Thanksgiving with Food Fare

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Side Dishes


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Side Dishes

The variety of "traditional" side dishes accompanying Thanksgiving dinner have increased over the years. Then again, some families have served typical dishes for generations and traditions continue. Perhaps the most common of the side dishes includes mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole and yams. While all of them are wonderful in their own way, there are times when the urge to create a variation comes into play. Try our alternatives.


Baked Celery with Slivered Almonds (Colonial American)

  • 1 large bunch celery

  • 4 TBS butter

  • 2 TBS flour

  • 1 C milk

  • 1/2 C slivered almonds

  • 2 TBS breadcrumbs

  • Salt to taste

Wash celery and cut into slices about 1/2" thick; save celery tops. Place sliced celery in a saucepan; cover halfway with boiling and salted water and lay the celery leaves on top. Boil for about fifteen minutes, or until tender. Discard the celery leaves and drain sliced celery well, saving 1/2 cup of the celery water. Set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan; stir in flour until smooth. Add milk and stir. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Stir in 1/2 cup of celery water; add salt to taste. Place a layer of the cooked celery in a baking dish, spoon half the sauce over top, and sprinkle on half the almonds. Add the remaining celery, then the sauce. Sprinkle top with the bread crumbs, dot with the remaining butter, and add remaining almonds over all. Bake at 350-degrees F for about thirty minutes. Serve. Note: Recipe also appears in American Food & Culture from Food Fare.

Corn Custard with Tomatoes (Colonial American)

  • 1 C fresh corn, grated

  • 4 eggs, beaten

  • 1 small onion, grated

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • Dash cayenne pepper

  • 1-1/2 C milk

  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced

Grate corn from fresh cobs into a bowl; measure out one cup of the corn kernels. Stir in beaten eggs, onion, salt and cayenne pepper. Heat milk in a small saucepan until a film forms on top. Skim the film off the milk; stir into corn mixture. Pour batter into six buttered custard cups; place in a shallow baking pan containing about one inch of boiling water. Bake at 325-degrees F for about one hour, or until a knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean.


Sauce for Corn Custard with Tomatoes:

  • Flour

  • Salt

  • 4 TBS butter

  • 1 C light cream

Sauce: Just before the custards are done, cut the tomatoes into slices; dust both sides with flour and sprinkle with salt. Melt butter in a skillet; fry the coated tomato slices for several minutes on each side; remove from the skillet. Leave drippings in the skillet; stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour and pour in the cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens just enough to make smooth gravy. Add salt to taste. Remove the custards from the cups and place on platter or individual serving plates. Surround custards with the tomatoes; spoon sauce on top.


Note: Recipe also appears in American Food & Culture from Food Fare.

Green Bean-Mushroom Casserole

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) French-cut green beans, drained

  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) cream of mushroom soup

  • 1/2 C milk

  • 1 tsp. soy sauce

  • Dash of black pepper

  • 1 can (2.8 oz.) French-Fried Onions

In a casserole dish, mix the green beans, soup, milk, soy sauce, dash of black pepper and 1/2 can of the onions. Blend well. Top casserole with the remaining onions. Cover. Bake at 250-degrees F for about one hour, or until heated through. Serve.

Mashed Potatoes with Watercress

  • 2 large bunches watercress, thick stems trimmed

  • 6 LBS russet potatoes, peeled & cut into 2" pieces

  • 1-1/2 C whole milk

  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter

  • 1/4 C olive oil

  • 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 C)

  • Salt & black pepper to taste

Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add the watercress and blanch for ten seconds. Drain; pat dry and chop watercress. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about twenty-five minutes. Drain. Return the potatoes to pot and stir over medium heat until excess liquid evaporates, about two minutes. Bring milk almost to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add hot milk, butter and oil to potatoes; mash until almost smooth. Stir in green onions and watercress; season with salt and black pepper. Serve.



Neeps (Scottish Mashed Turnips)

  • 4 large turnips, peeled & quartered

  • 3-1/2 TBS butter

  • 2 tsp. sugar

  • 1 tsp. salt

Peel and quarter the turnips. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add turnips and cook for twenty-five minutes or until turnips are soft. Drain and mash the turnips. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Serve. Note: Recipe also appears in Scottish Vivers from Food Fare.

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 3/4 C butter, melted

  • 2 C cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

  • 1 C granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 C milk

  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl (except for topping ingredients). Pour into a buttered 1-1/2-quart casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 400-degrees for twenty minutes, or until set. Sometimes cooking time will extend to forty minutes if potatoes prepared the day before and refrigerated are used, so keep an eye on the casserole as it bakes.


Topping for Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • 3/4 C melted butter

  • 1 C crushed corn flakes

  • 1/2 C chopped pecans

  • 1/2 C brown sugar

Mix the topping ingredients together and cover the sweet potato casserole. Bake the casserole an additional ten minutes. Serve.

Yam Bake

  • 1 can (40 oz.) yams, drained

  • 1 can (8-1/2 oz.) crushed pineapple, with juice

  • 2 TBS light brown sugar

  • 2 TBS butter, melted

  • 3 TBS pecans, chopped

  • 3/4 C mini-marshmallows (optional)

  • Non-stick cooking spray

Drain the yams; place in a bowl and mash with a large fork and potato masher. Drain the pineapple; reserve juice. Add pineapple juice to mashed yams. Add the sugar and butter; mix well. Stir in the pineapple and pecans. Coat inside of casserole dish with a non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the yam mixture into the casserole dish, spreading evenly. Bake at 350-degrees F for twenty minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows; bake an additional ten minutes. Serve hot.

Yukon Mashed Potatoes with Shallots

  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 6 TBS minced shallots

  • 2 tsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 C chicken broth

  • 2 tsp. thyme (dried or fresh-minced)

  • Salt & black pepper to taste

  • 1/2 C liquid Coffee Mate (original flavor); use more if needed

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Place shallots, oil, broth, thyme, salt and black pepper in a small casserole dish. Cover and roast until shallots are soft and brown, about forty-five minutes. Remove casserole from oven. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until soft, about twenty minutes. Heat liquid Coffee Mate over medium-low heat. Add to the potatoes and beat with a mixer. Add roasted shallots and beat again until potatoes are smooth. Serve. Note: Using liquid Coffee Mate instead of milk gives potatoes a creamier flavor.

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