Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Even though a big roasted bird is the centerpiece (and in my family, a ham too), the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner for many of us are the sides. I always make dressing (always cornbread/andouille, sometimes oyster too), cranberry sauce, some sort of green beans (usually either quickly sauteed, or slow cooked with a ham hock) and macaroni and cheese, and I frequently like to do homemade rolls, if I have time (this year I might try these from the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/din... ) and then after that, there are always some changes every year. A few questions:
No one in my family particularly likes mashed potatoes, so I try different potato dishes every year; I've experimented with a few different potato gratin recipes, and none of them have thrilled me, so this year I'm looking for a new potato dish (regular or sweet) -- any good ideas?
I have never made, had, or even seen in real life a green bean casserole, but my sister expressed some interest in it this year, so I was thinking of attempting something like this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10888 any feedback? Has anyone else done a fresh version of this dish? I'd actually prefer to do some roasted brussels sprouts instead of (or even in addition to) the green beans, but I'm the only one who loves brussels -- I might try shredded, and sauteed with bacon instead, to see if they would be more into them, we'll see.
This recipe for roasted butternut squash gratin sounds like an interesting take: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... does anyone have any suggestions for any fun takes on squash?
What are you all having along side the turkey? What are your family favorites?
Every year we choose a "theme" Thanksgiving - previous years have been French, Italian, Southwestern.... This year is "Southern," but we live in the South, so I think we're all just eating as many of us normally do, but just having our favorite dishes instead, since we haven't been together in a while.
This year we're having:
Local cheese plate for snacking while cooking
Smoked Turkey from the local BBQ pit
Collards with country ham and a balsamic reduction
Creamed pearl onions (Gourmet's recipe from last Thanksgiving - soooo good)
Angel biscuits with homemade peach jam
Buttermilk mashed potatoes with gravy
Sweet Potato Pie
Yes, that's it! I was looking for it on the Gourmet website and couldn't find it. I use the prefrozen onions and boil them separately for a while to avoid the "undercooked" flavor. I liked them so much last year that I went home and made another batch just to have more "leftovers."
My green bean casserole is a compromise of old and new. I use fresh, whole beans, which I steam for a very short amount of time to "crisp" stage. Here is rest of recipe. This will need a 9X13 greased casserole dish.
2 lb. "crisply" steam fresh, whole green beans
2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 or cream
3 T unsalted butter
4T AP flour
1/2 tsp nutmet
s&p to taste
3T dry sherry
8 oz. sliced mushrooms, button or combination
1 drained can sliced water chestunuts, coarsely chopped
3 shallots, finely minced
1 large can FF onions
Step #1 - make cream sauce melting butter, adding flour into roux. Add liquid, stir vigorously, season with s&p, nutmeg and add sherry. Keep stirring! You should have thin bechamel sauce. In separate pan, saute mushrooms and shallots in a little EVOO or 1T butter. When nicely browned, add to sauce mixture.
Step#2 - combine cooked beans, water chestnuts and sauce, mix thoroughly. Spread in 2 qt. greased casserole dish. Top with FF onions (we like lots, use whole can). Bake at 350 for 20-30 min, checking to make sure topping doesn't burn.
for a thanksgiving class last night, we did a "tweak" on green bean casserole that was a HUGE hit. steamed gb to crisp-tender. sauteed some sliced mushrooms in butter and tossed with beans. warmed some cream and stirred in some champignon brie (i've seen it elsewhere, but i buy mine at trader joe's) to melt it, and combined with beans/mushrooms. if you want a nod to the "classic" dish, you can toss some of those cripsy onion pieces from the can on top. (tj's also has these at holiday time, and in my opinion, they are superior to the regular brand).
my fav sweet potato dish, by far, is mashed, with a little butter and honey, a lot of goat cheese and a smidge of chipotle in adobo puree. i could eat this two meals a day for the rest of my life. when the rest of my family gets tired of it (whiners!), i add stock (and maybe bourbon) for a killer soup.
re: chez cherie
Did you bake the green beans after that, or was it still pretty fresh? That sounds like an interesting take. I did something similar to your whipped sweet potato dish last year, except without the goat cheese, and it was a hit (though I didn't like it, but I don't like whipped sweet potatoes) -- everyone loves goat cheese, so this might be a fun idea, thanks.
We're stuffing and potato lovers on turkey day (otherwise, not carb focused!), so our choices may not jibe w/your likes, but this is the std. lineup:
For apps. - have a piece of honeycomb that I'm going to serve w/a nice bleu cheese & some anise tortas, along w/dates, walnuts, etc. I'll also get some nice local cheeses for folks to munch. My SIL is going to bring something - likely some crudite & dip. We'll have beer, wine & cranberry martinis.
Sage & sausage stuffing - some in bird and a lot out of bird
Mashed potatoes - w/lots and lots of butter and cream
Streuseled sweet potato casserole - great and not too sweet, has pecans
Homemade cranberry relish (MIL makes)
Homemade cranberry loaf (MIL makes)
Green beans prepared some way - this year steamed w/a lemon butter sauce
Green salad - this year w/fruit, cuts all the fat and heaviness!
Pies - always homemade and always apple, pumpkin & some variation of pecan. This year my husband has requested chocolate pecan so that's what I'm making.
I'm stuffed just thinking about it!
I like to roughly smash sweet potatoes with butternut squash - it takes the sweetness down and add some interesting texture. Usually add a little butter and maple syrup., S&P to taste. Often I will buy the bags of cubed sweet potatoes and butternut squash at Trader Joe's, as it save so much time and you can microwave the squashes in the bag. Have also done this with them being roasted first too- yum.