Who wants to spend all day in the kitchen at Easter? I often cook a big turkey dinner, so I guess I do spend some time slaving over a hot stove. However, with some planning, help from my sisters, and some easy recipes, I manage to have some fun and minimize my time in the kitchen. I am a big fan of dishes that can be prepared ahead of time, then popped into the oven about 15 minutes before dinner (about the time it takes to make gravy and carve the meat!).
Here are a few easy and quick ideas for side dishes to go with your turkey, beef, or ham.
Parmesan Asparagus Recipe
You can get this ready ahead of time and pop it in the oven while you are making the gravy for your turkey.
1 lb. (450 g) fresh asparagus spears
3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Grated Cheese
15 soda crackers, coarsely crushed (about 1/2 cup)
Place asparagus in a shallow casserole dish or on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over asparagus. Top with cheese and cracker crumbs.
BAKE 10 to 15 min. at 350 degrees or until topping is lightly browned and asparagus is cooked (but not soft).
Parmesan Butternut Squash Recipe
3 ½ lbs Butternut squash, cut into cubes (about 1 inch)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cilantro
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, oil, garlic, pepper. Stir in the squash. Place in an ungreased casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until squash tender (not too soft).
If you are planning to make this ahead of time, cook for 45 minutes. Then, re-heat it for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
Mashed Potatoes Recipe
You can pretty much make your regular mashed potatoes ahead of time, then reheat them in a covered casserole dish for about 15 – 20 minutes in the oven!
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes Recipe
7 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter
Boil potatoes and garlic in a saucepan for about 20 minutes; drain. Add remaining ingredients; mash or beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Put into a covered casserole dish and then reheat in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes before dinnertime.
Enjoy your day!