This was a belated side dish to add onto my husband’s celebratory birthday meal. We love drawn out celebrations. 😉 (We also wanted to spread out our indulgences!)
This classic recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen.com; I modified the proportions and method. I may add shallots instead of yellow onion next time. It was fabulously rich and delicious.
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds fresh baby spinach or regular spinach, tough stems discarded (I used baby spinach)
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk and/or heavy cream (I used 1 cup whole milk & 3/4 cup heavy cream)
- 1/2 of a large onion or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Wash your spinach well but no need to spin or pat it dry.
- Place spinach in a large pot over high heat. (I used a pasta pot without the insert.) Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes for baby spinach and 4 to 6 minutes for regular spinach.
- Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by using a potato ricer (my favorite method), wringing it out in cheesecloth, putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible.
- Coarsely chop the wrung-out spinach.
- Wipe out large pot so you can use it again. (I actually used a medium saucepan instead.)
- Heat milk or cream in a measuring cup in the microwave or in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. (If using the microwave, heat the mixture immediately before using.)
- Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes.
- Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes.
- Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes.
- Stir in nutmeg, chopped spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.
Do ahead: Creamed spinach can be made one day ahead and chilled, covered then reheated over moderately low heat until hot. However, it really tastes best eaten immediately.
Posted in Greens, Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, cream, creamed spinach, milk, nutmeg, side, side dish, Smitten Kitchen, spinach, steakhouse, vegetarian
This fabulously easy salad was creamy and delicious. We ate it as a side with grilled vegetable and fresh ricotta sandwiches, but it could also be served as a light summertime main dish.
The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.com. I used avocado mayonnaise, chipotle Cholula hot sauce, and cilantro. My kids thought that it tasted like guacamole. 🙂 Great.
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
- 1 seedless cucumber (about 3/4 to 1 pound), washed and chopped into chunks
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 large avocado, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used avocado mayonnaise)
- juice of half a lime, plus more to taste
- coarse salt, to taste
- hot sauce, such as Sriracha or Chipotle Cholula, to taste
- chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Combine cucumber, scallions and avocado in a bowl.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, and hot sauce; adjust to taste.
- Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with chopped herbs.
Posted in Quick, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: avocado, cholula, cucumber, easy, fast, lime juice, salad, scallions, side, side dish, Smitten Kitchen, sriracha, summer
This dish was part of our Thanksgiving feast as a second potato dish to compliment my son’s mashed potatoes. (He almost exclusively eats potatoes on Thanksgiving Day!)
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by J. Kenji López-Alt, from his book titled “The Food Lab.” I substituted unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes for the peeled russet potatoes and added extra garlic and cheese. 😉 I actually added the cheese at the wrong time (oops!) and was thankfully still quite pleased with the results.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Time: about 2 hours
- 3+ ounces finely grated Gruyère or Comté cheese
- 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 to 5 pounds unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick on a mandoline
- 2 T unsalted butter
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Combine cheeses in a large bowl.
- Transfer 1/3 of the cheese mixture to a separate bowl and set aside.
- Add cream, garlic, and thyme to cheese mixture.
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add potato slices and toss with your hands until every slice is coated with cream mixture, making sure to separate any slices that are sticking together to get the cream mixture in between them.
- Grease a 2-quart casserole dish dish with butter.
- Pick up a handful of potatoes, organizing them into a neat stack, and lay them in the casserole dish with their edges aligned vertically.
- Continue placing potatoes in the dish, working until all of the potatoes have been added. The potatoes should be very tightly packed. (If necessary, slice an additional potato, coat with cream mixture, and add to casserole.)
- Pour the excess cream/cheese mixture evenly over the potatoes until the mixture comes halfway up the sides of the casserole. (You may not need all of the excess!)
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is pale golden brown, about 30 minutes longer.
