a trio of Thanksgiving veggie sides...
Brussels Sprouts. Green Beans. Broccoli. Sweet Potatoes. Bacon. (I know, not a vegetable but a critical vegetable companion.)
All. The. Thanksgiving. Vegetable (and Bacon). Things.
Bacon Brussels Sprout Green Bean Casserole:
6 bacon slices
1 pound trimmed and quartered fresh Brussels sprouts
2 (15oz) pkg. frozen French-cut green beans, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup salted butter, divided
1 (8oz) package sliced fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 shallot, diced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-oz.) can diced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup crispy fried onions or shallots (about 2 oz.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook bacon slices in Dutch oven over medium until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Cook Brussels sprouts and green beans in reserved drippings in Dutch oven just until tender and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove vegetables from Dutch oven.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the drippings in the Dutch oven over medium-high. Add mushrooms and chopped fresh shallot, and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are deeply browned and shallots are caramelized but not burned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Transfer mushroom mixture to a plate, and without wiping out Dutch oven, add remaining 6 tablespoons butter to Dutch oven. Melt butter over medium-high; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until melted and smooth. Stir in reserved Brussels sprouts and green beans, mushroom mixture, and water chestnuts; spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven until bubbly around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle crumbled bacon with fried onions or shallots over casserole. Return to oven, and bake until bubbly and topping is golden brown and crisped, about 15 minutes.
The Pioneer Woman's Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
2 cups uncooked wild rice
10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 heads broccoli, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 whole onion, diced
2 whole carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Add the wild rice into a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the rice until is slightly tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into boiling water for 1½ to 2 minutes, until bright green and still slightly crisp. Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove it from the ice water and set it aside.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring them occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color.
Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir to incorporate it, then cook for about a minute. Pour in the remaining 5 cups of broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring to combine. Let the mixture cook until it thickens. Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Add half the cooked rice to the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then lay on half the broccoli. Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top. Continue with the rest of the sauce, totally covering the surface with vegetables.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs. Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top.
Cover with foil and bake the casserole for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes in a Brown Butter Sage Cream Sauce
Do you love sweet potato casserole??? WITH THE MARSHMELLOWS! (Save your judgement, folks who skip this dish.) I know, people hate on it but I live for an excuse to eat marshmallows at dinner. Anyway, last year I was looking for a way to update the sweet potato casserole, keep it a little sweet, but make it a little more savory.
6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
1 cup + 1/4 cup unsalted butter
20 sage leaves, sliced into long, thin strips (chiffonade, if you're fancy)
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss sweet potatoes with 1/4 cup melted butter in a large bowl until well coated. Divide between 2 large baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in sauce pan. Stir the pan constantly, until the butter becomes a nut-brown color and has a toasty aroma. Add in sage leaves a cook for a minute or two.
Add flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves, and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add milk and heavy cream; cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. increase heat to medium high; cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. Add in lemon zest and taste. Remove from heat.
In separate small bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar, salt, and butter to make a crumb topping. Mix in pecans.
When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven. Preheat the broiler. Transfer half the sweet potatoes to a broiler-safe baking dish. Spread half the sauce over the sweet potatoes and top with ½ of topping mixture. Add the remaining sweet potatoes and top with the remaining sauce and topping. Sprinkle a few extra pecans on top. Broil, watching carefully, until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is beginning to brown, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let stand 10 minutes.