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FOOD FOR THOUGHT - November 23, 2004 - Mark R. Vogel -

When individuals contemplate what to make for their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, there’s usually more indecision regarding the side dishes.  After all, the Thanksgiving turkey is perfunctory and Christmas will inevitably be yet another turkey or a roast of some kind.  But there is a staggering array of potential side dishes.  Here are a few ideas.


    Chicken broth as needed
    Salt & pepper
    Chopped parsley


This is an elegant looking, although time consuming dish.  You’ll need an equal amount, (by weight), of the three vegetables, after trimming.  Figure on four to six ounces per person. 
First, peel the carrots, trim the celery, and remove the dark green parts of the leeks. Leeks are very sandy by the way and must be rinsed thoroughly. Then weigh out an equal amount of each vegetable. 
Next, julienne the vegetables into strips about 2½ inches long and no more than one eighth inch wide.  
Then take the dark part of the leeks and cut strips ¼ inch wide.  Blanch the strips in boiling water for no more than ten seconds and then run under cold water. 
Gather up equal amounts of the julienned vegetables and make little bundles about an inch in thickness. Tie the bundles with the dark green leek strips, trimming the excess. Place the tied bundles in a sauté pan and add enough chicken broth to come half way up.  Add butter, salt and pepper and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are soft. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before service.

     An alternative to this recipe, which eliminates one step, is to forgo making bundles out of the vegetables.  After slicing them, either simmer them in the chicken broth and butter, or sauté them in butter and/or olive oil with no broth.



    · 2 lbs carrots, parsnips or a combination thereof
    · Water as needed
    · Butter to taste
    · 2 tablespoons sugar
    · Salt and white pepper to taste
    · Chopped parsley


    Peel and cut the vegetables to the size and shape you desire.  The thicker they are however, the longer they will take to cook.  Add them to a sauté pan with enough water to come half way up the sides of the vegetables. Add the butter, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and continue to cook, partially covered, until tender.  Remove the lid when they are almost done so that some of the water can evaporate, thus producing a syrupy glaze.  Sprinkle with parsley when finished.




    · 4 Idaho potatoes peeled and chopped into a large dice.
    · 6 ounces heavy cream
    · 3 ounces butter
    · Salt and pepper to taste
    · 6 oz. Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese


    Bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain and then return them to the pan. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat to evaporate the excess water.  For extra smooth mashed potatoes, pass them through a food mill or a ricer and return them to the pan.   Or, just mash them with a hand masher, in the pan.  With the heat on low to medium, stir in the cream, butter, salt and pepper until well blended.  Stir in the cheese until it melts.  Check for additional salt and pepper and serve.


I was never crazy about cauliflower until I tried this recipe.  It’s easy to make and is unusually tasty, given that it’s cauliflower.


    · Vegetable oil, as needed
    · 1 head of cauliflower
    · 2 large egg yolks
    · 8 oz. ice water
    · 5 oz. all purpose flour plus extra for dredging


    Heat the oil to 375 degrees.  Trim the cauliflower into bite-size florets. Whisk the egg yolk and water and then mix in the flour.  Dredge the cauliflower in flour and then dip it into the batter. Fry until golden brown.  Do not over crowd them.  Fry them in batches if need be.


They’re not done on an open fire but nevertheless are a seasonal classic.  Serve them as a hors d’oeuvre or as an after dinner snack.  Simply take a bunch of chestnuts and make an X in their flat side with a paring knife.  Make sure you cut all the way through their outer shell. Place them on a baking sheet in a 450 preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  As soon as they’re cool enough to handle, peel and eat.


  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus   |   A Monarch & A Pear Tree   |   A Dickens Christmas   |   Christmas Bread Pudding   |   Christmas Cookie Exchange   |   Christmas Gift Recipes   |   The Christmas Goose   |   Christmas Indulgence   |   Holiday hors d'oeuvres   |   Holiday Hors d'oeuvres II   |   Holiday Hors D'Oeuvres III   |   Holiday Hors d’oeuvres IV   |   Holiday Hors d’oeuvres V   |   Side Dishes: One   |   Side Dishes: Two   |   Side Dishes: 3   |   Side Dishes: 4   |   Side Dishes: 5   |   Creative Holiday Ideas   |   Green Bean Casserole Variations   |   Titanic Roast Turkey   |   Turkey Prep Ideas   |   Crisco Holiday Pie Hotline   |   Stuff It   |   Foster Farms Turkey Helpline   |   Turkey Expert Tips   |   Turkey Rubs & Carving Tips   |   Cranberry History Top 10   |   Cranberry Season   |   Cranberry Winning Recipes   |   Chef Pépin Holiday Recipes   |   Pets & Holiday Safety   |   Holiday Fitness Tips   |   Holiday Food Safety   |   ARS & Holiday Season   |   Holiday Baking   |   Holiday Spice Check   |   Holiday Spice Essentials   |   Choosing A Caterer   |   Hershey’s Cookie Parties   |   Winning Bundt Recipe   |   Holiday Venison   |   London Lennies Oyster Stuffing   |   Hanukah: El Al Recipes   |   Chanukah Recipes   |   Fall Farmers' Markets   |   Leftover Turkey   |   Vegetarian Thanksgiving 1   |   Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2   |   Thanksgiving, My Favorite   |   Adopt-A-Turkey   |   Thanksgiving Away From Home   |   Green Thanksgiving   |   Perfect Thanksgiving & Recipes   |   * Turkey & Sausage Stuffing   |   * Pumpkin Layer Cake   |   Shrimp Appetizers  


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