Whiskey Soaked Sweet Potatoes with Cookie Butter Crumble

Most people have some sort of a sweet potato dish on their Thanksgiving menu. Most of the dishes are sweet, and even marshmallow covered, but this year we wanted to test the boundaries and do something different. The name of this recipe gives away everything that is unique and amazing about this sweet potato dish. A dash of whiskey? Yes please. Cookie butter? Duh. Wait… cookie butter in sweet potatoes?! Yep, we did that. Our favorite Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s has made it into this year’s menu. Despite what you might think, we love this dish because it isn’t overly sweet. The whiskey helps to temper the sweetness of the cookie butter and makes the sweet potatoes a bit more savory. If you prefer your rendition of Thanksgiving sweet potatoes to be more on the sweet side, add another 1/4 cup of sugar to the glaze and top with marshmallows before putting them in the oven.

Whiskey Soaked Sweet Potatoes with Cookie Butter Crumble

  • Servings: 8
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Not your mama’s sweet potatoes! These whiskey infused sweet potatoes are topped with the ultimate cookie butter crumble making all of our side dish dreams come true.

Sweet Potato Ingredients

  • 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (we used Bulleit)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs pumpkin spice

Crumble Ingredients

  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter (or Speculoos)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and blanch for 6 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes, rinse with cool water, and set aside. The potatoes should not be cooked through at this point.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat for 6-10 minutes. You want the butter to start browning. Add the brown sugar and whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved, approximately 4 minutes. Add the whiskey and whisk continuously for 3 minutes. The mixture will begin to bubble and thicken.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, pumpkin spice and salt and stir until the sweet potatoes are thoroughly covered with the whiskey glaze.
  5. Spray a medium baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the sweet potatoes and glaze into the baking dish so that there is an even layer. Set aside.
  6. Make the crumble. In a small sauce pan, with the heat on medium, add the butter until melted. Stir in the ground almonds and sauté for 5 minutes until the almonds are toasted. Add the cookie butter and stir until the cookie butter is melted through. Pour the crumble mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes and spread evenly.
  7. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes and serve immediately. If the cookie butter crumble is starting to brown, cover with foil and continue cooking until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through.


Spinach and Caramelized Onion Stuffing

Stuffing is one of the most versatile side dishes if you are looking to mix things up a bit for your Thanksgiving dinner menu. Nana likes to make a very traditional stuffing; she cooks the stuffing in the turkey so that the stuffing can soak up the juices while it cooks. Our dad goes the non-traditional route and likes to mix up the flavor profile; he likes to incorporate sausage and vegetables for an extra hearty side dish. For Tuck & Tate’s Thanksgiving Menu, we wanted something in between so that we could have the best of both worlds. We chose to make this stuffing in a casserole dish and have incorporated caramelized onions, spinach, and mushrooms to sneak in extra veggies. We topped the stuffing with crumbled feta cheese for a little bit of salty decadence. It’s all about balance, right?!

Spinach and Caramelized Onion Stuffing

  • Servings: 8-10
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A traditionally seasoned stuffing that sneaks in onions, spinach and mushrooms for extra vegetables!

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread, cut into cubes and ideally left out overnight so it is hard and crusty
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms (we used a mixed variety of cremini and portobello but use whatever you like best)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 10 oz fresh spinach leaves
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Filling Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions will begin to brown and caramelize during this time. It is important that you don’t adjust the heat and that the onions cook low and slow.
  2. When the onions have caramelized, turn the heat up to medium and add the olive oil, mushrooms, salt, pepper, garam masala and garlic powder. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and sauté until all of the spinach is wilted. Depending on the size of you pan, you may need to do this in batches. Remove the mix from heat and set aside.
  4. *If you are preparing the filling in advance, you can stop now. Cool the mixture and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assembly and Baking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, egg, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a 8×12 baking dish with cooking spray. Add a layer of bread cubes, followed by a layer of the filling mixture and topped with the remaining bread cubes. Pour the liquid mixture evenly over the entire baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle the top with feta and bake for 40 minutes. Serve hot out of the oven!


Hawaiian Fried Rice

One of our good friends just welcomed her first baby boy last week! Due to COVID, we couldn’t have a large baby shower as we were hoping, and instead opted to have a small gathering with a few good friends a few weeks ago. We chose a tropical theme to shower Baby K and the menu matched accordingly. Along with Hawaiian meatballs, grilled steak skewers and halibut, we served this Hawaiian Fried Rice. This recipe uses sambal oelek and soy sauce to help flavor the rice making it sticky, salty and just a touch spicy.

