ONLINE EXTRA -- SCRUMPTIOUS SIDES: Oyster Stuffing . . . Overnight Mashed Potatoes with Herb Cheese and Buttered Crumbs . . . Steam-Roasted Vegetables, etc.

Oyster Stuffing Nonstick cooking spray 1 loaf (1 pound) Italian bread, sliced 2 cups finely chopped celery 2 cups finely chopped onion 3/4 cup butter Turkey broth 2 teaspoons lemon juice 3 jars (8 to 10 ounces each) fresh oysters, drained and cut...

Oyster Stuffing

Nonstick cooking spray

1 loaf (1 pound) Italian bread, sliced

2 cups finely chopped celery

2 cups finely chopped onion


¾ cup butter

Turkey broth

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 jars (8 to 10 ounces each) fresh oysters, drained and cut up (reserve liquid)

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Dry bread slices on rack in 250-degree oven for 1 to 1¼ hours, or let air-dry overnight.

Lightly coat a 2½-quart casserole or baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In skillet, saute celery and onion in butter until tender.

Break bread into ½-inch pieces, making about 11 cups; place in large mixing bowl. Add turkey broth and lemon juice to oyster liquid to make ½ cup. Sprinkle mixture over bread, tossing lightly. Add onion-celery mixture and oysters to bread; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with nutmeg, poultry seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover and immediately bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

Overnight Mashed Potatoes with Herb Cheese and Buttered Crumbs

3½ pounds baking or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 4- to 5-ounce packages French Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs (see note)


¾ cup milk

4 tablespoons butter, divided

½ to ¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup dry bread crumbs

Steam the potatoes over boiling water about 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain. Either rice the potatoes into a mixing bowl, or mash lightly with a potato masher.

Add cheese, milk, 3 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper. Mash until smooth. Pile lightly into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bring casserole out of refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Bake covered in a preheated 325-degree oven about 1 hour or until heated through.


Toss bread crumbs with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, which has been melted, and sprinkle buttered crumbs over potatoes. Continue baking, uncovered, about 30 minutes longer.

Note: Garlic-herb flavored Alouette cheese can be substituted for the Boursin.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10.

Steam-Roasted Vegetables

4 medium carrots

4 medium parsnips

3 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon ground cumin


2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel carrots and parsnips; cut in half down the length, then across on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices. (The carrots can be prepared a day ahead, but the parsnips should be prepped the day of cooking because they will discolor.)

In a large bowl, toss vegetables with the olive oil, cumin, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Divide vegetables between two sheets of aluminum foil, each about 2 feet long. Fold the foil over the vegetables and seal the edges by crimping to form an airtight package. Place the packages on a baking sheet.

Roast the vegetables in a preheated 450-degree oven 10 minutes. Flip the packages over and continue roasting an additional 10 minutes. To test if the vegetables are done, wrap your forefinger in a towel and press it against the packet. The vegetables should give slightly. If still hard, return to the oven and cook 5 minutes longer. Let the packages rest 5 minutes before cutting through the foil.

Note: The vegetables can be made the morning they will be served. To reheat, transfer to a baking dish and place in a 300-degree oven for about 20 minutes; or heat in a microwave until warm.


Yield: Serves 8,

Potatoes Au Gratin with Brie and Chives

Nonstick cooking spray

2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

10 ounces Brie cheese

About 1 cup reduced-sodium and reduced-fat chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 2½-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cut potatoes into quarters and place in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Steam 15 minutes. Drain in a colander. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and dice into ½-inch cubes.

Spread potatoes in prepared baking dish. Add salt, pepper and chives, mixing well. Cut the rind off the Brie and discard. Cut Brie into pieces and place on top of potatoes. Pour ¾ cup broth over potatoes.

Place baking dish in oven and bake 20 minutes. Check liquid surrounding potatoes and add a little additional broth if necessary. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 40 minutes longer, or until top is golden brown and the potatoes are soft. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: Serves 10.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Tangerines, Pomegranate Pistachios


2 large, heavy heads butter lettuce

4 tangerines

1 pomegranate

3 tablespoons shelled green pistachios, coarsely chopped


½ teaspoon tangerine zest, minced

2 tablespoons tangerine juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or 1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To prepare the salad: Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Tear into pieces and place in a salad bowl; cover with a paper towel and refrigerate. (If making several hours in advance, put torn lettuce into a plastic container, cover and refrigerate.)

