I love side dishes. I know they aren’t supposed to be the ‘star’ of the meal, but some of my favorite foods are considered side dishes. For example, green bean casserole is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner with mashed potatoes coming in at a close second. This past week I made two side dishes that I could eat as my entire meal they were so good. In fact, I did take the leftovers as my lunch the next day and I felt completely satisfied (except that I wanted more).
First I made a Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin using Gouda cheese. I got the idea for this dish from a dinner party we went to recently. They made a delicious au gratin using sweet potatoes which I had never thought to do. I don’t know what cheese they used so I went with gouda. I have seen other recipes using gruyere, but I could not find any at my grocery store and gouda worked out really well. So simple to make, yet so complex in flavor. I’ve always loved the taste of rosemary and sweet potatoes so I know I wanted to add some to the dish. The sweetness of the potatoes mixed with the smokiness of the cheese was a delicious pairing. What my husband really loved is that it was not too greasy like some au gratins can be. This recipe made 4-6 servings depending on if you are using it as a side dish or your only dish. It is easy to make in larger quantities though, just double the amounts and use a larger baking dish.
- Peel and slice 2 large sweet potatoes, being careful to make them all the same width so that they cook evenly.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine 1/2 cup of half and half (you can use actually heavy cream or even milk, whatever you have in your fridge) with 2 Tbsp of dried rosemary, 1 Tbsp of garlic powder and a pinch of salt.
- Add the sliced sweet potatoes to the cream mixture, coating each slice.
- Line the bottom of a greased baking dish (1 and 1/2 qt circular dish or 8×8 square dish) with a layer of the sweet potatoes, then top evenly with a layer of gouda cheese (I used pre sliced pieces from the deli section and that worked perfectly), repeat the layering and finish it with a layer of sweet potatoes on top. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the potatoes and cheese.
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and press down on the sweet potatoes with a spatula so that the cream covers them again. Continue to bake at 375 for another 20 minutes and then remove press with the spatula again. Continue to bake at 375 for 10 more minutes. It should get very crispy and bubbly and it should become very brown on top.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, green bean casserole is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. My aunt also makes something similar using mixed vegetables that I love so I created a dish that brings these two delicious side dishes together and tastes great. I will call it Mixed Veggie Casserole.
- Saute sliced baby carrots with 1 Tbsp each of olive oil and minced garlic in a sauce pan. While they are cooking slice up the rest of the veggies-portobello mushroom, 1/2 bunch of cauliflower and 1 bunch of broccoli.
- Add the cauliflower to the carrots and continue to cook for a few minutes before adding the broccoli and mushrooms. Add 1/4 cup of white wine and cover the pan. Let the vegetables cook for 5 minutes until they start to become soft.
- Pour the vegetables into a baking dish (2 and 1/2 qt circular dish or 9×13 rectangular dish), add 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle the top with garlic salt and black pepper.
- Top with fried onion pieces and grated swiss cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown.
Ingredients for the Sweet Potatoes Au Gratin:
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced evenly
- 4 oz of gouda cheese
- 1/2 cup of half and half (milk or heavy cream works too)
- 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch of salt
Ingredients for Mixed Veggie Casserole:
- 1/2 small bag of baby carrots chopped
- 1 portobello mushroom cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 bunch of cauliflower chopped
- 1 bunch of broccoli chopped
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup
- 4 oz of grated swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup of fried onion pieces
- 1/2 tsp each of garlic salt and black pepper