Food & Drink

RECIPES: Great Thanksgiving side dishes

Shaunee Taylor's veggie pie is a traditional African-American staple at Thanksgiving.

Veggie surprise pie

For filling:

1½ pounds yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ pound okra, trimmed, sliced

1 pound yellow tomatoes, seeded (use red if yellow is not available)

½ cup corn kernels (from 1 ear)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1½ cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

1 cup chopped basil

1 tablespoon cornmeal (not stone-ground)

Salt and pepper

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped

For crust:

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ stick cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ -inch cubes

¾ cup whole milk, plus additional for brushing

To make filling: Sauté all vegetables in oil in large skillet for 6 to 8 minutes until tender-crisp. Take veggies out of pan and set to the side until they cool, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl, then toss with cheese, basil and cornmeal. Season with salt and pepper.

To make crust: Pulse dry ingredients with butter in a food processor until mixture resembles course meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Transfer to a bowl and stir in milk until mixture just forms dough. Gather dough into a ball and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 5 minutes.

Halve dough and roll out 1 piece on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch glass pie plate, leaving overhang.

Spread eggs evenly in crust and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Add vegetable filling, mounding slightly in middle.

Roll out remaining dough in same manner and place over filling. Trim, leaving a ½ -inch overhang. Press edges of crust together. Fold overhang under and crimp edge all around. Brush crust with additional milk, then cut 3 steam vents.

Bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Jimmy Duggan's favorite recipe is from an aunt.

Broccoli Cheddar casserole

1 head broccoli

3/4 stick butter, divided

1/2 cup flour

1 quart chicken stock

4 cups Cheddar cheese

1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Blanch broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Melt 1/2 stick butter in sauce pot, then add flour. Cook for about a minute.

Add stock and bring to a simmer. Allow to thicken, then season with salt and pepper. Add Cheddar cheese and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over broccoli. Melt 1/4 stick butter. Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Spread bread crumbs atop casserole. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Sherrie Keller-Pauley prefers to use fresh Fuji apples that are not peeled in this recipe.

Apple sausage dressing

1 pound loaf French bread, day old

1 pound sage sausage

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped Fuji apples

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄8 teaspoon ground rosemary

3 cups chicken or turkey stock

Break up bread into bite-size pieces and place in large mixing bowl. Brown sausage over medium heat until just cooked. Drain off fat. Put sausage in bowl with bread.

Add oil to the same sauté pan. Sauté celery and onions over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Put in bowl with bread. Add remaining ingredients. Toss gently.

Place in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Note: Turn this into a meatloaf by mixing in two pounds raw ground turkey. Form into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.

Livia Theodoli-Wing sears Brussels sprouts with garlic, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts and raisins. "This recipe brings out the earthiness of the Brussels sprouts, and the balsamic and raisins give them a touch of sweetness.

"Since most people are not fond of Brussels sprouts, I don't get to eat them very often, so I make them only for special occasions," she said.

Sautéed fresh Brussels sprouts with raisins and pine nuts

1 handful golden raisins

1⁄3 cup good balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 bag fresh Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise

Salt and pepper

1 handful toasted pine nuts

Soak raisins in balsamic at least 15 minutes.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet, add garlic, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet, cut side down, and brown, about 7 minutes. Stir and cook a few more minutes. Add balsamic and raisins to skillet, stirring from the bottom to deglaze.

Add salt and black pepper to taste, cover and steam about 5 minutes. Add toasted pine nuts, stir and serve. Makes 4 servings.

This is Bob Perry's recipe for Mad Dog sweet potatoes. The Kentucky ingredients he uses are Townsend's sorghum, which is "really clean and tasty;" Elmwood Stock Farm's organic sweet potatoes; Amish butter, and bourbon from Woodford Reserve or Maker's Mark.

Mad Dog sweet potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup pure Kentucky sorghum

½ stick unsalted butter

Splash of Kentucky bourbon

1 teaspoon kosher salt


Wash sweet potatoes and rub on a small amount of oil to coat their skins. Place in a baking dish and cook in a 350-degree oven for about an hour like a regular baked potato.

Allow potatoes to cool slightly, then peel and discard skins, and roughly chop. Place chopped sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and add sorghum, butter, bourbon and salt. With a mixer set first on low and then on high speed, blend all ingredients. Turn into a serving bowl, top with marshmallows and brown under broiler.

Rachel McCully-Landry grew up in New Orleans, and mirliton casserole is still a favorite holiday dish.

Rachel's mirliton casserole

7 mirlitons (chayote squash)

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup green bell peppers, diced

¾ cup green onions, chopped

1 cup celery, diced

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

2½ tablespoons shrimp base

1 cup white wine

16 ounces Italian bread crumbs

36 ounces chicken or shrimp stock

1 pound medium shrimp, cut in half

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound ham diced

½ stick butter

In large pot, cover mirlitons in water and boil until fork tender. Drain, rinse in cold water and let cool completely. Cut in half lengthwise, take out seed, peel and dice.

Sauté onions, green pepper and celery. Add minced garlic, thyme and shrimp base.

Deglaze pan with white wine. Add diced mirliton and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bread crumbs and stock, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are cooked completely. If it's too dry, add more stock. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Add diced ham and let cook 5 minutes. Butter bottom of casserole dish. Transfer mix to casserole dish. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Nat Tate, chef at Summit Restaurant, makes a sweet potato casserole that's one of his favorite holiday side dishes.

Sweet potato casserole

3 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cooked and smashed

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon bourbon

1/2 cup whole milk

2 well-beaten eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1 cup brown sugar

1⁄3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all casserole ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Mix together topping ingredients, then spread evenly over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm. Makes 8 servings.

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