Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Just Got More Delicious

Tuesday I taught a class on Thanksgiving Sides at The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs. Most of the recipes I demonstrated were tried and true favorites that I have been preparing at various holidays for the past several years, like my Brussels Sprouts with Madeira Butter. A new favorite is Mashed Carrots with Dates and Pecans.

This idea actually derived from a baby food class that I taught in June. A student tasted it and suggested that it would make a delicious Thanksgiving dish. I tinkered with the preparation (chopping in the food processor, rather than pureeing), added a bit of butter and Voila!

Here are my two favorite sides. Hopefully they will become instant classics for your family too!

Mashed Carrots with Dates & Pecans
serves 4

8 ea carrots
1 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup pecans
4 oz butter
salt and pepper

- Cut the ends off of the carrots and slice in 1/4 inch disks. Put into a medium sauce pot, cover with cold water, add salt.
- Cook over high heat, bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer. Cook the carrots until tender. Turn off the heat.
- Quarter the dates and rough chop the pecans.
- Put half of the dates into carrot pot to soften, let sit for a few minutes.
- Strain the carrots and dates from the pot and place in a food processor with 6 Tb of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add a 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Pulse the mix until smooth, with a few small lumps.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Pour into your serving bowl.
- Over med-high, heat a medium saute pan; melt a Tb of butter.
- Add the chopped pecans. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Once the pecans have browned, add another Tb of butter and toss in the remaining chopped dates.
- The dates' natural sugar will release and caramelize.
- Sprinkle the garnish evenly over the mash and serve.
- Enjoy!!

Brussels Sprouts with Madeira
serves 4 – 6

1 lb Brussels spouts
4 oz butter, cubed and softened
½ cup Madeira
salt and pepper

– Trim the bottom of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half.
– Bring salted water to a boil in a medium sauce pot.
– Cook the spouts until tender.
– Strain and place the sprouts in a mixing bowl.
– Using the same pot, cook the Madeira on medium heat until it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
– Turn the off heat under the pan and begin whisking in a few cubes of butter at a time. Wait to add more until the others have melted. Whisk constantly.
– Season the sauce with salt and pepper, pour over the brussels sprouts and toss.
– Serve and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. We really enjoyed these brussels sprouts at Thanksgiving! Thanks, Kat