Thanksgiving Side Dishes Recipes

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Green Bean Casserole Recipe Recipe

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

11.22.10 by Jackie

Green bean casserole can be found on many Thanksgiving menus. French green beans are tossed in a mushroom sauce, topped with onions and baked for a few minutes.

The traditional dish called for fried onions (see tips), but I made a "light" version using caramelized onions and a roux (combination of butter, flour and a liquid) made with vegetable stock. No cream or any dairy ingredients involved except a little butter. Don't get me wrong; this version of green bean casserole is still packed with flavor from the onions and the cherry tomatoes tossed in garlic. But it will be nice to have something healthier on our table to balance out all the richer dishes I plan to make.


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Oven Baked Yams Recipe

Oven Baked Yams

11.21.10 by Jackie

This recipe is an easy take on baked yams. The yams are boiled first, then filled with a little butter and maple syrup. After the yams are individually wrapped in foil, they are baked until caramelized and juicy. You can eat them plain, with brown sugar-flavored butter, salt and pepper or a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds.

Yams are a staple on everyone’s Thanksgiving menu, but not everyone likes the sweetness of candied yams. This is a great alternative that is much more savory. An added bonus is that the yams can be prepared in advance in the morning and warmed just before serving (in the microwave or in a steamer). If you do as much cooking as I do on Thanksgiving, that alone is reason to consider this dish.


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Pesto Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes Recipe

You may not believe it, but buttermilk mashed potatoes are just as fluffy as regular mashed potatoes made with heavy cream. The only difference is a pleasant tangy taste that the buttermilk imparts to the potatoes. To enhance the flavor of the mashed potatoes, I added some homemade Pecorino basil pesto. There is nothing subtle about this dish; it is absolutely bursting with color and flavor.

I was inspired to make this dish during our Christmas trip to Las Vegas. We went to our favorite eatery, "The Buffet at Bellagio". They served pesto mashed potatoes, but without buttermilk. It was so good I had to replicate it but of course, I wanted to add my own twist. I recently made a large batch of Pecorino basil pesto, so I thought it would be a good time to try my hand at the dish. I hope you like it!


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Cornbread Dressing Recipe

Cornbread Dressing

11.24.09 by Jackie

The trick to making good cornbread stuffing is to cut the cornbread into bite-sized cubes and then to sear them a bit before adding them to the vegetables and stock. The reason for this is that cornbread is much more crumbly than croutons, and will fall apart if not treated beforehand.

I made my cornbread dressing with commonly used winter and root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, celery and button mushrooms to keep it very simple and not overpower the homemade cornbread itself. Cornbread is after all the star of the show. You can also repeat the flavors from the cornbread in the stuffing itself.  Roasted jalapeño, bits of corn and cheddar cheese would work, though I would use shredded cheese in that case.


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Fluffy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

When Lulu and I first got married, we invited Lulu's uncle and his family over for dinner. I made grilled steaks and pommes mousseline (mashed potatoes in French). Five years later they still talk about the meal, so here is the recipe for my garlic mashed potatoes just in time for Thanksgiving.

The secret to incredibly fluffy mashed potatoes is to use a combination of heavy cream, crème fraîche and butter. I know, it's not the healthiest mashed potato recipe, but once you try it, you'll never want to go back. For added flavor, I roasted a head of garlic and squeezed the contents into the dish, along with chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Try to resist. I dare you!


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