Saturday, November 10, 2012

5 Thanksgiving Day Side Dishes

Thanksgiving Day side dish extravaganza!
Whether you choose to make one or all five, you can't lose with any of these side dishes amped up with new flavor without losing tradition. Don't forget my Apricot & Salt Chocolate Tart for dessert!

Biscuits with Persimmon Cranberry Butter
makes  8 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbl organic cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
¼ cup vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
¼ cup vegan butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
¾ cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in shortening and butter until they are pea sized. Add in almond milk and mix with your hands until dough is formed but do not over mix or biscuits will be tough. Roll out to 1” thick on a floured surface and cut into 2” circles.
Place the biscuits in a greased 9” pie pan, packed tightly. This will help the biscuits rise up instead of out.
Lightly spray the tops with oil and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and cooked on the inside.
Persimmon Cranberry Butter
2 small persimmons, peeled, roughly chopped
12 oz fresh (or frozen and thawed) cranberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water, plus more
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the fruit has broken down and the water has been absorbed.
Transfer to a blender or food processor along with 3 tbl of water and blend until smooth.
Bring back to the stove and simmer over low heat for 10 more minutes, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.

Creamed Corn 
serves 4
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
½ small yellow onion, small dice
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
10 oz fresh or frozen corn kernels
Salt and pepper
1 ¼ cup coconut milk
¾ cup vegetable broth

Sweat the onion in olive oil until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the thyme, corn and season with salt and pepper. Add the coconut milk and broth and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is thick, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pecans & Cranberries
serves  4
2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
¼ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375.

Toss the brussel sprouts with the remaining ingredients and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until the outer leaves are crispy and browned.
Toss with toasted pecans and cranberries.

Sweet Potato & Plantain Mash with Brown Sugar Crumble
serves 4- 6
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, medium dice
2 yellow/black plantains, medium dice
3 tbl coconut oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups organic light brown sugar, packed
1 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
½  tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
1 cup vegan butter, cold and cubed

Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the sweet potato and plantains in a pot of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain.
Mash with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mash into an 8x8 casserole dish.
Combine the flour, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands or forks until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is clumpy and moist. Top the potato mixture with the crumble and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

 "Deviled Eggs"
12 small yukon golds, peeled and halved
1 heaping tbl black salt**
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl turmeric
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 scallions, minced, green parts only
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
paprika for dusting

Combine the potatoes, black salt and cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender but not falling apart. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
Combine the remaining ingredients except the paprika in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Scoop out a small hole in each potato and add that potato to the food processor. Puree until smooth.
Pipe each potato with filling and dust with paprika.

**Black salt can be found at specialty food stores like Whole Foods. It has a very sulfuric quality and actually sort of smells like rotten eggs. I have had a container of it in my cabinet for months now and never knew what the heck to use it with. Once I decided to try to make deviled eggs, it only made sense to try to impart some of that flavor into the potatoes. I really believe that these would definitely not taste as true to the taste without this secret ingredient.

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