Side dish enhances meal

Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2007

By Staff
This week gives you just one more week to plan for your Thanksgiving meal. I hope that the recipes I've included in this week's column will give you a good idea of some side dishes to go along with your turkey.
Most people will go with traditional side dishes such as dressing and dumplings, but you have to have a vegetable or two to fill up the table.
Typical vegetables on our Thanksgiving table include field peas, turnip greens and maybe a broccoli salad. This year I've made a vow to try something a little different.
Much to my own amazement I've never actually tried asparagus in any shape or form. This year is going to be a little different. Since Connor, a friend of my son, loves asparagus so much, I thought some of his enthusiasm for the vegetable might rub off on Landon this year.
As I began to search for ways to prepare the stalky vegetable, I came across a recipe that sounded pretty good. Since it has cheese in it, my son is guaranteed to at least give it a try. There are other ingredients that I like, so this one could be a winner at our Thanksgiving table.
Asparagus-Peanut Casserole
1 (29 oz.) can asparagus spears, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 cup butter or margarine
Layer asparagus, soup, peanuts and cheese in casserole dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Dot the top with butter and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
Another side dish found on many tables through the holidays contains broccoli. As a matter of fact, my holiday table just isn't complete if I don't have broccoli salad or broccoli casserole as one of my side dishes.
If you want a change from broccoli salad and broccoli casserole, this next recipe could be one your family might enjoy. I plan to try this recipe instead of my casserole.
Crunch Top Broccoli Bake
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. grated onion
1 cup sour cream
3 cups fresh broccoli flowerets or 2 (10 oz.) frozen package
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Heat butter until melted in small saucepan. Stir in flour, salt, sugar, pepper and onion. Add sour cream and stir until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes just to a boil. Fold in broccoli and pour into greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Toss cheese and croutons together and sprinkle over broccoli. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Finally, for the folks who think no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without potatoes of some kind, I'm sharing a casserole dish that is sure to please just about any taste bud.
Hash Brown Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream
2 sticks of butter
1 24 oz. bag frozen hash browns
2 cups crushed cornflakes (or Ritz crackers)
Mix soups, cheese, sour cream one stick of melted butter and hash browns well. Pour into 9×13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine cornflakes or cracker crumbs and remaining stick of melted butter. Evenly spread on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours until golden brown and bubbly.
I hope that one of these dishes will fit your family. They are all pretty easy and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake. That may give you a little extra time to enjoy your company on Thanksgiving Day.
Next week, I plan to give you some quick and easy ideas for desserts to help finish off the perfect holiday meal.
Remember, if you have any ideas or recipes that you'd like to share, be sure to pass them along to me. I'll give you credit for your submission when I use it in this space. You can give me a call at 867-4876, drop by the office at 407 St. Nicholas Ave., or email me at
Until next week, happy cooking!

Email newsletter signup