Home is getting a lot of exposure this time of year.
Home is where the holiday heart is.
Gobbilicous times are upon us, and homemade holiday side dishes take center setting at the holiday dinner table.
I know my November audience and what brings them to the Thanksgiving table. This group loves traditional holiday side dishes, but have come to request, love, and appreciate at least one traditional dish with a twist.
Ina Garten’s Herb and Apple Breading Pudding
8 cups (3/4-inch-diced) country bread cubes, crusts removed
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1 ½ cups medium-diced celery
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
½ cup medium or dry sherry
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
7 extra-large eggs
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, lightly packed (6 ounces with rind), divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, tossing once, until lightly browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta, raise the heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the onions, celery, and apple and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the sherry, rosemary, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 1/2 cups of the Gruyère in a very large bowl. Stir in the bread and the vegetable mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the custard.
Pour into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch oven-to-table baking dish. Sprinkle with the ½ cup of Gruyère and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve hot.
Assemble early in the day, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Bake just before serving.
Green Bean Casserole with Madeira Mushrooms
2 (16-oz.) packages frozen French-cut green beans, thawed
1 (10-oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 (8-oz.) can diced water chestnuts, drained
1 (6-oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (6-oz.) can French fried onions, divided
½ cup chopped pecans
Stir together first 6 ingredients and half of French fried onions; spoon mixture into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 4 ½ hours or until bubbly.
Heat pecans and remaining half of French fried onions in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted and fragrant; sprinkle over casserole just before serving.
Laura Pensiero’s Roasted Maple Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Chestnuts
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh roasted chestnuts, approximately ¾ pound in shell (substitute peeled, frozen chestnuts if desired)
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved (quartered, if large)
Salt and pepper
¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roasting removes the shell and richens the flavor of chestnuts. Using the tip of a knife, cut a small X in the flat side of their outer shell, then spread them out on a baking pan. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes; you will see the skin curling away and the chestnut taking on a golden color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. The shells can easily be removed. Set aside the chestnuts.
Heat the olive oil in a large (approximately three- to four-quart) sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring often, until it renders its fat and is lightly browned. Add the chestnuts, toss or stir to combine, then cook for about one minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing or stirring, for about two minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a rimmed baking pan or roasting pan; they should spread out into one slightly overlapping layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven, stirring once halfway through until the vegetables are golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Use the tip of a sharp paring knife to test the doneness at the base of a Brussels sprout; it should insert easily.
In a small bowl or cup, stir together the water, maple syrup, and cayenne. Pour the mixture into the hot baking pan, using a wooden spoon to dissolve any browned bits. Return pan to oven and cook another five minutes. Serve hot or warm, family-style, in a festive bowl.
Wild Rice with Balsamic Mushrooms
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound mixed fresh mushrooms (such as oyster, cremini, and shiitake), sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Bring broth to a boil in a small pot. Add rice, and reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook until rice is just tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered, 10 minutes. Drain any excess cooking liquid if necessary. Fluff rice with a fork.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 3 minutes (do not stir). Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add butter and scallions. Cook until scallions are softened, about 1 minute. Turn off heat, and stir in vinegar.
Transfer rice to a serving bowl. Stir in mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.
Glazed Carrots with Orange and Ginger
1 16 ounce pkg. baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients except lemon juice and parsley in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate all ingredients together. Reduce heat to medium low, add lemon juice and cover.
Cook until carrots are tender. Taste to determine if you want to adjust the seasonings.
I like to add the parsley and one additional squeeze of lemon to the pan to allow it to “soften” for approximately 1 minute. Serves 4.
Places In The Home
Macaroni Au Gratin
6 ounces dry elbow macaroni (about 1 ¼ cups)
1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
2 ounces grana padano, shredded
2 ounces Jarlsberg, shredded
6 ounces white cheddar, shredded
2 cups heavy creamSea salt
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts water and 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt to a boil. Add the macaroni and return to a boil; once boiling, cook until barely al dente (about 5 minutes), then drain the pasta well. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and mix in the oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Let cool completely. You should have about 3 cups.
Set a rack in the oven about 4 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler. Combine the grana padano, Jarlsberg, and white cheddar in a large bowl; reserve 60 percent of the cheese for the top.
In a large deep saucepan, bring the cream and 1 teaspoon sea salt to a boil. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. The cream will foam up and then subside into a simmer. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, about 90 seconds. The cream will start to thicken just slightly and coat the noodles. Start adding 40 percent of the cheese in small handfuls, stirring and waiting for each addition to melt and incorporate into the sauce before adding more. Transfer the contents of the pan to a 2 ½-quart skillet or baking dish, mound the reserved cheese over the top, and place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, rotating throughout, until the cheese melts and caramelizes into a golden-brown crust.
Watch it carefully, as every broiler is different. Remove the gratin from the oven and let it rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
-recipe from Ashley Christensen’s Poole’s Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner as featured in Garden & Gun Magazine
This recipe is as easy as it is delicious, and comes with the extra time saving ease of using canned sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato Pudding
3 cups canned sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated coconut
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, melted
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, coconut, milk and vanilla. Pour into an 8×8-inch buttered baking dish. Combine the brown sugar, pecans, flour, melted butter and salt until well mixed. Spoon the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake for one hour. Makes about 8 servings.
Holiday side dishes blessings and bon appétit!