It’s the holiday season, a time of presents, family and more importantly eating until we enter food comas. During this time of roasted ham, turkey, chicken and all sorts of traditional dishes, it is important and crucial to not neglect the sides. Let’s go beyond the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. The Culinary Program at Florida Technical College is here to brighten your dishes with holiday yumminess and cheer. Here is a list of some knock-your-holiday-socks-off, side dish recipes that will be sure to impress even the grumpiest scrooge this holiday season:
Loaded mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes always have and will be a staple of all holiday dinners. If you thought that the buttery carbs couldn’t get better, think again! Serve this at your next holiday dinner and your family will have a new holiday favorite.
• 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 3/4 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons butter
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese blend, divided
• 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 3 green onions, sliced
1. Place potatoes in a Dutch oven with water and cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 cups cheese, bacon and onions.
2. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Yields: 14 servings.
Bacon, Onion and Rye Bread Stuffing
Stuffing is Thanksgiving’s overall theme. We stuff ourselves with stuffing that we used to stuff our turkey. Stuffing can either be the favorite at a dinner or a neglected side. This bacon, onion and rye bread stuffing is sure to be a crowd favorite.
• One 9-inch-long loaf seeded rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• 1 teaspoon chopped sage
• 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
• 1/2 pound piece of bacon slab, sliced 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
• 1 egg
• 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the rye bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
2. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery; cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into the bowl with the bread.
3. Wipe out the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Swinging away from the bacon we stumble onto the Italian version of bacon-pancetta. Brussels sprouts will always appear on holiday tables but very few times with this delicious Italian twist.
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 pound sliced pancetta, diced
• 4 shallots, thinly sliced
• 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
• 8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 lemon, juiced
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a roasting pan or large skillet.
2. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and potatoes and toss to combine.
3. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown.
4. Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Transfer to a platter and top with the reserved pancetta.
This holiday season while you’re preparing these fun and delicious treats, why not think about a career in culinary arts? The holidays are a time of recreating classics and making them your own, which is done on a daily basis by professional chefs across the country. Here at Florida Technical College we pride ourselves in creating the innovative chefs of tomorrow. We also offer financial aid to those who qualify. Don’t wait any longer, call today and have people creating your staple dishes for all their upcoming holiday gatherings!