Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

You might question “needing” a bread item as you plan your Thanksgiving menu this year, particularly with all of the other side dishes that will likely grace your table. At Tuck & Tate, we think the more the merrier! We will gladly cook extra if it means there will be leftovers later on. Over the years we have served croissants and traditional Parker House rolls, but this year we wanted to try something different and do a pumpkin cornbread muffin. This is a great alternative for people who like cornbread but aren’t including it in their stuffing recipe. We love these muffins all throughout the fall because they can easily swing from sweet to savory depending on what we serve them with. For Thanksgiving we are serving them with whipped cinnamon honey butter, but the muffins are great with chili and the leftovers make amazing cornbread croutons for a kale caesar salad.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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The perfect sweet & savory muffin to accompany your Thanksgiving menu, your next barbecue, or chili on a cold night.

Ingredients For The Muffins


– 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/4 cup + 2 tbs brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
– 3/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1 tbs baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 4 tbs butter, melted

Ingredients For The Cinnamon Honey Butter


– 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk the pumpkin, buttermilk, honey, brown sugar, and 2 eggs together in a large mixing bowl until they are well combined.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Gently mix to combine, being careful to not over mix, as the muffins will be tough if you do.
  4. Add the melted butter to the cornbread mix and gently mix to combine.
  5. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour a just heaping 1/3 cup of batter into each of the 12 muffin cups. Bake the muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked through. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.
  6. While the muffins are in the oven, make the honey butter. Use a hand mixer to whip the butter, honey, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt. Serve the muffins hot with the butter at room temperature.
  7. (If you bake the muffins in advance, reheat them at 300 degrees, covered, in the oven for about 7-10 minutes before serving.)

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Mac & Brie

We only started having mac and cheese on Thanksgiving a few years ago, when our dad was inspired by a Cajun macaroni recipe he saw online and insisted on bringing it for dinner. After its introduction on our Thanksgiving plates, we couldn’t imagine another Thanksgiving without one of our all time favorite side dishes. We have a few variations of mac and cheese on our blog (Hatch Chile and Cauliflower) but what we like about this recipe is just how simple and classic it is. We have aptly named this variation Mac & Brie for the big pieces of melty brie cheese that have snuck into this recipe. Cheesy? Creamy? Brie-filled? Yes, yes, and yes. Sounds like our version of a perfect Thanksgiving menu addition.

Mac & Brie

  • Servings: 8-10
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A decadent way to level up your side dish game on Thanksgiving and beyond.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 circle of brie (8 oz), rind removed and cubed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Cook the elbow macaroni a few minutes less than the directions on the macaroni indicate so that the pasta is al dente. Strain and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously. The flour will form a paste. While continuously whisking, slowly pour in the milk, one cup at a time. Stir and heat for 3-5 minutes or until the milk starts to thicken.
  4. Stir in the white cheddar and mozzarella until the cheese is fully melted and the milk and cheese form a thick sauce. Fold in the elbow macaroni and remove from the heat. Season to taste salt and pepper.
  5. In a greased 8×12 baking dish, pour in the macaroni and cheese mixture in an even layer. Place the brie cheese cubes throughout the mac and cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the brie is fully melted and the mac and cheese is bubbling. If the top of the cheese and pasta is starting to get too brown, cover with foil and continue to cook. 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!

Mixed Potato Latkes with Green Goddess Sour Cream

If you celebrate Hanukkah you know that there is no holiday dinner without latkes, or potato pancakes. Fried potatoes, sour cream, maybe some apple sauce…. is there anything better? Well, maybe. Every year we take a new spin on the classic recipe to mix things up for our holiday celebrations. Last year we even had a “latke cook off” with our family and everyone made their own unique recipe. We had all kind of crazy flavors- Indian latkes, Mexican latkes, and even a spin on the Chinese scallion pancake. This year we’ve decided to stay more mainstream. What we love about this Mixed Potato Latke recipe is that you can make it for a number of occasions outside of Hanukkah dinner. It would make a great brunch side dish, or you can downsize the recipe and serve them miniature for appetizers. 

