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Get Ready to Gather Round the Table


Turkey with all the trimmings — it’s the dream comfort meal for many. But just exactly what the trimmings are varies from table to table, and often from year to year. That’s why we offer you a host of options to add some sparkle as well as tradition to your Thanksgiving table, as well as some helpful hints on how to make your meal even more wonderful.

Be prepared. Start to get everything ready before Thursday, including thawing the bird.

In case of emergency

The centerpiece

How-to helpers

Lemon Sweet Potatoes

Side dishes

Desserts

A taste of everything else

Thanksgiving breakfast ideas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts Can Be a Real Treat


Brussels sprouts

Side dishes don’t have to be laden with fat to be richly flavored and satisfying, as this crunchy treat from the Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts ably demonstrates. You can use kale instead of brussels sprouts if you prefer.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pound brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the stem ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Halve each sprout lengthwise, then toss in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper.

Transfer sprouts to a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until deep golden brown, crisp outside and tender inside, 30 to 35 minutes. The leaves that are loose will be especially brown and crispy. Transfer sprouts to a serving bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 52 calories, 2.5 g fat, 6.8 g carbohydrates, 2.9 g dietary fiber, 2.6 g protein.

From Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts

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You Can Order All or Part of Your Thanksgiving Feast


The County Line’s smoked turkey breast is available for your party.

Whether you need help with dessert or the entire meal, you can find plenty of places in town that will help you out this Thanksgiving. Ordering early always helps.

Aldaco’s, 100 Hoefgen Ave., Sunset Station, (210) 222-0561; 20079 Stone Oak Parkway, (210) 494-0561 — Aldaco’s regular tres leches cake is available year-round. The seasonal flavor is Pumpkin Tres Leches, which is available for $39.95 for a 9-inch cake. Orders must be placed in advance and picked up by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, all day at the Stone Oak location and by 3 p.m. at Sunset Station.

Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 W. Hildebrand, (210) 734-BOBS (2627) — Big Bob’s is smoking 15-pound turkeys this Thanksgiving season. The price is $39.95. Orders should be placed by Nov. 16 with the pickup running through closing time on Nov. 21.

Central Market, 4821 Broadway, (210) 368-8607 — Chef-prepared meals, sides and pies can be ordered for all your holiday needs. Or visit the website.

Chile Beach Jams at Saglimbeni Fine Wines, 638 W. Rhapsody, (210) 349-5149 — Order a handmade pumpkin spice roll from Chile Beach Jams. Place and pick up the orders at Saglimbeni Fine Wines. Call for prices.

CIA Bakery & Cafe, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 554-6464 — The CIA Bakery is offering pies this Thanksgiving in addition to its breads and other desserts. Pumpkin pies are $15.50 each and apple and pecan pies are $19.50. Orders must be received by Nov. 17. They can be placed in person at the café or by calling the number listed. Pies can be picked up on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Nov. 21, during business hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — Treat yourself to any of a number of specials from the County Line. A boneless turkey breast generously rubbed with coarse black pepper and slow-smoked is sold for $16.19 a pound. The average weight is 4 pounds and feeds 10-12 people. Barbecue lovers can order an Emergency Kit priced at $11.99 a person. It comes with brisket, turkey, sausage, chicken, coleslaw, beans, potato salad, bread, barbecue sauce, plates and flatware, packed family style. No advance warning necessary, but you can call in your order and it will be waiting for you by the time you get to the restaurant.  Sides available in large portions include handmade bread, red skinned garlic mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, salads and green beans. Fresh harvest cobbler (Granny Smith Green Apples, candied cranberries and walnuts) will be sold for $55; it serves 25-30 people. County Line’s Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Bourbon sauce is $6.99 a serving; it’s enough for two people.

