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T-Day Sides-I'm Stumped

Marie Louise's picture

I've cooked more Thanksgiving dinners that I can count, but this one has me stumped:

I've been asked to bring "sides" (but not the stuffing) for a dinner for about a dozen people. The location is about an hour from my house, and I think we're probably going to arrive hours before the time the dinner is served.

It is at a friend's weekend house, and she says she has limited cooking equipment and serving bowls.

I'm thinking some room temperature vegetable salads that I could dress right before I left and/ or right before serving would be the best idea. You know, like grated carrots w/ cumin, green beans w/ ______, etc.

Suggestions???

I want to go to the Farmer's Market tomorrow and get everything.


Edited 11/22/2008 11:51 am by Marie Louise

roz's picture

(post #36704, reply #1 of 36)

On your great idea of salads, how about butternut squash, cubed and roasted then tossed with new world flavors, like roasted hot peppers and lime and cilantro?

Or roasted root veggies tossed with a vinaigrette and served on a bed of greens.

I think roasted veggies taste just as good at room temp as hot.

Or a fruit chutney or compote.

Good luck!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #2 of 36)

Roasting is a good idea!

Has anyone tried this Spicy Carrots with Jalapeño & Roasted Red Pepper that is on the FC website? It says serve immediately, but I'm thinking it would be lovely as a room temperature dish. I'll just add the oregano and lime juice at her house.

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/spicy-carrots-jalapeno-roasted-red-pepper.aspx?ac=fp

That's one. My Balsamic Onions makes two. Two more things and I'll feel appropriately bountiful. I guess one should be some sort of potato dish...

teebee's picture

(post #36704, reply #3 of 36)

There was a recipe for green beans with a pickled-onion relish in Bon Appetit's T'giving issue this year. You can make this a day ahead and store the beans separately from the onions, then toss them together with the dressing, which is olive oil, thyme, and a little maple syrup. It is to be served at room temperature, so this would be perfect. I am assuming that the recipe would be on their website.

I was going to make it (I am hosting for 24), but my DSIL is bringing a bean dish. It sounded excellent to me. I may serve it at Christmas.

Tawni

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #8 of 36)

I'm not sure about the maple syrup, but the concept has great possibilities. I could make it a day ahead, and the "bring to room temperature" could happen on the drive. I think it would be fabulous w/ red onions. Maybe persimmons or tangerines, or does that sound too weird?

Here's the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Green-Beans-with-Pickled-Onion-Relish-350474

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #10 of 36)

You might want one hot dish--I'm sure they have an oven. Could you prepare a sweet potato casserole (not the marshmallow kind) and heat it up after the turkey comes out of the oven? And will people be expecting mashed potatoes?

teebee's picture

(post #36704, reply #14 of 36)

I think that the red onion (I love red onion) would add some nice color--wouldn't that be a pretty Christmas dish? I think that the maple syrup would add just enough sweetness. Would you use the fruit just for garnish, or as part of the dish? I forgot that I bought some green beans Thursday, so I may go try this. I'll report back on the maple syrup issue. Off to the kitchen!

teebee's picture

(post #36704, reply #22 of 36)

I am reporting back on the green beans with pickled onion relish. They were very good. I cut the recipe in half and followed it exactly. The maple syrup was not an obvious taste, as I think that it cut the vinegar in the onion. I was trying to taste too much clove (I am not a fan of a strong clove flavor), but I could not. Sometimes I think that Thanksgiving food is too much of one texture (creamy, mushy, soggy; whatever adjective you want to use), so the green beans would add a nice bit of crunch. They would also be super easy to transport. Wrap the cooked beans in paper towels and put in a big ziplock (per the instructions), and put the onion mixture into a little rubbermaid container, same with the dressing.

If my DSIL weren't making a green bean casserole (Tyler Florence's recipe, not the mushroom soup one), I would be serving these beans.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #24 of 36)

I am keeping this on the short list.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #25 of 36)

More details...

Someone else is bringing potatoes to mash on site. The host is making cornbread stuffing. That's probably enough starch. We need to save room for pie.

She's requested Brussels sprouts, and likes the carrot and red pepper idea.

Anyone have a good Brussels Sprout salad recipe? I've bought them at the deli but never made one.

We're leaving about 4 hours before we're eating. We could cook some of the stuff onsite.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #26 of 36)

For anyone else looking for side dishes, I FINALLY located Fine Cooking's list of Thanksgiving side dishes. (It took far too long to find it, so I'm posting the link.)

