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Thanksgiving Side Dish Memories

By Jane Butel  November 5, 2019

Now that November is here--menu planning for Thanksgiving is now serious stuff.  Do you have a set menu for every Thanksgiving?  I like to cook various dishes--not always the same predictable ones.

I do have happy memories of the Thanksgiving dinners my Mother created.  They were pretty predictable and always delicious.  One very memorable side dish was corn custard which she usually made with canned cream corn into a scalloped corn with oysters in it.  It may sound quite different to you, but was always very yummy.  A different, New Mexican take I like to make is little miniature corn cazuelas made with corn custard tucked into a green chile "crust" and flavored with chipotle--now half priced until Thursday. (Picture has green chile and chipotle in the custard rather than the crust.)

She always made 2 or 3 kinds of cranberry sauce or relish.  One my Father always liked that his  Mother made was a fresh relish made by using an old fashioned food grinder that hooked onto the kitchen counter.  (Food processors are so much easier!) She ground together cranberries, celery, apple and orange and lightly sweetened it.  My Mother always cooked the cranberries with some sugar, orange juice and orange zest.  ( I like to add cinnamon stick and Cointreau to it)  And her Father always liked to have the canned, jellied cranberry cut in slices.

Also, there was always a green vegetable, often Brussels Sprouts.  She would just steam them and serve them buttered.  I like to do all kinds of things with Brussels Sprouts.  A favorite is to braise them and whole almonds in butter to a light golden color and serve them with crumbled bacon on top Green beans were a favorite also--but not with canned mushroom soup and onion rings.  She always cooked them until just done and frequently served with them topped with crumbled bacon or lemon zest and butter.   

Note:  All of a sudden--a couple planning for months to come to this weekend's class can not come due to a sudden surgery.  Any who would like to come--I am offering the class at a huge discount of $95.00--originally $350.  If you can come--you can register on line or call the office at 505-243-2622 or email me at jane.butels@gmail.com.  The menu is Perfect Margaritas, three salsas, Composed Nachos with Perfect Guacamole, Bowl of Red with Fixin' 'n Mixin's and Blue Corn Parfait Bread and Chicken Fajitas.  Also, included is a history of Southwestern Culinary and an intensive review of chiles.   There are also still space for the entire weekend at  half price.

We have now posted the Spring Day classes, a week long and weekend classes---all available on our website at wwww.janebutelcooking.com.  Just select the type classes you are interested in or our Calendar. 


These precious little quiche-like flans make a delicious and attractive side dish for any dinner. The double chile kick from the green chile crust and the chipotle flavoring the corn custard makes them super yummy! .

Yield: 4, 3-ounce servings

9 large green chiles

1 tablespoon sweet (unsalted) butter

1 cup milk

6 ounces or ¾ cup cream style canned corn

1 to ½ teaspoons chipotle powder

1 egg

½ teaspoon salt 

1. Parch and peel the whole green chiles.

2. Butter individual baking dishes, using about a teaspoon of the butter. (You can use coffee cups if you do not have individual flan dishes.) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the peeled chiles on the inside of each cup overlapping the chile over the cup as crust.

3. Heat the remaining butter with the milk in a heavy saucepan only until the butter melts. Then place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until well blended. Pour into individual baking dishes.

4.Place the baking dishes in a large baking pan that is covered with a small towel or cloth, then place in the preheated oven. Using a pitcher or large measuring cup, pour water into the baking pan to about the 1-inch level. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a sharp knife. If it comes out clean, the custards are done. They should be lightly browned. If not done, continue until they are of the desired brownness. If desired, allow to cool at least 30 minutes before running a sharp knife around each and inverting them onto warm dinner plates, or serve them in the baking dish.


Many of my Southern friends really prefer their green beans literally boiled until soft. They eat them with hot pepper sauce.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

¼ pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces

½ cup chopped onions

1 pound small red new potatoes, quartered

1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans


1 cup chicken stock

1. Saute bacon in a large heavy skillet and drain off most of the fat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add potatoes and cook, turning occasionally, until potatoes are slightly brown, then add green beans and enough water to cover. Cook, covered, about 30 minutes. As the water level goes down, add chicken stock. Cook at least 30 minutes longer or even up to 4 or more hours. If the liquid level is too high, uncover and simmer until reduced to desired level. Serve.




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