Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Part Two: Sides

For the Thanksgiving sides we served brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, cooked carrots, and cranberry sauce. The cranberry sauce was the best surprise of the meal, since it was my first time making homemade sauce. We usually use the Ocean Spray canned jelly. I was determined to find a sauce that would convert many of my friends and family to a homemade variety. And, it was a success!

Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnut Butter (from The Bitten Word)
What You Need (I doubled the recipe):
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts (about 1 oz.)
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1-1/2 tsp. lightly chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered or cut into 6 wedges if very large (about 6 cups)
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth

What You Do:
1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Put the hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet.
3. Roast in the oven until they are a deep golden-brown (the skins will be visibly splitting), 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Wrap the nuts in a clean kitchen towel, cool for a couple of minutes, and then take the skins off by rubbing the nuts together in the kitchen towel while still warm. (Don’t worry about getting all of the skins off.)
5. Let the nuts cool for about 10 minutes.
6. Finely chop 1/4 cup of the nuts in a small food processor. The nuts should be very finely ground, but not so much that they turn into nut butter.
7. Coarsely chop the remaining nuts and set aside for a garnish.
8. Put the finely chopped nuts, butter, lemon zest, thyme, honey, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined.
9. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
10. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat.
11. Add the Brussels sprouts and 1-1/2 tsp. salt and stir well.
12. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and then more frequently as the sprouts begin to brown, until all of the sprouts are golden-brown on most sides and have lost their raw color (they will still feel firm), 15 to 18 minutes.
13. Add the broth and immediately cover the pan.
14. Cook until the broth has reduced to a few tablespoons, about 2 minutes.
15. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and boil off most of the remaining liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.
16. Take the pan off the heat and add the hazelnut butter in spoonfuls; toss well. Season to taste with salt.
17. Transfer the sprouts to a warm serving dish and garnish with the reserved hazelnuts.

Sweet Potato Casserole (from Southern Food)

What You Need (I triple the recipe and make one batch without the nut topping):
- 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Marshmallows

What You Do:
1. Combine first 6 ingredients.

2. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish.

3. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over top.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and browned.

Here is a look at the carrots while they are cooking. I'll have to get the recipe from my mom to post.Most important of the sides (although they were all delicious), was the cranberry sauce. A happy new addition to our Thanksgiving dinner.

Honey-and-Spice Cranberry Sauce (from Epicurious)

What You Need:
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups apple cider or juice
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 6 whole cloves (for next year, I'm going to use less cloves for a more mild flavor)
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of salt What You Do:

1. Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan.

2. Bring to boil over medium heat.

3. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. I ended up simmering for a bit longer than this to get the right thickness, maybe 20-30 minutes.

4. Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaf.

5. Refrigerate sauce until cold. (Note: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Stay tuned for the most important part of the meal, stuffing, turkey, and desserts!

1 comment:

  1. Allison,
    The blog has matured. I love how you set up the recipes with the headings "what you need" and "what you do". The design is very attractive, clear and engaging. The photos are great. I am surprised that you didn't talk about our happy and healthy turkey. You can mention that the turkey was the tastiest that I have ever eaten.