Holidays, On The Side

Holidays, On the Side

Photography by Mark O. Ramirez

Side dishes can make the holiday turkey or ham extra-special, making the gathering around the table extra-memorable. Try these twists on classic favorites for your food-centric-celebrations this season!



Cast Iron Vegan Sage Cornbread

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1⁄4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup soy milk
1⁄4 cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons for the pan
1 ½ tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chiffonade plus 8-10 whole leaves for garnish

Place an 8 inch cast iron skillet in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.

Place the ground flax seed in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over top, stirring well to combine. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

When oven and pan are preheated, carefully pour the 2 tablespoons in the pan and return to the oven to heat while you prepare the batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, canola oil and chiffonade sage to the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat).

Pour into preheated skillet. Gently arrange the sage leaves on top, pressing lightly to adhere to the batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.



Candied Yams

5 yams, peeled and sliced into ½ inch coins
½ pound butter, cubed
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Spray rectangle baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer the sweet potato coins in the pan. Mix dry ingredients together and sprinkle on the top of the sweet potatoes. Add cubed butter on top of the potatoes, and then the dry ingredients. Cover with foil and bake for 1 and ½ hours or until sweet potatoes are tender.



Baked Mac & Cheese

1/2 pound elbow pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
12 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 cups, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, paprika and onion powder until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in evaporated milk until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese and parmesan. Stir in pasta; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide pasta mixture into 5 (10-ounce) or 6 (8-ounce) ramekins or oven-proof bowls. Place onto a baking sheet; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese. Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.



Brown Butter Meringue

5 large egg whites
1 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups brown butter

Whip egg whites, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer (such as Kitchen-Aid) on high with whisk attachment; mix until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed by half. Add brown butter 2 tablespoons at a time. The meringue will deflate slightly after butter is added. Place mixture in a piping bag with your favorite tip, and pipe onto sweet potatoes.



Sweet Potato Hash

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ¼” cubes
2 Idaho potatoes, cut into ¼” cubes
½ medium red onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
Salt and pepper to paste

Set fryer to 300 degrees. Fry sweet potatoes for around 4 minutes; add Idaho potatoes and fry for around 2 minutes or until a fork can go through. Remove from fryer and let grease drain off on a paper towel.
After removing the grease, mix your potatoes, onions and peppers in a mixing bowl. In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter then add potato mixture; salt and pepper to taste. Saute until onions and peppers become tender. Remove from heat and serve.

Share Holiday's On the Side from 4Memphis!