- Carefully remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and return to the oven. Bake until deep golden brown and crisp on top, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let rest for a few minutes, and serve.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving
Tags: comte, cream, garlic, gruyere, hasselback, Lopez-Alt, Parmigiano Reggiano, potatoes, side, Thanksgiving, thyme, vegetarian, yukon gold, yukon gold potatoes
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In addition to serving the Voltaggio brother’s cornbread stuffing last Thanksgiving, I also served this savory-sweet roasted carrot dish from Bryan Voltaggio’s cookbook. I loved that the sauce incorporated the carrot greens and that additional greens were used as a garnish.
The recipe was adapted from Home: Recipes to Cook With Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I used rainbow carrots and modified the proportions in the sauce. I also found the sauce too coarse to pass through a fine mesh sieve. (I often skip that step anyway!) 😉 It is interesting that his technique is to cut the carrots into bite-sized pieces after they are cooked.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Roasted Carrots:
- 2 1/3 lbs (1 kg, about 13 medium carrots) carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
- 2 T (28g) olive oil
- 3/4 tsp (1.5g) cinnamon
- 1 tsp (3g) ground peppercorns, preferably Szechuan
- 3/4 tsp (4.5g) fine sea salt
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1.8 to 2 oz carrot greens
- 2 oz (56g) baby spinach or flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 1/2 T (35g) olive oil
- 1 T (14g) red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
- small carrot greens, for garnish
To Roast the Carrots:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Peel and trim the carrots.
- Set a large skillet with a lid over high heat and add the olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the carrots and cook, stirring, until they are golden brown and caramelized.
- Add the cinnamon, peppercorns, and salt; stir to blend.
- Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for 35 minutes, or until the carrots are completely tender.
To Make the Chimichurri Sauce:
- Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Prepare an ice bath.
- Blanch the carrot greens for 2 to 3 minutes and transfer to the ice bath.
- Blanch the baby spinach (or parsley) for 1 minutes and transfer to the ice bath.
- Once cool, squeeze out the spinach and carrot greens and put in a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Add the garlic, oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and purée until smooth. Set aside.
To Finish the Dish:
- Remove the carrots from the oven, cut into bite-sized pieces, and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Spoon some of the Chimichurri Sauce over the carrots and garnish with small carrot greens.
- Serve family-style with reserved sauce on the side.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sauces, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, carrot greens, carrots, chimichurri, cinnamon, parsley, rainbow carrots, red wine vinegar, roasted, side, side dish, Thanksgiving, vegetarian
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My husband and I traditionally celebrate our wedding anniversary by having an extravagant dinner at VOLT in Frederick, Maryland. It is the restaurant of Bryan Voltaggio, of Top Chef fame. On our 19th anniversary, we brought home an autographed cookbook after enjoying our lovely meal. Last Thanksgiving, I made two side dishes from this special book. ❤
This stuffing recipe was adapted from Home: Recipes to Cook With Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I modified the proportions and used prepared stock as well as store-bought sausage as shortcuts.
Both the cornbread and the poultry seasoning can be made days in advance, which is always helpful. It was interesting to me that the cornbread was made without a leavening agent, making it more dense than a typical cornbread. The stuffing had a deep celery flavor from the celery seed and chopped celery. Nice.
For the Cornbread:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 5 T (1/3 cup, 75g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp (9g) fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp (12g) molasses, honey, or sorghum syrup
- 1/4 tsp (0.6g) freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup (240g) buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 1/2 T whole milk
- 2 2/3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (276g) cornmeal
For the Poultry Seasoning:
- 2 tsp (2g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp (0.5g) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp (2g) ground celery seed
- 1 tsp (2g) ground coriander
- 1 tsp (2g) onion powder
- 1/2 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp (1.5g) freshly ground black pepper
For the Topping:
- 2/3 cup (50g) panko breadcrumbs
- 2 1/2 T (25g) poultry seasoning (above)
- 2 T unsalted butter, melted
For the Stuffing:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 4 1/2 cups (300g) freshly baked and cubed cornbread
- 1 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
- 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 to 6 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken or turkey stock (preferably homemade)
For the Royale:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (240g) milk or heavy cream
To Make the Cornbread:
- Preheat the oven heat to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray or butter the bottom and sides of two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. (One 13-by-18 inch casserole pan can be substituted.)