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/collections/thanksgiving-vegetable-side-dishes.aspx?collection=102332

TracyK's picture

(post #36704, reply #29 of 36)

The chiffonade of brussels sprouts is delicious, and you could do most of it in advance if you need to (slice the sprouts, cook the bacon, reserve some bacon fat, toast the nuts). Then all you have to do is saute the sprouts in the bacon fat, season, and toss with the nuts & bacon crumbles (and a dash of cider or balsamic vinegar).


"The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and adorable daughters."                          -- Garrison Keilor

kathymcmo's picture

(post #36704, reply #30 of 36)

This recipe from the wine section of the SF Chron caught my eye, think I will make this for TG.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/21/WI9B146983.DTL&type=printable


Edited to add it's a brussel sprouts, green bean and wild mushroom saute.


Edited 11/23/2008 7:08 pm by kathymcmo

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #31 of 36)

Which recipe are you referring to?

I scored lots of great produce at Sundays market:

I got carrots and beautiful red peppers for the carrot dish from FC.

I got lots of green beans and red onions for the green bean dish from epicurious linked above.

I got 2 pounds of really tiny Brussels sprouts. My friend says she "loves the way I make Brussels sprouts" and beats me if I can remember ever making them for her. I usually braise them in a little water, maybe a little cream, sometimes a little mustard. I've added various spices to it, too.I could always do that, but something more special to match the other two room temperature vegetables dishes might be more thematically correct.

I'm still searching for a Brussels sprout salad recipe like they sell at The Market Hall for a zillion dollars.

TracyK's picture

(post #36704, reply #32 of 36)

This one: http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-cookstalk&msg=13909.1


But I use toasted pecans instead of hazelnuts, and I add a splash of something acidic toward the end, it really brightens the flavor and cuts through the richness of the nuts & bacon.


Even avowed sprouts-haters have loved this dish.



"The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and adorable daughters."                          -- Garrison Keilor

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #33 of 36)

I made that last night with pancetta--it's a regular here. Delicious!

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #35 of 36)

Thanks! I do something similar w/ pancetta, no nuts, no vinegar. This sounds very good.

suz's picture

(post #36704, reply #36 of 36)

I make these brussel sprouts minus the nuts every week, I've become addicted to them!

judith29's picture

(post #36704, reply #4 of 36)

How about cucumber salad..an old Danish favorite.
Slice cucumbers ( English type that you can eat the skin) newspaper thin (a mandolin works well for this)

Mix 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup good oil (olive, Saffola)
add: pepper, salt, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley.
toss(put them in a sealable container and shake) with cucumbers and let rest in fridge overnight. Drain before serving.

These are very light and refreshing to serve with the traditional heavy
Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy-judith29

Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #5 of 36)

That would be refreshing. Great idea. Hopefully I can still get cucumbers at the market tomorrow-they are much more flavorful than what I buy at the produce store.

MadMom's picture

(post #36704, reply #7 of 36)

I had a wonderful butternut squash salad the other day.  The squash was peeled, diced, and roasted.  Mixed with greens, spiced pecans (I left those off, but others said they were delicious) and a really good dressing.  If you're interested, I can dig up the recipe.  It wasn't the usual blah salad.



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roz's picture

(post #36704, reply #6 of 36)

Don't forget to use your slow cooker if you have one. I assume your friends weekend house has electricity!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #9 of 36)

I don't own a slow cooker, but LOL, it is in San Francisco, it will have all the amenities.

roz's picture

(post #36704, reply #11 of 36)

Her weekend retreat is in San Francisco? I'm impressed!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Marie Louise's picture

(post #36704, reply #20 of 36)

Yeah, they live in Berkeley but like to go urban on the weekend. They rent out part of it but have an apartment.

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #23 of 36)

Well that's just not fair! A home in Berkeley AND a home in SF?

Sondra's picture

(post #36704, reply #12 of 36)

How about that awesome FC Sweet Potato/Potato/Carmelized Onion gratin?  Reheats well, very popular, not sweet, savory.

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #16 of 36)

sorry, I forgot to click the html button


Edited 11/22/2008 4:10 pm by Heather

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #17 of 36)

Third try--

That sounds delicious. I found this one but it doesn't have regular potatoes--is this what you are talking about?

Sondra's picture

(post #36704, reply #27 of 36)

Oops, it is.  Sorry about the second potato reference.  Not sure where that came from.  LOL.


At any rate, an excellent side dish.

Heather's picture

(post #36704, reply #28 of 36)

It sounds just delicious and might be my addition to Thanksgiving this year. Thanks!