Pumpkin pie with a gluten-free crust can be ordered from the CIA Bakery.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 821-5454 — You can order whole turkeys and hams to go with all the trimmings but without all the work. Desserts to go are also available.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-7333  — Orders for takeout, from turkey or ham dinners to pies, cakes and sides, should be made by Nov. 19. All pre-orders must be paid when the order is called in. Specials include a 23-pound oven-roasted turkey or a 6- to 8-pound honey-glazed ham for $160 and $145, respectively. The turkey package serves approximately 20 to 25. The family package includes 4 quarts of cornbread dressing, 1 quart of giblet gravy, 1 quart of cranberry relish, 25 yeast dinner rolls, and a free pumpkin pie and apple pie. A ½ turkey family package is priced at $100; a whole turkey  for $100; and a ½ turkey for $65. Sides such as green beans, candied yams, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, glazed carrots and many others can be purchased for $9.50 a quart; and our dinner rolls can be purchased for 35 cents each, minimum order of ½ dozen.

New Braunfels Smokehouse, 1090 N. Business I-35, New Braunfels, (830) 625-2416 — You can order everything from smoked turkeys to sides. Also check out the website.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — Pumpkin tamales are available in your choice of pineapple or raisin for $10 a dozen. Tres leches cake lovers can get Paloma Blanca’s version, which is infused with pumpkin, topped with pecans, and covered in creamy milk (a whole cake costs $34.95). Thanksgiving orders require a 48-hour notice and need to be placed by phone or online (www.palomablanca.net) by Nov. 20, as the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving day.

Pappy G’s, 1210 Pat Booker Road, (210) 659-7799 — Get holiday pies (sweet potato, buttermilk, pecan or cream cheese) and large orders of sides, including cornbread dressing. Orders should be picked up by 6 p.m. Nov. 21.

Ordering side dishes, such as cranberries, can take some of the work load off.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — Mike’s is taking orders for savory cheesecakes to be used as party appetizers or however you want to serve them. They come in three flavors: crawfish, portobello mushroom and green chili. Prices are $75 for an 8-inch cheesecake or $90 for an 11-inch.

Two Step Restaurant & Cantina, 9840 W. Loop 1604 N., (210) 688-2686 — Beginning on Monday, Nov. 21st, Two Step Restaurant & Cantina will take orders for apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies for $24.95 each. Pies will be available for pick-up as late as Wednesday, Nov. 21, until 10:00 p.m.

Whole Foods, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 826-4676; 18403 Blanco Road, (210) 408-3110 — Pies, turkeys, side dishes, breads — all are available for special order.

Zedric’s: Fresh Gourmet to Go, 9873 I-10 W., (210) 541-0404 — Zedric’s is offering the follow meals to go throughout the holiday season, but they are available by advanced order only: Turkey Dinner for 6-8 with Oven-roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy, Chorizo Cornbread Dressing, Herb Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans Amandine and Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce, $139.99; Rack of Lamb Dinner for 6-8 with Oven-roasted Rack of Lamb with Au Jus, Chorizo Cornbread Dressing, Herb Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans Amandine and Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce, $209.99; and Mom’s Apple Crunch Pie, $15.99. Place your Thanksgiving order by Nov. 19 with pickup from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Nov. 21.

 

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Coconut Quinoa Is a Side Dish Loaded with Flavor


Chefs have been using quinoa more and more over the last 10 years. But it remains outside the mainstream for many, who seem reluctant to give it a try.

What is it? some ask.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is “an ancient South American cereal grain (that) is higher in protein than any other grain,” Bryant Terry writes in “The Inspired Vegan” (DaCapo, $19). “It tastes great cooked in coconut milk.”

The coconut milk, not to mention the ease of this recipe, should be enough for some to give it a try.

You can find quinoa at a growing number of markets, including Central Market, Whole Foods  and Green Fields.

Coconut Quinoa

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
Coarse sea salt, to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tablespoons dried coconut

In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, combine the coconut milk with the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and dried coconut and bring back to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and steam with the lid on for 5 minutes, then lightly fluff with a fork.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry

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Shiner Bock Rice Pilaf


Give your white rice a Texas twist.

Looking to add a little kick to your boring white rice side dish? Try this Texas treat from Hill Country cookbook author Terry Thompson-Anderson, who includes it in her “Lone Star Eats” (Shearer Publishing, $21.95). “Get creative with your sides,” she writes. “Remember, they’re limited only by your imagination.”

