Thankful for Thanksgiving Sides
Thanksgiving is the super bowl of food. Well, for my family I feel like that’s every Sunday. But maybe I will just say we have major playoffs and serious training camp throughout the year. I always love menu planning. I do it weekly, but for a holiday it is extra special. There are tons of recipes and themes for Thanksgiving dinner to research. The options and decisions are endless. This weekend I tested out a new brussel sprout recipe and dug up an old favorite sweet potato casserole for a family dinner. The sweet potato casserole is a great make-ahead dish, I will admit it almost tastes like dessert. I could go on forever about Thanksgiving recipes! But for now here are two great sides to consider this Thanksgiving.
Another good Thanksgiving tip; remember what you are thankful for! At Brian’s families house we usually go around the table saying what we are thankful for. This year I have brainstormed ahead of time haha! I am thankful that I have SO MUCH to actually be thankful for. God is good even when the world isn’t! I am thankful for a family that fights to stick together through all the ups and downs. I am thankful that God gave me such a wonderful and patient husband. I also have group of supportive friends who I think are just a truly unique group. The list can go on, but you get the point. When cooking this Thanksgiving and prepping make sure to keep in mind the message of this wonderful holiday!
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (This depends upon how big they are. I usually count out a sweet potato for every 2 people if they are big. One per person if they are smaller)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1/3 c brown sugar
3 Tbsp orange juice
1 pinch cinnamon
1 package mini marshmallows
¼ c butter
Boil the sweet potatoes until tender. If you can stick a fork through them they are done. They softer they are the easier they are to mash! This may take almost 30 minutes depending upon the size and quantity of your sweet potatoes, so be patient!
Once you have boiled them let them cool for a couple of minutes. At this point the skin should peel right off!
After peeling the sweet potatoes cut them into cubes. Transfer them into a large bowl.
Place mashed sweet potatoes in large bowl, and first mash by hand. Then use an electric mixer to blend with the butter, brown sugar, salt, orange juice, and cinnamon. Spread evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with miniature marshmallows.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through, and marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
3 packages of Brussel Sprouts (I am not sure how many pounds that is, I will find out! I am guessing almost a pound)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 ¼ inch thick piece of pancetta, cubed
½ large lemon
3 Tbps olive oil
Chop the shallots and pancetta, place to the side.
Make sure you peel off the first layer of leaves from the brussels sprouts and discard them. Then chop off the little stem. Then slice the brussels sprouts vertically. This may be a little challenging but worth it. The thinner and more broken apart the brussels sprout becomes the better.
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan. Add the pancetta and sauté until it gets brown.
Then add in the shallots sautéing them for 3 minutes more.
Before adding the brussels sprouts bump up the heat to medium/high. The key to this dish is putting a little char on some of the vegetables. It can be done if the pan is really hot and you keep on eye on it.
Add the brussels sprouts carefully. Keep stirring and moving around. Then, season with salt and pepper according to your taste. As the brussels sprouts start to char squeeze the lemon juice all over the pan. Serve immediately!