Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thanksgiving Sides

This year I opted to attend my aunt's thanksgiving dinner instead of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, and will thus be missing out on the glorious occasion to cook the annual holiday feast (not that the food won't be amazing, I hear they're roasting a whole baby lamb on a spit!!) But at Peter’s behest, I have posted a few Thanksgiving side recipes (without pictures, unfortunately) to go with the Turkeys that everyone else will be roasting this afternoon.

Braised Red Cabbage with Crumbled Herb Goat’s Cheese

3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 pound red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 12 cups)
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 packet of Goat’s Cheese
2 sprig of Rosemary
2 sprig of Thyme

Melt the butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Then add cabbage and garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes till wilted and soft. Add sugar, toss to coat evenly. Add vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, simmer until cabbage is tender, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Finely chop herbs and mix with Goats Cheese. Crumble herb-cheese mix on top of cabbage and serve.

Serves 6-8

Aligot: Mashed Potatoes with Cantal, Roasted Garlic and Oregano

The Cantal gives this French mashed potato an almost elastic consistency, it’s quite riveting! I’ve added garlic and fresh oregano, which gives it added dimension. Must serve immediately, it tastes best when just incorporated.

8 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 teaspoon of salt
5 whole garlic heads
3 tablespoons of butter
2/3 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh Oregano (or Marjoram)
1/4 lb freshly grated Cantal Cheese “entre deux”

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the top of each garlic head so that the top of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and cover the whole heads with foil. Bake in oven till soft, 30-40 minutes. Remove and let it cool.

Meanwhile, bring potatoes in a pot of salted water to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes. Drain the water from the potatoes.

Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and brown the butter. It will foam for a bit before calming down. Once it turns light amber in colour, it will begin to turn nutty very quickly. Add chopped oregano leaves and then pour over potatoes. watch for it to turn to a nutty brown (this can happen very quickly). Immediately take off heat, add the chopped oregano to the butter (it may cause some foaming) and pour over the potatoes. Squeeze in the roasted garlic heads, then mash the potato mixture.

Heat the milk right until it is about to boil. Then add the milk and grated Cantal cheese to the potato mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth well incorporated.

The Aligot will be slightly thick, and slide from the spoon like a Ruban.

Serves 4.

Sweet Potato Mash with Marshmallows

3 lbs light yellow sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2 inch chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup (or more) water
2 packets of Marshmallows

You can cook the sweet potatoes by either roasting or boiling. To roast, rub olive oil all over the pieces, sprinkle lightly with salt, and put them in a roasting pan, cook at 425°F for 40 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. To boil, put in a saucepan and cover with an inch or two of cold water. Bring to a boil, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces through the pieces.

Place cooked sweet potato pieces in a large bowl, add olive oil, mash with a potato masher until completely mashed. Slowly add water, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sweet potatoes reach desired consistency.

Add more salt and pepper to taste. Then put in a square baking dish, fill the entire surface with marshmallows, tops up, and place back in oven for 10-15 minutes. When the marshmallows are golden brown and beginning to melt, they are ready to serve! Be sure you watch the marshmallow so that the tops do not burn.

Serves 6

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