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Three Thanksgiving Sides – from Chef Anthony Salemme

by Anthony Salemme, contributing chef

Macaroni and 4 cheeses

Serves 10 as a side dish

For at least a decade I celebrated Thanksgiving in St Thomas USVI.

Mac ‘n cheese was a staple at the buffet                               

1-pound cooked shell pasta

4 cups whole milk

2 Tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons butter

1 8-ounce Cabot cream cheese

1 8-ounce Cabot seriously sharp cheddar, shredded

8-ounce Gruyere cheese, shredded

6 ounces asiago cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped fine

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Panko Crumb topping

1 cup panko crumbs

½ cup melted butter

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine

Mix all ingredients together, reserve later

Pre heat oven to 425F

Make a roux by melting the butter until bubbly then stir in the flour and continue to stir for 2 minutes on low heat. With a whisk slowly add the milk, thyme, onion and garlic powder and cayenne. Bring to a simmer then add the cream cheese. It will begin to thicken at this point. Next add the shredded cheddar, Gruyere and Asiago. Stir until smooth.

Mix in the cooked pasta and pour into a greased 9”x13” baking pan or similar size casserole dish.

Top with the panko crumb topping and bake at 425F for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and browned.

Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 10

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise

¼ cup peanut oil

1 stick of butter

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup apple cider concentrate (or you can use frozen apple juice, or 1 cup of cider boiled down to ¼ cup)

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper

(I added a few cooked carrots for extra colors)

In a large skillet heat the oil until shimmering, add the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat without stirring until browned about 3 minutes. Next add the butter and brown sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and butter are melted and have coated the Brussels.

Next add the apple cider concentrate and the apple cider vinegar and simmer for about 6-7 minutes.

Roasted Green Beans with Warm Mushroom/Bacon Vinaigrette     

Serves 10

Pre heat oven to 425F

2 pounds green beans, washed and ends trimmed

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Toss green beans with olive oil salt and pepper, place in single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes until tender but still a bit crisp. Then toss with the warm vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette

4 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch strips

2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

¼ cup water

In a skillet with 2 Tablespoons water cook bacon until it starts to brown, then add mushrooms and cook, occasionally stirring about 5-6 minutes. Next add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and ¼ cup water. Simmer for about 2 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Then add olive oil. Toss vinaigrette with green beans.

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Anthony loves to cook and share recipes. You can follow him on Instagram at – @mealpvd and online at www.anthonysalemme.com

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