If you’re looking to switch things up this year or simply fill any last-minute gaps in your Thanksgiving menu, the Food Network’s Pat and Gina Neely have two recipes for side dishes that will give the turkey a run for its money as the centerpiece of your feast.
Stars of their eponymous TV show, Down Home with the Neelys, Pat and Gina recently released The Neelys’ Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion. Packed with recipes for year-round occasions and peppered with personal entertaining tips, the book also breathes new life into two long-time Thanksgiving standbys – cranberry sauce and carrots.
While down-home soul food isn’t necessarily known for being healthy, these two dishes are still a great way to sneak some extra vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber into your holiday meal. And to give them a bit of a healthier spin, simply try halving the sugar in the cranberry relish and the butter in the carrot recipe. Happy eating!
Cranberry Chipotle Relish (makes: 3 ½ cups)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 chipotle pepper packed in adobo, minced
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it foams. Toss in the shallot, and sauté until soft, about two minutes. Season the shallot with a touch of salt. Stir in the raisins, cranberries, orange juice, water, sugar and chipotle pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring on occasion, for 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until ready to serve.
Maple Glazed Carrots (serves: 8)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, halved if thick, trimmed into 1-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter foams, sauté the carrots until they are crisp-tender, about four or five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the broth and maple syrup into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove cover, and continue to cook for another six to eight minutes over high heat, until the carrots are tender and glazed with the syrup. Toss with the lemon juice and parsley, and serve.
For more on the Neelys and their recipes for all occasions, visit GinaAndPat.com.