This is the first time in many many years that I am not hosting carb-fest. Ruth is off at grad school, friends are all in Seattle, and I am here with family and decidedly not in charge of any carb-fest planning. It's weird. Who will eat an entire plate of deviled eggs? Or fix yummy alcoholic beverages? Or worry that something might not be vegan (despite the fact almost everything I make at Thanksgiving-except the turkey, deviled eggs and last years sausage stuffing- has been vegan for years)!
But I've got recipes for you peeps anyways.
(vegan) Smokey green beans
Get a large mess of fresh green beans.
Snap off ends.
Blanche (quickly dip green beans in a pot of boiling water- count to 30, then plunge green beans into ice water. Yes, this is a pain in the ass but you can and should do this part ahead of time)
Dry green beans on a paper towel- this is important.If they don't dry all the way you get those nasty soggy green beans that no one likes.
Right before serving in a large skillet-
toast almond slices over mediumish heat. You just want to heat them until you can smell them, and they burn fast. Remove from pan and set aside.
Put a wee bit of olive oil in the pan, heat to high. Throw in green beans and drizzle liberally with liquid smoke and salt. The liquid smoke will get very smokey.
Cook for just a few minutes until the liquid smoke is evaporated and the beans have a few smokey brown patches on them. They should still be firmish- not limp. Mix with almonds and serve.
Whipped Sweet Potatoes (can be vegan if you use soy milk and fake butter)
Wash sweet potatoes, rub with olive oil, wrap in tin foil and bake at 450 until fork tender. I usually do one large sweet potato for two people, but these are really good so you may want to do more.
When fork tender- unwrap the foil and then skin the hot potatoes. Put mushy potato stuff in a large bowl. Just like with mashy potatoes, add a bit of milk and a lot of butter. Also add in a good large glunk (RQ technical term for a fistful) of brown sugar. You can now either mash with a potato masher or whip with a beater. Once smooth, do a taste check. It may need more brown sugar. And a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg wouldn't hurt either. If you want to be real fancy, you can mix in some pralines, but I like this better than the marshmallow fluff sweet potato casserole version.