Hawaiian Fried Rice

Makes: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs ginger, minced
  • 4 oz cubed pancetta
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tbs sambal oelek
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain any excess water and set aside.
  2. In a deep pot – at least 4 inches – saute the pancetta in the canola oil for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and bell pepper and saute another 3-4 minutes until the bell pepper starts to soften.
  3. Add the sambal, soy sauce and rice and stir everything together until the rice is fully coated in the sauce and everything is well incorporated.
  4. Crack the two eggs into a small bowl and whisk well.
  5. Push the rice to one side of the pot so that you have an empty space at the bottom of the pot. Add the eggs and cook in the pot until the eggs are cooked through. Mix the eggs into the rice until they are distributed evenly throughout.
  6. Remove the rice from the heat and add additional soy sauce or sambal depending on your salty/spicy preference.*
  7. Stir in the pineapple and top with cilantro. Serve immediately.

*Stop here if you want to make this recipe in advance and reheat. You can reheat over the stove-top by adding a bit of oil or in the microwave. Just leave the pineapple and cilantro out until everything is heated and you are ready to serve.


Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

If you are following us on Instagram, you know that during COVID and quarantining we have made Steak Saturday a weekly tradition. Steak Saturdays have been our way to fancy up the weekend a bit even though we are mostly staying indoors. We love the pairing of steak with a side of sauteed mushrooms and wanted to see if we could update this classic side dish. We have added an ingredient to this dish that may be new to you, Garlic Sauce. Garlic Sauce is a Lebanese spread that is typically made by blending garlic, oil, and salt. You can easily make this on your own, but we love a good shortcut and bought some at our favorite Middle Eastern Market. Trader Joe’s also sells their version in the refrigerated prepared food section alongside the hummus and other dips. Tuck’s mom is so obsessed with this sauce that she is known to eat it with a spoon!

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

Makes:6-8 side servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 cups cremini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup Garlic Sauce (we bought ours at a local Middle Eastern market, but there is similar here)
  • 1 tbs miso paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbs diced chives

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once it is nice and bubbly, add the mushrooms. Sauté for 10 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced and are tender.
  2. Add in the garlic sauce and miso paste. Stir until both are fully incorporated into the mushrooms. You will notice that the mushrooms get creamy in texture.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and remove the mushrooms from the heat. Top with the chives and serve warm.

Cauliflower Steaks with Herby Caper Sauce

We. Love. Cauliflower. Can you tell by the crazy number of recipes we have posted using it?! It is a hearty and versatile versatile vegetable that combines well with just about any flavor combination. Lately we have used it in our Semi-Homemade Cauliflower Bowls, and as the base for a sauce in our Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. For this version we have cut the cauliflower into thick steaks and serve it with a lemony, herby caper sauce. They could easily be a main course for a vegetarian meal or can be served as a robust side dish. We love this simple sauce drizzled over the top to give the cauliflower a salty, citrusy punch of flavor. 

Cauliflower Steaks with Herby Caper Sauce 
Makes: 4 side dish servings; 2 main course servings 
Prep Time: 40 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower 
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbs olive oil 
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced 
  • 2/3 cup packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • salt and pepper to taste  

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Remove the leaves from the head of cauliflower and carefully remove the excess stem that is not connected to the cauliflower florets. You want to leave some of the stem so that the “steaks” remain intact when you slice the cauliflower. Slice the cauliflower into 4 thick slices and lay on a baking sheet. 
  3. Drizzle the 2 tbs of olive oil over the cauliflower and toss well to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and put into the oven. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes; remove from the oven, carefully flip it with and spatula, and bake another 15-20 minutes. The cauliflower should be dark golden brown on the outsides. 
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic together in a small bowl. Add the parsley, capers, and red pepper flakes, whisking well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  5. When the cauliflower has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and use a spatula to transfer it to a serving dish. Serve with a generous pour of the caper sauce and serve immediately. 

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese & Pesto

Our good friend Lea has been snapping pics of her homemade potatoes and we immediately reached out for the recipe. Normally recipes from her are hard to come by because of lot of her cooking has been taught in person, without recipe, from her amazing, Italian mama. Luckily for us, this time, she was willing to share. We made a few modifications and hope that these bad boys do her justice. Thank you Lea! 

These potatoes are cooked twice – boiled and baked. We love the bake at the end because it gives the outside of the potatoes a nice, crispy texture. The pesto and goat cheese makes the whole dish decadent and delicious. This is a great side dish to serve with just about any protein and perfect for Memorial Day Weekend. We chose to pair the potatoes with a steak during one of our fancy Steak Saturday dinners that we have been enjoying during quarantine. 

Smashed Potatoes with Pesto & Goat Cheese 
Makes: 4-6 side dishes 
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb baby potatoes 
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 6 oz goat cheese 
  • salt and pepper for seasoning 

Directions for the Oven: 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes in cold water covered by 2 -3 inches of water. Set the heat on high and bring to boil. Boil for 20 minutes. 
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, mix the pesto and goat cheese together in a bowl. 
  4. Drain and rinse the potatoes. Using a glass or other type of round ramekin, place the potatoes on a sprayed baking sheet and use the glass to “smash” the potatoes flat. This doesn’t need to be perfect. Some potatoes may break all the way through and others will remain intact. 
  5. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and add a hearty dollop of the pesto/goat cheese mixture on top of each potato. Place the potatoes in the oven for another 30 minutes until the are crispy and the cheese mixture is fully melted. 
  6. Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve warm!

