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Thanksgiving Feast – Part Two: The Sides


Hello All!  And welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

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I hope you caught yesterday’s talk on turkey.  Today, we move on to the side dishes.  This is not the classic green bean casserole and mashed sweet potatos with marshmellows.  They are good, but its time for something else.  I’m going to share a few other ideas without venturing too far off the reservation:  Almond Coated Green Beans, Carrots for All Ages, Garlic-Mashed Potatoes and Forest Mushroom and Salami Stuffing….Lets get started.

Almond-Coated Green Beans


  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Place the green beans in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.  While the beans are cooking, place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and grind.  Set aside,  Drain the green beans and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute.  Stir in the ground almonds and cook 2 minutes.  Add the beans and cook 2 minutes more or until the beans are heated through.  Give them one last good stir to  coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Serve warm.  Makes about 4 servings.

Carrots for All Ages


  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Simmer the carrots in salted water for about 20 minutes.  Drain the carrots to a colander.  In the same pan, melt the butter and mix in the other ingredients. Toss the carrots back in pan until coated.  Serve warm.  Makes about 4 servings.

Roasted Garlic and Garlic Oil

Your going to need roasted garlic for the mashed potatoes and for the dressing, so lets cover that now.  I usually roast whole heads of garlic.  However, for the recipes below we will use another technique.  We want the roasted garlic and garlic flavored oil for the dressing.  Place 40-50 peeled garlic cloves and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil in a baking dish.  A loaf pan works well.  Ensure that the garlic is covered with oil.  Cover the pan with foil and roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the oil for the dressing.

Garlic-Mashed Potatoes


  • 4 to 5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 20 or so roasted garlic cloves (yes that sounds like a lot…trust me)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large pot, boil the potatoes until fork tender.  Drain the water from the pot.  Here’s a secret, place the potatoes back on the stove to evaporate any remaining water.  Just a couple of minutes.  Add the butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and roasted garlic.  Blend with a hand mixer until smooth.  Taste and re-season.  Serve warm.  Makes about 4-6 servings.

Forest Mushroom and Salami Dressing

  • 1 (1-ounce) package dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1/4 cup garlic oil (from roasting the garlic)
  • 8 ounces sliced Genoa salami, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (such as trumpet, oyster, crimini, shitake, maitake)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 or so roasted cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh majoram or oregano leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, grated (divided use)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 loaf stale country bread, cubed and toasted (about 8 cups)


When the turkey is about half way through it’s roasting time, begin the dressing.  Coat a large casserole dish or 9x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet over high heat, combine the porcini mushrooms and broth.  Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a large saute’ pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the salami and saute’ until crisped and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the onion, celery and shallot and continue to cook until the onions are soft and translucent.  Add the sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper.  Continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Place the roasted garlic cloves, rosemary, majoram or oregano and thyme into the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree.  Add the puree to your pan and stir in the porcini and broth mixture, the artichoke hearts, three quarters of the fontina and the eggs.  Stir until well combined.  Taste and re-season as needed.  Add the bread cubes and toss well.  Spoon into the prepared baking casserole dish.  Top with remaining fontina and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350°F.  Makes about 12 servings.  Enjoy!

That’s it for the sides.  Check back tomorrow for cranberries and oh yes, dessert.

I’d love to hear from you!  Please let me know how these recipes work for you by using the comment box below.  Or if you’d like, send me an email at foodflavorfun@foodflavorfun.com.

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Bye for now!

Categories : Veggies and Sides

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