Saturday, January 15, 2011

The 12 recipes of Christmas - Part 3

Meat is neat, but side dishes are delicious!

Side dishes
Someone brought the mashed white potatoes - some consider the feast lacking without them - but I made three additional accompaniments: holiday sweet potatoes (not bad), cranberry sauce (rocked!) and spinach and gruyere casserole (not gonna lie - took it right from Real Simple). All were successful, although I did get distracted and over baked the casserole.

Cranberry sauce
1 tb butter
2 tb honey
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 tb ginger
1/2 jar St. Dalfour apricot conserve
2 tb apple juice (more as needed)
Melt butter with honey in saucepan. Add berries and stir to coat. When berries burst, reduce heat to low, stirring frequently and add ginger and conserve. When sauce becomes thick, stir in apple juice, adding more to reach your preference.
Use St. Dalfour peach conserve if you prefer a thinner, sweeter sauce. This is the only 100% natural, no added sugar brand I have found. If you aren't so picky, feel free to substitute whatever you like.

Holiday sweet potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes, sliced into rounds
2 tb walnut oil
1 c pecans, chopped
1 tb honey
2 ts thyme or rosemary
1/2 ts nutmeg
1/2 ts cayenne
1/2 ts coarse ground pepper
Toss potatoes with oil and bake, covered, in 13x9 dish 45 minutes at 375. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients. When potatoes have baked, top with nut mixture and return to oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

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