Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes Part 1- Side Dishes

I don't know about you guys but growing up my family had a pretty basic short list of food stuffs that made up our Thanksgiving table.
  1. Turkey
  2. Dressing
  3. Cranberries (jellied, can shaped)
  4. Broccoli and Rice Casserole
  5. Rolls
Pretty much in that order. For several years I didn't eat any meat and never could make myself eat the unnatural can shaped mass of cranberry jelly so I was pretty much limited to one casserole and a basket of dinner rolls....Thanksgiving dinner was no big deal for me. About two years ago though I started eating poultry and fish again and roughly a year before that I got pretty serious about exploring cooking. {If you have any question about why this was something akin to the Pilgrims voyage into the great unknown or about my culinary upbringing, or rather, complete lack there of; please feel free to peruse this post {awesome drawings alert too.}

Since cooking is such a fun pass time for me now and I know there are many of you looking to change up your menu a bit; I'd like to share some of my favorite recipes that I now contribute to my family's Thanksgiving meal.

I've decided to break this down into three separate posts, one a week for each category.

This week (as the title suggests): Side dishes
Next week: Turkey!
The following week: Desserts
The week of Thanksgiving I'll be posting a follow up post on what to do with your left over turkey.

So lets get to the gettin'...

Each of these recipes serves about 8-10 people.

First off, one of my favorite side dishes of all time!

Jalapeno Corn Casserole

  • 1 (15 oz) white shoe peg corn, drained*
  • 1 (14 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8-ounce) packaged corn muffin/bread mix
  • 1 cup plain low fat yogurt (Greek style is fine here too)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (divided in half)
  • 1 small can jalapenos drained and diced
In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin/bread mix, yogurt, and melted butter. Mix in half of the shredded cheese and diced jalapenos.  Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.
•Some may consider this dish pretty peppy! Adjust the jalapenos to your taste.
*If you cannot find shoe peg corn, no worries, just use regular whole kernel corn.

Sweet Potato Casserole ala the Hubby
(This is an approximation of what my super Husband makes every year. Since he pretty much wings it, I don't have exact measurements but I'm pretty sure I'm close.)
  • 6- sweet potatoes peeled cubed and boiled until tender
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
Mash boiled potatoes with butter while still warm. Mix in 1/2 of the maple syrup and all of the nutmeg and cinnamon.  Spread into a casserole dish and arrange pecan halves atop of the dish, drizzle the remaining syrup across the top. This can be kept as is until needed...when you're ready for it pop it into a 350 degree oven until warmed through.
I actually love this cold so warming it up may not be needed :)

Butternut Squash Casserole
  • 3 pounds butternut squash - cut in half and seeded
  • 1/4 cup water (for roasting squash)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup cornflakes cereal, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roast squash upside down in water on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Let cool enough to handle and scoop into a large mixing bowl. Mash the squash with 1/4 cup butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Heat the 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over low heat; stir in sliced apples and sprinkle with the white sugar. Cover and cook over low heat until barely tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread the apples in a 3-quart casserole. Spoon the mashed squash evenly over the apples. Stir together the cornflakes, pecans, the 1/4 cup brown sugar, and melted butter. Sprinkle the cornflake mixture evenly over the squash. {Here again this is easily made ahead of time then reheated. Although if you're planning to make ahead, leave off the cornflake mixture until your final heat up} Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. 

Green Apple Cranberry Relish
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 medium red onion quartered
  • 1 green apple cored and quartered
  • 2 jalepeno peppers seeded and halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves*
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
Place ingredients into the bowl of a food processor (or blender or chop by hand if you want/need to). Pulse processor/blender until coarsely chopped. Remove ingredients to serving bowl and chill for at least 8 hours.
*Cilantro is a pretty strong flavor some people are not that keen on so be careful with this and add for your families taste level. 

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
  • 4 pounds Brussels sprouts sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 small red onions, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam halved sprouts in a steamer basket for 8-10 minutes or until tender yet with still a bit of crispness.
Melt the butter in a deep skillet, add the onions; cook until onions brown and nicely caramelized. Add the Brussels sprouts, sugar and vinegar. Saute over medium heat until the Brussels sprouts are also lightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 So there you go, a few of the dishes I like to add to the table on turkey day! Hope you try a few and hope you enjoy! See you next week when we're on to turkey. Gobble Gobble!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so YUMMY! I definitely want to try the Butternut Squash Casserole.