Searching for Simple Sides

20 Nov

Cauliflower Gratin | Barefoot Contessa

If you’re like me and scrambling to finish your menu for Thanksgiving, time is running out! I’ve searched out a few recipes to share. Due to limited time, I’m sharing the links to ones I’ve found online, rather than typing up my own recipes, but hopefully you will enjoy them nonetheless.

Cauliflower Gratin from Barefoot Contessa. Since more nutrients are retained by steaming vegetables rather than boiling them, you may want to consider modifying the recipe (you could steam the florets a day ahead too).Try to avoid ground Nutmeg from the spice rack–it’s really much better adding freshly grated Nutmeg! I also suggest using Japanese Panko Bread Crumbs for extra crunch.

Pan-Roasted Balsamic Onions from Martha Stewart. This recipe includes Leeks, but as much as I love Leeks, I think I’ll substitute Shallots so they’ll fit more easily on everyone’s plate. Shallots will also take up less space than Leeks in a very full refrigerator and can be stored in a cool pantry. Adding a touch of honey or brown sugar would help caramelize them too.

Lemony Brussels Sprout Slaw from The Minimalist. I like the idea of having a raw side dish. It’s one less pot or pan for the stove or oven, plus it’s light and refreshing. The addition of apple in this recipe adds a pleasant sweet note. I think I’ll use Parsley instead of chopped Mint–one less ingredient to buy, plus I’ll be chopping Parsley for Stuffing. To shred the Sprouts, use your food processor with the slicing blade or a hand Mandolin. I do love roasted Brussels Sprouts, but the best technique involves cooking them a very high oven (500 degrees) which means you have to keep your eyes on them so they don’t burn, and with everything else going on in the kitchen during the final 30-60 minutes before getting ready to serve, I don’t want to worry about that…

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes from Alton Brown. I would use a bit of caution and hold back on the amount of Chipotle Pepper, adding it to taste. A touch of Heavy Cream or Crème Fraîche, or perhaps 1-2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup would also be good additions.

And last, there is the Cranberry Sauce…there are so many options here. You can’t go wrong adding some Orange Juice or Zest. Try a dash of Chinese Five-Spice Powder which typically includes Star Anise, Cinnamon, Cloves, Sichuan Pepper and Fennel. I like to mix Whole Grain Mustard into my sauce which makes it a perfect pairing for a Turkey Sandwich the next day. If you go that route, consider saving some of the Cranberry Sauce separately, before adding the Mustard, since it’s tasty to layer into a Yoghurt and Granola Parfait.

Do you have any favorite Sides for Thanksgiving? Share your ideas!

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