9 savory side dishes and desserts for the Thanksgiving table

November 19, 2016

Find the perfect Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts with a little help from Spencer’s Fresh Markets. The shaved Brussels sprouts with country ham is sure to please. The following fall recipes are provided by Spencer’s Fresh Markets in Morro Bay and Santa Maria.

Maple Meringue Sweet Potato Casserole

Roast and mash the sweet potatoes up to two days ahead and chill. Let stand at room temp 30 min before completing recipe.



4 lb. sweet potatoes

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. dark brown sugar

4 oz. cream cheese

6 tbsp. butter

¾ tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

2 large eggs

3 egg whites

¼ c. maple syrup

1 jar marshmallow crème


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet one hour or until tender. Let cool to touch and peel. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Beat sweet potatoes, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and next six ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Beat in whole eggs. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until foamy. Gradually add maple syrup, beating until stiff peaks form.

4. Beat one-third of marshmallow crème into egg white mixture; repeat with remaining marshmallow crème, beating until smooth (about one minute). Pipe or spread meringue in a decorative pattern on warm potatoes. Bake 13 to 15 more minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.



Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Country Ham



3 tbsp. olive oil

2/3 c. chopped country ham

2 shallots, sliced

1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, root ends trimmed and sliced

1/2 c. golden raisins

1/2 c. roasted pecans, chopped

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt

black pepper


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, four to six minutes.

2. Add Brussels sprouts and raisins, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warm and just beginning to wilt, three to four minutes. Stir in pecans and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.



Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple-Bacon Drizzle


2 large acorn squash

¼ c. butter

2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 tsp. Kosher salt

5 black pepper bacon slices

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves

½ c. maple syrup

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

fresh rosemary leaves

Freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine butter and next two ingredients. Coat squash with butter mixture; arrange on baking sheets in a single layer. Bake 20 minutes; turn squash over, and bake 10 more minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, sauté bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet. Cook rosemary in hot drippings one minute. Stir in syrup and vinegar and cook, stirring often, five minutes or until reduced by almost half. Arrange squash on a serving platter and drizzle with warm maple mixture.

3. Crumble reserved bacon over squash and sprinkle with additional rosemary leaves and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8-10.



English Pea Salad



2 large hard-boiled eggs

1 yellow bell pepper

2 oz. Cheddar cheese

½ c. mayonnaise

½ c. sour cream

3 tbsp. dried basil

2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion

2 tsp. chopped pimiento

1 tsp. Apple-Cider Vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. soul-food seasoning or seasoned salt

1 tsp. granulated garlic

½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper

2 dash Hot sauce

60 oz. early peas (such as Le Sueur)


1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peas, mixing well. Then stir in the peas. Refrigerate the salad for at least 10 hours or up to overnight. Serve at room temperature. Serves 8.



Pumpkin Spice Cookies



1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

1 egg

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice


1. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, oats and pumpkin pie spice. In another bowl, beat the pumpkin, egg and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

2. Drop by 2 tablespoonful onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray; flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

3. In a bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, orange peel and enough orange juice to achieve desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies. Yield: 32 cookies.



Buttermilk Biscuits



2 c. self-rising flour

½ stick butter

1 tbsp. butter

¼ c. cream cheese

¾ c. Buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with a rack set in the middle. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, butter pieces, and cream cheese, using your fingers to cut in the butter and cream cheese until the mixture resembles cottage cheese. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the buttermilk, and mix with your hands or a small rubber spatula.

2. Sprinkle flour over the dough. Run a rubber spatula between the bowl and the dough, then sprinkle the exposed dough with more flour.

3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Generously sprinkle dough and rolling pin with flour. Roll out to a 1/2-inch-thick oval. (Do not knead.)

4. Pour about 1/2 cup flour into a small bowl. Dip a 2-inch square metal biscuit cutter (see Note) into the flour; then cut out biscuits, dipping the cutter back into the flour as needed (as long as the dough remains wet on the inside, you can use as much flour on the outside as needed to handle it). Gather excess dough, roll out to a 1/2-inch-thick oval, and continue cutting biscuits Place biscuits, sides touching, in a cast-iron skillet or baking pan fitted with parchment. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

5. Place pan in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 450 degrees. Bake biscuits until tops are golden, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.



Ginger-Streusel Pumpkin Pie



1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry

3 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Transfer pastry to a 9-inch. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate; flute edges.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Pour into pastry shell. Bake 40 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts and ginger. Gently sprinkle over filling.

4. Bake 15-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings.



Pumpkin Mousse



1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

1 pkg. (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup cold 2% milk

1-3/4 cups whipped topping

24 gingersnaps, divided


1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth; add pumpkin, pudding mix and pie spice. Gradually beat in milk. Fold in whipped topping.

2. Spoon 1/4 cup mousse into each of eight serving dishes. Crumble 16 gingersnaps; sprinkle over mousse. Top with remaining mousse. Refrigerate until serving. Serves 8.



Puff Pastry Pillows



1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 to 2 tbsp. coarse or granulated sugar


1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Carefully open each puff pastry sheet. Cut each sheet of pastry at creases, forming three strips. Cut each strip width wise into seven pieces.

2. Combine egg and milk; lightly brush egg mixture over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Split into top and bottom halves.

3. In a saucepan, combine the flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for one minute or until thickened. Cool.

4. Transfer to a bowl; beat in the butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and salt until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Spread one tablespoonful on bottom half of each pastry; replace tops. Store in refrigerator. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.