Monday, September 27, 2010

Holiday Prep: Side Dish Recipes part 1

Here's a few side dish recipes that I love and will be using this Thanksgiving. I'm posting them now so that if you want you can test the recipe before Thanksgiving. I'll link it up in later posts so that you can easily find them later. I would still love to hear some of your recipes, though, perhaps in a post of your own on your individual blogs...? :)

One thing you'll notice about these side-dish recipes... I've tried to give you an alternative baking method to the oven. Not all of us...okay, few of us... have more than one oven. I save my oven for the turkey and the rolls on T-day, and that is it. Anything that can be heated elsewhere, I try to!

Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole with fried onions on top has been a staple at Thanksgiving meals for many years now. But frankly, I find it bland and greasy. Here's a new version that makes our home happy!

1 onion
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 (large) bag frozen green beans--about 8 servings (or 2 cans, drained)
1/2 tsp garlic
6 strips of bacon
1 large carrot
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream OR plain yogurt
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds*

1) Peel, wash, and finely slice the onion into long strips, or julienne.
2) In a large skillet, add the onion, olive oil, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Put on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes: carmelizing the onion. If you hear loud hissing, or it starts getting dark fast, turn the heat down. This is a long, slow process.
3) Meanwhile, in a second skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
4) Peel the carrot and shred it on a box grater.
5) Mix together the carrot, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, and parmesan cheese.
6) Once the onion is caramelized to a nice golden color and is very soft, turn off heat. Mix together the onion, mayonnaise sauce mixture, crumbled crispy bacon, and the bag of frozen green beans. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9 pan and top with sliced almonds. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until heated through and bubbly; OR place in a small crock-pot, top with almonds, and cook on low for 1-2 hours until bubbly. You can mix this up a day in advance and just heat it before you eat it.

*If you don't like almonds, don't want almonds, are allergic, or just want something different, you can try these things for toppers: those standard french-fried onions (though they can get soggy over time), 10 ritz crackers, crushed and mixed with 2 tbsp melted butter, or extra parmesan cheese.

Orange-Glazed Yams
about 2-3 pounds yams (aka sweet potatoes)
about 1 cup (half a container) orange juice concentrate
1/2 stick of butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
about 1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg and ginger (optional)

1) Wash and peel yams. Slice into wedges about 3-4 inches long and 1/2 to 1" wide.
2) Put yams and all other ingredients into an electric skillet, or a large frying pan. Cover with a lid. Cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning. Cook until yams are soft (It might take longer than 30 minutes). Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes enough to serve about 10 people at Thanksgiving.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce
1 pound fresh cranberries (can be found in produce section)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange worth...but measure)
1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice--NOT cocktail
1 cup honey

1) Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice, and honey in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add washed cranberries (watch out for ones that are wrinkled or bad). Cook for exactly 15 minutes--set a timer--stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce begins to thicken. Don't overcook.
3) Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Serve chilled.

Excellent Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds russet potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup sour cream
4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese
1 tsp garlic
salt & pepper to taste
3 green onions
1/2 cup milk, maybe more

1) Peel and cube potatoes. Place in a big pot and barely cover with cold water. Add 1 TBSP salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes yield to a fork with ease. Meanwhile...
2) slice green onions on a bias--the whole onion, both white and green. Assemble other ingredients.
3) Drain potatoes.* Let sit in the colander under a clean towel while...
4) Put empty pot back on the stovetop. Melt butter in the bottom. Add the garlic and green onions. Cook for about 30 seconds until aromatic. Add potatoes and other ingredients to the pot and mash away! You can use a hand masher or an electric beater. Add more milk if it is too thick for you. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper if desired. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you prefer, but be careful not to mash too long... potatoes can get gluey if over mixed. Serve as-is or with gravy. Can be frozen and re-heated later.
*My mom and grandma always drain the potatoes into their gravy pot and use that water instead of plain water. Good way to preserve those nutrients, and have hot water for the gravy!

Stay tuned... More Recipes are on the way!

1 comment:

Laurie/Mom/Grandma said...

Oh yum, I think we need those GF beans for dinner on Sunday with our turkey. I have bacon in my fridge and lots of cans of beans. Want to come and make them?