Mixed Potato Latkes with Green Goddess Sour Cream                                                               
Serving Size: 24 latkes                           
Prep Time: 15 minutes      Total Time: 60 minutes 

Ingredients for the Latkes :

  • 3 lbs mixed potatoes, peeled and chopped into large segments. We used a mix of russet, sweet, and japanese purple potatoes. 
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3/4 – 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs, whisked 
  • 1 tbs salt 
  • 2 tsp pepper 
  • 1-2 cups vegetable oil 

Ingredients for the Green Goddess Sour Cream:

  • 1 cup sour cream (you can use a light sour cream if you want) 
  • 2 anchovy fillets 
  • 2 cups packed herbs- we used a mix of parsley, chives, and tarragon
  • zest and juice of one lemon 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:  

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Use your food processor and a grater blade to grate all of the potatoes. Place in a large bowl. Use the same blade to chop the onion. Strain most of the onion juice away and add the onion to the potatoes. 
  3. Combine the potatoes, onion, eggs and salt and pepper into a large bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together. Add 3/4 cup of the flour to the mixture and see how it absorbs before adding the remaining quarter cup. You will want the texture to be such that you are able to grab a handful of potato mix and have it hold together in your hand. This will ensure that it doesn’t fall apart in the pan while cooking. 
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add enough vegetable oil so that the bottom of the pan is completely covered with oil. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the first batch of potato mix! You can test the oil by placing a few strands of potato mix into the pan. It should sizzle immediately. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the potato mix. Mold them with your hands so that they are flat pancakes and put the first batch of latkes in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan to try and save time- this is going to take a while so namaste and settle in for the long haul. Cook each pancake for about 3 minutes per side, so that they are crispy. Remove from the pan and place onto a cookie sheet. Repeat as necessary until you have all the potato mix into pancakes on a cookie sheet.*
  5. Place the latkes in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. 
  6. While the latkes are baking, make the Green Goddess Sour Cream. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in your food processor minus the salt and pepper (if you’re going to lug it out for the potatoes you might as well get your bang for your buck and use it again). Combine thoroughly- this may take 2-3 minutes on a steady stream to fully combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. **
  7. Serve the latkes hot out of the oven with the sour cream to accompany. 

* If you are having one of those days and need to crank these latkes out stat, use 2-3 pans on the stove at once to expedite the process. 

** You can make the Green Goddess up to three days in advance; refrigerate and cover well. 


Cranberry & Chickpea Stuffed Delicata Squash

Not sure about you, but we can’t be the only people on Thanksgiving that wish there was just one healthy or crunchy item on the table. Don’t get us wrong, we are HERE for the mashed potatoes and stuffing, but just one little thing to help balance out the decadence goes a long way. We even think it makes the rich dishes taste better. Over the years we have tried to sneak kale salad onto our Thanksgiving buffet. If you know us personally, you know that kale and our grandmother do not mix. It would be an understatement to say that our attempts have not gone over well. In preparation for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to put a few recipes to the test that might sneak past her inspection. This stuffed squash recipe stood out for its festive colors, variety of textures, and perfect mix of sweet and savory flavors. You can add it as a side dish to your Thanksgiving table or serve it all winter long like we plan to do. 

Cranberry & Chickpea Stuffed Delicata Squash 
Makes: 8 larger servings (see note below)
Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients For Squash:

  • 4 medium delicata squash 
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed, finely chopped 
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries 
  • 2/3 cup pecans, chopped 

Ingredients for Dressing 

  • 2/3 cup oil (we prefer avocado or vegetable- something neutral) 
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 2 tbs+ honey
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • small pinch of red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

Directions:  

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Cut the ends off the delicata squash and cut them in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. 
  3. Make the dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you want the dressing to be less sweet, start with the 2 tbs of honey. Add more, up to 4 tbs, if desired. Set aside. 
  4. Make the filling. Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. You don’t need much. Massage the kale to break it down- it will immediately change texture from something that is very stiff to something more digestible. Add the remaining filling ingredients- quinoa, chickpeas, cranberries, and pecans- and toss well with the dressing. 
  5. Remove the squash from the oven. Carefully stuff each one with the filling, trying your best to divide the filling evenly among the squash. Overflowing is okay here- it will settle a bit during the remainder of the cooking. Put the squash back in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Serve warm to room temperature. 

*This recipe makes 8 large side dish servings and could easily be served as a vegetarian entree. Adjust as necessary for the meal and number of people you plan to serve it for. If you are serving this at Thanksgiving dinner, you can cut the squash into segments after it has finished baking so that people can just have a taste. 


Cast Iron Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

This dish has a bit of a history with Tuck’s mom and dad. Tuck’s mom had just finished culinary school and was admittedly a bit of a food snob at the time. It was going to be her first Thanksgiving with Tuck’s dad (this was before Tuck and before marriage) and he insisted on having Green Bean Casserole because it was his favorite. Tuck’s mom gasped in horror that after a year in culinary school something that was mostly made of canned foods was going to end up at the table on her favorite holiday. Was this incredibly snobby? Yes. But she stood her ground because she’s a Taurus. Instead of continuing to bash the infamous Green Bean Casserole, she embraced it as a challenge and cooked it herself. Every year since, she has been responsible for making it for Thanksgiving and has tweaked it to become its very best version of the original classic. At Tuck & Tate, Thanksgiving dinner means a turkey is being fried somewhere. If you celebrate in a similar manner, throw the onions in the fryer after you have finished the turkey. It will save you extra dirty pans and means you can throw them over top at the last second for the ultimate crunchy treat. 

