising greens into a colander and wash and drain them. Don't dry them, just transfer them to a large pot with the residual water that clings to them. Cover and cook over medium heat (toss every once in a while with tongs) until they are tender. Add some more water if they seem to be getting too dry. Drain in a sieve and cool under cold running water. Drain again and squeeze them well to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly golden -- be careful not to burn or the dish will be bitter. Add the greens, raisins, pine nuts and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Toss with the tongs to coat with oil and when the greens are hot, remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
I've had great success with a spinach or broccoli souffle of sorts that is so easily prepped in the blender. Cook your veggies til really tender and drain. Place in blender with Lipton's onion soup mix, sour cream, eggs, and ricotta cheese and bake it at 350 til almost set. Then I combine some bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and butter, and sprinkle the topping across and let the top get brown and crusty.
Sweet Potato Pancakes
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup milk
Shred the sweet potatoes, and place in a colander to drain for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar, curry powder and cumin. Make a well in the center, and pour in eggs and milk. Stir until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Stir in sweet potatoes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the potato mixture by spoonfuls into the oil, and flatten with the back of the spoon. Fry until golden on both sides, flipping only once. If they are browning too fast, reduce the heat to medium. Remove from the oil, and keep warm while the other pancakes are frying.
I perused this thread for an idea for my Thanksgiving -- think I'll be making the chipotle sweet potato gratin, too -- and thought the following dish might work for you.
I made this dish for this first time this weekend, and thought the vinegar would be a nice balance to all that rich food. It's based on a Cook's Illustrated recipe, is very easy, and was devoured by all my guests, even those who don't like cooked carrots (includes me). I had rainbow carrots from my CSA box, but I think any carrots would do.
Slice 2 lbs of carrots on the diagonal ~1/4" thick. Add to saute pan with 2 T water, 2 T butter, 1 t sugar and 1/2 t salt. Bring to boil and cover, cook 3 minutes. Remove cover and cook till all water evaporates. Continue to cook ~1 min, then add 1 T balsamic vinegar and 1/4 t crumbled dried thyme. Saute additional 1-2 minutes to combine flavors and serve.
This served 6 adults, and should be easy to multiply.