Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great Thanksgiving Sides !

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing

Adapted recipe from Epicurious.com



1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup brown raisins


For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

For salad:
Steam sweet potatoes in batches until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, parsley, pecans, and all raisins. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Gruyere, Parmigano-Reggiano and Caramelized Shallots

Preheat oven to 375F

For topping:

3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs, preferably Panko

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ tsp lemon zest

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tbs minced fresh flat leaf parsley

For gratin:

1 tbs unsalted butter

Kosher salt to taste, plus 2 tsp aside

2 lb Brussels sprouts trimmed halved lengthwise

2 tbs all purpose flour

8 oz gruyere cheese, grated

½ oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1 tsp lemon zest

¾ tsp fresh ground pepper

1 cup heavy cream

4-5 shallots, thin slice

Preheat oven to 375F

For topping, stir bread crumbs, butter, lemon zest, salt, pepper and parsley in mixing bowl. Set aside.

For caramelized shallots, finely slice 4-5 shallots very thin. Heat large cast iron skillet on stovetop, medium-high heat, drizzled with grape seed oil or any high other heat oil (soy oil will work too). Heat cast iron with oil, add sliced shallots and cook only until translucent, do not brown or overcook.

For gratin, use large (12in or larger) deep cast iron skillet (dutch oven or large ovenproof non-stick fry pan greased with a thin layer of butter). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat . Add the brussels sprouts and cook just until tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, Gruyere, Parmigano-Reggiano, lemon zest, 2 tsp. salt and pepper. Stir in the cream, then the brussles sprouts and caramelized shallots. Transfer the mixture to the cast iron cookware and smooth to make layer even in thickness. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly on top. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let the gratin rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe could not be easier or more delightful to prepare, using my favorite ingredient- sweet potatoes. You can find locally grown sweet potatoes at any of our local farmer’s markets, as well as Gerrard’s Market in Redlands. 5lbs dark orange fleshed sweet potatoes, scrubbed

1 yellow onion, diced

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

¼ cup pure maple syrup, good quality

2/3-3/4 cup milk, warmed

½ cup pecans, toasted, rough chop

kosher or sea salt to taste

Preheat oven 350F. Pierce each potato several times with fork and place in a baking pan. Bake potatoes until tender when squeezed or pierced, approximately 1 ½ hours. Set potatoes aside until cook enough to handle.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sautee until onion is translucent, don’t brown or overcook. Combine the butter and maple syrup. Stir to melt the butter and bring to a boil. Set aside and keep warm.

Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl, discard skins. Use a potato masher, ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes. Stir the butter mixture into the potatoes. Add the milk and blend well. Season to taste with salt. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Alternatively, make ahead one day in advance by covering and refrigerating after cooking. Bring to room temperature 2 hours before serving and reheat on stovetop.

Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds

Fortunately, this is not the classic Thanksgiving green beans that our grandmothers made. This version replaces the condensed mushroom soup with lemon juice and adds a delightfully buttery-crispy topping of panko bread crumbs.

5 tbs unsalted butter

¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Zest of 1 lemon (a microplane works great for this step)

1 tbs kosher or sea salt, more may be needed after tasting

1 ½ lb fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed

1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the panko and toast crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan two thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbs of salt. Add the beans and cook until bright green and still very crisp, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in water for about 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels and set aside.

In large skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tbs butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly until the beans are heated through, but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and almonds, sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately.

To make this dish ahead: Blanch green beans up to one day in advance. Spread the cooked beans on dry paper towel or a clean cotton towel, roll up in ‘jelly roll’ style and place in sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

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