Like a good song, no barbecue feast is complete without strong accompaniment. So, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, here are a few of the Posse's favorite side dishes.
Sherry's favorite twice-baked potato casserole
This recipe cooks up easily for a crowd and can be prepped early, refrigerated and then baked at the last minute.
5 pounds baking potatoes
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper
1 pound bacon, fried and chopped or shredded
2 cups shredded mild cheddar
4-5 green onions, slice white and light green parts only
Scrub potatoes and bake in 375-degree oven for one hour or until done. Remove from oven and cool until they can be easily held. Scoop potatoes into large bowl and add slices of butter and sour cream while potatoes are still warm. Mash until fluffy, adding salt and pepper to taste. Place potatoes in large buttered roasting pan, topping with cheese and bacon. Bake in 350-degree oven for for 20-30 minutes until cheese melts and potatoes are heated through. Sprinkle with onions and serve.
Feeds 10-12 people or can be halved for a smaller group.
-- Sherry Jacobson
Mike's favorite collard greens
When I first started doing Thanksgiving I wanted a great collard greens recipe, something that even the most skeptical eater would love. Being the food nerd I am, I watched every Thanksgiving show I could find on TV for a week and was really drawn to both Alton Brown and Michel Symon's recipes for greens. I combined their techniques and made small tweaks over time to balance the bitter savoriness of the greens with the heat, acid, and sweetness of the slurry. This also goes great with chili and cornbread.
2-3 pounds of collard greens (cleaned, stemmed, and torn into manageable-sized pieces)
1 pound of bacon
2 cloves of garlic
Red peppers to taste (red fresno peppers are ideal for spice; but red bell will work for tamer pallets)
4 tablespoons of sweet molasses or brown sugar
8 tablespoons of apple cider vingegar
1 tablespoon of Tabasco
Render fat out of bacon - don't worry about crispiness.
Increase heat and add onion and cook for 3-5 min, until translucent.
Add garlic and cook for 30 second to a minute.
Add peppers and cook with garlic & onion for one minute.
Add collard greens with a pinch of salt, lower heat and cover.
For first 15 minutes, check every few minutes and toss with tongs to mix onion/bacon mixture as greens give off water; Cook for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile - mix molasses or brown sugar with apple cider vinegar and Tabasco.
When greens are done, turn off heat, add vinegar slurry and mix, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Add salt to taste.
-- Mike Gagne
Libby's favorite kale salad
The key to this salad is massaging the kale and letting it sit for about a half-hour before adding the remaining ingredients. The classic combo of dried fruit, cheese, and nut is open to preference and can be substituted. This recipe uses a combo that seems is the essence of the holidays. Enjoy!
Kale - one bunch, torn into bite size pieces
Olive oil - 1-2 tbsp, enough to coat
Lemon - half, juiced
Salt - 2 pinches
Pepitas - half cup, toasted
Dried cranberries - half cup, chopped
Pomegranate seeds - 1 cup
Goat cheese - 4-8 oz., depending on how cheesy you like
Toss kale in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Coat pieces evenly. Massage kale in small handfuls to begin breaking down the waxy exterior texture. Let the batch sit for 20-30 minutes to continue softening, no need to cover.
Toss with pepitas, pomegranate seeds, and dried cranberries. Add small dollops of goat cheese over top and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired, and serve.
-- Libby Gagne
Gary's favorite coleslaw
I discovered this recipe years ago in Dinosaur Bar B Que, a great book about the Upstate New York chain of joints. We included the smoked meat tome in our recent list of the best BBQ books of all time. The dish here, I would argue, might just be the easiest, tastiest coleslaw recipe of all time, a solid add to anyone's list of favorite side dishes.
1 good-sized cabbage
a couple of carrots, peeled, shredded
2 cups mayonanaise
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 medium onion, grated
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
Quarter and core the cabbage, slice each quarter across the grain into thin strips, cut the strips crosswise.
Mix the cabbage and shredded carrot.
Separately, mix the dressing ingredients. I like to mix in a container designed for liquids. Then, I can store the dressing and apply just before serving. Add the dressing to taste and be spare. A little goes a long way.
-- Gary Jacobson