Zest one of the tangerines and set aside for the dressing. Then cut a thin sliver from the tops and bottoms of each, set on a flat end and cut away the peel and white pith. Slice between the membranes to remove the citrus slices. Squeeze 2 tablespoons tangerine juice from the pith and peels; set aside. Refrigerate tangerines in a covered bowl or plastic container.

Split the pomegranate in half crosswise. Gently remove ¼ cup seeds with a teaspoon; discard any bits of membrane. Cover and refrigerate seeds. (Refrigerate remaining pomegranate for another use.) Chop pistachios and set aside in a jar or small plastic bag until ready to use.

To prepare dressing: In a small jar, combine tangerine zest and juice, vinegar, molasses or honey, salt and pepper. Close jar and shake well to combine. Add olive oil, blend well and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, drain tangerines well. Shake dressing to blend and toss a little with lettuce. Add tangerines, pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Drizzle with just enough additional dressing to coat salad lightly.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10.

Broccoli with Onion-Jack Sauce

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1½ cups milk

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Salt and ground pepper to taste

3 pounds fresh broccoli, cut up

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook briefly. Add milk; cook, stirring, until sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Stir in cheese in several additions until it melts. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook broccoli in about 1 cup salted water until crisp-tender. Drain well. Place broccoli on a platter or in a shallow serving dish and top with onion sauce.

Yield: Serves 8.

Green Bean, Mushroom and Pecan Cobbler

1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ cup milk

12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

¾ cup pecan halves

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon Tabasco

½ teaspoon each salt and pepper


1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cold butter, diced

½ cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Blanch the green beans in boiling water 2 minutes; drain well. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until softened. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the green beans, mushrooms, pecans, Cheddar cheese, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Spread in a 10-inch baking dish. (Can be made to this point up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. To make biscuit topping, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or rub into the flour with your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk and stir just until dough comes together.

Turn out on a floured work surface. Pat out to ½-inch thick. Cut into random-sized pieces and shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Arrange on top in a crazy-quilt pattern, letting filling show through in spots. Brush with melted butter. Bake 25 minutes or until filling bubbles and topping is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: Serves 8.

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole

4 to 5 medium sweet potatoes

4 to 5 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil

¼ cup apple cider

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Roast for 30 minutes. Toss garlic cloves with vegetable or olive oil and add to pan with sweet potatoes. Continue to roast until potatoes and garlic cloves are soft, about 30 minutes longer.

Hold sweet potatoes with an oven mitt while you pull off the skins. Cut into chunks and place in bowl of electric mixer. Squeeze garlic from skins and add to sweet potatoes. Add cider and 2 tablespoons butter and beat until smooth.

Spread sweet potatoes in a baking dish or casserole. (Can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.) Mix 1 tablespoon butter, walnuts and brown sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees until heated throughout and topping is lightly brown.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

4 to 5 pounds potatoes, such as russet, Idaho or Yukon gold

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

1 8-ounce container sour cream

1 to 1½ cups milk

½ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground white pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

About 2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces

Chopped fresh chives or paprika

Peel potatoes and cut into chunks, dropping into a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes.

Place potatoes in bowl of electric mixer. Beat in cream cheese. (If necessary, work in batches with half the potatoes and cream cheese, then combine.) Beat in sour cream and add milk in additions until potatoes are fluffy. Add salt and white pepper.

Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread potatoes in dish. Sprinkle with a little paprika, if using. Cool, cover tightly and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dot with butter and bake until potatoes are heated through and top is lightly browned in spots, 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, if using.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

Wild Rice with Red and Green Grapes

1¼ cups wild rice

1¼ cups converted white rice (such as Uncle Ben's)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

¼ to ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed

1 cup each seedless red and green grapes, halved lengthwise

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook wild rice in boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Add white rice, return to a boil and cook 10 minutes more. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large, heavy casserole over medium heat. Saute onions, celery and mushrooms 5 to 10 minutes, until mushroom liquid evaporates. Stir in reserved rice. Add broth, thyme and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to oven.

Bake until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.

