Thanksgiving Side Dishes Kids Will Actually Like
Welcome to Dishing it Out, ParentDish's weekly food column. Katie Workman lives in New York City with her husband and two boys, Jack and Charlie. By day she is the Editor-in Chief of the soon-to-be launched recipe website, Cookstr.com. Her posts will appear on Tuesday mornings.
Thanksgiving conjures up warm, fuzzy images of the family gathered around the table, enormous turkey center stage, generations exchanging loving looks as they pass the side dishes around the table....the kids scrunching up their noses and saying "Gross" as the cranberry sauce passes by. Where is Norman Rockwell when you need him?
Even though it's hard to imagine a more family-centric meal than Thanksgiving dinner, most of the traditional side dishes don't seem to be all that kid-friendly: cranberry relish with citrus zest, Brussels sprouts, stuffing with oysters (those crazy Pilgrims) and sausages. The kids' plates end up looking like a white winter wonderland with a slice of turkey, a dollop of plain mashed potatoes, and a piece of bread.
Below the gallery are a few simple simple side dishes that should make everyone happy (or at least be worth a few bites with the promise of pie to come).
Mashed Sweet and Yukon Potatoes
The combination of sweet and white potatoes creates a pretty pale orange color. Mashed potatoes are usually totally kid-pleasing, the sweet potatoes are a bit more autumnal and festive, and as a bonus provide some great vitamins (A, C, and B6, since you asked). A touch of maple syrup adds sweetness, and a pinch of cinnamon provides warmth.
4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
3 Yukon Gold or baking potatoes (about 1 - 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup whole milk
salt to taste
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
cinnamon to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2 inch chunks. Put them in a saucepan with water to cover and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain, let cool slightly, and mash, using a masher or a ricer.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan until it's hot, but not boiling. Add the hot milk, salt, butter, syrup and cinnamon, if using, to the potatoes and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Simplest Green Beans
Ever wonder why green beans at a restaurant taste so good? Instead of just steaming them, and adding a pat of butter after they are cooked, there is a very simple way to cook them that turns the butter and the cooking water into more of a sauce, so they have that nice glazed salty-sweetness. My kids ate a bowl of these last time I made them. Here's how it works.
2 pounds string beans, ends trimmed (see Note, below)
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely minced (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the string beans in a large saucepan with about 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the beans are crisp tender. Drain off the water, leaving only 1 tablespoon in the pot with the beans. Add the butter, shallot and salt and pepper. Stir over medium high heat until the butter and the water have formed a nice glaze-y sauce on the beans. taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Note: If you can find haricot verts, which are the thin French green beans, do try. They are more tender than regular green beans, and have a wonderful flavor. (My husband just read this post and said, "Haricots verts? You sound like a big snot." Look, I didn't invent the name.)
To sign up for Cookstr, launching soon, and see what Katie Workman does for her day job, please visit www.cookstr.com.
|Peas! So fun to play with.||4 (11.8%)|
|Mashed potatos. Basic kid food.||24 (70.6%)|
|Brussells sprouts. I have no idea why.||5 (14.7%)|
|I have to serve a SIDE DISH?!?||1 (2.9%)|
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.