Tradition with a twist

Published 10:29 am Friday, November 25, 2016

By Amy Gauthier, photos by Colleen Harrison

When it comes to the holidays, and tradition, there are some things we just don’t mess with.

In my family it’s Mom’s Thanksgiving turkey and her Christmas ham — extra pineapple rings pinned to the outside with toothpicks. Jon makes his wild rice dish, Pam brings the pickles, and we all look forward to seeing what Pinterest creation my big sister, Dina, has mastered. This year, I thought I’d give her a run for her money and tried some recipes that put a new twist on traditional sides.

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These recipes are easy to make, flavorful and use the freshest, seasonal ingredients. One stroll through our local farmer’s market, and I was able to find nearly everything I needed!

While I may need to practice a little more before I can be crowned Side Dish Champ in our family, I’m up for the challenge.

I encourage you all to be creative and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Asiago Potato Stacks

Asiago Potato Stacks

Asiago Potato Stacks


2 large long Russet potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds

1 pound yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold. (Try to find smaller sized potatoes that when sliced will fit a muffin tin)

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme chopped, (regular thyme if lemon thyme is not available), plus more to sprinkle on top

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly-grated Asiago cheese, plus more for top


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Fill a large bowl with water and as you peel each potato, place them in the water until you are ready to slice.

3. In a small bowl, microwave butter with oil, thyme, salt and pepper until butter is melted. Stir in grated cheese.

4. Dry each potato as you remove from water. Using a mandolin, slice potato slices horizontally as thin as possible and place in a large bowl. When you are about half sliced, pour about half the butter mixture over top. Slice the rest and add to the bowl and top with remaining butter mixture.

5. With your hands, gently work the potatoes and butter mixture to coat.

6. Spray a 12-cup standard muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

7. Layer slices of potatoes in each cup, dividing equally. Discard any liquid left in the bowl. Sprinkle a little additional cheese over each stack and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until browned and crispy and cooked through.

8. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to set up, then serve, removing each portion from the muffin pan with a soup spoon.

Citrus Broccoli and Sausage

Citrus Broccoli and Sausage

Citrus Broccoli and Sausage


1 pound broccoli

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces hot Italian sausage (casings removed, meat crumbled)

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Pinch of crushed red pepper


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese


1. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the broccoli until nearly tender, 4 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water. Squeeze and pat dry, then chop.

2. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage, and cook over moderately high heat, breaking it up into small pieces, until browned. Add 3 more tablespoons of oil, the garlic and red pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the lemon juice and toss. Serve with pecorino.

Serves 6

Honey Mustard and Rosemary Glazed Carrots

Honey Mustard and Rosemary Glazed Carrots

Honey Mustard and Rosemary Glazed Carrots


About 1 pound medium sized carrots

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unpasteurized honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely-chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or fine salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly- cracked black pepper

A handful of chopped, fresh parsley to garnish


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Brush the carrots under running water. Cut them in half lengthwise and place them in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, rosemary, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and pour over reserved carrots. Mix to coat evenly and spread in a single layer in a shallow baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once or twice, until the carrots are tender and have taken a nice golden coloration.

5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Amy Gauthier is a mother living and working in Albert Lea. She loves to make new foods.