5 of the Top Thanksgiving Side Dishes

1. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese



1 pound macaroni with lines, such as tubatini or mini penne rigate
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 (10 ounce) box frozen cooked butter nut squash, defrosted
1 cup cream or half-and-half
2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, eyeball it
Black pepper


Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente or, with a bite to it.

While pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand held grater or Microplane. Cook the grated onion in butter and oil 1 to 2 minutes, then add flour and cook together 1 to 2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure 8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. Serve alongside chicken sammies and top with thyme leaves picked from remaining sprigs (Boo would also have a little extra sprinkle of that cheese, please!)

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback

2. Sweet Skillet Cornbread


1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Cook 6 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes; remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs and honey in a bowl, then whisk in the milk, sour cream and browned butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat until it foams. Remove from the heat and add the batter. Transfer to the oven; bake until the cornbread springs back when pressed, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in the skillet before slicing.

Photograph by Con Poulos

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/sweet-skillet-cornbread-recipe.html?oc=linkback

3. Roasted Cauliflower with Dates and Pine Nuts


1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Evenly spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast, tossing once with a spatula, until golden brown at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Put the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Once it’s melted, add the pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and dates and continue cooking until they’re softened, 2 to 3 minutes more; season with salt.

Transfer the hot cauliflower to a serving bowl, drizzle the pine nut mixture over the top and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and serve warm or at room temperature.

Photographs by Yunhee Kim

Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson for Food Network Magazine

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/roasted-cauliflower-with-dates-and-pine-nuts-recipe.html?oc=linkback

4. Cheesy Barley Gratin


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups pearled barley
6 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 large yellow onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely-chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

Fill a small pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the barley and boil until just cooked through but still slightly chewy, about 20 minutes (it will continue to cook in the oven). Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Combine the Gruyere, mozzarella and parmesan in another medium bowl. Add the panko, 1 cup of the cheese mixture and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl with the melted butter. Use your hands to work the butter into the cheese and breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a wide large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. (The butter will start to foam and brown specks will form, but that is okay; this will add a lot of flavor to the finished dish.) Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and thyme and stir constantly until the garlic is just softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a thin paste forms around the onion mixture, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce is a thin gravy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese mixture and cooked barley. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Spoon into the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved cheesy breadcrumbs evenly on top of the barley and bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved or Talent

From Food Network Kitchen

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cheesy-barley-gratin.html?oc=linkback

5. Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes


2 cups heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Watch how to make this recipe.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth.

In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/smoked-chile-scalloped-sweet-potatoes-recipe.html?oc=linkback