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Happy holidays (whichever you celebrate) to all! For me one of the joys of the holidays is cooking for friends and family or enjoying meals prepared by friends and family. One of the tricky parts of putting together a winter meal is coming up with side dishes that use seasonal vegetables. Here are two dishes that often appear on my menu for Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.
This carrot recipe looks very pretty on the table. I serve it in a divided vegetable bowl with a green vegetable or potatoes in the other half. The recipe comes from Art Fare a cookbook put together by the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art and is available from their online gift shop.
Black Tie Carrots
- ½ cup pistachios, shelled
- 2 tablespoons butter + 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup Cointreau
- 1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
- 3 tablespoons water [you may need to add a bit more if pan begins to look dry]
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cook until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer the carrots with a slotted spoon to a heated serving bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Cover to keep warm.
Bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil. Boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Drizzle of over the carrots. Add the pistachio mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Beth Fish's cook-ahead advice: In step 2, cook the carrots until they are just undercooked. Transfer the carrots and reduce the liquid, as directed. Then add the carrots and the pistachio mixture to the reduced sauce and let sit. A few minutes before serving your meal, heat the carrots and nuts over medium low heat until warmed through and the carrots have finished cooking. Do not let the sauce boil.
We love Brussels sprouts in my house and this dish is one of our favorites. Sometimes I roast the sprouts instead of saute them. Other times I shred them instead of leaving them whole. No matter how they're cooked, the chestnuts add a wonderful dimension. This recipe comes from Ruth Spear's The Classic Vegetable Cookbook.
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
- 20 ounces Brussels sprouts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound peeled and braised chestnuts (see recipe below)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups peeled chestnuts
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
Beth Fish's tips: I drain the chestnuts before adding them to the Brussels sprouts. You can use canned or jarred chestnuts, roasted chestnuts, or microwave-cooked chestnuts in this recipe with good results.
Sorry that I don't have any photos to accompany this post. But I never take the time to pull out my camera when hungry guests are eagerly gathering around the table.