Shiner Bock Rice Pilaf

1 dried ancho chile, seeds and veins removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
2 1/2  cups chicken stock
1/2 cup Shiner Bock beer
1 teaspoon minced lime zest
Toasted slices almonds, for garnish

Place the ancho chile in a bowl of hot water; set aside for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chile is soft and pliable. Coarsely chop the chile and purée with a little of the water in which it soaked; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion, parsley and thyme. Sauté until onions are very wilted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the raw rice and cook, stirring often, to lightly brown the rice. Add the chicken stock, beer, the reserved chile purée and lime zest. Cook, covered or about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through, but not overcooked. (It should not be sticky.) garnish with toasted almonds and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Lone Star Eats” by Terry-Thompson Anderson

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Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano


Pit-Kissed Creamed Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano

When you’re making a recipe that calls for scalded cream or milk, bring it up to room temperature first so that it doesn’t burn, says Garrett Stephens of the County Line.

Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 ears corn
Light olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 tablespoon flour
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded

Set pit up for direct grilling method. Add smoked wood chips to fire.

Pull the husks back on the ears of corn, and tie with string. Do not worry about the silks, as they will burn off.

Brush the corn with light olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place corn directly over the fire and cook on all sides until the corn is nicely browned.

Remove corn from heat and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cob. Set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, combine cream, ginger, salt and pepper, and reduce by one-third, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add kernels, chicken stock and flour to reduced cream and cook for 10 minutes or until cream thickens to desired consistency and is absorbed by corn.

Remove corn from heat and stir in scallion and cheese.

Makes 2 servings.

From Garret Stephens/The County Line

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Brussels Sprouts with Warm Brown Butter Vinaigrette


“As a child, I used to feed the brussels sprouts my mom would make for dinner to my dog under the table — and the dog didn’t even want them,” writes chef Andrew Swallow in “Mixt Salads.” “Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate them, however. The leaves taste earthy and delicious, and have a sweet, savory bitterness. I add the turnip to the mix for its raw crunch.”

Brussels Sprouts with Warm Brown Butter Vinaigrette

2 pounds brussels sprouts (should yield 12 ounces of leaves)
8 strips bacon, cut into lardons (1/2-inch chunks)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Fuji apple, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 white turnip, julienned

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil on the stove and prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Remove the bottom of each sprout and peel apart all the leaves. Blanch the leaves for 2 minutes in the boiling water, then shock them in the ice bath; drain and set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium high heat, sauté the bacon until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan. Add the butter to the pan and let it slowly melt, browning slightly, then add the sage and sauté for 1 minute to infuse the butter. Add the mustard and vinegar to the pan, then whisk the mixture until emulsified.

Place the sprout leaves in a serving bowl or on a platter and toss with the apple slices. Top with the brown butter vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the bacon, pomegranate seeds and turnip.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Mixt Salads” by Andrew Swallow with Ann Volkwein

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Give Your Seasonal Sides a Fresh Twist


Grilled Cornbread and Sweet Sausage Dressing

If you’re looking to give your side dishes a little more sizzle this holiday season, consider a few fresh ways of preparing them.

How about a green bean casserole made with smoked beans and a homemade cream of mushroom base? Or creamed corn using grilled corn?

Several of the attached recipes are from Garrett Stephens, pitmaster for the County Line, 10101 I-10 W. Another is from Don Strange of Texas, which has served up corn pudding for years to great success.

SavorSA also shares our recipe for Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lavender Honey, a sweet-savory take on the traditional Thanksgiving dish. Plus, we include Luby’s Cornbread Dressing, a local favorite.

The last is a new way to look at that most wonderful yet abused vegetable, brussels sprouts. Try this version for a rich and satisfying flavor.

Pit-Kissed Cream Corn

Here are links to the recipes:

Pit-Kissed Cream Corn with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Grilled Green Bean Casserole with Portobello Cream

Grilled Cornbread and Sweet Sausage Dressing

Brussels Sprouts with Warm Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Spicy Roast Sweet Potatoes with Lavender Honey

Luby’s Cornbread Dressing

Don Strange’s Corn Pudding

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Celery Root and Apple Purée


Celery root is also known as celeriac.

