Thanksgiving has become an interesting holiday. For the past few years, the Accidental Locavore has traded her apron for clown make-up and marches in the Macy*s Thanksgiving Parade. When I’m not clowning around, these are a couple of my favorite side dish recipes. The first is a delicious cranberry sauce, the second a great way to combine pearl onions and Brussels sprouts (and you can still find local ones) so everyone will love them.
Cranberry, Onion and Apricot Confit:
- 2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (I use the slab apricots from Trader Joes)
Melt the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat, add the onions and sugar, stir, and cook until the onions are pale golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the vinegar, water, cranberries, a pinch of salt, and cook the mixture, stirring for 10-15 minutes until the cranberries have burst and are soft. Stir in the apricots and cook for one more minute. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can make this ahead as it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks covered.
Brussels Sprouts and Pearl Onions in Horseradish Cream (adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1 bag frozen pearl onions thawed (true confessions, I always buy pearl onions frozen, it’s such a pain to peel them, but if you want to go the fresh route, blanch them and peel them)
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half the long way
- 3 tablespoons horseradish (feel free to use more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (you could use nutmeg)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Cook the Brussels sprouts until just tender either in a microwave for 5 minutes, or boil them in salted water for about 6 minutes. Drain well and set aside. Combine the horseradish, flour and allspice in a small bowl, mix well and whisk in the cream. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the thyme and stir 30 seconds. Add the onions and Brussels sprouts and saute until heated through, about 4 minutes. Add the horseradish mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced to a glaze, coating the vegetables, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more horseradish if you like. Serve and enjoy.