Thanksgiving dinner—sides part 1

So, you’ve got your main dish (turkey, ham, etc) now what do you serve with it?  I believe every family has their own MUST HAVES.  For some it is the green bean casserole, or maybe mac and cheese, etc.    For our family we must have:
1) mashed potatoes.  I don’t have a special recipe for mashed potatoes.  Just your standard butter, milk, salt, pepper.  On special occasions, I have been known to use cream or whole milk instead of the skim milk that is usually in our fridge. 
2)  I don’t care for sweet potatoes but my family does so they are a must have on our table.  I prefer to get fresh sweet potatoes vs. canned.  I bake them, peel them, and slice them up.  Then I put them in a casserole dish with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I know lots of people don’t like them, but for my guys the marshmallows are standard.  I don’t add pecans though because not all the sweet potato fans like nuts in them.
3)Gotta have green beans.  Now, some years I have bought fresh green beans and just boiled them in salted water with salt pork or bacon pieces.  But last year, I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman and I think that I am going to use it again this year. 


  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
  • Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Preparation Instructions

Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.
Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Tune in tomorrow for Thanksgiving sides part 2

Posted by Ree on November 7 2010

One thought on “Thanksgiving dinner—sides part 1

  1. The sides for our family depend on which side of the family we're celebrating with. My family? Mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, brocolli casserole, sweet potato casserole, and jello salad–strawberry one with pretzels, please!My husband's family…boiled potatoes and gravy, bread stuffing (with and without raisins), yams, and cranberry salad.Well, great. Now I'm hungry!!!

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