Holiday Recipes: Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie & Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Maple Recipes for the Holiday

Well it’s that time a year again…the holidays are here, and we all know what that means…PIE. And lots of cooking. With lots of yummy Winter comfort food and ingredients, like maple syrup.

maple syrup cookbook


Every year I try to make a new pie and experiment away from the traditional pumpkin, cherry and apple pies. I got a new cookbook title The Maple Syrup Cookbook with some awesome recipes in it and was inspired to make some of them for Thanksgiving this year with the family.

Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie

This French Canadian Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie is super delicious and was a hit at the table this year!

Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie

It’s similar to Pecan pie but has a touch of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar along with a big mess of chopped walnuts, brown sugar, brewed tea, and eggs all baked in a lovely crust. It has a nice balance of sweetness and tartness with lots of crunch and a gooey filling – super #delish!

Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

I always make Brussels sprouts for the holidays, but this year I made Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts from the cookbook, using a touch of maple syrup for sweetness to the recipe instead of the balsamic drizzle I  normally use with the bacon, shallots and vinegar.

Riesling

They both went great with our Thanksgiving dinner and were absolutely divine with some lovely Riesling wine to go with.

Thanksgiving Dinner

I’m definitely a big fan of this cookbook and these new recipes and I hope you try them too – I’m thinking I’ll make the Maple-Bacon Bread Pudding that’s in the book this year for Christmas Brunch! Stay tuned for that one on the blog soon!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Holidays! xo 

Thanksgiving Dinner

Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie

Holiday Recipes: Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie & Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie
  • 1 9-inch pie crust (homemade or frozen)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brewed tea
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts:
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (or substitute shallots)
  • 1-1 1/4 pounds Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional, I did not use)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Maple Brown Sugar Walnut Pie
  2. Prepare the pie shell according to the directions and line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie pastry and refrigerate or freeze. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Whisk together eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add maple syrup, butter, tea, vinegar and salt, whisking until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Place the pie shell on a heavy baking sheet and pour in the filling.
  4. Bake on the center rack of oven for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temp to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for about 25 minutes longer until the center is set. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temp with whipped cream or ice cream. Also good cold.
  5. Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts:
  6. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and let cool. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet.
  7. Add the butter and onions to the skillet, and saute over medium heat until translucent, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken broth.
  8. Cover and braise the Brussels sprouts until not quite tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir in the mustard, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Continue to cook uncovered, until sprouts are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup just before taking off the heat, and transfer to a serving dish and top with the cooked crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/12/06/holiday-recipes-maple-brown-sugar-walnut-pie-maple-glazed-brussels-sprouts/

A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Side: Fall Harvest Galette w/ Maple Sweet Potatoes, Caramelized Onions, Bacon & Gruyere

FallGalette1

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, simply because it’s a time to spend with friends and family and a great excuse to gather around the table and celebrate our blessings with some delicious bountiful food!

Whenever I go home to cook with my family, my mom takes care of the turkey and dressing, my sister makes a dessert, and I am in charge of making all the delicious side dishes. We normally make the usual green bean or broccoli casserole, squash, Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, and have enough food to feed the entire neighborhood!


KA-Mixer

I recently got a gorgeous new KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer and decided I wanted to use it to make a non-traditional Thanksgiving side dish this year. The Stand Mixer comes in 30 vibrant colors (I got Grape – my favorite) and makes cooking for the holidays so much easier, especially when it comes to making pie, tart dough and sauces. It comes fitted with a ceramic flat beater, dough hook and a wire whisk, has 10 speeds, and also has a plastic one-piece pouring shield to help keep ingredients in place when you’re mixing. And I also got the new KitchenAid® Ceramic Bowl in white to replace the metal one, which is a great accompaniment. The KitchenAid® Stand Mixer also has plenty of cool attachments that are available including food grinders, ice cream and pasta makers, juicers and more!

Fall_Galette

Using my new KitchenAid® Stand Mixer, I decided to make a beautiful Fall Harvest Galette, with roasted maple sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, crispy bacon, sage and Gruyere cheese. The pastry dough was made in my Stand Mixer in less than 10 minutes and came out perfectly. The galette has the delicious warm flavors of fall and it’s a lovely addition to the Thanksgiving table as a colorful, healthy side dish that will blow that green bean casserole away.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL POST WITH THE RECIPE AND MORE PHOTOS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG!

Luscious Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

This is a delicious, luscious custard pie that is one of my absolute favorite pies to make for the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is really simple to make.

