Holiday cooking shouldn’t be stressful! Check out some of these make-ahead dishes that are easy to prepare and ready to serve when it’s time to dig in. -All American Healthcare Covington
Fresh Citrus and Cranberry Salad
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (1 cup)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 5 ounce package baby arugula
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil
- For Cranberry Topper, in food processor cover and pulse cranberries 5 times to coarsely chop (or coarsely chop by hand). Transfer to bowl.
- Cut peel from oranges. Section oranges over bowl to catch juice. Add sections and juice to cranberries. Stir in celery, onion, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Toss arugula with mint and oil. Top with cranberry mixture. Serves 8.
Bacon-Topped Green Bean Casserole
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 cup boiling water
1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as morel, chantarelle, oyster, and/or porcini mushrooms
7 slices bacon (8 ounces), cut into small pieces
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In an extra-large skillet cook beans in boiling lightly salted water about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain again; set aside. Meanwhile, in a small bowl pour the 1 cup boiling water over the dried mushrooms. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
- In the same extra-large skillet cook bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a small bowl lined with a paper towel; crumble bacon. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings in skillet; discard the remaining drippings. Cook cremini mushrooms in the reserved drippings over medium-high heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in green beans.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to remove the dried mushrooms from the water (do not discard liquid). Chop the mushrooms; add to green bean mixture.
- For sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in all but about 2 tablespoons of the mushroom liquid (discard the liquid at the bottom of the bowl, which may be gritty). Stir in half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary, salt, and pepper. (To serve today, omit Step 5 and continue as directed in Step 6.)
- Transfer crumbled bacon, green bean mixture, and sauce to separate airtight containers. Cover; chill for up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir the sauce into the bean mixture. Spoon into a 2-quart square baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Top with bacon. Bake for 5 minutes more.
1 pound fresh chestnuts (3 cups)*
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (1 ounce)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped fennel or celery
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces Genoa salami, sliced & chopped or thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
3/4 cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 cups 3/4-inch cubes dry Italian bread**
1 cups chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. With a knife, cut an X in the shells of chestnuts. Spread chestnuts on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes; cool. Peel and coarsely chop chestnuts; set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, place mushrooms in a medium bowl; cover with the boiling water. Let stand for 15 minutes; drain. If necessary, snip any large pieces of mushroom. Pat dry with paper towels.
- In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, fennel, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in chestnuts, salami, 1/4 cup of the cheese, the thyme, parsley, pepper, and salt. Place the bread cubes in an extra-large bowl; add onion mixture. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, tossing lightly to combine.
- Transfer bread mixture to a 3-quart casserole.*** Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until heated through.
Original Source: Better Homes