Both my parents and my in-laws will be in town this weekend since DD has one of the leads in her junior high school play. It'll be a pretty hectic weekend, but on Sunday we're going to cook a turkey in the smoker for dinner, and I'm looking for some good, but easy and/or make-ahead side dishes. Some considerations:
-- DD recently became a vegetarian, so I'm looking for some dishes that can be a vegetarian meal minus the turkey.
-- Both sets of parents are Midwestern, meat-and-potato types, so things that are overly adventurous or ethnic probably won't go over well.
-- One disadvantage of the smoker is that you don't get any drippings for gravy, and I abhor the stuff out of a jar, so the obvious mashed potato side dish probably won't work unless it's doctored up somewhat. (I really don't want to be peeling potatoes either).
I know that you all will come up with some fantastic suggestions--TIA!
If you can wait til tomorrow, I have a good recipe for potatoes that I almost always serve with smoked turkey. It's the replication of romano potatoes that is served at a seafood grill chain out here. I don't peel the potatoes, as it has cheese and other stuff in it. My late FIL (Ohio meat and potatoes) really liked it.
I don't know if this idea is too casual but I just love potato salad to accompany my smoked turkey (or chicken). I love smoking poultry as it's all done outside (I do mine in my Weber grill and smoke for about 3 hours) and then it frees up the kitchen. You can't beat the flavor! Gives me plenty of time to make a delectable dessert and I can make my salad in the morning. When guests come, I'm not frantic in the kitchen straining, reducing and making last minute sauces that keep me from my guests.
How about making scalloped potatoes to go with the turkey or just buy the frozen, premashed potatoes (then no peeling for you).
You could serve a spinach salad with egg and bacon (on the side). How about some sort of fresh fruit salad, corn bread and deviled eggs too?
Here's the recipe for those potatoes, lightened somewhat.
2 1/2 lb. waxy (boiling - red or white) potatoes, diced
1/4 c. oil
2 c. nonfat dry milk
1/2 c. diced red pepper
1T. minced garlic
1 tsp pepper
seasoning salt to taste
1 c. dry instant mashed potatoes (this is the only reason I ever buy them!)
1/4 lb. grated romano (I use parmesan) cheese and also usually substitute
grated cheddar for about 1/2 the romano
Cook potatoes in boiling water just to cover until no longer crunchy. Set aside and reserve cooking water. With mixer, combine 1 c. cooking water, oil, dry milk, pepper and seasonings. Add cooked potatoes and mix thoroughly, adding about 1/2 remaining water. Add instant potatoes and stir, adding more of water if necessary. Spoon into large 2" deep casserole dish, sprayed with pam. Sprinkle with cheeses and paprika. Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes.
The consistency of this is not as smooth as mashed potatoes, more chunky. Like the difference between canned and homemade applesauce. It's good with smoked poultry, and with grilled fish. If I make it ahead, I don;t put the cheese on until the potatoes are starting to get hot, so it doesn't crust.
Sounds like a fun weekend! With smoked turkey we often boil a pot of small baby red potatoes. When fork tender toss with good olive oil, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, and tarragon. Serve hot or at room temp. A variety of mustards, crusty rolls w/butter and a big salad. Satisfying and simple. Plus, leftover smoked turkey is wonderful to freeze for later sandwiches, soups, etc.
How about Cheesed Potatoes in foil, they are sliced and have cooked bacon salt, ground pepper, onion, cheese and butter. and they can cook in you smoker. OR how about Everyday Italian's Smashed Parmesan Potatoes? This one uses red skined Parmesan cheese, olive oil. They are coarsely smashed, and then this other stuff added on top. If you should want either one, let me know and I will post them for you.
You've gotten some great suggestions. Not having drippings encourages you to have a completely different kind of meal than usually served at holiday time. Think of sides you might serve with other barbecued and smoked meats -- pork, for example. To me, smoked meats have a mildly sweet note, so I like foods that build off this --for example, MissKitty's suggestion of fruit salad, cornbread, and deviled eggs.
You've gotten so many yummy potato dishes, I hesitate to add another, especially since it sounds like you may not care for some prepared products. However, this one can (must) be made ahead and is very easy.
2 # frozen hash brown potatoes (I use southern style, which is in cubes, but any would work.)
2 cans Campbells cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. (2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Mix together and place in a buttered or sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Dot with butter and sprinkle generously with Parmesan Cheese. Refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees uncovered 1 1/2 hours.
Note: I find this excellent without a topping, but the lady who gave us the recipe notes that it is also good with buttered, crushed corn flakes or Durkee's French Fried Onions.
Editing to add that if sometime you DO want a traditional meal (I used to have smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, for example), it is possible to do so. Make broth from the turkey before your traditional turkey and freeze it. I like to roast and slightly brown the carcass in the oven, then simmer it in water with celery, onions, carrots, parley, and garlic. Herbs may be added if desired. Defat the broth and freeze in ice cube trays. (If making for a future gravy, I would save some of the fat also.)
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