It is Thanksgiving week! Ok I know it is not actually the week of Thanksgiving, but we are celebrating Thanksgiving this week on ChezCateyLou. I have 5 amazing recipes to share with you, for the best parts of the meal – the sides and dessert!
I’m not going to tackle a turkey recipe because, well, I don’t really like turkey. Is that un-American? I just don’t think it tastes very good! Plus there are a million recipes out there for Turkey, and I’m pretty sure most of them are better than anything I could make. So instead I will be sharing with you some of my favorite side dish recipes and, of course, dessert!
TheBetterHalf and I (ok it was mostly me) spent most of the weekend cooking all of these delicious Thanksgiving recipes. We shared them with some friends last night and everything was a hit! Unless they were lying to me. But I don’t think they were. We will actually be traveling on Thanksgiving, so it was fun for us to eat some of our favorite seasonal foods before the actual holiday.
So let’s start out with green beans. I know, not the most exciting of the Thanksgiving side dishes, but green beans are found on almost every Thanksgiving table, and they are delicious! Plus you need one dish that is a little bit healthy. TheBetterHalf thinks that for each green you eat on Thanksgiving you can eat an extra serving of stuffing. I decided to make them fancier than your standard green beans and use Haricots Verts – this is Chez CateyLou after all, so we need to have something French and fancy involved!
Haricots Verts (French for “green bean”) is just a longer, thinner version of a regular green bean. To keep these beans bright green, crisp and tender, this recipe blanches the beans first, which means that you boil them for 2 minutes and then plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Then they are sauteed briefly, and tossed with the good stuff – the toasted almonds and caramelized shallots. The shallots get caramelized in some butter and olive oil, making them slightly sweet and so flavorful. The toasted almonds add an amazing nutty flavor and a nice crunch to the dish.
This is a simple side dish, but the flavors work nicely together, and the green color is so pretty. It would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving table! Plus you can make it in advance. I think these taste great at room temperature – or you can just briefly reheat them in a sauté pan. What a great way to start out my Thanksgiving week – a quick and easy dish that is delicious, healthy, and beautiful!
Come back tomorrow for the star of the show, according to TheBetterHalf – the stuffing!
Haricots Verts with Toasted Almonds and Caramelized Shallots
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma
Kosher salt, to taste
2 lb haricots verts or regular green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Note: toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until just golden brown and nutty smelling. Watch them closely, as they burn quickly!
Fill a large pot with water, add a few tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When they are cool, drain the beans and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the shallots begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the shallots are caramelized, about 6 minutes more. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tsp of the olive oil. Add half of the green beans, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add half each of the shallots and almonds and stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining olive oil, green beans, shallots and almonds. Toss all of the beans together, then transfer to a platter.