Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here's are the winning recipes for Our Thanksgiving Side Dish Contest!

As I'm preparing for my class this Saturday teaching how to use food storage for side dishes for Thanksgiving, I decided to have a cool recipe contest/giveaway. As anyone can see from Monday's Post...however, I was  planning on actually testing all the recipes that came in. That's a crazy idea. There were too many to test them all!  It's been outstandingly amazing seeing what people have in their arsenals as far as the "go to" recipe for Thanksgiving side dishes. In fact, it's been so amazing that I've had a seriously hard time deciding who to give the goodies too. Ya know...the 5 winners! Yikes. Why do I do this? So...I decided.  I'll share the ones that stuck out as super great. A few of these use cream of mushroom soup in the recipes. I've shared my recipe in the past for how to make the cream soup replacement from scratch using food storage at a fraction of the cost.  But...I'll share it again. Updated.

 Chef Tess Cream of Condensed Soup Replacement
1/4 c flour (or gluten free: 2 T cornstarch or Ultra Gel)      1T chicken bullion granules (also available in low sodium and MSG free variety)      1T dry onion flakes      1 bay leaf      1 tsp Chef Tess All purpose seasoning  1/3 cup instant dry milk (optional)    For cream of mushroom, add 2T crushed.freeze dried mushroom
To prepare: Combine mix with 2 c milk OR sodium free broth whisking over medium heat. Heat until thick, about 10-15 minutes. For an extra rich creamy base, add 1/4 c cream cheese at the end of cooking. Use one mix to replace one can of soup.  You may cook several batches at once and then freeze them in 2 c measurements to replace a can of soup in most recipes. Cool well. If you use pint size freezer bags, they are perfect. Lay them flat when you freeze them and then they can stack very nicely. They will "curdle" a little when defrosted, but once boiled will return to that creamy texture (so it's fine to use them in recipes for casseroles and so forth.) 

Here are the winners. In random order. All were awesome!

Carrie and Brandon Heitz shared this original recipe! Carrie said, "This takes the cake over green bean casserole for my family!" 

I was intrigued but tried it! Crazy! How can so many onions taste so good?! We were shocked in a pleasant way as well! Ace ate a ton...until I told him what was in it. It threw him for a loop big time! Thank you! This was an amazing recipe! Shockingly amazing! I love that it's also so low cost, lower carbohydrate and a great melting of flavors.

Onion Casserole

4-5 small onions peeled and sliced thinly (Plain yellow onions work well, but you could use any variety)
1 can of cream of mushroom, celery, or chicken soup (1/2 amount called for of the milk or water added) (*)
1 cup of ritz (or similar) crackers crushed
1 cup of grated cheese, what ever you have on hand, I use cheddar or swiss
mix the onion soup and cheese (reserving a hand full for the top) together in a bowl season with pepper and 
add 1/3 of the onion mix then sprinkle a layer of crackers
add another layer of onion, then cracker, ending with a layer of crackers.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, and then top with reserved cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and golden.

I used Havarti Cheese...and merciful heavens. I'm in love with this casserole!

* Chef Tess note: I used my cream of mushroom soup replacement in this recipe.

Next from Renee Burton. I loved how simple this one was to make and how it used such basic ingredients...yet tasted so beautiful! The taste of the fresh carrots really shined. Thank you Renee!
She wrote, "This is a family favorite no matter when and I’m not sure where the recipe came from..."

Carrots Lyonnais
1 lb carrots cut in julienne strips
1 chicken bouillon cube (* I used 1 tsp no msg bullion powder)
½ cup boiling water
¼ cup butter
1 med. Onion sliced
1 Tablespoon flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ c water
Pinch of sugar

Pare and cut into julienne strips the 1 lb of carrots.  Cook carrots covered 10 minutes in the 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in ½ cup boiling water.Melt in a sauce pan ¼ c butter.  Add 1 med onion and cook covered 15 minutes.  Stir into the butter mixture 1 T flour ¼ tsp salt and ¾ c water.
Add carrots and stock and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Add pinch of sugar. 

Next A Mushroom Strata from Carol N. Of Kanasas, who appealed to my need to have a vegetarian entree on hand for Ace:  "Steph, this is one marvelous vegetarian dish made especially for my four veg-family members .  The response to having most all dishes but the turkey, of course, being vegetarian friendly was "Now this is more like it!"
Enjoy- Carol
Sort-of Mushroom Sandwich

