6 No-Fail Holiday Recipes

1. Fresh Green Beans

These simple yet delicious veggies complement a variety of different dishes. Plus, the fresh-from-the-garden color livens up any plate.

1- 2 pounds fresh green beans
olive oil
chicken broth

1. Snap or cut the stem end off and rinse all in a colander. Drain well.
2. Drop beans in a deep saucepan or pot. Drizzle olive oil around the pot a few turns.
3. Add salt and pepper and pour in enough chicken broth to come up about two-thirds the height of the beans. 
4. Cover, bring to a boil and cook about an hour, until done. Taste halfway through to check seasoning amounts. Serves 4 – 8.

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2. Sweet Potato Casserole

Pecans make a crunchy topper for this holiday classic.

3 cups, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter  
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour                       
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup chopped pecans 
mini marshmallows (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Mix first 6 ingredients together and spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
3. Combine brown sugar, flour, 1/2 cup softened butter and pecans to make topping. Sprinkle topping and/or marshmallows over potato mixture.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. Serves 10 – 12. 

3. Grilled Quail and Pomegranate Salad

This is a showy and substantial salad that may be served as a sizable starter for 6 or a light main dish salad for 4.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
6 frozen quail, thawed and split in half
2 bags mixed greens
seeds and juice of 1/2 pomegranate
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the quail halves and toss.
2. Marinate at room temperature for 15 – 20 minutes, then drain.
3. Grill, skin-side down for 5 minutes, turn and grill for 5 more minutes. Remove to platter.
4. Toss greens, pomegranate seeds and juice, pumpkin seeds and cheese in a salad bowl. Drizzle with lime juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil; toss to coat.
5. Divide greens among plates and top with two quail halves. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. Serves 4 – 6.

4. Southern Seafood Stuffing

This warm, savory seafood stuffing makes a glorious entrée or side dish.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 pound crabmeat
1/2 pound medium shrimp,  peeled and deveined
1 (6-ounce) package cornbread stuffing (Stove Top preferred)
1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, crabmeat and shrimp. Sauté for about 5 minutes,  until shrimp is opaque and vegetables are softened. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the stuffing mix, breadcrumbs and sugar. Mix in the seafood mixture. Stir in soup and a bit of chicken broth to moisten.
4. Spoon mixture into ramekins, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6. 

5. Cranberry and Brie Bites

Punch up traditional cranberry sauce with these petite treats.

12 mini phyllo cups (available in the frozen foods section)
Brie, cubed
cranberry sauce
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For each bite, place a small piece of Brie in a phyllo cup, and top with a dollop of cranberry sauce (about a teaspoonful).
2. Sprinkle with a few chopped pecans. Bake for about 5 – 8 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

6. Apple Cinnamon Lattice Pie

Bring the Americana classic to your own kitchen and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons self-rising flour
3 cups fresh apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 egg, beaten
3/4 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (2-crust) package prepared, unbaked piecrust
1/4 stick butter, melted
cinnamon and sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Mix together both types of sugar, cinnamon and flour. Add apples, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour into
one prepared, unbaked piecrust.
3. Cut strips from second piecrust and top pie in a lattice-like formation.
4. Brush top of pie with melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
5. Bake in oven for 30 – 45 minutes, or until pie is brown and slightly bubbly. Serves 6.

Find these dishes and more delicious recipes in the pages of Mobile Bay Magazine and Bay Appetit Cookbook. Click here to subscribe to Mobile Bay and here to purchase your copy of Bay Appetit. 

mobilebaymag.com staff

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