Fabulous Holiday Side Dishes

Sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and vegetables are called side dishes but for me they are the main attraction of the holiday table. I have included some of my favorite side dish recipes.

5     medium-size sweet potatoes
1/2  cup butter
1/2  cup maple syrup
1/4  cup sour cream
1     tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1/2  cup oven-roasted whole pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a knife, pierce sweet potatoes several times. Put on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until soft. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
Peel sweet potatoes. Put in a food processor, along with butter, maple syrup and sour cream, and mix to obtain the consistency of a purée. Put purée in a bowl, add chives, and gently mix together. Put roasted pecans on top and serve.

For more maple recipes: A Merry Maple Holiday Menu

Pancetta is the secret ingredient that makes this moist stuffing really flavorful.  If you don’t have pancetta on hand, bacon works great too!

6     tablespoons butter
2     large sweet onions, diced (about 3 cups)
1     package (4 ounces) cubed pancetta (about 1 cup)
4     cloves garlic, chopped
2     stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
2     tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3     cups Swanson Chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
1/4  cup sherry
1     package (14 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing

1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Heat the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes or until well browned, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir the pancetta, garlic, celery and rosemary in the saucepan and cook until the pancetta is well browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth and sherry and heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the stuffing and mix lightly. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Cover the casserole.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is hot.

For more dressing recipes: Scene-Stealing Holiday Stuffing

Mom’s Cranberry Relish

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cranberry-apple juice
1 pound (4 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
4 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 pound)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, juice and cranberries in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thickens.

Remove from heat; stir in apple and walnuts. Spoon into a bowl, cool. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Bean Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

12 oz fresh tender green beans
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 small red onion sliced into thin rings

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Dash sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Snap ends off of green beans

Blanch in 2 quarts of lightly salted water until cooked but still crunchy.  Drain and plunge in ice water to stop the cooking.

Allow beans to dry by laying them spread out on a paper towel.
Slice beans in half, place in a large bowl.  Add cranberries, pecans and onions.


Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar.  Shake well.

Drizzle the desired amount over the green bean salad.

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