In my last blog post, I covered the ins and outs of the Thanksgiving turkey. Now, let’s get into what’s arguably the most exciting part of Thanksgiving dinner – the sides. Side dishes are the real stars of the table and many of us will happily make an entire meal out of them. For this reason they deserve just as much attention as the turkey.
Below are a few of the side dishes that’ll be gracing my table this Thanksgiving. For those looking for vegetarian options, it’s important to note that variations of these recipes can easily be made by simply substituting the turkey stock with vegetable stock and by removing the bacon.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about my gluten-free friends. My Sweet Potato Puree is a great gluten-free side dish and the Brussels Sprout and Bacon Gratin can easily become gluten-free by substituting for GF breadcrumbs. Here are some additional GF side dishes to check out.
Prepping and Serving Go ahead and make it easy on yourself by prepping some of your side dishes, such as the start of the stuffing, the night before. Here are a few pointers on what can be prepped ahead of time.
Whether buffet-style, family-style or a combination of both, the manner in which you serve your Thanksgiving dinner is totally up to you. Generally, a buffet is a great option, especially if you’ll be feeding a lot of people. Here’s a nice guide on how to organize your buffet for ultimate enjoyment.
And lastly, without a doubt the most important thing that you should do this Thanksgiving is enjoy your time with loved ones. Have fun creating new memories.
Cranberry Pecan Cornbread Stuffing
3 boxes, Cornbread Mix ( I love Jiffy)
1 C Whole Milk
1 C Candied Pecans, rough chopped
1 C Dried Cranberries (Dried Cherries can be used as a substitute)
3-4 C Turkey Stock (see my Thanksgiving Part I post for an easy DIY turkey stock)
3 T Sage, minced
Bake off cornbread recipe following directions on the box
Once cornbread is done, using thongs, break up the cornbread
Add stock, cranberries, sage and pecans
Return mixture to cornbread pan until stuffing has absorbed and dried the stock
Return to 400 degree oven and bake for 10-15 min
Serve and enjoy
Sweet Potato Puree
4 lb of Sweet Potato, small dice
2 T butter
1⁄4 cup Makers Mark
2 T Brown Sugar
2T Sage, minced
Small dice sweet potatoes and place in pot of water
Bring to a boil and cook until tender, approx. 20 min
Add remaining ingredients and puree with immersion blender until smooth
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Serve and enjoy
Brussels Sprout and Bacon Gratin
1 lb Bacon, cooked until crispy, then rough chop with knife
1⁄2 C Reserved Bacon Fat
3 lb Brussels Sprouts, julienned
1 1⁄2 C Heavy Cream
1 Shallot, minced
8oz White Cheddar, grated
3 Rosemary Sprigs, minced
1T Vegetable Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In large sauté, bring to medium heat. Add bacon fat
Sauté brussels sprouts until bright green, remove and place in bowl
Add 1T of oil and sauté rosemary and shallot until tender, 2 min
Add cream and leave on heat until bubbles appear.
Add to brussels sprouts and stir
Place brussels sprouts in casserole dish. Add cheese, breadcrumbs and bacon
Place in oven and cook until cheese has melted and is golden brown, approx. 15-20 min
Serve and enjoy