At Abt, we’re used to helping customers find just the right appliances for their kitchen. This Holiday Season, we thought we’d try to help with ideas on what to make on all of those appliances we’ve put into people’s homes. Here are a few favorite holiday recipes from a couple of our more Epicurean employees.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This one comes to us from Ken, our Director of E-commerce. Ken doesn’t normally like sweet potato dishes, which he normally thinks are too dense, mushy and sweet. He describes this variation: “The sweet flavor of rich, soft, pillowy sweet potatoes was not overbearing, and the nutty topping is a great addition for texture.”
4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.
Silky, Buttery Cauliflower Puree
Leah, one of our Internet Merchandisers, loves to try recipes that put a unique twist on traditional meals. The next few recipes are some of her favorites. She says: “Have some mashed potato lovers in the family? Put them to the ultimate test with this recipe. This silky, buttery and delicious recipe is just as good as your home style mashed potato recipe, and maybe even better! With just simple ingredients, you can create this tasty side dish in no time!”
Two 2-pound heads of cauliflower cored and separated into 2-inch florets
2 cups of heavy cream
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower florets until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well.
- Spread the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, to dry it out.
- In a small saucepan over moderate heat, heat up olive oil and add the sprigs of Thyme — cook for about 2-3 minutes to really get that thyme flavor into the oil.
- Add in the heavy cream with the butter, and bring to a simmer just until the butter is melted.
- Working in batches, puree cauliflower in a blender with the warm cream mixture
- Transfer to a microwave safe bowl that will fit your Cauliflower Puree.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Teeny Tiny Roasted Garlic Potatoes
Leah says: “On all the occasions I’ve made this side dish, it has always been a hit. Guests love these yummy potatoes! Teeny Tiny Potatoes or fingerlings are bound to be a hit. They have smooth skin, and they’re firm but creamy and so flavorful.”
2 pounds Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny Potatoes (You can also use Fingerlings or New Potatoes)
a few pinches of Garlic Salt or regular salt
a few pinches of cracked Black Pepper
a handful of chopped fresh herbs such as Thyme or Rosemary
1 tablespoon melted butter
- Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. Rinse potatoes and pat dry.
- Toss them with some olive oil until glistening, garlic salt or regular salt, and pepper.
- Put potatoes in a single layer on the sheet pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until soft and browned to your liking.
- Toss halfway through baking time. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit.
- Transfer to bowl, and toss potatoes with melted ghee or butter and fresh or dried herbs.
Mini Eggplant Pizzas
This one’s a little different for Thanksgiving, but for those trying to add a bit of healthiness to the feast, it makes a great low-carb appetizer or side dish. Choose the toppings yourself, or make a little topping bar, let your guests build their own pizza and pop them in the broiler when toppings are chosen. You’d be surprised to see how many kinds of mini pizzas your guests can come up with, and the kids always love the option!
This recipe will make about 18-20 mini pizzas.
3 globe eggplants, about 8 ounces and 9-10 inches long (try to get ones without weird curves, it’ll be easier for cutting)
Salt for drawing moisture out
olive oil for brushing eggplants
Dried Italian seasonings for sprinkling on each eggplant before roasting
3 cups of finely grated low-fat mozzarella blend cheese
2 jars of 24 oz. spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
Parmesan or red pepper flakes if desired.
Toppings of your choice
- Cut off both ends of each eggplant, then cut into ¾ inch thick slices (try to make them the same thickness)
- Put the slices on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt (this will draw out any excess moisture)
- Let the eggplants sit for about 30 minutes to dry out any moisture. After 15 minutes, turn on the oven and pre heat at 375ºF/ 190ºC
- While eggplant sits, heat the spaghetti/ pizza sauce to a low simmer until ready for use.
- After 30 minutes wipe the eggplant slices dry with paper towels (removes excess salt as well). Spray a roasting/baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray. Lay eggplant slices and brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with dried Italian seasoning.
- Roast the eggplant for 25 minutes (not too long where the slices become mushy and lose its shape)
- While the eggplants are roasting, prep your toppings ( some fresh basil, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, bacon,… the choices are endless)
- Once the eggplant is done roasted, spread a few tablespoons of sauce on each slice, top with your toppings, and finish with a generous topping of cheese.
- Switch on the broiler and put under broiler until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Keep an eye on them!
- Serve hot, sprinkle with grated parmesan or red pepper flakes if desired.
Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
Let’s face it. There are times when you just have to cut loose, no matter healthy you normally eat during the rest of the year. This creamy, cheesy side dish is one of Leah’s favorite holiday recipes.
For Crumb Topping
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups of panko Japanese bread crumbs
3 table spoons chopped fresh chives
Optional: 3 strips of cooked bacon, chopped for topping or 3 tablespoons of bacon bits
For Pasta and Sauce
1 head garlic
1 pound uncooked pasta (such as cavatappi, shells or rigatoni)
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
5 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cheddar cheese (white, yellow or a mix of both)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Make the crumb topping
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs, chives and cooked bacon or bacon bits. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Transfer to small bowl and set aside.
Make the pasta and sauce
- Slice the top one-third of the head of the garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil. Drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of the garlic and crumple the foil to create a sealed packet. Roast for 30 minutes
- Remove the roasted garlic from oven and squeeze the cloves into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the cloves into a paste and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, BUT reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
- Butter a 13×9 inch shallow baking dish
- In a large heavy sauce pot, melt 1 stick of butter over medium-low heat
- Stir in the flower and garlic paste. Cook the roux and stir constantly for 3 minutes until golden.
- Whisk in milk, and bring the sauce to a boil while whisking constantly. Then reduce it and bring it to a simmer. Let this cook for about 3 minutes
- Stir in shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and mustard powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Add the reserved ½ cup of pasta water and pasta to the sauce, stirring to combine. (don’t worry if its soupy, its normal)
- Transfer the pasta to the buttered baking dish. And sprinkle with the bacon bit and crumb topping
- Place baking dish on a sheet tray (in case it over bubbles) and bake the macaroni and cheese for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown and bubbling.
Bacon Cornbread Stuffing
We go back to Ken—who will add bacon to pretty much any food dish possible—for this twist on this Thanksgiving staple.
2 loaves corn bread (homemade preferred, but store bought is okay too)
6 large celery stalks
2 large onions
1 stalk of green onion
3 garlic cloves mashed
1 pound sliced bacon
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh thyme, sage, rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 325° F. and butter a 4-quart baking dish.
- Cut corn bread into 1/2-inch cubes and dry in 2 large shallow baking pans in oven 20 minutes. Remove corn bread from oven and leave oven at 325° F. Coarsely chop separately celery, garlic, onions, and bacon (save some bacon to garnish).
- In a large, deep skillet sauté bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add celery, garlic and onions and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- In a large bowl toss together corn bread and bacon mixture and transfer to baking dish.
- Drizzle stock or broth over stuffing and bake, covered, 1 hour. Drizzle melted butter over stuffing and bake, uncovered, in upper third of oven 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.
- Remove from oven and top with crispy bacon and chopped green onions.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
And of course, what’s a Thanksgiving dinner without the pumpkin pie? This recipe is from Bryan, Abt’s Digital Marketing Director, who loves pumpkin pie but doesn’t have the time to deal with making this holiday mainstay from scratch. With just a few ingredients and simple preparation instructions, this pumpkin pie provides plenty of yum with a minimum investment of time.
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Top with ice cream, whipped cream or nothing at all. Enjoy!