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Video: Have a sweet Turkey day with sweet potato rolls

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    >>> for folks turkey is the main attraction. for a lot of us, the sides are what we're looking for.

    >> found 84% of men are involved in preparing the thanksgiving meal. al and i count ourselves in that number. we have help this morning. she is the executive chef and owner of brown sugar kitchen in oakland california . great to see you.

    >> yeah, you too.

    >> welcome.

    >> you want us to start off talking about wine.

    >> a lot of people are wondering what to eat with thanksgiving. got white meet aat and dark meat. this is what i really enjoy.

    >> yeah.

    >> it's crisp but it also has enough body to stand up to the protein of the turkey.

    >> okay. to bread pudding .

    >> yes.

    >> savory bread pudding . we definitely pay a lot of attention to sides at my restaurant. it's as important as some of the main courses. so here we're going to start by -- we have day old bread. so the night before you might have something lighter, salad, bread. whatever. save your bread. we'll add frozen corn to the saut? pan with onions, scallions, some fresh picked thyme and garlic. and of course a little to spice it up and salt and pepper .

    >> is there a kind of bread you prefer?

    >> i like a french bread or something with a nice crust to really soak this all up. we let that saut? and then we make a custard that actually -- when you have the bread and it's dried out, this will soak up really well.

    >> how much of this can you do ahead?

    >> you can saut? your vegetables. you can make this and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. the custard. it's not going to go bad. we put a little cream in it. some milk.

    >> there you go.

    >> it's thanksgiving.

    >> it's just one day.

    >> it's just one day.

    >> i'm with you.

    >> it's the only day that we eat too much, of course. and then we basically just toss everything together. i like keeping everything really simple. really easy. you spend so much time that day getting ready, setting the table. thank you, al. and then the bread gets put in there. everything at once.

    >> what kind of cheese?

    >> just a white cheddar.

    >> okay.

    >> yeah, so -- at my restaurants we try to use organic and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. we use white cheddar and all of that goes right into here.

    >> is that a butter casserole?

    >> it is. we're just going to bake it and it all comes together.

    >> look at that.

    >> with a little cheese crust on top.

    >> oh my goodness.

    >> there you go.

    >> how long do you put it in the oven?

    >> about 30 to 40 minutes depending on --

    >> let's take that back here.

    >> we have one more dish to work on.

    >> yeah i know i'm coming back here.

    >> excellent. excellent.

    >> that was very hot.

    >> didn't think that one through did you, al?

    >> we have brussel sprouts here. people love or hate them. if they don't like they they haven't had them cooked the right way. i like a really nice sere on them. we're going to add -- it's going to be a little indulgent. so molasses. i add a little water to steam it up and cook them through and then i have some toasted pecans.

    >> beautiful.

    >> i like to, you know, put southern ingredients in the dishes but maybe mix it up a little bit. so every thanksgiving i try to change my sides up.

    >> here's the key right here.

    >> yeah, some bacon.

    >> there it is.

    >> well, it's optional. it's optional. but if i were you i would put it in there.

    >> instead of dinner rolls --

    >> we have sweet potato rolls. a lot of times people have smashed sweet potatoes . i like to mix it up. you guys taste and see how i did.

    >> people like you have rescued the brussel sprout . now it's a must have.

    >> getting that browning on them -- that's what makes them --

    >> that's fantastic.

    >> tonya holland, thank you so much.

    >> thank you.

    >> it's so good i can't talk.

    >> we're back in a moment

TODAY recipes
updated 11/15/2013 6:32:04 PM ET 2013-11-15T23:32:04

Recipe: Savory bread pudding with corn, cheddar and thyme

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 8 cups (1 lb) good quality dense white bread, such as Italian or French bread, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

  • 3 cups (16 oz) frozen sweet white corn kernels, preferably organic

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, including green parts (about 4 green onions)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 3⁄4 cup cream

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Generously butter a 3-quart or 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until the bread is lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons butter.

Add the yellow onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent and just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the corn, green onions, garlic, paprika, thyme and a big pinch of salt and sauté until the vegetables are warmed through and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, half the cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Scrape the corn mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.

Add the toasted bread cubes, and toss to combine.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish, distributing the ingredients evenly, and set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and pressing down on the bread cubes to evenly distribute the liquid.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake until the pudding is golden brown and set, about 45 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

Serving Size

Makes 10 servings

Recipe: Glazed sweet potato dinner rolls

  • 1 small sweet potato (1/2 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (or 1 cup leftover mashed sweet potato)
  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg

  • 4 1⁄4 cups bread flour, plus more if needed
  • 1 package (2 1⁄4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm

In a small saucepan, add the sweet potato chunks, enough cold water to cover the potatoes, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Reserve 1/4 to 1/3 cup water, drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan.

Using a potato masher or a ricer, mash the potatoes, adding enough of the reserved water to make a smooth puree.

You should have 1 cup mashed sweet potato.

In a bowl, stir together the 1 cup mashed sweet potato, milk, butter, and egg until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the sweet potato mixture and knead on medium speed until the dough comes together, becomes smooth, and cleans the side of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

The dough will be slightly sticky.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead for about 3 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl.

Cover the bowl loosely with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot.

Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Generously butter two 9-inch round cake pans.

Scrape the dough onto a clean work surface.

Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 18 equal pieces, each about 2 1/2 ounces (a scale works great for this).

Cupping your hand over each piece of dough, roll it into a round ball. Place 9 dough balls in each cake pan, spacing them evenly.

Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot to proof. Let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the honey and warm butter until well combined. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze over the rolls.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Brush any remaining glaze over the warm rolls, let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

Turn right side up, pull apart and serve warm.

Serving Size

Makes 18 rolls

Recipe: Seared Brussels sprouts with molasses, bacon and pecans

  • 3 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons butter olive oil as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans

In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, fry the bacon until crisp, turning occasionally.

Drain on paper towels then roughly chop.

Set aside.

Pour the bacon fat into a small bowl.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon bacon fat and 1 tablespoon butter.

Warm until the butter is melted.

Add half the Brussels sprouts, cut side down and in an even layer, and sear without stirring until well browned about 3 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl.

Add another tablespoon bacon fat (or olive oil if you don't have enough bacon fat) and the remaining tablespoon butter.

Sear the remaining Brussels sprouts.

Return the first batch of sprouts to the pan.

Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt, stir, and continue to cook for about 2 minutes.

Drizzle the sprouts with the molasses and 1 tablespoon water.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook stirring frequently to coat the sprouts just until the sprouts are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the pecans and the reserve bacon and stir to combine and glaze with the molasses.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

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