When it comes to Thanksgiving, turkey is pretty much de riguer. It’s truly the side dishes that will make your feast delectably memorable. So, viva la difference this Thanksgiving by trying these new holiday-inspired recipes from The Classic Catering People.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Quinoa

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Quinoa by Chef Alan Maw (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Quinoa

By Chef Alan Maw

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa

clove of garlic – minced

1/4 cup of pecan pieces

1/4 cup dried cranberries

6 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill

A pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 400 F. Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Coat them with a little olive oil and place them face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast sweet potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes until they are tender and soft.

Prepare 1/2 cup of dry quinoa as per the package instructions.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about four minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir cooked quinoa, pecans, cranberries, black pepper and salt.

When sweet potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. They should be soft and indent slightly when squeezed If they are not done, put them back into the oven for an extra 5 or 10 minutes.

Let the sweet potatoes cool slightly so they are easy to handle. With a small spoon, gently press down on the center of the sweet potatoes to create a small indentation that is the length of the sweet potato.

Spoon quinoa mixture evenly over sweet potatoes and serve.

Corn Pudding

Corn Pudding by Chef Alan Maw (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Corn Pudding

By Chef Alan Maw

6 ounces butter, melted

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups whipping cream

1⁄4 cup sugar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

6 large eggs

6 cups corn kernels

Melt butter and flower together for 4-5 minutes. Add cream, sugar and salt.

Whisk together eggs, cream and butter.

Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn.

Pour into a lightly greased oblong baking dish.

Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Cremini Mushroom Tart

Cremini Mushroom Tart with Reserved Gruyere By Chef Therese Harding (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Cremini Mushroom Tart with Reserved Gruyere

By Chef Therese Harding 

2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 shallots, diced

¼ teaspoon sea salt

black pepper

sprigs of fresh thyme

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, diced

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded reserve Gruyere cheese

1 pie shell

To prepare the filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft and slightly browned. Add salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Scrape into a small bowl.

In the same skillet melt the remaining butter. Add mushrooms and stir until coated with butter, soft and golden. Remove from heat. Beat eggs and cream together until well blended. Sprinkle about half the Gruyere on the bottom of the pie shell. Spoon in shallots. Pour in egg mixture. Place mushrooms all over the top with the remaining cheese. Bake 40 minutes at 325 F or until golden brown and mixture is set.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash by Chef Alan Maw (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Stuffed Acorn Squash

By Chef Alan Maw

2 medium sized acorn squash

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

¼ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sliced almonds

pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice acorn squash evenly in half lengthwise. Coat them with a little olive oil and place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast acorn squash for 25-30 minutes until tender and soft.

Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Dice it and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.

Mix butternut squash in bowl with remaining ingredients. Place inside halved acorn squash and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 F.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding by Chef Callie Tarts (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

By Chef Callie Tarts

Unsalted butter (to grease ramekins or custard cups)

6 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 cup raisins

⅓ cup bourbon

⅓ cup hot water

1 can pumpkin puree

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1½ cup milk

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1 pinch salt

1 loaf day-old brioche or challah bread

confectioners’ sugar (for dusting on top)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter six 10-ounce ramekins or custard cups, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and set them aside on a baking sheet.

Place raisins in a small bowl, and cover with bourbon, (if using bourbon) and the hot water; let soak until plump, about 20 minutes. Drain; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, spices and salt. Toss in the bread cubes, and stir gently to evenly coat; let stand a few minutes. Fold in the raisins. Divide mixture among ramekins or custard cups, pressing down slightly to make level.

Bake until custard is set in the center and top is golden, about 40 minutes. If bread browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Remove from oven; let cool slightly.

To serve, un-mold onto plates; dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Here are more side dish suggestions for your Thanksgiving menu.

Top photo: Stuffed Acorn Squash by Chef Alan Maw (Photo courtesy The Classic Catering People)

Read more fun features from our first annual food issue now!

Tasty Times in Charm City, by Randi Rom

Baltimore-Area Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes, by Randi Rom

From Gefilte Fish to Guacamole, by Jill Yesko

The Deli as a Symbol of the American Jewish Experience, by Richard Gorelick

A Farm-to-Table Thanksgiving Feast, by Joshua Rosenstein

Don’t Forget the Sides!, by Huppit Bartov Miller

The Siren Song of Shakshuka, by Amanda Krotki

Also see:

Food, Glorious Food!, by Alan Feiler

Two Decades of Dinners, by Dana Hemelt

Baltimore Hunger Project Strives for Full Bellies, by Lynne B. Kahn

Choosing Sides, by The Classic Catering People

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