Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Side Dishes and a Slice of Pie

While not the main event of your Thanksgiving Dinner side dishes are ever so important.

It's a tradition to have a variety of side dishes.  Some starchy, some sweet, and always delicious!

I'm sure you want mashed potatoes to cozy up to the turkey under a ladle full of gravy.  For my favorite gravy recipes click here.  For out of this world mashed potato recipes click here.

Some people like to serve sweet potatoes as a golden contrast to the potatoes.  Some people favor the savory bread-based dressing, or stuffings.  Some love the vegetable dishes and relishes that play an important role in balancing a menu.

Here's my favorite Green Bean die for!

Green Beans with Glazed Shallots and Lemon
The green beans can be cooked earlier in the day and refrigerated, then reheated just before serving.

2lb. small green beans, ends trimmed
2 Tbs. olive oil
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse under cold water, then drain again.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. When it begins to sizzle, add the shallots and saute, stirring, until glazed and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring with tongs, until the beans just begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer the beans to a serving bowl and serve immediately. Serve 6 to 8.

If you love Brussels Sprouts try this great recipe...

Shiitake Braised Brussels Sprouts

By Emeril Lagasse
Serves 6


1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces chopped bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any damaged outer leaves discarded
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth


Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 5-quart saute pan with high sides over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Add shallots, half the mushrooms, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper and cook until wilted and nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add another 1/4 cup olive oil, remaining mushrooms, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper and repeat with remaining mushrooms.

Add remaining tablespoon olive oil and butter to pan and heat over medium-high heat until butter has melted. Add brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until sprouts are lightly caramelized, 6 to 7 minutes. Add sauteed mushrooms, chicken stock, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stock has evaporated by half. Cover pan, lower temperature to medium-low, and continue to cook until brussels sprouts are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

How about some Cauliflower?

Cauliflower Gratin
By Emeril Lagasse
serves 6
1 bay leaf
1/2 yellow onion, peeled
3 whole cloves
3 cups milk, whole or skim
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs, such as panko
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Lay bay leaf over cut side of onion and poke cloves through bay leaf and into onion to secure leaf in place. Put onion into a 2-quart saucepan and add milk. Set saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook without boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Steam cauliflower in a steam basket inserted into a medium saucepan until just tender, about 10 minutes. Arrange cauliflower in a shallow 2-quart casserole (approximately 7 1/2 by 11 inches) and set aside.

In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter with olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and stir, using a wooden spoon, to form a blond roux. (Do not allow the mixture to brown.) Add simmered, strained milk to pan and whisk until smooth. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened, smooth, and creamy. Remove pan from heat and add nutmeg and Gruyere, stirring until melted. Strain sauce and pour evenly over cauliflower.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch saute pan and add breadcrumbs. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over top of cauliflower and bake until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes.

or some Broccoli?

Broccoli with Seriously Cheesy Sauce

By Emeril Lagasse

Serves 4


1 large bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cups whole milk
2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)

Place broccoli on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to remove the tough part of the stems (usually the lower 3 to 4 inches). Cut broccoli into 4 even portions.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Add broccoli and cook until tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain broccoli in a colander set in sink. Using tongs, transfer to a 2-quart casserole or serving dish.

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir well. Pour sauce over broccoli and serve.

I like Cranberry Chutney better than cranberry the spices...try this great recipe!

Cranberry Chutney

By Williams-Sonoma

1 lb. fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
6 fresh mint leaves

Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, orange juice, cider, cinnamon and mint and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the juices have reduced and are thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 hour.

Let the chutney cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the chutney to a sauce boat or serving bowl and serve. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

And let's not forget the stuffing...!  This is a favorite of mine.

Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Stuffing

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 Fuji or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
1 lb. dried bread croutons
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
3 to 4 cups chicken or turkey stock, warmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and apples and saute until tender and caramelized, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the croutons, cranberries and pecans and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring to evenly moisten the croutons. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper.

Spoon the stuffing into a buttered 2-quart baking dish and cover with foil. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue baking until the stuffing is crisp and golden, 20 to 25 minutes more.

And now for a slice of pie!

I've had a lot of pumpkin pies, some made spicy, some not, some made with pumpkin butter, or cheesecake, or even a layered pudding pie.  But my favorite, and my all time go to recipe will always be....

LIBBY'S Famous Pumpkin Pie

Prep:15 mins
Cooking:55 mins
Cooling:120 mins
Yields:8 servings

This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on LIBBY'S® Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.
 Enjoy some really great food!!!

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