Source: Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book, 2005
Preheat oven: 350 degrees F   Baking time 55 min total
Preparation time: Allow 30 min soaking time for dried mushrooms prior to preparing dish; 10 minutes total bread absorption time during prep
1/2 oz dried porchini mushrooms
4 slices white or whole-wheat sourdough bread
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lg leek, root end trimmed, dark-green section cut off and discarded
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, fresh, wiped clean, stems removed & discarded
8 oz Cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and discarded
1/4 c Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
2 sprigs Thyme, fresh, 3 inch
5 bay leaves
1 1/2 c vegetable stock, low-sodium
1 1/2 c heavy cream
4 lg eggs
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
In bowl, combine the dried porcini mushrooms with 1/2 c warm water and allow them to sit for 30 min
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until lightly browned about 10-15 min.  Rub one side of each piece of bread with one of the garlic cloves and finely chop the remaining 2 cloves
Cut the leek in half lengthwise and slice it crosswise in to 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Rinse them under cold water, drain and pat dry with a towel.
Cut off the tips of the stems of the shiitake and the Cremini mushrooms, and discard  Slice mushrooms into 1/8 inch thick slices.  Set aside 
In a large skillet over med heat, warm 2 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add leeks, chopped garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the leeks are softened, about 8-10 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic or leeks.  
Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid.  Add all the mushrooms, thyme and one bay leaf and the remaining oil and cook for another 5-7 minutes til the mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add stock and the reserved porcini liquid, taking care not to pour any of the grit that may have collected on the bottom.  Add the cream and simmer for about 5 minutes to develop the flavor.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Strain the mixture reserving the liquid.  Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard them.
Crack the eggs into a lg mixing bow and beat lightly.  Gradually- pour the stock/mushroom liquid into the eggs and combine.
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish.  Place 2 of the slices of bread in the baking dish. ( **It is important that the slices of bread fit snugly in the dish in order to cook properly.) Pour half of the liquid over the bread and allow to sit about 5 minutes, so the bread absorbs the liquid.  Spoon the mushroom-leek mixture over the bread and place the remaining bread slices over.
Pour the remaining liquid over the bread and place the bay leaves on the four corners.  cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and then foil, and lit sit for about 5 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
Place the baking dish in a large roasting pan, and fill the roasting pan with 1 inch of water.  Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil, puncture the plastic  to allow the steam to escape, then remove the plastic  Return the dish to the oven for about 10 minutes til the top of the bread is lightly browned.
I just have to say...I was really pretty. I adored the flavors and the way it just melted in my mouth. Thank you Carol!

Next Laurie Hill. She sent over this Green Rice recipe. Here's what she said, "I have really enjoyed this recipe and you got me thinking I need to make this.  I would love to see if this could be made from food storage items (milk, cheese, soup, broccoli) and still taste really good. Laurie Hill"  Well Laurie...I did convert it to food storage...and my kids horked it down!
Green Rice
1/2 small box of minute rice (instant rice) about 2 cups
2 cups of milk
1 (16 oz) bottle cheese whiz
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small bag frozen broccoli
Combine the cheese, soup, and milk.  Place rice in a 9 x 13 pan, top with the cheese mixture and then stir in the broccoli.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until lightly browned on top.

Here's my Food Storage version. It used less broccoli and was more of a cheesy rice with broccoli, but here's my recipe (pictured above)

Chef Tess' Instant Cheesy Broccoli Rice
2 Cups instant rice
1 cup Honeyville Broccoli Cheese Soup Mix
1/2 cup Honeyville cheese sauce mix
2 tsp onion powder
Combine dry ingredients. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a half gallon pan with a tightly fitting lid. Add The dry ingredients and whisk well. Stir about 2 minutes, returning to a boil. Cover. Turn off heat. Allow to sit 10 minutes. 

Finally: Kelly McNamara who wrote:" This has been a GREAT addition to our Thanksgiving dinners...not everyone likes brussels sprouts, but this may be the recipe that changes their opinions!
one bag frozen Brussels Sprouts (easiest way, and they are the freshest!)
drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with coarse ground sea salt and pepper
Roast at 475 until they are starting to brown and get all yummy and roasted tasting! (30-40 minutes?)  I just roast them till some of the edges are good and browned!
That's it!
My dad loves these.
This is the ONLY way that I make brussels sprouts anymore!"

Thank you Kelly! Yes...this is the only way to eat Brussels sprouts!

Thank you to all the amazing people who wrote in with recipes! It was so hard to decide! If you're a winner, be sure to send me your address  via my email

Get the printable PDF here

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Lamb said...

I didn't enter your Thanksgiving contest this year...I won last year and got the wonderful electric roaster!
If I had my recipe would have been for my Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts..
Pan fry 1/4 pound bacon or Pancetta cut into small pieces. When almost done, drain off fat, reserving 1 tablespoon. Put bacon/Pancetta in baking pan add 1 pound Brussels Sprouts (thaw out frozen ones or use fresh ones), sliced length--wise. Drizzle reserved tablespoon of fat over all and mix well. Season with a bit of fresh cracked pepper and some sea salt to taste and roast in oven at 475 until starting to brown. (similar to the recipe already posted...but adding in the bacon or pancetta...oh my goodness YUM!!!

Chef Tess said...

OH bacon would be epic! Isn't it always?! Thanks my dear. I adore you!!

John said...

Oh it's a awesome Thanksgiving food recipes. i like this food recipes for thanksgiving. then here use more than variety of dishes very taste and look very nice.