Archives for posts with tag: blue cheese

Way back in July, when it was warm and sunny, I shared four great summer side dishes, and as those of us in the Northeast brace for a Thanksgiving Eve Nor’easter I’m here today with some favorite autumn side dishes. We’ve said goodbye not only to 80 degree beach days, but also tomatoes and corn on the cob, but there are still a lot of great vegetables to enjoy this time of year, and many, such as Brussels sprouts and kale, are at their best after the first frost of the season.

I like these side dishes any night during the fall, but they would also be perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Just add turkey and cranberry sauce!

A pile of cranberries ready for Thanksgiving!

A pile of cranberries ready for Thanksgiving!

Tangy Roasted Beets and Carrots
Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage
Sicilian Cauliflower and Black Olive Gratin
Maple Sriracha Brussels Sprouts

Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage
Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage

This is such an awesome side dish. I LOVE the combination of the sweetness of the winter squash and the saltiness of the blue cheese. And while you get a little cheese to enjoy it is still a relatively light and healthy dish. We love blue cheese in our house, but if you don’t I bet you could substitute it with another strong cheese such as gruyere or fontina.

5 cups (approx. 2 lbs.) butternut squash – peeled, and cubed (3/4 inch)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 TB. olive oil
1 large onion – thinly sliced (approx. 2 cups)
1 TB. chopped fresh sage
1/2 ts. salt
1/4 ts. pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Steam butternut squash, covered for 10 minutes or until tender.
Butternut Squash Steaming

Mix bread crumbs with 2 ts. oil and toss with a fork to combine.

Heat remaining 2 ts. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion to pan; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add squash, sage, salt and pepper to bowl, and toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into a 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Butternut Squash Gratin Pre-Cooked

Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese evenly over squash mixture, and sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crumbs are golden brown.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Red Onion

This recipe is a variation on a Martha Stewart Recipe that I love to make in the summer when plums are in season. I liked it so much, and loved how quick it was to prepare, that I came up with a fall/winter version, using apples and apple cider vinegar instead of plums and red wine vinegar.

2 pork tenderloins (approx. 2 lb.), sliced into ½ inch medallions
1 TB. olive oil
1 TB. unsalted butter
2 apples, cut into wedges
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 TB. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Season pork medallions with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute pork medallions on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes total, and remove from pan.

In the same pan, saute apples and red onion over medium heat. Add apple cider vinegar, and stir until bubbling. Return pork to pan and toss.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts

I LOVE roasted Brussels sprouts, but I got bored with just tossing them with olive oil and salt and pepper. This recipe is something I came up with to jazz up one of my typical fall/winter side dishes.
roasted bs w cheese, etc_Web

1 ½ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 TB. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 TB. blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 ts. balsamic vinegar
2 ts. maple syrup

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet and place in oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and toss them in a serving bowl with blue cheese, cranberries, walnuts, vinegar and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

This week has been pretty stressful. At the end of last week, Eliza got the croup and we’ve been battling it since – not fun. At the same time that we are taking extra care of her, both Patrick and I are getting busier at work. I was in Ottawa one night  for business and Patrick  worked one night, along with his usual Thursday night grad school class. Quiet nights at home have been few and far between and our weekdays will probably stay pretty hectic through May. Oh well.

During weeks like this I try to make dinner whenever I can, but with a special focus on quick meals. I’m sure your lives are pretty similar, so I hope you enjoy this week’s meal plan which includes a bunch of simple, delicious dinners. I also included a chili recipe, which I made for Sunday’s Oscars. It takes a little bit longer to cook than the other meals, but you’ll have leftovers for the rest of the week, which is perfect during this busy time.

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: Fennel and Garlic Shrimp + French Bread
Meal #2: Chili
Meal #3: Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Red Onion + Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts
Meal #4: Pasta with Marinara + Green Salad

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

fennel bulbs – 2
garlic – 1 head
red bell pepper – 1
green bell pepper – 1
yellow bell pepper – 1
lettuce – 1 head of bag
Brussels sprouts – 1 ½ lb.
red onion – 2
apples – 2
flat-leaf parsley – 1 bunch
basil – 1 bunch
14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes – 3
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes – 1
pasta – 1 box
kidney beans – 1 can
blue cheese – ¼ lb.
dried cranberries – ¼ lb.
walnuts – ¼ lb.
French bread
chili powder (if you don’t already have it)
cayenne pepper (if you don’t already have it)
cumin (if you don’t already have it)
unsweetened cocoa powder (if you don’t already have it)
balsamic vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
apple cider vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
balsamic vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
maple syrup (if you don’t already have it)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
Flour (if you don’t already have it)
shrimp – 2 lb.
pork tenderloins (approx. 2 lb. total) – 2
ground beef, buffalo, turkey or chicken – 1 lb.
Pernod (optional)