In a pinch for a great side dish to prepare or take to a holiday gathering?
Some Columbia area chefs about their favorite tried-and-true recipes. Here, those who replied offer share some family recipes, along with advice on preparing and serving.
Sarah Simmons, chef/owner of Rise Bakeshop in Five Points
“One is for a Vidalia Onion Souffle. My mother has been making it every Thanksgiving and Christmas since I can remember and I love it so much, it’s on the menu at my restaurant, Birds & Bubbles, in NYC.
“The other is for my Nana’s Cranberry Apple Casserole – a more elegant alternative to cranberry sauce that can be served as a side dish or dessert.”
Vidalia Onion Souffle
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
4 pounds Vidalia or other sweet onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a large skillet, melt the stick of butter over medium-low heat.
Add the sliced onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden, about 40 minutes.
Let the onions cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the heavy cream and grated cheese.
Whisk in the dry ingredients until incorporated, then fold in the onions. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 40 minutes, until the soufflé is set and golden on top.
Serve right away.
Cranberry and Apple Casserole
3 cups sliced apples
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups oats
1 stick butter, unsalted
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine apples, cranberries, and sugar in 2 quart casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, combine oats, nuts, and brown sugar. Add melted butter and mix until thoroughly coated.
Cover apples and cranberries with the topping and bake for one hour. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
Jessica Shillato, Spotted Salamander Catering
“It’s very important to use good fresh stone ground grits. We use Congaree Milling Company Grits sold at Rosewood market and Soda City market. Perfect side with fried turkey.”
Spotted Salamander’s Sweet Potato Grits
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup stone-ground grits,
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed.
Kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Bring milk and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, 30-45 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in sweet potatoes, butter and any extra salt to taste.
Howard Stephens, Executive Chef, Capital City Club
“I like recipes that are simple and can involve the whole family. Give everyone including the children a task. They’ll enjoy making it just as much as eating it. Besides I haven’t met too many people that don’t like some form of potatoes.”
Crispy Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
3 lbs fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup canola oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh herbs such as chives, oregano, parsley etc .
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with 1/4 cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 30–35 minutes.
Let cool and then smash with the palm of your hand.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil.
Working in batches and adding more canola oil to the pan as needed, pan fry the smashed potatoes, turning once, until well browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side; add some butter during the last minute of cooking. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and toss, seasoning with salt, pepper, herbs and more butter if desired. Serve warm.
Wesley Fulmer, Executive Chef, Motor Supply Co. Bistro
“The classic combination of saltiness, sweetness and crunch – the sweet and salty flavors of the jowl bacon and bite of the Brussels sprouts – just goes together. It works well with the holidays, even in terms of color. This dish makes me think of family memories, so it’s great for family gatherings this time of year: everyone has a memory of when their mom or dad made them eat Brussels sprouts, and you hated them, but now, they’re something that you can appreciate.”
Smoky Brussels Sprouts with Carolina Heritage Farms Jowl Bacon
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts cleaned, washed and halved
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 pound cured pork jowl, cut into ½ inch cubes (available from Carolina Heritage Farms in Pamlico, SC, or substitute bacon or pancetta in a pinch)
Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste
Bring 2 gallons of salted water to a boil. Add in Brussels sprouts and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until a little soft and bright green. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool completely and pat dry. Render the pork jowl in a sauté pan on low heat, stirring often until just under crispy. Strain the jowl, reserving the fat. In a large sauté pan, sweat out the red onion until translucent. Tuning up the heat to medium, add the jowl fat and Brussels sprouts, then the jowl and chili flakes. Season to taste before serving.