Sticky Miso Green Beans

We have implemented a “Steak Saturday” tradition during quarantine. We like to fancy it up a bit on the weekends and celebrate our Tuck & Tate “move in” quarantine anniversary each Saturday – we are approaching week 8 together! We try to mix up our side dishes and this week experimented with Miso Green Beans. We love the unctuousness of this side dish. The miso and soy sauce give the green beans a rich, salty delicious flavor and when cooked down, make the green beans sticky and finger licking good. We have perfected the reverse sear method for cooking our steak. For details, see our Instagram highlight here!

Sticky Miso Green Beans
Makes: 4 large side servings 
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 24 oz fresh green beans (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes 

Directions: 

  1. Trim the ends of the green beans so the stems are removed. 
  2. In a pan set to medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. 
  3. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the miso paste and green beans. Saute the green beans until the miso paste is melted and fully incorporated. Around 7 minutes. 
  4. Add the soy sauce and chili flakes (if you like spice!) and saute for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Mediterranean Bulgar Salad

This bulgar salad is one of our go-to side dishes. For those unfamiliar with bulgar, bulgar is a grain that is made from cracked wheat. It tastes like a hybrid between quinoa and rice, with a little bit more of a crunch and texture to it. It is also cooked similarly to quinoa and rice, by boiling it in water. There are many different ways to prepare bulgar. For this recipe, we serve the bulgar cold and load it with veggies and serve it as a side dish, like a salad. You can easily add a protein or additional vegetables to this dish to bulk it up a bit and serve it as a main course. It will store great as leftovers for weekday lunches as well!

Mediterranean Bulgar Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 cup bulgar
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup parsley, diced

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add the bulgur, lower to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered in the pot for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Prepare your vegetables. Chop the cucumber, tomato and red onion into bite sized pieces. This does not need to be perfect!
  4. Combine the bulgar, vegetables, feta and parsley in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until the dressing is fully incorporated.

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Whether you’ve always been a big Cinco de Mayo celebrator in the past, this year we feel like we need to celebrate all the things while in quarantine. It helps us break up the monotony of daily life at the house and helps remind us there is a real world beyond isolation that is worth celebrating! One of our favorite Mexican dishes is elote- or grilled street corn. It takes just a few ingredients to create the rich, smokey, salty and sweet combination that you get when you eat this dish. It’s a favorite of ours all summer long!

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 limes, separated
  • 1/2 cup + manchego cheese, grated or queso fresco, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions and cilantro, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Use the 2 tbs olive oil to coat each of the four ears of corn. Season them well with salt and pepper and grill them for about 15 minutes, rotating as each of the sides starts to char. A little bit of char is great, too much tends to taste bad so keep an eye on the corn on the grill!
  2. While the corn is grilling, make the spicy sauce. Whisk together the mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne, and the juice of one lime onto a large plate. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Have the shredded manchego or crumbled queso fresco on a second large plate.
  3. When the corn has finished grilling, immediately remove it from the grill and roll each of the four ears in in the sauce plate and then press into the cheese plate. We try to coat the ears of corn with the sauce on all sides but only have the cheese on one side of the corn. Press any extra cheese onto the tops of the corn.
  4. Place the corn back on the grill in indirect heat for just a few minutes to let the cheese melt. Serve immediately with chopped scallions and a slice of the second lime for garnish.

Asparagus with Lemon and Leeks

This is the perfect spring side dish to just about everything from fish to grilled chicken and even steak. We find that giving vegetable side dishes the same amount of TLC that we would an entree makes a complete difference with our dinner experience. Instead of the standard “protein, carb, veg” day after day, recipes like this asparagus brighten things up and make us way more excited to eat our vegetables. This asparagus has just a handful of ingredients but really amps up the flavors of spring compared to a standard roasted asparagus. As the weather gets warmer feel free to cook the asparagus on the grill for an extra smokey flavor; it will contrast nicely with the fresh punch of lemon.

Asparagus with Lemon & Leeks

Makes: 6 servings

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs aparagus, stems cut off
  • 2 tbs olive oil, separated
  • 2 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put the asparagus onto a cookie sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the asparagus are crispy but cooked through.
  3. While the asparagus are cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the other 1 tbs olive oil, the leeks, and the garlic to the pan. Sauce for 4-5 minutes, or until the leeks are starting to brown and caramelize.
  4. Add the white wine and the lemon zest and juice to the pan. Slice the lemon and throw that in the pan as well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to cook off the wine. Season the mix with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the asparagus from the oven and toss in the pan with the leeks and lemons. Serve immediately.