Cast Iron Green Bean and Mushroom Casserole
Serving Size: 10-12 servings                                                                                                      
Prep Time: 40 minutes      Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes 

Ingredients For The Casserole:

  • 2 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 lb+ mixed mushrooms- we use shitake, crimini, and baby bella 
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and separated in half
  • 4 tbs butter, separated in half 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 
  • 1/3 cup white wine 
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce 
  • 4 tbs flour 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients For The Fried Onions:

  • 2 cups vegetable oil (approximate this based on the size of your pot) 
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced thin lengthwise 
  • 2/3 cup flour 
  • 1 tbs salt 
  • 1 tbs garlic powder 
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper 

Directions:  

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet (we use a 12 inch) over medium high heat. Add the 2 tbs of the butter, half of the garlic, 1/2 cup water, and the green beans to the pan. Cook the green beans for about 5 minutes, so that the water has evaporated and the green beans start to soften. We like this steam and saute method to keep the nutrients in the green beans and to take away an extra pot in the cooking process. Remove the green beans from the pan into a medium bowl, leaving any extra butter in the pan; set aside. 
  3. Add the mushrooms, remaining garlic, and remaining butter to the same cast iron pan. Saute over medium heat until the mushrooms start to release their liquid- about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so that the mushrooms do not stick to the bottom. Remove the mushrooms from the pan to the bowl with the green beans, again, leaving any butter or liquid in the cast iron. 
  4. Add the white wine, dijon mustard, and Worcestershire to the pan. Use a whisk to mix everything together well. Add the flour to the pan to make a roux. Stir for a few minutes, until the roux is a medium brown color.
  5. Add the chicken stock and milk to the pan 1 cup at a time, whisking as you go to prevent lumps of roux from forming in the liquid. Once all three cups of liquid are in the pan, bring the heat to high, until the liquid starts to boil. Add the green beans and mushrooms back to the pan, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper. This is your one chance to season everything before it bakes- taste and season, stir, and then taste and season again. Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. 
  6. **While the cast iron is cooking, heat a large saute pan (with sides) over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan and let it start to get hot. While this is happening, put the sliced onions, flour, and seasonings in a large zip lock bag. Give it all a thorough shake so that the onions are all coated in the flour mix. Use a strainer to strain the onions and remove excess flour. Test the oil with a small onion string- if it starts to sizzle you are ready to add the onions to the pan. Add the onions in small batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan or reduce the heat of the oil. Saute for 6-8 minutes or until the onions are crispy and brown. Remove from the oil with a strainer onto paper towels to drain. Season with a bit of extra salt. Repeat this as necessary until all of the onions have been cooked. 
  7. Remove the cast iron from the oven. Top with fried onions and serve immediately. 

**This fried onion step can be done ahead of time if you need to knock a few things out earlier in the day. If you do this, add the onions to the top of the cast iron pan with 3-5 minutes left in the cooking time to reheat and get crunchy again. 


Best Ever Mashed Potatoes

Nana has a few rules when it comes to Thanksgiving and one is that mashed potatoes should never be healthy. While we do love a good cauliflower mash and finding ways to make our favorite foods healthier, Thanksgiving is not the time that we mess with a classic. The recipe below calls for butter, milk and cream cheese. The cream cheese adds a little something extra to the texture and taste of the potatoes. Bottom line, this dish rocks. Run an extra mile or do whatever else you need to do to indulge in these guilt free. 

The Best Ever Mashed Potatoes                                                                                                                 
Serving Size: 8 side servings                                                                                              
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 35 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 6 potatoes 
  • 6 tbs butter 
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 chives, chopped (for garnish, optional) 

Directions:  

  1. Place a pot of water on the stove with approximately 8 cups of cold water. Peel the potatoes and discard the skin; chop the potatoes in one inch pieces (this does not have to be precise). 
  2. Add the potatoes to the pot of cold water. Heat to boiling. Cook on a constant boil for 15- 20 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork into the potatoes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and place back in the warm pot.
  4. Add the butter and 1 cup of milk and mash the potatoes until you have a smooth consistency.
  5. Add the cream cheese and remaining cup of milk if you would like a smoother texture to your potatoes. We recommend adding 1/2 cup of milk at a time until the potatoes are your desired texture.
  6. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and serve with chopped chives and a few dabs of melted butter for garnish.