The filling is made with buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and browned butter; it has a creamy consistency similar to pumpkin pie but without the pumpkin. It includes a simple recipe for a buttery homemade pie crust, but you can also use a store-bought frozen crust to save some time and effort (Pillsbury is great). Another option is to make the pie crust with whole wheat or buckwheat flour for a nuttier taste. Throw in a tablespoon of maple syrup and a dash of sea salt to the filling and sprinkle the pie with some large grain sugar to bring out the flavors even more. Then just top it with some bourbon vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and you’ve got yourself a prize for the table..it won’t last long, I promise.


Wishing you a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday…Enjoy 🙂

Make the crust

Roll out the dough

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round.

Prick the dough in a pie plate

Place in a 9 inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp edges. Prick dough all over with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake pie crust until golden brown

Bake until edge is light golden brown about 15 minutes; remove parchment and weights.

Make the filling

Whisk together the pie filling ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon until combined. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately whisk brown butter into buttermilk mixture.

Pour pie filling into baked pie shell

Pour filling into pie shell and bake until set but still wobbly in center, 25-35 minutes. Sprinkle pie with sugar (if desired) and let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 hours before serving. Can be refrigerated and wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days.

Serves 8.

Luscious Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Yield: 9

Serving Size: 1 slice

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3-5 tbsp ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • large grain sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the crust: 
  2. In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (you can add additional ice water if necessary, up to 2 tbsp, 1 at a time); do not overmix. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round.
  5. Place in a 9 inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp edges. Prick dough all over with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  6. Bake until edge is light golden brown about 15 minutes; remove parchment and weights.
  7. Make the filling:
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon until combined. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately whisk into buttermilk mixture.
  9. Pour filling into pie shell and bake until set but still wobbly in center, 25-35 minutes. Sprinkle pie with sugar (if desired) and let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 hours before serving. Can be refrigerated and wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2014/11/18/luscious-brown-sugar-buttermilk-pie-2/

 

My Favorite Roasted Squash Recipes

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite Fall veggies to make is Squash. I absolutely love the buttery, savory smell of it roasting in the oven and it’s so easy to make.

There are plenty of different varieties of Squash, but one of the most popular ones to make for the holidays is Butternut Squash, which has a sweet, creamy, buttery flesh. Other popular Squash varieties include Kabocha, Acorn, Spaghetti, Long Neck and Cheddar Cheese squash. There are different ways to prepare squash but the easiest and most flavorful way is by roasting it in the oven on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes to an hour. Simply cut the squash in half (or peel and cut into medium chunks or slices), scoop out the seeds and fibrous flesh and drizzle with olive oil or butter, some fresh cracked pepper and sea salt, and sprinkle on some brown sugar or drizzle with honey or maple syrup for a luscious, buttery, sweet and savory dish.


You can also sprinkle on some fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, chives, tarragon) and garlic or add a dash of cayenne or cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for some spicy layers of flavor. Some ideas for the squash leftovers are to add the roasted squash to Macaroni and Cheese, Wild Rice or Orzo, or make a healthy salad by adding it to some spinach, chard or kale, apples, some toasted walnuts or pecans, cranberries or pomegranate seeds, tossed in a light herb vinaigrette dressing. However you make it, it’s simply delicious; and perfect as a Thanksgiving side or Fall vegetarian side dish.

Check out the different types of squash on Saveur.com website and enjoy my favorite squash recipes below!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar Butter and Herbs
Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar Butter and Herbs

Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar Butter and Herbs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (Pink Himalayan or Fleur de Sel)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fines Herbes (parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash in half cross-wise and remove top and bottom stems. Scrape out all the seeds and fibers inside; discard. Peel the squash and cut into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Place squash on a large baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Dot with small chunks of butter and sprinkle nutmeg, salt and pepper, brown sugar and herbs over squash. Mix together and place sheet in preheated oven.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, stir the squash around the pan. Bake for another 15 minutes and remove from oven.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/11/12/my-favorite-roasted-squash-recipes/

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cayenne Maple Syrup
Roasted Acorn Squash with Cayenne Maple Syrup

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cayenne Maple Syrup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400F. Cut the squash in half with a large knife and scoop out the seeds and insides with a large spoon; discard.
  2. Place squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub on both sides of squash. Dot squash with butter and season with salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar. Drizzle maple syrup over the squash. Add some water to the bottom of the baking sheet (about an inch) and place in oven.
  3. Roast squash for 45 minutes to an hour, until flesh is soft and caramelized. (You may want to check on the squash half way through and brush some of the butter and syrup over the tops of the squash as it's baking to keep it from drying out.)
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/11/12/my-favorite-roasted-squash-recipes/

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Toasted Pinenuts, Sage and Parmesan
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Toasted Pinenuts, Sage and Parmesan

