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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Thanksgiving Essentials


Guest post written by Mitch Carlson

There are just certain things that you have to eat or it isn't really Thanksgiving. Or at least according to me. I've had alternative Thanksgivings with my friends before and even though they were fun it just wasn't the same, no matter how much I love Indian food or Mexican food. So this year even though I'm having Thanksgiving with my friends, I'm making sure that we at least have some traditional Thanksgiving food.

I've been emailing everyone back and forth to figure out with my CLEAR TV Bundle to see who's bringing what and make sure that we have all the essentials.

Now, none of my friends are really great cooks, so we're trying to be creative in what we do so that it tastes good. I'm handling agreen beans dish that is pretty easy to fix, or at least my brother says that it is and I can cook better than him. But even if the food isnÕt that great I think that weÕll have a really good time together because weÕre all so close that weÕre practically family anyway.

Green Beans with Balsamic Roasted Shallots
Adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook

6 large shallots
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 lb. green beans, end trimmed

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Peel and cut shallots in half through the root, leaving the root intact. Place the shallots in a medium bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the shallots, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet and roast until the bottom side of the shallots are deep brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

While the shallots are roasting, pour vegetable or chicken broth into a large skillet. Set over medium-high heat and boil until the chicken broth reduces to 1/4 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Add granulated sugar and balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the roasted shallots to the chicken broth mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer about 5 minutes, until the sauce coats the shallots. The shallot mixture can be made up to a day ahead, then gently reheated over low heat before serving.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook until the green beans are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately. Toss the green beans with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Arrange on a serving platter and top with roasted shallots. Serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

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