The Sides of Thanksgiving

The Sides of Thanksgiving

Turkey may take center-stage on Thanksgiving but everyone knows that the stuffing, the cranberry sauce and all the other autumnal accompaniments served are just as important. Seasonal, sometimes sweet, sometimes savory (and often a little of both) these dishes play an integral role, bringing color and creativity to the table. Below we’ve rounded up some inspired side dish recipes for next Thursday. Happy Holidays.

Braised Greens with Apples
Recipe from Down Home: Downtown: Seasonal Recipes from Two Sonoma Wine County Restaurants by Jeff Mall and Josh Silvers.

4 slices bacon
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Πteaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups water
œ cup apple cider or juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 bunchs (about 1 1/2 pounds) collard greens or kale, stemmed and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the braised greens: In a large, nonreactive saucpan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it has rendered most of its fat, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the apples, onions, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the water, apple cider, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Stir in the greens and reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Rudolph Family Brussel Sprout Gratin
Recipe courtesy of Peter Rudolph, executive chef of Madera at Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, California

2 fresh baguettes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, small diced
2 cloves garlic
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, bulk or sliced
3 pounds Brussel sprouts, quartered
3 cups heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, fresh picked
3 leaves sage, chopped
1 pinch nutmeg, fresh grated
1 teaspoon black pepper
15 small Bodega Bay oysters, shucked

Remove the crust from the baguettes, break bread into small pieces and let air-dry for two hours. In a medium-size pan pour olive oil and slowly sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the sausage and cook until the fat starts to render. Add the Brussel sprouts, turn heat to high and cook five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool till warm. Add the bread into the mixture.

In a mixing bowl incorporate the egg into the cream. Add the cream mixture in one cup increments to the brussel sprout mixture until the mix is mostly saturated. Add the thyme, sage, nutmeg, black pepper, salt and oysters, gently folding together so you don’t break the oysters.  Loosely place into a casserole dish; the mix should fit into the dish snug but not be broken or mashed in. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, till the edges of the bread are brown. Let rest 10 minutes in a warm place after removing from the oven. Serves eight.

Baked Acorn Squash Casserole
Recipe courtesy of Ruben Gomez, winery chef at Iron Horse Winery in Sonoma

2 cups acorn squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
1 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 ounces butter melted
œ cup romano pecorino cheese, finely grated
2 whole eggs
2 yolks
2 cups half and half or heavy cream
2 pinch nutmeg ground fresh
1 lemon zest chopped fine
1 tablespoon thyme chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place the squash, ginger, garlic, sugar, melted butter and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Toss these ingredients until all are coated well and place in an 8-inch-square pan or casserole.  In a separate bowl beat eggs, cream, nutmeg, lemon, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour the custard mixture over the squash and cover with aluminum foil. Place the casserole in the middle of the oven on a larger baking pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water to create a water bath. Do not fill the water bath higher than halfway up the side of your squash pan. Cook the casserole for an hour or more until a knife penetrates the squash easily. Allow the casserole to cool until it sets then slice into squares. Serves 6 to 8.


Holiday Pumpkin Soup
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Andre Molle at Le Chateau in South Salem, NY

1 Quart of chicken Stock
1 Medium Onion Sliced
1 Half Stack of Celery Minced
2 Medium Leeks (white part only) Minced
1 Oz Butter
2 Lbs rough Chopped Pumpkin
Tbps Sour Cream
Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Salt & pepper to taste

In a Heavy pot, sweat onion, leek, celery and pumpkin in butter over low heat. Stir constantly for 20 minutes to avoid coloration, cover with chicken stock. Simmer for 40 minutes more. Puree in batches. Add nutmeg, Cinnamon, Salt & pepper and sour cream. Adjust seasoning. Serve with cinnamon dusted croutons. Serves 4 people.

Texas Carrot Souffle
Recipe courtsy of David Rosengarten and adapted from Willy Ray’s in Beaumont, Texas

1 pound large carrots
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
cooking spray

NOTE: This recipe makes enough carrot soufflĂ© to feed six people. For a twelve-person party, you’ll want to double the recipe; simply prepare two batches of it, working simultaneously, in two 8″ cake pans. For shopping, of course, you’ll need to double the list above.
Peel the carrots; discard ends. Cut the carrots into 1-inch chunks.

Put carrots into the work bowl of a food processor; add enough water to just cover carrots. Pulse carrots until they’re coarsely chopped; be careful not to overprocess as you do not want purĂ©e. Drain the carrots in a colander, reserve, and rinse out the work bowl of the food processor.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add œ cup of the sugar and the drained carrots. Cook, uncovered, until the carrots are candied and nearly translucent; this could take from 30 to 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally, as the sugar mixture can scorch easily once the liquids from the carrots and butter evaporate.  Remove from heat and cool.

When the candied carrot mixture has cooled, transfer it to the rinsed work bowl of the food processor.  Add the remaining Âœ cup of sugar, the eggs, the vanilla extract, the flour, the baking powder, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.  Pulse, scraping down the sides as needed, until the ingredients are just combined.  (You still want to see discrete pieces of carrot.  Do not purĂ©e.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly film an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.  Transfer carrot mixture to the cake pan.  Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 60 minutes, or until the top just begins to brown. Place on buffet table so guests may scoop out their own helpings. Makes 6 servings.


Published on November 19, 2009
Topics: CookingRecipes