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts, Sage and Parmesan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 2-3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6-8 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Pierce squash all over with a knife and roast spaghetti squash for 1 hour. When squash pierces easily with a knife, remove from oven; let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard seeds. Use a large fork to scrape the squash into long 'spaghetti-like' strands.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in a sauté pan over medium heat until golden for about 5 minutes. After the nuts are toasted, remove them from the pan and add the olive oil, a tablespoon of butter, and sage leaves. Sauté mixture until the sage leaves are crispy. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute.
  5. Crush the sage leaves in the garlic oil mixture, and then pour it over the warmed squash. Add the additional tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper and top with toasted pine nuts and shredded parmesan cheese.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/11/12/my-favorite-roasted-squash-recipes/

—–

Other Squash Recipes you may enjoy:

The Kitchn’s 10 ways to eat an Acorn Squash

Cooking Light Butternut Squash Recipes

Taste of Home Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Food 52 Butternut Squash Recipe Contest

Brown Eyed Baker’s Butternut Squash and Bacon Mac & Cheese

 

Luscious Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

Brown Sugar Buttermilk Pie

This is a delicious, luscious custard pie that I made over Thanksgiving holiday, and it was so easy to make. Made with buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter; it has a creamy consistency similar to pumpkin pie but without the pumpkin. It includes a simple recipe for homemade pie crust, but you can also use a pre-made or refrigerated crust to save some time and effort (Pillsbury is great). Another option is to make the pie crust with whole wheat or rye flour. Throw in a tablespoon of maple syrup and a dash of sea salt to the filling and sprinkle the pie with some large grain sugar to bring out the flavors even more. Enjoy 🙂

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3-5 tbsp ice cold water


For the filling:
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
zest of half a lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
large grain sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Make the crust: 

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (you can add additional ice water if necessary, up to 2 tbsp, 1 at a time); do not overmix. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out the dough

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round.

Prick the dough in a pie plate

Place in a 9 inch pie plate, fold overhang under, and crimp edges. Prick dough all over with a fork. Place a sheet of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake pie crust until golden brown

Bake until edge is light golden brown about 15 minutes; remove parchment and weights.

Make the filling:

Whisk together the pie filling ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon until combined. In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately whisk into buttermilk mixture.

Pour pie filling into baked pie shell

Pour filling into pie shell and bake until set but still wobbly in center, 25-35 minutes. Sprinkle pie with sugar (if desired) and let cool completely on a wire rack, 2 hours before serving. Can be refrigerated and wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days.

Serves 8.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food, November 2011

Crumbs of wisdom for good Stuffing

Gram’s Sausage Stuffing

This is a recipe handed down from my Grandmother that originated from Betty Crocker’s “New Picture” Cookbook written in 1962. My Mom still makes it every year and it’s a easy, delicious and classic recipe that I’m sure to hand down for years ahead.

Betty Crocker cookbook

Ingredients:


1 c. butter (2 sticks)

¾ c. finely minced onion

12 c. coarse bread, torn into cubes, crusts removed

1 ½ c. chopped celery (stalks and leaves)

1 tbsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tbsp. poultry seasoning (to taste)

1 can chicken broth

¼ c. hot water

1 lb. pork sausage, browned and crumbled

Preparation:

In a large roasting pan, break up bread into coarse cubes (about 2-3 loaves).

stuffing cubes

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and brown pork sausage until cooked thoroughly.
Remove the sausage and pour over the large roasting pan full of bread crumbs.

sausage crumbles

Next melt 2 sticks of butter in the same skillet that the sausage was browned in and cook onions and celery until soft and lightly browned, stirring often. Add salt and pepper and stir again, remove from heat and pour on top of bread crumb and sausage in the roasting pan.

onions & celery

Add the chicken broth, poultry seasoning, additional salt and pepper to taste and stir thoroughly throughout crumbs and stuffing mixture. Add ¼ c. hot water to stuffing until moist (not wet but not too dry of a texture).

poultry

Cover roasting pan and let sit in the refrigerator over night. The next day, loosely stuff the turkey with stuffing just before roasting and add any leftover stuffing to a roasting pan and cook for about 30-45 mins, basting occasionally with poultry juices.

stuffing mixture

Additional suggested ingredients for the stuffing are adding one of the following: giblets, apples,
oysters, pecans, garden vegetables, mushrooms, and chestnuts.

Makes 3 qts for a 12 lb turkey

A Few of My Favorite Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and there’s no guessing why – it’s all about visiting friends and family, being thankful for the wonderful things in our lives and of course, it’s all about the food.

