By Brack Johnson


Tom Turkey may be the star of traditional Thanksgiving feasts, but this year the supporting cast is taking center stage.


Seasonal veggies. Rich and chewy bread. Fruity dressing. Flakey biscuits. Ooey-gooey casseroles. Festive potatoes. Savory pudding. All the fixin's are here for a happy Thanksgiving!



A Century of Restaurants

Stories and Recipes From 100 of America's Most Historic and Successful Restaurants

Published by Andrews McMeel









Murphy's Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening or cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup whole milk


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly butter a baking sheet.


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two dinner knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles small peas. Using a fork, quickly stir in the milk to make a light and fluffy but not sticky dough. Form into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured board.


Knead just until the dough is smooth, about 10 times. Roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into biscuits with a biscuit cutter. Place well apart on the prepared pan and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to wire racks.


Makes 10-12 biscuits



Oatmeal Molasses Bread
2 cups cold water, plus 1/2 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees) water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
2 teaspoons salt
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour


In a small saucepan, bring the 2 cups water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and the 11/2 tablespoons butter. Let stand for 1 hour.


In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the 1/2 cup warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir until dissolved. Stir in the molasses, salt and the oatmeal mixture. Stir in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make a stiff dough. Transfer to a floured board and knead for 8 minutes, or until elastic, adding more flour if needed to prevent sticking.


Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. Divide into 2 pieces and form into loaves. Oil two 9- by 5-inch bread pans and place the loaves in them, seam side down. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for 35 minutes, or until nicely browned on top and hollow sounding when thumped on the bottom. Serve warm, with butter for spreading.


Makes 2 loaves





Recipes for Celebrating With Southern Hospitality

Published by Rizzoli











Apple-Cranberry Dressing
1 (2-pound) loaf of sourdough bread
1 pound (4 sticks) butter
2 stalks celery, medium diced
2 sweet onions, medium diced
2 apples (preferably Gala or Yates), peeled, cored and medium diced
10 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
2 cups chicken stock or turkey stock
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice the bread into 1-inch cubes and place on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes, set aside. If baking the dressing right away, leave the oven at 350. (You can toast the bread several days in advance and store in an airtight container or bag.)


Melt the butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onions and sauté until softened, 5 minutes. Add the apples and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the sage and season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and cook for 10 minutes, until it just comes to a simmer. Add the cranberries and stir.


Place the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the hot vegetables and stock over them; toss until well coated. Transfer to a 9- x 14-inch casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the top is crispy.


Makes 12 servings



Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon
1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 pounds Brussels sprouts, outer leaves trimmed, halved
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


In a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain; set aside. Reserve the bacon fat for another use.


In a clean 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, tossing or shaking the pan, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the bacon, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a 9- x 14-inch baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are caramelized and brown. Serve hot.


Makes 12 servings



Breakfast for Dinner

Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers and More!

Published by Quirk Books









Root Vegetable Latkes
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated (about 3 cups grated)*
1 large beet, peeled and grated (about 11/2 cups grated)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 1 1/4 cups grated)
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup chopped)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup store-bought or homemade applesauce, for serving
1 cup sour cream (optional), for serving


*While you prep the other ingredients, soak potatoes in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown.


Drain potatoes well. Place in a clean dish towel or paper towels and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Spin them in a salad spinner lined with paper towels to force out even more liquid. (You want them as dry as possible, so the latkes hold together during frying.) Repeat with beets, sweet potatoes and onions.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels and place in the oven. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine grated vegetables, onions, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.


In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup of oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer. When oil is hot but not smoking, spoon 1/4 cup of potato mixture into pan, spreading out to a thin round with a fork or spatula. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet, cook latkes for 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer cooked latkes to prepared baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to skillet as necessary. Serve warm with applesauce and sour cream, if desired.


Makes about 20 pancakes



Homemade Applesauce
4 large apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a medium saucepan bring apples, lemon juice and 1/3 cup water to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until apples begin to break down. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and boil for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.


For a chunky applesauce, mash mixture with a potato masher. For a smoother sauce, run through a food mill or pulse briefly in a food processor (but do not liquefy). Refrigerated in an airtight container, applesauce will keep for up to 1 week.


