Eight side dishes to enhance your holiday feast

We’re continuing our Christmas countdown with eight appetizing side dishes

Eight side dishes to enhance your holiday feast
These little orbs of luscious sausage, apple and dressing, baked in mini-muffin tins, are the perfect way to get the flavors of the holidays into an hors d'oeurve for all your gatherings!

EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - The main dish is often considered the star of the meal, but your holiday dinner wouldn’t be complete without side dishes to complement the star.

These side dishes are easy-to-make and don’t skimp on the flavor.

Download the FREE East Texas Kitchen app today! Get hundreds of easy-to-make meals, recipes from local chefs and get access to video tutorials. Available in the Apple and Play stores.

And remember, we’ll be unveiling more magical ideas for desserts, dinner and side dishes throughout the month. If you’re wondering what’s on the menu, here’s a peek at what’s in store.

Sausage and apple dressing bites by Mama Steph

These little orbs of luscious sausage, apple and dressing, baked in mini-muffin tins, are the perfect way to get the flavors of the holidays into an hors d'oeurve for all your gatherings!

Sausage and apple dressing bites by Mama Steph

Sausage and apple dressing bites Makes 24

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of sausage, preferably with sage
  • 1/2 small onion, about 2/3 cup
  • 2/3 cup minced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 3 cups dried bread cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter olive oil
  • 1/2 medium apple, peeled and minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth

Method:

  1. Place bread into a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. In a skillet, place the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onion and celery in the oil until tender; add the garlic, sage and sausage to the pan. Break up the sausage, and cook until no pink remains in the sausage.
  3. Add the sausage mixture to the bread cubes.
  4. Beat the four eggs in a bowl, then add to the bread and sausage, along with the apple and chicken broth. Toss thoroughly, until everything is well-coated and mixed.
  5. Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to fill the 24 mini-muffin tin. Press each scoop of the dressing into the pan well. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden on top. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. (May need to use tip of butter knife to loosen edges.
  6. Serve warm with warmed whole berry cranberry sauce for dipping, if desired.

Scalloped potatoes and ham by Bear Creek Smokehouse

Scalloped potatoes and ham by Bear Creek Smokehouse

Robbie Shoults with Bear Creek Smokehouse in Marshall shares a recipe that would be great on your Easter table, and would be an excellent way to use up leftover ham, too.

Scalloped potatoes and ham

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream of celery soup 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 cups diced ham 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 3 cups thinly sliced potatoes 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine soup, milk and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In the prepared casserole dish, alternate layers of potatoes, ham, onion and soup mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.
  4. Remove from oven. Remove foil and distribute the cheese over the potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe from Bear Bottom Bliss cookbook, available here.

Southwestern chipotle macaroni and cheese

This is a nice twist on mac and cheese. Mama Steph made it without Rotel, which is great in it, usually, but she wanted something different.

Southwestern mac and cheese

Southwestern Chipotle mac and cheese

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz large elbow macaroni, cooked and drained, reserving one cup of the cooking water for sauce. 12 oz can evaporated milk 2 tsp cornstarch 2 eggs 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed 3 whole chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, minced (save the sauce!) 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds if you don’t like heat) 1 medium tomato, finely chopped 8 ounces American cheese (can get it in most delis, or unwrap slices, if you must.) :) 5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated 4 or 5 green onions, washed and thinly sliced

Method:

  1. Put drained pasta and one cup of reserved water in Dutch oven (or stock pot that you cooked the pasta in)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine evaporated milk, eggs, and cornstarch until completely combined and lump-free
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the pasta, making sure all pasta is coated
  4. Add jalapeno, green onions and tomato.
  5. Add chipotle peppers and 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce from can.
  6. Stir in both cheeses, until melted.

At this point, you can decide if you want to a) eat it as-is, or b)put in a casserole dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. Baking will give you a drier, more casserole-like consistency. Also, if you don’t bake, your vegetables will be more crisp, which some of us love. If that’s not your thing, then make sure to bake it until bubbly and top is lightly browned.

Mexican corn casserole

Mexican corn casserole is comparable to the delicious street corn, Elotes, that you can buy at the state fair every year. So delicious!