(Rice can be made ahead to this point. Cool, cover and refrigerate; reheat, covered, in a 350-degree oven until hot, 15 to 20 minutes.)

To finish, stir in grapes and return to oven for 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and parsley. Serve in a warm bowl or on a warm platter.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 218 calories, 24 percent of calories from fat, 5.8 grams fat (1.7 grams saturated, 2.6 grams monounsaturated), 5.5 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams protein, 35.5 grams carbohydrates, 2.6 grams fiber, 301 milligrams sodium.

Garlicky Cranberry Chutney

1 1-inch cube fresh ginger

½ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 16-ounce can jellied cranberry sauce

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Cut the ginger into paper-thin slices. Stack the slices together and cut them into very thin slivers.

In a small saucepan, combine the ginger, vinegar, sugar, garlic and jalapeno; bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until there is about One-quarter cup liquid left, excluding the solids. Stir in the cranberry sauce, salt and pepper to taste; bring to a simmer. The sauce will be a bit lumpy, but that's fine.

Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Let cool in the pan; refrigerate.

Yield: Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis per ¼-cup serving: 114 calories, 1 percent of calories from fat, 0.1 grams fat (no saturated, no monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 0.2 grams protein, 28.7 grams carbohydrates, 0.6 grams fiber, 198 milligrams sodium.

Chiffonade of Brussels Sprouts with Diced Bacon and Cashews

2 pounds Brussels sprouts

4 slices bacon, finely diced

½ cup chopped, toasted cashews

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Trim the stem end of the Brussels sprouts and discard any yellow or spotted outer leaves. Cut Brussels sprouts into thin slices. (Or you can shred the sprouts in a food processor with the coarse shredding disk, but the results won't be as pretty.) Place in a bowl, separate strands with your fingers and set aside.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon, stirring, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels. Set aside. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan. (Dish may be prepared several hours ahead to this point. Refrigerated Brussels sprouts, covered. Hold bacon and fat a room temperature.)

Just before serving, reheat the bacon fat over medium-high. Saute the Brussels sprouts, stirring often, until crisp-tender and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bacon, cashews, salt and pepper; toss to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Yield: Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 97 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat, 5 grams fat (1.2 grams saturated, 2.7 grams monounsaturated), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 5.1 grams protein, 10.4 grams carbohydrates, 3.9 grams fiber, 307 milligrams sodium.

Sauteed Green Beans with Shallot Crisps

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

Vegetable oil

6 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Up to 3 days ahead of time, cook the beans briefly -- 1 to 2 minutes -- in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and refrigerate, covered, until needed.

Up to 4 hours ahead of time, heat about 1½ inches of oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high until hot but not smoking. (Test by adding a slice of shallot; if the oil begins to sizzle without splattering and the shallot turns golden, the oil is ready.) Using a slotted spoon, put about 1/3 of the shallot slices in the pan. Fry until they are crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining shallots. Set aside at room temperature.

Just before serving, heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil; swirl to coat the pan. Saute beans, stirring frequently, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the beans to a warmed serving bowl and garnish with the shallot crisps.

Yield: Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 78 calories, 61 percent of calories from fat, 5.2 grams fat (1.9 grams saturated, 2.7 grams monounsaturated), 6.6 milligrams cholesterol, 1.8 grams protein, 7.5 grams carbohydrates, 3.1 grams fiber, 6.4 milligrams sodium.

Molasses-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds total)

8 small carrots (1 pound total)

4 medium parsnips (1 pound total)


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup molasses

4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

½ cup half-and-half

Freshly ground pepper

Peel vegetables and cut into 1-inch chunks. Combine in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add a dash of salt, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Set the pot over low heat, uncovered, and let the vegetables dry for about 2 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally so they don't stick.

Pass the vegetables through a food mill or mash them by hand. Stir in the butter, sour cream, molasses, ginger and half-and-half. (If you're preparing the potatoes ahead, save ¼ cup of the half-and-half for reheating.) Add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste; adjust seasonings and serve.

Yield: Serves 10.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 240 calories, 29 percent of calories from fat, 7.8 grams fat (4.6 grams saturated, 2.2 grams monounsaturated), 19.7 milligrams cholesterol, 3.1 grams protein, 41.1 grams carbohydrates, 6.3 grams fiber, 43 milligrams sodium.

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