Scrumptious Sides for Thanksgiving

FVCC Chef Howard Karp shares recipes that will be sure to an enhance any holiday gathering

By Justin Franz
Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Thanksgiving is a holiday of tradition and undoubtedly every family has a few dishes that cannot be forgotten come the fourth Thursday of November.

For my family, it is a stunning stuffing created by my cousin featuring crumbled cornbread, sausage, jalapenos and cranberries. The holiday just simply wouldn’t be complete without it.

But it’s important to expand ones culinary horizons and to do that, the Flathead Beacon enlisted the help of renowned instructor Chef Howard Karp, who heads up the Flathead Valley Community College’s Culinary Institute of Montana. Karp shared three scrumptious sides that are sure to liven up any Thanksgiving table.

Refrigerator cumin rolls. Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Refrigerator Cumin Rolls

Yields: 24 servings

1 cup milk

1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)

1 package dry yeast

1 tsp. plus ¼ cup sugar

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

3 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten for glaze

2 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted

Scald milk in heavy medium saucepan.  Cool to 105 degrees F.

Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in a small bowl.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Pour milk into large bowl.  Add 1/4 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. butter and salt.  Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Add yeast mixture and 2 eggs; whisk to blend.  Mix in 1 1/2 cups of flour.  Gradually mix in enough remaining flour to form stiff dough.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Lightly oil large bowl.  Add dough, turning to coat.  Cover and chill overnight.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Keep chilled.) Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly butter 24 1/3 cup muffin cups.  Punch dough down.  Divide in half.  Cut each half into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball.  Dip ball into melted butter.  Pull and stretch ball into 6 to 8 inch long rope.  Tie into knot.  Place in muffin cup.  Repeat with remaining dough and butter.  Brush rolls with egg glaze.  Sprinkle with cumin.  Let rise 30 minutes at room temperature.  Bake until lightly brown, about 14 minutes.  Remove from muffin cups and serve.

Mashed potatoes with celery root and mascarpone. Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Mashed Potatoes With Celery Root And Mascarpone

Yield: 10 servings

3 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 lbs. celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

3 whole peeled garlic cloves plus 1 Tbsp. minced garlic

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2  cup (1 stick) butter

Place potatoes, celery root and whole garlic cloves in a large pot.  Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables.  Salt the water and bring to a boil.  Cover partially and boil until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.  Drain.

Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until almost smooth.  Add minced garlic, mascarpone and butter; beat until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Can be prepared 3 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.  Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.

Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that is sold at Italian markets and most supermarkets.  If unavailable, blend 8 oz. cream cheese with ¼ cup whipping cream and 2 1/2 Tbsp. sour cream.

Pears poached in tequila with prickly pear-raspberry sauce. Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Pears Poached In Tequila With Prickly Pear-Raspberry Sauce

Yields 14 servings


14 Anjou pears, peeled

1 quart tequila

1/2 cup sugar


1 12-oz package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

1 8-oz. jar prickly pear jelly or apple jelly

2 Tbsp. orange liqueur

Using a melon baller, remove core from bottom end of pears.  Bring tequila and sugar to a boil in a large heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add 7 pears.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover; cook until tip of small knife pierces pears easily, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes.  Transfer pears to a large bowl.  Repeat with remaining pears and poaching liquid; cool, (can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

For the sauce, puree berries, jelly and liqueur in processor.  Strain into medium bowl.  Cover and chill until cold.  (Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and keep chilled.)

Spoon 2 Tbsp. sauce onto each plate.  Stand 1 pear in center of each.

Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Cranberry Sauce With Pinot Noir

Yields about 2 cups

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cups cranberries (about 8 oz.)

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 cups pinot noir or other dry red wine

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

1 tsp. curry powder

Larch pinch of Chinese five-spice powder

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, about 3 minutes. Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover, chill.) Serve sauce cold or if desired, rewarm over heat, stirring often.

Chinese five-spice is a blend of ground anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger; available in the spice section of many supermarkets.

Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Yields 1 loaf

1 cup canned, solid-pack pumpkin

1 cup sugar

¼ cup water

2 large eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan, 8 ½ by 4 ½ by 2 ¾ inches.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs and oil. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in cranberries and spoon batter into loaf pan, spreading evenly.

Bake bread in middle of oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely. Bread may be made up to four days ahead and chilled.

Sweet potato and yam galette. Thanksgiving side dishes on Nov. 14, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Sweet Potato and Yam Galette

Yields six to eight servings 

6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel

1/2 tsp. salt

Nonstick vegetable spray

1 1/2 lbs. small, slender tan-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

1 1/2 lbs. small, slender yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon wedges

Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, ginger, lemon peel and salt; stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Keep warm.

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line an 8 to 10 inch diameter, 1 3/4 inch deep oven proof skillet with foil. Spray foil with non-stick spray. Toss sweet potatoes and yams with flour in a large bowl. Add brown sugar mixture; stir to coat potatoes and yams. Arrange sweet potatoes and yams alternating in overlapping circles in prepared skillet. Spoon any remaining brown sugar mixture over potatoes. Press on potatoes to compact. Cover with foil.

Bake potatoes until just tender, about 1 hour. Uncover and press potatoes with a metal spatula to compact. Continue baking until potatoes are very tender, pressing on potatoes occasionally, about 30 minutes longer. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 400 degrees F oven about 30 minutes.) Let stand 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, invert skillet onto platter. Remove skillet. Peel off foil. Replace any pieces of sweet potatoes or yams that may have become dislodged. Cut galette into wedges; serve with lemon wedges.

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