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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 8:20 am

Well Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It's my favorite holiday. I love cooking. There's nothing like having a Thanksgiving dinner and the table is filled up with turkey, ham, and all of those side dishes.

One of my favorite side dishes of all time is collard greens with ham hocks. I don't have a recipe with measurements because I just throw it all together until it looks and tastes good.

For one bunch(or two, depending on the size) or one bag of prechopped/cleaned collards, I always use one half of a meaty smoked ham hock.
I'll put the ham hocks in a large pot and add water till it comes up halfway up the ham. I'll then put the chopped, and thoroughly cleaned collards in the pot with some chopped onion, your favorite vinegar(although balsamic vinegar seems to work the best because of the sweetness), ground black pepper, and maybe a sprinkle of those red pepper flakes.
Collards do take a while to cook but typically when you can easily pick the ham off the bones, then they're done.
After the collards are done, take the ham hocks out of the pot and when they're cool enough to handle, pick off the ham and add the ham back into the pot.
Serve!

This may produce alot of liquid but it is soooo good sopped up with bread.

If you want, you could use other greens in addition to the collards......kale, mustard greens, etc.

If you've never cooked with greens be sure to wash them thoroughly after chopping. Often times they're very dirty and a quick rinse doesn't clean them. I remember reading a story several years ago about people who cook greens on a daily/weekly basis often times use their washing machine to wash bunches of the greens at one time.

A lot of times people will turn up their noses at just the thought of eating collards or other greens. That's because they most likely tasted greens cooked in nothing but water. Yeah...greens cooked that way IS pretty bad. The ham hocks and vinegar is the key!
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/11/2011, 9:54 am

+1 Too Tall. I love greens, and without a doubt they are excellent when properl prepared and seasoned. I love Beet greens sauteed with bacon, onion and garlic. Then sprinkled with a lil bit of hot pepper vinegar. Yum. Yum.

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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Lavender Debs on 11/11/2011, 11:38 am

Too Tall Tomatoes wrote: snip.....If you've never cooked with greens be sure to wash them thoroughly after chopping. Often times they're very dirty and a quick rinse doesn't clean them. I remember reading a story several years ago about people who cook greens on a daily/weekly basis often times use their washing machine to wash bunches of the greens at one time.....


There is a mini washing machine for greens called a salad spinner. A must have! I refused to buy one for years because they are expensive for something made of plastic, but once I got one I wondered how I could live without it.

My side dishes are squash with apples and Brussels sprouts. Like your greens, I despised sprouts as a child. They were boiled to death and smothered in melted cheeze wiz. YUCK! They are probably the reason I do not like nachos with cheeze wiz. Once I learned to sauté them I discovered a food that I love.

This is the first sautéed Brussels sprout recipe I made (from "The Voluptuous Vegan--don't let the name scare you)


  • Preheat oven to 350*f. Toast 1/4 cup of pecans 7 minutes (this can be done in a fry pan unless you plan to use the heated oven for something else.)
  • Trim 1/4 lb sprouts. Cut large sprouts in half.
  • Trim 2 ounces of pearl onions. Blanch in boiling water. Drain and remove outer layer of skin.
  • In a medium hot skillet; add the onions and sprouts to 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté a few minutes until the sprouts begin to brown.
  • Prepare a syrup mix of 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/2 cup of water. Add syrup to the pan of vegetables. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the sprouts are tender and the liquid is reduced to a glaze, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve hot.

Deborah.....who likes her greens quick cooked in garlicky olive oil and mixed in with the potatoes and chives. (IF there are leftovers they make amazing potato cakes for breakfast)
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 12:13 pm

nKedrOoStEr wrote:+1 Too Tall. I love greens, and without a doubt they are excellent when properl prepared and seasoned. I love Beet greens sauteed with bacon, onion and garlic. Then sprinkled with a lil bit of hot pepper vinegar. Yum. Yum.

I had beet greens for the first time over the summer and wow....they were so good. All I did was saute them in margarine, a little salt and pepper. Very Happy
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/11/2011, 12:16 pm

Lavender Debs wrote:There is a mini washing machine for greens called a salad spinner. A must have! I refused to buy one for years because they are expensive for something made of plastic, but once I got one I wondered how I could live without it.

My side dishes are squash with apples and Brussels sprouts. Like your greens, I despised sprouts as a child. They were boiled to death and smothered in melted cheeze wiz. YUCK! They are probably the reason I do not like nachos with cheeze wiz. Once I learned to sauté them I discovered a food that I love.

This is the first sautéed Brussels sprout recipe I made (from "The Voluptuous Vegan--don't let the name scare you)


  • Preheat oven to 350*f. Toast 1/4 cup of pecans 7 minutes (this can be done in a fry pan unless you plan to use the heated oven for something else.)
  • Trim 1/4 lb sprouts. Cut large sprouts in half.
  • Trim 2 ounces of pearl onions. Blanch in boiling water. Drain and remove outer layer of skin.
  • In a medium hot skillet; add the onions and sprouts to 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sauté a few minutes until the sprouts begin to brown.
  • Prepare a syrup mix of 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/2 cup of water. Add syrup to the pan of vegetables. Reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the sprouts are tender and the liquid is reduced to a glaze, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve hot.

Deborah.....who likes her greens quick cooked in garlicky olive oil and mixed in with the potatoes and chives. (IF there are leftovers they make amazing potato cakes for breakfast)


That sounds good. I was actually thinking of making some sort of brussel sprout dish for this Thanksgiving. This one sounds like a winner.

