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Appetite: Minnesota chefs share their favorite Thanksgiving sides

Whether in the White House, At the Minnesota State Capitol or on your dinner table, turkeys are always in the spotlight this time of year. But of course Thanksgiving has much more to offer than the big bird. So this week at Appetites, we asked a handful of Minnesota chefs for ideas for side dishes that’ll be in the spotlight.

To hear them all, including Amalia Moreno-Damgaards Chayote en dulce, or candied pumpkin, click play at the top of the audio player.

Hmong egg bun filling

recipe from Diane Moua

For 6 to 8 people

5¼ ounce vermicelli made from vermicelli

1½ cups shredded kale

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1½ cups grated carrots

¾ cup chopped spring onion

¾ cup chopped cilantro

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

In a large bowl, soak bean noodles in hot water for 8 minutes. Drain well and cut the pasta in half.

Mix the noodles with all the remaining ingredients. Stuff the turkey with the mixture, then roast as directed.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pickled blueberries and toasted pecans

recipe from Vincent Francoual

Brussels sprouts with pickled blueberries and pecans

Minneapolis chef Vincent Francoual has had enough of the bacon on his Brussels sprouts and is now serving it with lightly pickled blueberries.

Courtesy of Vincent Francoual

Served 4

2 pounds Brussels sprouts (smaller the better)

½ cup pickled blue berries, drained well (see recipe)

½ cup toasted pecans (or any other nut)

½ cup loosely packed Italian parsley, leaves picked

3 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 tbsp olive oil or duck fat

Roasting the Brussels sprouts and pickling the blueberries can be done a day in advance. To roast the Brussels sprouts, remove the core and then cut in half lengthways. Place in a mixing bowl and stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast at 380 degrees until cooked through and lightly browned. Check about 20 minutes.

In a skillet, heat olive oil (or fat of your choice) over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add the roasted Brussels sprouts and finely chopped garlic and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add parsley leaves and 1/2 cup of drained pickled berries. Cook until the berries are soft. Add salt and pepper if needed, garnish with toasted pecans and parsley, then serve.

(Tip: The key to roasting Brussels sprouts is not to overcrowd the pan. If you’re a purist like me, I cut them in half and place them face down in a pan before roasting them in the oven .)

Pickled blueberries

This recipe gives you more than what is required for the recipe. The remaining berries go well in salads. It keeps for two weeks in the fridge.

6 ounces blueberries

1½ cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp kosher salt

In a small saucepan, add vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil and set aside for 15 minutes.

Place the blueberries in a mason jar and pour the liquid over the berries. The liquid should cover the berries. Cover and refrigerate and allow the berries to “set” for at least 24 hours before using.

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

recipe from Raghavan Iyer

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

The secret to Raghavan Iyer’s Ultimate Mashed Potatoes is the use of red potatoes, a rice machine instead of a masher, and a light touch when incorporating the cream and butter.

Courtesy of Matthew Benson

Served 6

2 pounds russet potatoes

½ cup heavy whipping cream

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks

4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter

1½ teaspoons coarse sea or kosher salt

1½ teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

½ cup finely chopped fresh chives

Peel the potatoes and rinse well under running water. Cut them into quarters, place them in a medium sized pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and gently cook the potatoes, until they fall apart easily when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the cream cheese, butter, salt, and peppercorns. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cream is bubbling, cheese is soft and smooth, and butter is melted. Keep the cream warm over very low heat until the potatoes are cooked.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake gently to remove excess water. Put the potatoes back in the pan. Dry them over low heat until the surface appears dry, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Working in batches if necessary, place the potatoes in a rice machine and press into a serving bowl. (If you don’t have a potato ricer, use a potato masher and fluff them up very thoroughly with a fork when they’re completely mashed.) Pour the peppercorn cream over the potatoes and sprinkle with the chives. Fold in with a spatula just until the liquid is incorporated. Don’t overmix it.

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