  • 4 cups whole kernel corn… Use frozen or roast your own and slice kernels off the cob
  • One cup of good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Mexican Crema (or heavy cream)
  • 1 teaspoon or more hot sauce, to your taste
  • 1 cup grated cheddar and one cup crumbled Mexican white cheese
  • Spices: Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, etc. Customize to your likes!

Method:

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except corn and cheese. Taste, and adjust seasonings if you would like more heat or saltiness.

For this sauce over the corn and a larger mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then pour into a 8 x 8 dish or pie plate.

Top with both cheeses, and bake in a 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

3-ingredient fluffy biscuits and sweet potato biscuits

This recipe is used widely across the south, or variation of it are, at least. They’re easy and fluffy and delicious! This one was found on the website, and Mama Steph loved it so much she wanted to share with you!

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups self-rising flour

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk and mayonnaise. Stir until completely combined and smooth.
  3. Add the flour. Stir until just incorporated. Dough will look quite wet.
  4. Use a large spoon or cookie scoop to form biscuits, dropping scoops onto a sprayed or greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 10-14 minutes in center of oven. Tops will lightly brown. Made 12 with my generously-sized scoop.
  • SWEET POTATO VARIATION: Increase milk to 1 1/4 cup, add one half cup precooked sweet potato, mashed, to wet mixture, and add 1 TBS sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon to dry mixture. May take slightly longer to bake; watch to remove when tops are nicely browned.

Roasted sweet potatoes with brown butter sauce by Mama Steph

Here’s a great recipe for sweet potatoes that I think you’ll like, if you’re a fan of these colorful, sweet, good-for-you tubers. The potatoes are roasted, which makes them nice and chewy-soft, and the sauce has a fabulous flavor that I think you’ll love!

Roasted sweet potatoes with brown butter sauce by Mama Steph

Roasted sweet potatoes with sage-brown butter sauce

We truly hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. You can also use about half as much dried sage, if you have none fresh.

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 2 TBS fresh sage, minced

Method:

  • Wash, peel and chop raw sweet potatoes into about 3/4 to 1 inch dice.
  • Spread diced potatoes out on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil over the sweet potatoes, and toss to coat thoroughly.
  • Spread the oiled potatoes out on the baking sheet in a single layer, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (if at the end of 30 minutes you feel you would like the chunks softer, roast for another five minutes.
  • When there are only about five minutes left in the potatoes’ roasting time, make the sauce: place the butter in a sauce pan or small frying pan over medium heat, stirring. When butter starts to foam a bit and becomes a golden brown on the bottom, remove from heat, and stir in syrup and minced sage.
  • Place the roasted potatoes into a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce, gently tossing. Serve warm. They reheat well, if needed.

Fiesta corn salad by David Wallace

I could give you a dozen recipes for side dishes and it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s that time of year, the holiday’s season. There will be meals shared with your coworkers, church members, organizations, and families. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are coming quickly," Chef David says.

East Texas Kitchen--Fiesta Corn Salad

This is a quick, easy, and economical salad. Best of all, it's scrumptious. Slightly sweet and salty, with a touch of southwest flavor. All you will need is:

Fiesta corn salad by David Wallace

  • 2 (15oz) cans of whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper and 1/2 cup chopped red onion

Method: In a mixing bowl, add well drained cans of corn, cheese,the mayo, and the vegetables (peppers and onions). Thoroughly chill and hold until ready to serve. When ready serve, add one: 10 oz bag of coarsely crushed chili cheese corn chips

Mix well and serve.

Texas-style sweet potato-cranberry casserole by Mama Steph

If you’re ready for a change from the ooey-gooey marshmallow covered sweet potato casserole, give this one a try.

  • 6 sweet potatoes, boiled or baked, then peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted in a skillet - when you toast nuts in a skillet, just place them in the dry skillet, and stir continuously over medium heat just until you begin to smell their fragrance, then immediately take off heat.

Sauce:

  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos (you could use fresh, if that's what you have) ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons butter

Method:

  1. In a saucepan or small skillet, combine all sauce ingredients.
  2. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sauce comes to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes while you place potatoes in the dish.
  3. Butter the bottom and sides of a casserole dish
  4. Spread the sliced sweet potatoes across the bottom of the pan. Pour the sauce evenly over the potatoes.
  5. Top with the toasted pecans.
  6. Bake at 350 until bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

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