November 16, 2011 - 3:56pm
THE SECRETS ARE IN THE SIDES
Thanksgiving is almost upon us; this Thursday’s North Park Farmers Market is exactly a week before the holiday. Before we hit the patch of black ice that is Black Friday, latke parties, and tree trimming, sending us skidding into the December Holidays, focus on this celebratory meal. While your farm-fresh Da-Le Ranch turkey may take the lead, this meal’s side dishes take more than a supporting role. Make it yours by serving up some signature sides that are not in your momma’s arsenal.
Savory bread pudding is sure to be a show-stopper and once you have the core bread and pudding, the world is your oyster. Whisk together 6 Paradise Valley Ranch eggs, 2 cups milk, salt and pepper. Throw in a pound of soft Belen bread, cubed, and a half pound of grated gruyere from Taste Cheese; that’s is your blank canvas. Sauté 1 to 2 pounds of peeled squash from your favorite farmer and a chopped onion, sprinkle with sage from Suzie’s Farm, let cool, toss with the bread mixture and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Or try it with 2 pounds of sautéed mushrooms from Rodney Kawano Farms mixed with garlic, parsley, and thyme. Try oven roasted tomatoes and garlic or sautéed kale and mushrooms; there’s no end to savory combinations.
Want to lighten up the mashed potatoes? Add some Valdavia farms turnips peeled and boiled for about 10 minutes more than your potatoes. Drain them, add some Springhill Dairy European butter and mash out any frustrations of your day.
Round out the meal with an antioxidant rich carrot and orange roast. Cut up 2 pounds of JR Organics trimmed carrots and cut an unpeeled orange from John Gilruth or Paradise Valley Ranch into 8 pieces. Toss it all in 2 tablespoons of Bari olive oil and 2 tablespoons of Meljess Wildflower Honey, some salt and pepper, and roast in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of Suzie’s Farm chopped dill.
First time cooking? Don’t agonize over taking over the Thanksgiving meal reins from someone who’s been doing this meal by rote, just live by this mantra: “The secret is in the sides” and serve to impress!