Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Nov 30, 2012

From Scratch Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole seems to be one of those dishes that you either had every single Thanksgiving (and maybe Christmas) or you never had it all.  It also seems like people either love it or hate.

I always enjoyed it growing up but I think I mostly liked the topping.  The year that I found out there was Cream of Mushroom soup in it, I pretty much refused to eat because I hated mushrooms with a type of passion that only a ten-year-old girl could have. ;)

I've definitely come to love mushrooms in the more recent years and I've also learned how to make this casserole without any Cream of Whatever soups.  This recipe is creamy, savory, crispy, and full of fresh mushrooms and green beans.  It also comes together quickly with a little help from store-bought fried onions.  One of these years I'm going to fry my own shallots.  This wasn't that year, though. ;)

From Scratch Green Bean Casserole
Printable Version

For the Topping:
½ cup prepared breadcrumbs, any type
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 cups canned fried onions (about 6 ounces)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Beans and Sauce:Salt
1½ lb. green beans, ends trimmed, then halved
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced and then halved
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
Ground black pepper
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 - 1½ cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

1. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, butter, and fried onions. Salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large, deep skillet, add 2 tablespoons of salt and beans, cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high and cook for about 6 minutes, until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender. Drain the beans and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
3. Return skillet to medium heat and melt the butter. Add mushrooms and cook for about 6 minutes then add the garlic. Once the mushrooms have released their moisture and it has evaporated, season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir in the flour and continuing cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup of broth and bring to a simmer. Remove pan from the heat and add in cream. Sauce should be thick but pourable. Return to the heat to reduce if necessary or add more broth if it is too thick. Once desired consistency has been reached, stir in the beans. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread the topping over the beans and bake for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and topping is golden brown. Serve immediately.

slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion, originally from The Cook's Illustrated cookbook

Nov 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Carrot Casserole

I grew up eating sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving might look similar to this dish.  It was super sweet, sometimes it was made with canned yams, and it was dripping with syrup-y...stuff.  I loved it as a kid.

Now, though, not so much.  I'm actually not a huge sweet potato fan. I think I just forget about them until Thanksgiving rolls around and I think, "Oh yeah, have to add sweet potatoes to the menu."

That did not happen at all this year, though.  Our summer CSA provided us with tons and tons of sweet potatoes.  As in, at least 7 or 8 pounds a week.  There was no way we were ever going to eat all of those so I peeled the majority of them, and then cubed and boiled them.  Then I flash froze them on cookie sheets and packed them away in the freezer. It's been so nice to have cooked sweet potatoes at our disposal!

It was especially nice when it came time to make this for our (early) Thanksgiving dinner. This dish is packed with sweet potatoes and carrots with just a hint of citrus flavor.  The marshmallows on top really do add the perfect sweetness to the dish without it being overly sweet or too dessert-like.  This was definitely Jack's favorite dish on the table. (Really, all he ate was this, mashed potatoes, and a roll. He's definitely my carb loving child.)

Sweet Potato Carrot Casserole
Printable Version

6 large sweet potatoes (about 5 lb.)
1 pound carrots, thinly sliced
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups miniature marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and poke holes in the sweet potatoes using a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
2. While the potatoes are cool, cook the carrots in boiling water 15-20 minutes or until very tender; drain and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, process carrots with the butter until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer carrot mixture to a large bowl.
4. Scoop out flesh of the cooled potatoes. Process each batch of sweet potatoes with a little sour cream until the potatoes are very smooth. Remove to the bowl with carrots and add any remaining sour cream.
5. Stir in brown sugar through black pepper and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the marshmallows. Bake 10 more minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 4; cover and chill up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator, and let stand 30 minutes. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 5.

very slightly adapted from Southern Living

Nov 19, 2012

Cranberry Relish/Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is definitely a must-have for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Like a lot of families, I'm sure, we always had the canned version and I always loved it.  Once I started cooking more and more from scratch and I saw how easy a homemade version was, I haven't gone back to the can.

I love the tartness of this relish/sauce and I also love the texture that the whole berries give it.  It comes together very quickly and can be made ahead of time, in fact, I usually make this at least two days before Thanksgiving.  It does need time to chill in the refrigerator to firm up a bit but other than that, it's a very easy way to enjoy cranberries!

Cranberry Relish/Cranberry Sauce
Printable Version

12 oz. fresh cranberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup water
Zest and juice of 1 orange, zest reserved

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and orange juice.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the cranberries begin to burst, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the zest.
3. Pour into a serving bowl and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

barely adapted from Tide & Thyme