I still have some side dishes that I made recently that would be great for your Thanksgiving table. I made both of these recently for Michelle’s birthday dinner and both were very simple to do. I think you want to try to keep the side dishes as easy as you can and even make them ahead of time if at all possible to save yourself some time on Thanksgiving when you are focused on family and the turkey. You can always simply re-heat your sides in the oven while the turkey is resting. This can give you more than enough time to get your sides heated properly and get everything on the table while it is hot. The first one for today is a very easy recipe for some maple glazed carrots.
Maple Glazed Carrots
12 medium carrots, with the greens attached
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Trim off all but 2 inches of the green tops of the carrots. Put the carrots, butter, sugar, water and salt to taste in a large skillet. Cover the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Maintain the boiling until nearly all the liquid evaporates, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Uncover the skillet and add the maple syrup. Cook, shaking the skillet over the heat frequently, until the carrots have obtained a nice glaze on them, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve.
You could certainly leave out the maple syrup and still get something of a glaze on the carrots using this method and they would be good, but I think the maple syrup adds a really nice flavor to the carrots. You could also substitute honey for the maple syrup and get a nice glaze from that as well. Since this recipe was so easy, I did not need to make it ahead of time and simply made these on the stove top while the turkey was resting.
The second recipe is one I picked up from the cooking blog A Wee Bit of Cooking. It is a Finnish dish that is often used for the holidays called Lanttulaatikko. This is a turnip casserole that makes use of rutabaga, or yellow turnip. We have often eaten rutabaga on Thanksgiving in my family. It has a very distinct flavor to it and some people are put off by the aroma it can give off, but I love the flavor that you get from it. I often make it during the year, simply mashing it up, but this recipe adds a little bit more and is just as easy.
Lanttulaatikko (Turnip Casserole)
1 large rutabaga or yellow turnip
2/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Peel the turnip and cut it into 1/2-inch chunks. In a medium saucepan, place the turnip and cover with salted water. Bring the turnips to a boil and boil until they are completely tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the turnips.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the turnips well with a potato masher and then run them through a potato ricer. Combine the cream, butter, honey, nutmeg and egg and mix until blended. Add the mixture to the mashed turnips and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the turnip mixture to a small casserole dish and smooth the top with a fork or spatula and dot with the butter. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 40 minutes until golden and crisp on the top. Serve.
Since the turnip can take a long time to soften and get tender and then to bake, I made this dish the day before our meal and simply re-heated it in the oven while the turkey rested. You get the flavor of the turnips along with the honey and nutmeg and it is a simple, sweet flavor. I would make this any time of year as a side dish for poultry or beef.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for even more recipes. There’s still time before Thanksgiving and I still have recipes to share. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!