With a bounty of hearty side dishes, like the following two, vegetarians and meat-eaters should be able to coexist peacefully at Thanksgiving. The sweet, rich corn pudding is abundantly satisfying, particularly when eaten along with tart cranberry relish and a green salad or vegetable; the baked macaroni with cheese is homey and comforting.
4 to 6 servings
You can use frozen sweet corn in this sunny yellow side dish that is creamy and cheesy.
Adapted from "Local Flavors," by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books, 2002).
MAKE AHEAD: Bake, cool, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance; reheat covered in a 325-degree oven until warmed through.
11/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 cups sweet corn kernels (16-ounce bag of frozen corn kernels)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cream, milk or evaporated milk
1 cup grated cheese, such as fontina, cheddar or smoked Gouda
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Set an oven rack on the middle rung and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 6-cup gratin or baking dish.
In a medium skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, just until it's soft and lightly colored, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the corn kernels and cook 1 minute, regardless of whether the water returns to a boil. Drain; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, cream or milk, corn, cooked onion, cheese, parsley, if desired, marjoram and salt. Add pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until it is puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Per serving (based on 6): 352 calories, 11 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 27 g fat, 159 mg cholesterol, 16 g saturated fat, 603 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber
Baked Macaroni With Cheese
Most mac and cheese recipes call for making a white sauce with flour and milk, which takes time. Not so with this recipe. Just boil the mac, add the rest and bake. The rich result is easy to cut into squares because it's not soupy. The hot sauce puts a little zing in all that richness.
MAKE AHEAD: Bake, cool, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance; reheat covered in a 325-degree oven until heated through.
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
11/2 cups (12-ounce can) evaporated milk
1/2 cup cream (either heavy or half-and-half)
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Louisiana Crystal sauce or Tabasco sauce, to taste
About 3 cups (3/4 pound) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish (or 2-quart casserole) with nonstick spray oil.
Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and gradually add the macaroni so the water continues to boil. Cook, uncovered, for 8 to 9 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a colander, then rinse under cold running water for a few seconds. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the eggs and the melted butter, then add the milk, cream and hot sauce, stirring to combine. Add about 2 cups of the grated cheddar. Add the milk-cheese mixture to the macaroni and mix until just combined. Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Per serving: 454 calories, 19 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 148 mg cholesterol, 19 g saturated fat, 371 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber
Recipes tested by Candy Sagon; e-mail questions to email@example.com