And yes.....I do have a salad spinner. I don't know how I lived without one Very Happy
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/12/2011, 9:31 am

And yes.....I do have a salad spinner. I don't know how I lived without one

I don't know how anyone could survive without one. I put all kinds of veggies in mine to wash and dry. Works great

One dish I always serve at Thanksgiving, is spaghetti squash. Its the perfect time of year for it and its incredibly simple. Typically when people do squash, they add what I call "Christmas Spice". You know, brown sugar, all spice, cinnamon, ginger etc... That's all good and fits right in, but I also like mine on the savory side.
Preheat oven to 350*
Split 2 large spag. squash length wise. Be careful! Scoop out all the seeds, and rub or spray generously inside and out with olive oil. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and kosher salt inside and out. Lay face down on a cookie sheet. I actually use a large cast iron plate which works great! Roast in the oven till face side is nice and carmalized, you can also poke the outside pretty easily with a fork.
Cool squash. Scrape out the meaty goodness into a large bowl and sprinkle generously with some good grated parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste and just a tiny, tiny pinch of cumin. The point of the cumin is to add complexity, not the cumin flavor itself. Just enough to make people wonder...Mix it all up. Place in a baking dish, top with some additional grated cheese and bake till nice and hot.
If you want, you can roast the squash a day ahead, and finish it the day of.

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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/12/2011, 9:43 am

I really like spaghetti squash. Some time ago my sister and I were at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. She ordered spaghetti squash marinara. Wow that was really good!

Now I really can't wait till Thanksgiving.

I love all of the good food!
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  sherryeo on 11/12/2011, 12:13 pm

Oooh, I envy all of you who have homegrown winter squash, spaghetti squash or sweet potatoes to go with Thanksgiving dinner. I want to try all that, just didn't get around to ordering seeds/seed potatoes this time around.

Too Tall, I had the roasted spaghetti squash at Ruby Tuesday as a side dish a while back. It was the best thing on the plate, even though I had ordered the seafood I so dearly love as an entree!

Yummmm!
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  llama momma on 11/12/2011, 12:24 pm

Back to the Salad Spinner -- I got so tired of 30+ years watching my husband dry off his salad with a napkin. It use to make me crazy. You know what he found under last year's Christmas tree? Yep. You should've seen the look on his face knowing he probably was the only man on earth getting a salad spinner for Christmas. Once he got over that, he's been spinning that thing probably 2-3 times a week. Me, I don't care if my greens are wet!
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Salad spinner trick

Post  southern gardener on 11/12/2011, 12:46 pm

OK...I learned this salad spinner trick a looong time ago. Put your greens etc in a lingerie bag, affraid affraid one of those bags for delicate items you wash, put the bag with your greens in it in your washing machine on "spin", let it go for about 1-2 min, and voila your greens will be dry as a bone! You can put LOTS in a bag too!
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/12/2011, 1:17 pm

southern gardener wrote:OK...I learned this salad spinner trick a looong time ago. Put your greens etc in a lingerie bag, affraid affraid one of those bags for delicate items you wash, put the bag with your greens in it in your washing machine on "spin", let it go for about 1-2 min, and voila your greens will be dry as a bone! You can put LOTS in a bag too!

LOL...this is funny....talking about odd uses for different things. I remember back in 1993 I was an assistant manager at a Pizza Hut delivery. The one afternoon we ran out of ham slices(about the same size as pepperoni) and the only ones we had were frozen in a big block and sealed inside a heavy-duty plastic bag. Well I had a brilliant idea of thawing that out in a hurry. Knowing that it was vacuum-sealed tightly inside plastic, I disconnected all of the detergent and sanitizer dispensers from the dish washer we had, and ran it once to wash out the inside. It was one of those quick, less than 5 minutes machines. I put the frozen block of ham inside the dish washer and ran it through several times until the ham was thawed enough to peel apart.
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  llama momma on 11/12/2011, 1:19 pm

Ahh! No !! Really!!! What?? That's so funny to me because I can't make the mental leap to accept salad from the same place where dirty barn clothes and socks, etc. once swooshed around in, but hey, that's me.....
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/12/2011, 1:24 pm

llama momma wrote:Ahh! No !! Really!!! What?? That's so funny to me because I can't make the mental leap to accept salad from the same place where dirty barn clothes and socks, etc. once swooshed around in, but hey, that's me.....

I would at least run an empty load with a touch of bleach in it.

LOL...it's amazing if ya ask me
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  southern gardener on 11/12/2011, 1:32 pm

@llama and TTT, I know! It took me a while too! Once I started in, it was sooo easy and fast! The "greens" don't touch the washer, they're in a bag, but it was strange! What a Face What a Face
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  llama momma on 11/12/2011, 1:33 pm

Hah, nope I still can't do it. If I ever need dry salad my other half can spin it for me. I can't even see the reason for dry salad to begin with because my husband first spins it dry then re-wets it anyway with dressing. He is not a normally fussy man either. He simply doesn't want the dressing diluted by water. I don't care period. Very Happy
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  southern gardener on 11/12/2011, 1:35 pm

I started "spinning" stuff because it was rotting so quickly from the water. Food is/was too expensive to turn to "slime". We kept our greens for a week, even longer sometimes when it's good and dry. cheers
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  llama momma on 11/12/2011, 2:35 pm

There you go! Then that works well for those reasons and all is good!
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Re: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/12/2011, 2:51 pm

southern gardener wrote:OK...I learned this salad spinner trick a looong time ago. Put your greens etc in a lingerie bag, affraid affraid one of those bags for delicate items you wash, put the bag with your greens in it in your washing machine on "spin", let it go for about 1-2 min, and voila your greens will be dry as a bone! You can put LOTS in a bag too!

I wonder if this is how Adam and Eve washed their fig leaves
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