Makes 1 cup




The Fresh Egg Cookbook From Chicken to Kitchen

Recipes for Using Eggs From Farmers' Markets, Local Farms and Your Own Backyard

Published by Storey











Baked Spinach Gratin
10 ounces fresh spinach
1 egg
1-1/4 cups heavy cream*
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon butter


*If you prefer a more custardy dish, use 2 eggs and 2 cups of cream. You may also top this with bread crumbs before baking if you like.


Wash and stem the spinach. Toss into a large pot with the water still clinging to the leaves. Do not add any more water. Cover and cook over medium heat, tossing with a fork from time to time. As soon as the spinach has begun to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes, transfer to a sieve and drain. Press lightly with a fork to remove some of the moisture, then finely chop on a cutting board. The amount will look extremely small and cause your heart to skip a beat. Do not fret.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


Beat the egg in a medium bowl. Add the cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped spinach and 1/4 cup each of the Parmesan and gruyère. Blend well. You may make it up to this point the day before and refrigerate until 1 hour before baking.


Butter a 6- x 10-inch shallow baking dish, preferably ceramic. Pour the mixture into the dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup each of the Parmesan and the gruyere. Dot with the butter and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and slightly puffed. Serve at once from the dish.


Makes 6-8 servings



Sausage Bread Pudding With Shiitakes
4 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 links Italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups (about 8 ounces or 4-6 slices) Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie plate.


Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium bowl, then whisk in the mustard, basil, parsley and black pepper. Crumble and cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and onion, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, then let cool.


Toss the bread with the vegetable mixture, then add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the pie plate, push down to compact, and layer the tomatoes around the edge, making a ring. Cover with foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the custard has set. Uncover, sprinkle with the Parmesan and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes longer, until puffed and golden on top. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


Makes 4 servings



Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen

Published by Sasquatch Books









Sautéed Green Beans With Melting Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
12 ounces sweet baby tomatoes (red, yellow or both) halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian herbs, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a medium bowl, gently toss the tomatoes together with the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the herbs de Provence. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Put the tomatoes in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes have shriveled slightly and have turned a deeper, darker color.


Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and set it aside. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 4 minutes, drain and quickly add the beans to the ice water bath. When the beans have cooled, drain them well and set aside.


Heat a 10- to12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. (If you have only one skillet, you can wait until the tomatoes are done roasting, transfer them to a plate and use the same skillet.) Add the butter and cook until it turns a light brown, about 4 minutes. Add the green beans, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon herbs de Provence, salt and pepper and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the beans are tender. Add the tomatoes back into the pan, sprinkle with the pine nuts and lemon zest, and serve.


Makes 6 servings



Winter Squash With Cranberries, Hazelnuts and Fried Sage
1/4 cup melted butter, plus more
for buttering the skillet
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds (about 6 cups) winter squash, such as butternut, or kabocha, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 small to medium fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


In a large bowl, pour the butter and maple syrup over the squash. Add the salt, pepper and dried cranberries, and mix. Butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Transfer the squash to the skillet, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, line a plate with paper towels. In a 6- to 8-inch skillet, warm the oil over medium heat for 2 minutes, and then add the sage leaves, a few at a time. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, and then remove with a slotted spoon to the paper towel-lined plate and quickly sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the rest of the sage leaves. Set aside.


Remove the foil from the squash. With a large spoon or spatula, toss the squash and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes more. Garnish with the hazelnuts and fried sage leaves and serve.


Makes 6-8 servings



Come Home to Supper

Over 200 Casseroles, Skillets and Sides (Desserts, Too!) to Feed Your Family
With Love

Published by Workman Publishing









Mashed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium-size sweet potatoes (about 6 cups), washed, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Place the potatoes in a medium stockpot and add water to cover by a depth of 1 inch.


Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.


Add the butter, cream, honey and cinnamon to the potatoes and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended, light and fluffy. Serve warm.


Makes 4-6 servings



Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Cooking spray
3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
6 ounces (3/4 cup) Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, cut into small cubes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.


Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the flour, pepper, salt and 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk and continue stirring constantly until the mixture comes just to a boil. Remove from the heat.


Stir the Velveeta, Parmesan, cheddar and cream cheese into the hot mixture until melted. Add the macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour into the baking dish.


Bake the macaroni, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Makes 6 generous servings