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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Four "No-Fail" Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Ah... food — like life — is all about the side dishes. Here are all my family secrets revealed in one show. My mother Bernice, who is currently unpacking, mastered one meal in her life and so every single holiday — from Purim to St. Patrick's Day — we always had the same meal, and we loved it. These side dishes are golden.

Raw Cranberry sauce

1 bag cranberries, rinsed and drained
1 –1 1/2 cups sugar
1 whole orange or Tangerine, seedless if possible

This is so ridiculously simple. All you do is throw the cranberries in the food processor, add sugar, cut the orange — skin and all — into eighths and add to processor. Pulse a few times till everything is chopped up. Done. This is best made the day ahead.

Potato Nick

5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 large onions, diced
Peanut oil or canola oil
Salt, pepper, garlic, and Hungarian sweet Paprika

Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water till soft. In the meantime, sauté the onions in oil, don’t be cheap on the oil. Cook them on a medium to low flame so they get all soft and sweet and brown. Then add enough paprika to make them a nice red-brown color. Now add a splash (it's all about the oil) of extra oil to the onions. Drain the potatoes well and then put them back into the dry, hot pot you used to boil them. Mash by hand with potato masher, then add the onions. If it is not smooth-looking, add some more oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Now take a 9-inch round or square Pyrex baking dish and drizzle a little oil in the bottom — this will make the bottom crust — and spread the potatoes into the pan. Flatten on top and drizzle a little oil on top. Sprinkle with Paprika and put into 350 degree oven and bake 40 minutes, or until top has a nice brown crust. Serve immediately.

My famous Cole Slaw

1 small green cabbage
1/2 small red cabbage
3 carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
1 Macintosh apple
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry Coleman’s mustard
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut by hand, or use the food processor, to shred the cabbage into small, thin pieces. Peel and grate the carrots and add to cabbage. Dice the apples, leaving skin on for color. Add the raisins. Everything else is the dressing. Combine in a bowl with a whisk and add to cabbage. Best made the day before. This recipe makes enough for 8-10 people, so you can cut it in half.

Baked peaches and pineapple

In our house, we used to do this with canned fruit — after all it was the1960’s, and modern methods were all the rage.

All you do is open and drain a can of peach halves, and a can of pineapple rings. Place the pineapple into the baking dish (spray with a little non-stick coating first) and then in the center of each one add a peach scooped side up. Now drizzle with honey and crumble some brown sugar into the center of each peach. Put under the broiler for 5 minutes or until you smell the sugar starting to burn or caramelize. Now this year, I canned some Tesuque organic peaches and I am going to try this dish using those and some fresh Hawaiian pineapple. It’s got to be great!