- Put the sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and the salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is fully incorporated before adding another.
- Beat in the molasses and nutmeg.
- Reduce the mixer to low speed, add the buttermilk and milk, and beat until incorporated.
- Add the flour and cornmeal, and beat on low speed until well combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is well-blended and thick, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared baking dishes. Tap each dish on the counter to settle the batter.
- Bake until the cornbread springs back lightly when pressed with your finger, 22 minutes on convection or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven.
- Cool completely in the dish on a wire rack.
- The cornbread may be made 3 days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and held at room temperature.
To Make the Poultry Seasoning:
- Combine the parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme in a small bowl.
- Add the celery seeds, coriander, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- The seasoning can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To Make the Topping:
- Put the panko breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and add the poultry seasoning (the remainder may be used to season gravies and other holiday dishes).
- Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with your fingers to moisten the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
To Make the Stuffing:
- Preheat the oven heat to 325 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray a 9-by-13-inch flameproof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cube the cornbread and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a spoon so it cooks evenly, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to the cornbread.
- Return the same skillet with the drippings to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the cornbread and sausage.
- Put the eggs in a blender to make the Royale. Start the blender on low-speed and mix until the eggs are just blended.
- Put the milk or cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until a thermometer registers 180 degrees F. Add to the eggs in the blender and mix on low speed until homogenized.
- Add the egg mixture to the cornbread mixture.
- Add 2 cups of stock. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until fully combined and the stock has mostly been absorbed. The stuffing will seem a little too wet before baking.
- Spread the stuffing in the baking dish. Lightly tap the dish on the counter to even out the mixture in the pan.
- Add the topping, letting it fall from your fingers in an even layer across the top.
- Bake the stuffing until very hot and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Turn the broiler on high, and broil the stuffing until the crust is GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious), 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve family-style from the casserole dish.
Note: When blending hot liquids, first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open; this will prevent the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters and pulse until smooth.
Posted in Casserole, Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving
Tags: buttermilk, cornbread, cornmeal, Italian sausage, pork sausage, sage, sausage, side, side dish, stuffing, Thanksgiving, thyme, Voltaggio
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I have been waiting almost a year to share my 2018 Thanksgiving recipes. 🙂
These mashed potatoes were so delicious, my son is planning to make them himself this year as his contribution to the feast. (…and to ensure that they make it back on the menu!) He has also requested scalloped potatoes.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I prepared the potatoes in advance, earlier in the day, and kept them warm in a slow-cooker until the rest of the meal was ready to be served.
The beauty of this recipe is that the potatoes can be made up to TWO days before Thanksgiving. The finished dish can be gently reheated with just a little more dairy. The science behind this is that because the butterfat coats the potato starches, it prevents them from becoming sticky or gummy. If you are apprehensive to make this dish so far in advance, the potatoes can be prepared through step 6 (riced) and the remaining steps can be completed just prior to serving.
Yield: 8 servings
4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
2/3 to 1 cup heavy cream
2/3 to 1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
freshly ground black pepper
- Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover by 1″.
- Add a large handful of salt (water should taste briny, like the ocean) and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not crumbly, 30–40 minutes.
- Drain and return potatoes to warm pot to dry (off heat).
- Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup cream and 2/3 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium until just about to simmer. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to add to potatoes.
- Pass hot potatoes and butter through ricer into a large bowl (this will help combine them quickly; most of the skins should stay behind but pick out any small pieces that get through if you want); season generously with salt.
- Mix with a potato masher until butter is melted and combined.
- Mixing constantly, gradually add warm cream mixture to potatoes, then mix in sour cream.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Do Ahead: Potatoes can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. To serve, transfer potatoes to a pot and add 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup whole milk; reheat over medium-low, stirring often to prevent scorching.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Tags: cream, potato ricer, potatoes, riced, riced potatoes, side, side dish, sour cream, Thanksgiving, vegetarian, yukon gold