Since I won’t be cooking the actual Thanksgiving meal myself this year, I thought I would get the month started early and try to make a bunch of Thanksgiving side dishes all month long so you have some new things to choose and try for your Thanksgiving meal this year. I recently made two side dishes that would be perfect to use for Thanksgiving. The first is a very simple baked ginger sweet potatoes dish that I got from Chow.com. it is very simple to make, with a wonderful glaze that adds some great flavor to the potatoes.
Baked Ginger Sweet Potatoes
3/4 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 pounds medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and arrange an oven rack in the middle position of the oven.
Place the apricot preserves, orange juice, butter, ginger and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the butter and the preserves are melted and smooth, about 6 minutes.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle them with about 1/3 of the apricot mixture, and, using your hands, toss the potatoes to coat them well with the mixture. Shingle the slices in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. Drizzle the potatoes with another 1/3 of the apricot mixture and bake the potatoes uncovered for 10 minutes. Drizzle the potatoes again with the remaining 1/3 of the apricot mixture and bake uncovered until the sweet potatoes are tender and the glaze has thickened, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
The sweetness of the potatoes is enhanced even more by the apricot preserves and orange juice and the ginger adds a nice little bite of spice to the dish. It’s a great tasting dish that goes well not just with your Thanksgiving meal but with any weeknight meal of something like chicken or pork chops.
The second side dish I had made recently is another orange vegetable that is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. It is a very simple mashed butternut squash recipe that I got from Cook’s Country that has a great earthy flavor thanks to the spices it uses in the recipe.
Mashed Butternut Squash
4 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 apples, peeled and shredded (about 2 cups)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the squash, vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a bowl. Spread the squash out evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the squash until it is tender and starting to brown, about 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the roasting process.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the apples, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, covered, until the apples are soft, about 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples and onion are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes longer. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, cover and set the pot aside while the squash finishes roasting.
Add the roasted squash and maple syrup to the Dutch oven with the apple mixture. Mash the mixture with a potato masher until it is mostly smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The mashed squash has great consistency and flavor and will go well with your turkey and other side dishes if you want to make something a little bit different. The apples really help to add some great depth of flavor to the dish and the maple syrup just gives it a final touch that we all really enjoyed. I actually served this with the slow cooker pepper pork chops I made the other night and the whole meal was fantastic.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. I have lots more ideas for your Thanksgiving side dishes, a good turkey recipe, a wonderful lemon cake I making for Michelle’s birthday, a great burger recipe we tried yesterday, some simple battered shrimp and a whole lot more. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!