Turkey and Dressing is the normal star of the table, but I love to experiment with the side dishes to mix it up and spice up the menu each year. Here’s a couple of recipes I plan on making this year (one tried and true, one a new experiment!)..would love to hear from all of you what your favorite side dishes are and what you’ll be making this year that’s a change from just mashed potatoes and green bean casserole!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots 

brussel sprouts with bacon, shallots and balsamic vinegar


I made this recipe a couple Thanksgivings ago and it was an absolute delicious hit at the table! The crispy bacon, butter and shallots, mixed with the tangy vinegar gives the brussel sprouts an amazing trio of flavors and the roasting in the oven technique cooks down the balsamic into a glaze coating the crispy oven browned sprouts. The original recipe came from Williams Sonoma and I adapted it a bit by adding the balsamic vinegar and shallots. Thought you didn’t like brussel sprouts? Wait until you try this recipe.

Ingredients:

Water to steam
1 pound large Brussels sprouts
2 ounces thin-sliced pancetta or bacon (3-4 slices)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon premium unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Preparation:

Add water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil.

Trim the sprouts: Slice off the base and remove the outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise through the core, then make V-shaped cuts to remove the core. With your thumbs on the either side of the V, twist the sprout to open up the leaves a bit. Steam the sprouts for 5 minutes until bright green and tender.

Meanwhile, saute the sliced pancetta or bacon over medium heat in a small skillet until the edges have started to brown, breaking it into pieces with a spatula while it cooks. Remove the cooked bacon and reserve the bacon grease, adding a teaspoon of butter and then add the shallots and cook until soft and golden.

Drain the water from the steamer and plunge sprouts into ice water to stop the cooking, pat dry with paper towels and return the sprouts to the hot pan. Stir in with the pancetta and shallot mixture, including the fat in the skillet. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the vinegar reduces and the sprouts are brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce and toss well.

Put the entire mixture in to a casserole baking dish and cook in the oven for 20 mins on 350 degrees until golden brown. Take out of the oven, drizzle a little more olive oil on top, stir well and serve.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash and Potato Gratin

Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Potato Gratin

Everyone loves mashed potatoes and gravy for Thanksgiving but this year I decided I’m going to make a Gratin, but mix it up with not just potatoes and cheese, but adding some butternut squash and sweet potatoes to give it a kick and blended flavors of 3 of my favorite veggie sides. The decadent consistency of the garlic Gruyere cream sauce with this trio of veggies is a delicious twist on this classic French potato dish.

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove
½ tsp. sweet paprika
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of nutmeg
1/3 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/3 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Thoroughly rub garlic on the bottom and sides of a shallow porcelain gratin dish or medium sized glass casserole dish. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle the nutmeg and paprika in the heavy cream and stir. Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash and cut them into thin slices.

Layer the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese and then 1/3 of the cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a second layer using the squash, another 1/3 of the cheese and then 1/3 of the cream. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Add the top layer using the sweet potatoes, the last 1/3 of the cheese and final 1/3 of the cream. Top it off with a dash more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the entire top of the casserole with fresh Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley or thyme.

Bake uncovered, about an 50-60 minutes until the gratin is golden brown on top and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Wild Rice with Cranberries and Pecans

wildricecranberrysalad2

My mom always used to make a wild rice casserole over the holidays with either chicken or shrimp which is delicious as a main course or buffet dinner, but for a Thanksgiving side, this recipe is a bit lighter with tart cranberries to complement the turkey and some pecans for extra crunch.

4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
3 large shallots minced
2 cups wild rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 bay leaf
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a saucepan over medium low heat bring stock to a simmer. In a heavy 2-quart flameproof casserole over medium heat melt butter with the oil. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, add rice and stir until the grains are well coated about 3 minutes.

Stir in the simmering stock, dried cranberries, bay leaf, thyme, sea salt and white pepper. Bring to a simmer then stir and cover. Transfer casserole to the oven and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir in the pecans and parsley. Serve hot or warm.

Serves 4-6.

—–

Cheddar and Herb Biscuits

cheddar biscuits

Having lived in the South in Atlanta for over a decade, I grew a love for fresh, homemade buttery biscuits. They definitely beat your standard prepackaged rolls from the grocery store and are delicious hot out of the oven with a little bit of real (yes, real!) butter. This version is made with milk, cream and fresh herbs (chives and parsley), mixed with tangy shredded cheddar andParmesan cheese with a dash of cayenne for a spicy kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
1 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated sharp yellow Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne together using a whisk. Add the herbs, cheese and buttermilk. Stir together until dough forms. Once dough has formed, using an ice cream scooper, scoop out dough onto baking tray. With a brush, lightly butter tops. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.

Recipe adapted from The Neely’s – Food Network

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