Thanksgiving Sides from Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Nov 22nd, 2017 | By | Category: blog, cook something, fall, meat and poultry, vegetables and pasta
Thanksgiving side dishes from Jack Allen's Kitchen, Celebrating the tastes of Texas.

Thanksgiving side dishes from Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Celebrating the tastes of Texas.

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving sides that will have your dinner guests asking for seconds, you cannot go wrong with these delicious dishes from Jack Allen’s Kitchen.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

This is a recipe that Kitty Crider, the former food critic for the Austin-American Statesman, picked as one of her Top 10 Recipes of All Time. It’s really a celebration of corn. It starts with a good homemade cornbread that’s full of flavor and sweet. Then we add crumbled corn chips for crunch. And the tamale weaves in that rich flavor of masa. It’s corn from a few different directions that brings real versatility of flavor. Putting that all together at the Thanksgiving table is just a good idea.

Serves 8-12


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cup onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups poblano peppers, chopped
  • 3 large jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • Sage, fresh (can substitutes with dried sage), chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oregano, dried
  • 1 pound cornbread, broken up
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups corn chips, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thaw before baking)
  • 1 ½ cups cream-style canned corn
  • 3 cups chicken broth (box is fine), heated
  • 1 dozen tamales, shuck removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add vegetables and sage and oregano, and sauté until tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Place cornbread in large bowl, and stir in pepper mixture.
  3. Mix in cilantro and next 4 ingredients.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and butter a 13×9 baking dish.
  5. Stir tamale pieces into dressing, season to taste, place in baking dish with foil cover, and bake approximately 45 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 15 minutes, until stuffing has browned. If stuffing seems dry, add more butter.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Cranberries are a natural fall ingredient. But they don’t grow in Texas, so I like to put them with a few ingredients that are native to the state: pecans and citrus. I soften the cranberries with fresh orange juice, which counteracts the bitterness of the berry. I also add a little local honey, but you really don’t need much. After you cook it with all the ingredients, it needs a little texture and crunch, so I fold in Texas pecans. This beats canned cranberry sauce any day of the week.

Serves 6-8


  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 12 ounces cranberries, fresh
  • 1 cup apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup orange juice, and zest from orange
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice, ground
  • 1 Cup pecans, roasted
  • 2 Tb. orange zest


  1. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to boil.
  2. Add cranberries and next 7 ingredients, bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and add pecans and zest. Can be served at room temperature or cold.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

If you have a handful of standard recipes for your collection, a good cornbread needs to be one of them. And if you make a big batch of cornbread at home, you better have something to do with it once it gets cold. That’s why we came up with the Tamale Jalapeño-Cornbread Dressing and the Sweet Corn Tamale. It lets you see the leftovers in a much more creative and flavorful way. You can also just cut the cornbread up into smaller cubes and toast them for salad.


  • 1 ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cream corn
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn, frozen
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  1. Butter 13×9 pan, and preheat oven to 400 degrees, 375 degrees for convection oven.
  2. In small bowl, combine first 6 ingredients.
  3. In large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients to form batter, and pour into pan.
  5. Bake for 16 minutes, turning pan halfway through for even cooking.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

This is simply a play on the regular potato gratin but – with the holiday season and the availability of sweet potatoes at that time of year – we suggest this as an alternative to canned yams in a casserole dish with marshmallows on top. Add bourbon and pecans to the mix, and Thanksgiving just got fancy. It’s great for serving at a big meal because it needs 20 to 30 minutes out of the oven to set up, which gives you time to finish other items you may be cooking.

Serves 6-8


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced to 1/8 inch
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. In large mixing bowl, whisk together cream and next 6 ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and butter a 10-inch-square baking dish.
  3. Place layer of sweet potatoes in dish, and drizzle ¼ cup of cream mixture over it.
  4. Repeat 2 times, pressing down each time.
  5. Top with pecans, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and bake until cream is absorbed and surface is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let rest 15 to 30 minutes before slicing.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

This was a last-minute idea we did for an event one time. We took all the best things about Thanksgiving and made it into an appetizer. It’s a great way to use leftovers, that’s for sure. Just put turkey and stuffing together, roll it in a ball, and bake it. Serve it with Maple Giblet Gravy, and you’ll have something to be thankful for all over again.

Serves 4-6

 Meatball ingredients and preparation

  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound turkey leftovers
  • 1 pound tamale and jalapeño-cornbread dressing, leftover
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and butter a sheet pan.
  2. In large mixing bowl using hands, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form mixture into 1-inch balls, place on pan, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned.

Maple Giblet Gravy ingredients and preparation

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth (boxed is fine)
  • ½ cup giblets, cooked and chopped
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sage, fresh and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In saucepan, sauté butter and onions.
  2. Gradually whisk flour into onions for approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and giblets to onion mixture, and cook on medium heat until slightly thickened, approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Add syrup and sage to saucepan, and season to taste.

Courtesy of Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

To me, tarts take the decadence of a good pie and put it into a more approachable size. It’s thinner by nature of the baking tin you use, and you can’t overstuff it. I always feel like it’s not as much of an indulgence – unless I help myself to another serving. It’s got to have a good crust and a really nice filling. Our pastry chef, Dee-Dee, uses a whole range of things, from traditional pie or graham cracker crusts to cheese or jelly fillings. In the fall, goat cheese and pumpkin are so good together. It’s got both a savory and sweet quality, just like a good cheesecake. Roasted pear with goat cheese and pecans also works really well, and it looks amazing on the plate.

Serves 8-10

 Ingredients and Preparation

For crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup pecans, ground
  • 2 ounces butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  3. In bowl, combine crumbs, ground pecans, butter and sugar.
  4. Press into bottom of pan, cook for 5 minutes and allow to cool.

For goat cheese filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, farm fresh

 Directions (continued)

  1. In stand mixer whip together cheeses until no lumps remain, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, and mix 1 minute.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping side of bowl with rubber spatula between eggs.
  4. When no lumps remain, pour into crust.

For pumpkin filling:

  • 1 ½ cups roasted pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, farm fresh
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

 Directions (continued)

  1. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée and remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined and smooth, with no lumps.
  2. Spoon over goat cheese filling and spread evenly; it’s okay if goat cheese filling shows through.
  3. Bake until center is set, approximately 40 minutes. Refrigerate in pan for 4 hours before serving.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.