Why did the turkey cross the road…?
To get to the other sides!!!!!
Ha! Here’s another funny tidbit. The three most googled food items for this year’s Thanksgiving were Popeye’s Cajun Fried Turkey, cornbread dressing and green bean casserole. I may have to give that Cajun turkey a try, it’s obviously popular.
If you are like me, Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the seasonal turkey experience. Yes, Virginia, there is another turkey dinner coming our way on Christmas. We alternate between an old-fashioned English holiday dinner starring roast “beast”, popovers and sticky toffee pudding on Christmas eve and the turkey dinner with all the fixins’ on Christmas day.
I took some notes from those googlers and offer you my two cents on my favorite holiday sides. The really convenient part about these holiday recipes, is that you can make them the day before and bake them while your turkey rests.
Recipe #1: Easy, Old School Dressing
Sautee diced onions and celery in a whole bunch of butter, until soft. I mean a serious amount of butter! Pour two packages of stuffing mix into a large bowl. Pour in those buttery veggies. Stir in a can of cream of celery soup. Then stir in another one. Things should be getting pretty gooey right about now. Add two beaten eggs, then pour in enough chicken broth to bind everything together.
Now, here’s the tricky part.
Spoon half of the dressing into one side of a large baking dish that has been coated with vegetable oil spray. Stir in at least 1 cup (if not 2 cups) of golden raisins into the remaining dressing; then spoon this into the other side of the casserole. Just for good measure, douse the dressing with more chicken broth. Dot the top of the casserole with bits of butter.
Bake at 350° until the top is browned and a bit crunchy, about 30 minutes.
Tell the dressing purists to dig into the side without the raisins and invite everyone related to a Morgan to dig into the raisin side!
Recipe #2: Jorj’s Broccoli Casserole
It’s pretty old-school. I blanche broccoli florets until they are crisp-tender. Then I make a white sauce starting with butter and flour, adding whole milk and a gentle seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. I add a bunch of sharp cheddar cheese and pour this over the broccoli. Before baking, I douse the top with fried onions (as an ode to that other green casserole).
Recipe #3: Straight Up Roasted Veggies
Spread the veggies onto a baking sheet and roast at 425°for about 20 minutes and you have another side dish.
Give These Recipes as a Gift This X-mas
You can find the recipes for my herb roasted turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie in my first book, At Home in the Kitchen which is still available almost 20 years after it was first published! Or email me at email@example.com if you need a refresher.
Whether your holiday dinner includes a turkey, a roast, seven fishes or some stuffed shells, remember to linger a little with the hostess after the meal is over. You needn’t jump up from the table to see the game score, clear the dishes, or trudge to the easy chair for a nap. Take it from me, your host will enjoy the day more, if you, her treasured friends and family just sit a little while longer.