Wow your guests with these Thanksgiving sides. They may not be the star of the menu, but they'll certainly win the award for best supporting cuisine.
Ready to wow your guests? Stir up one or more batches of my easy herbed butter. You can make it several days ahead (one or multiple batches), then use it on the turkey, vegetables, biscuits, and more.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until combined well. Cover and chill until ready to use. Makes about 2/3 cup.
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Decadent Doctored Gravy with Marsala, Mushrooms & Rosemary
This gravy is an ideal accompaniment for any poulty dish. No lumps!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1/3 cup Marsala or Sherry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups purchased turkey or chicken gravy
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion; cook and stir until golden. Add the mushrooms; cook and stir until soft. Add Marsala, rosemary, gravy, chicken broth, and whipping cream. Simmer 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 4 cups.
Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
Whether you buy the dessert or make your own, my brown sugar whipped cream is the perfect topping. For even greater decadence, add a splash of whiskey or bourbon to the mix.
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1/3 cup chilled sour cream
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set on high until soft peaks form. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Makes about 2 cups.
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So-Easy Sweet & Spicy Nuts
These are inarguably awesome. Set out a bowl for snacking, serve alongside fruit and cheese (pears and blue cheese, anyone?), or roughly chop and sprinkle atop salads (think spinach, goat cheese, dried cranberries) or vegetables (the pecan version is stellar sprinkled mashed sweet potatoes).
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups whole walnut halves, pecan halves, or whole almonds (or a mix of all three)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut mixture on prepared baking sheet (some nuts may clump together). Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container.)
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