Five Holiday Hits

    The Turkey's Supporting Cast

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    1. Sausage and Apricot Stuffing

    Brown 2 pounds of original sausage in a skillet. Add 2 cups each: chopped celery, chopped yellow onion. Cook until tender. Remove from heat. Add 24 oz. Can of apricot halves (drained and chopped, reserving juice). Add 6 cups of whole wheat bread cubes, 1 tbsp. Apple juice, and 1 tbsp. Poultry seasoning. Add reserved apricot juice if needed. Place in a greased baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 30 to 45 minutes. Serves 10.

    2. Sauteed Green Beans with Pecans

    Cook 12 oz. Green beans (fresh or frozen) in boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge in ice water. Melt 1 tbsp. Butter in a skillet over medium-high. Add green beans, ¼ cup chopped shallots and ¼ cup chopped pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until heated. Serves 4.

    3. Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Prick 3 pounds of sweet potatoes twice with a fork and bake at 400ºF in a foil-lined baking pan in the lower third of oven until tender, about 1 hour. Remove and let cool slightly. Halve potatoes lengthwise and scoop out warm flesh into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher or electric mixer. Stir in ½ stick soft, unsalted butter, ¼ cup warm heavy whipping cream (or milk), and 1½ tbsp. Maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6.

    4. Squash Apple Bake

    Peel and cut 2 small butternut squash and 6 apples into ½ inch cubes. Place squash in ungreased, glass baking pan. Top with apples. Mix ½ cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. Flour, and ½ tsp. Nutmeg. Sprinkle on top. Melt ¼ cup butter and drizzle on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF for about an hour or until squash is tender. Serves 8.

    5. Savory Cranberry Chutney

    In a large saute pan, combine 12 oz. Package cranberries, 1 orange cut into bite size pieces, 2 tbsp. Lemon juice, 2 tbsp. Minced shallots, 1 tsp. Ginger powder, ½ tsp. Cumin, ¼ tsp. Cayenne, 1 tsp. Lightly crushed mustard seeds and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir until sugar dissolves and cranberries begin to pop open. Remove from heat and let cool. Option: Fold in ½ cup chopped pistachios and ½ cup chopped dried figs or raisins. Make up to 2 days ahead. Yields 2 cups.