With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we’re locking down our menus. This year we’re thankful for photographer Karen Mordechai’s amazing new cookbook, Sunday Suppers, named for her blog and the Brooklyn cooking center she founded. Not only does the book include breathtakingly beautiful photos, but the recipes are delightful, ranging from perfectly scrambled eggs to salted crème fraîche ice cream to a Thanksgiving feast sure to please picky tots and foodie friends alike.
Since we have a thing for scene-stealing side dishes, we thought we’d share three favorites perfectly suited to the holiday table (you can bet they’ll be on ours!). Don’t be surprised when your guests ask for seconds—or even thirds.
Earthy flavors combine with slightly sweet brioche bread to create this beautiful stuffing. One could certainly experiment with other breads: Raisin or nut varieties could work well.
Wild Mushroom and Brioche Stuffing
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the baking dish
2 shallots, minced
4 cups sliced leeks (white and light green parts only, ½-inch-thick slices)
1 pound king trumpet or cremini mushrooms, chopped or sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup dry white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Comté or Gruyère cheese
6 cups cubed brioche
¹⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9″ × 13″ baking dish. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, leeks, mushrooms, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and thyme sprigs, and cook until the wine has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Transfer to a large bowl and remove the thyme sprigs. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and the cheese. Add the cooked vegetables, brioche, and parsley, and toss to combine. Mix in ½ cup of the stock. Continue to add more stock just until the stuffing is moistened but not wet (there should not be any liquid in the bottom of the bowl). Transfer to the prepared baking dish, cover with buttered aluminum foil, and refrigerate.
3. When you remove the turkey from the oven and set it aside to rest, place the covered baking dish in the oven and bake until the stuffing is warmed through, 25 to 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
A bit more rustic than the traditional cranberry sauce, this quick cranberry relish is sweet but retains a nice tartness. It is also quite lovely on buttered toast the following morning.
½ lemon, rind and flesh diced into very small pieces
2 cups water
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch cubes
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pan.
3. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender, and the cranberries have burst, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Allow to cool before serving, or refrigerate covered.
Buttered Brussels Leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
3 pints brussels sprouts, pulled apart into leaves, cores discarded
1. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and cook until barely browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the brussels sprouts leaves to the pan, and sauté until bright green, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, toss, and serve.
Bright and buttery, these brussels sprouts leaves add a little crispness and healthful greens to the meal.