What’s for Dinner?
The perfect compliments to your Thanksgiving banquet
While the turkey takes center stage, it’s all the trimmings that we really love. Here are some great ones for you try.
I love stuffed mushrooms! The crunchiness from the breadcrumbs, the nuttiness of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the variety of spices and herbs make this recipe a true crowd pleaser for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I got this recipe from epicurious.com.
• 3 slices firm white sandwich bread
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 20 large (2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter) white mushrooms (1 lb)
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
• 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
• 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Tear bread into pieces and pulse to coarse crumbs in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and toss with oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a shallow baking pan and bake in middle of oven until golden, 6 to 8 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
3. Pull stems from mushroom caps (to create space for stuffing) and finely chop stems. Put mushroom caps, stemmed sides down, in a lightly oiled large shallow baking pan and bake in middle of oven until mushrooms exude liquid, about 10 minutes, then remove from oven.
4. While mushroom caps are baking, melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped stems, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, oregano, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Cool vegetables slightly, then add to bread crumbs along with cheese and parsley and toss well.
5. Turn mushroom caps over, then mound mushroom filling in mushroom caps, pressing gently (there will be some filling left over). Bake in middle of oven until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds
Not everyone is a fan of green beans, but with all the rich foods that we will be devouring, green beans offer some contrast. Get your Thanksgiving fiber from these green beans, with the help of caramelized onions and almonds to satisfy your palate.
• Kosher salt
• 3 pounds green beans, trimmed of stem end
• 1/2 cup skin on sliced almonds
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 large onions, sliced thin
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Fill a large high sided skillet with some water, adding enough to be just shy of the rim of the pan by about 1 inch.
2. Place over high heat and bring up to boil; add a big pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, the beans should still be crisp.
3. Drain the beans and then run them under some cold water to stop them from cooking. Reserve the beans while you start the onions.
4. Return the skillet you cooked the beans in to the cook top over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast stirring every now and then until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Remove the almonds from the skillet and reserve. Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter and olive oil and heat until the butter has melted.
6. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring frequently until the onions caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Add the thyme, and cook for another 5 minutes.
8. Add the cooked cooled green beans and almonds, and stir well to combine.
9. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Marinated Butternut Squash: Scapece Di Zucca
Butternut squash dishes are a favorite of mine, especially when onions are involved. Try Mario Batali’s marinated butternut squash recipe – he never disappoints!
• 2 medium butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch slices
• Salt and pepper
• 4 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
• 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 clove garlic, sliced paper-thin
• 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Season the squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, and place in a single layer on 1 or 2 cookie sheets.
3. Bake in the oven until just tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining oil, vinegar, onion, chile flakes, oregano, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
4. Remove the squash from the oven and pour the marinade over. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the marinade, sprinkle with fresh mint leaves, and serve.
Yields: 8 servings