“Cooking watery or fibrous root vegetables like celery roots, turnips, carrots, rutabagas and beets with a little white rice ensures that they will be exceptionally creamy and have a very pure flavor,” writes Sally Schneider in “A New Way to Cook.” “The apples enhance and sweet the vegetables. … This recipe can be doubled or tripled. Do not double or triple the amount of milk, though — use just enough to cover the celery root by 1 1/2 inches.”

Celery Root and Apple Purée

1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups milk (can use low-fat)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons white rice
2 small Macintosh apples (about 8 ounces), peeled, cored and quartered or 1 small pear, peeled, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the celery root in a medium saucepan, add the milk, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and a grinding or two of pepper, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Stir in the rice, lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the apples and simmer for 10 minutes longer, or until the celery root is very tender. (The milk will curdle, but the curds will be incorporated when the celery root is puréed.) Drain the mixture in a colander set over a bowl; save the cooking liquid.

In a food processor, purée the celery root mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until perfectly smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of cooking liquid if necessary (Save the remaining flavorful liquid for soup; it can be frozen.) Process for several minutes more, scraping down the sides several times, until you have a fine purée. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and process to blend.

You can make the purée several hours ahead and reheat it (or keep it warm), stirring frequently in a covered double boiler.

Makes 4 servings.

From “A New Way to Cook” by Sally Schneider

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In Season: 3 Fresh Ways to Serve That Summer Produce


tomatoSome of us might be thinking about what to plant for our fall gardens, but the summer heat still burns on.  In August, what could be better than a cool and simple salad as the main dish or a side dish for dinner? Without further ado, here are two dishes that will cozy up quite nicely next to a grilled pork chop or chicken breast. The third recipe offers an unusual way to season and serve strawberries for dessert.

Simplest Zucchini Salad

1 clove garlic
2 small zucchini, sliced into rounds about 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pepper, optional

Mash the garlic clove and rub it around the inside surface of a medium-sized steel bowl. Discard. Put the cut zucchini rounds into the bowl, add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, if using. Toss the zucchini around in the oil and lemon juice until all slices are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for an hour or two, refrigerated. Take out about 30 minutes before serving, put into a serving dish. Should be served at cool room temperature.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Slow-Roasted Summer Tomatoes

3 tablespoons plus 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
4 1/2 to 5 pounds medium-large ripe tomatoes (about 12 tomatoes) stemmed, but not cored
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3-4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12- by 17-inch baking sheet with foil. If you have parchment, put a sheet over the foil.  Spray or coat with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Cut tomatoes in half through the equator. Arrange halves, cut side up, on the baking sheet, turning to coat the bottoms with some of the oil.  Sprinkle on each a pinch of salt and sugar, and drizzle each with a little of the balsamic vinegar.  Arrange garlic slices over the top of each half and top with a generous sprinkling of thyme.  Pour the remaining 1 cup olive oil over and around the tomato halves.

Roast tomatoes in the center of the oven until they are concentrated, dark reddish brown, with deep browning around the edges and in places on the pan, and quite collapsed. This will take about 3 hours for larger, fleshy tomatoes or longer for tomatoes that are less ripe or have a high water content. Check the tomatoes from time to time. If they appear to be cooking too quickly, turn the temperature down to 325.

Let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature. Reserve the tomato oil (keep refrigerated for up to a week) to use on its own or in a vinaigrette. To store tomatoes, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to a couple of months. They’ll continue to release juice during storage.

Makes 24 tomato halves.

From “Fine Cooking Annual, Volume 3”

Balsamic-Marinated Strawberries with Basil

2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced 1/2-to 1/4-inch thick (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8-10 medium-sized fresh basil leaves

In large bowl, gently toss strawberries with sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not mushy, about 30 minutes.  Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil.

Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter the basil to garnish.

Other serving suggestions:  Serve strawberries over grilled or toasted pound cake, topped with whipped cream. Layer berries with ice cream or yogurt for a parfait. Scoop strawberries over a roasted peach half. Use berries as a filling for crepes. Mash berries slightly and fold into whipped cream for a quick dessert, garnish with basil.

Makes 4 dessert servings.

From “Fine Cooking Annual, Volume 3”

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