Who is the hero in your house during the busy holidays? In most cases, it's Mom to the rescue. Despite a very hectic schedule, she always seems to find time to carefully plan the holiday menu. After all, delighting family and friends with a wonderful holiday feast is something she looks forward to all year long.
When it comes to preparing your family's favorite holiday dishes and treats, it makes sense to use ingredients you know you can trust. From reliable pantry staples to simply sophisticated frozen pastry, it's these unsung holiday heroes that help to create an unforgettable meal and save precious time in the kitchen.
Add an unexpected twist to this year's festivities with Sweet Potato and Spiced Pecan Soup With Chive Chantilly. Swanson Broth, an essential cooking ingredient at the holidays and throughout the year, plays a starring role in this stylish and savory appetizer. Developed by executive chef Carlos Guía, from Commander's Palace in Las Vegas, this dish taps into the flavors of the season and adds an elegant flare to any occasion.
Green Bean Casserole, the quintessential holiday side dish, is loaded with flavor, yet very easy to prepare. Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup adds the perfect rich, creamy flavor and texture to this beloved recipe.
Once everyone is finished enjoying the main course, top off the holiday meal with an extraordinarily indulgent treat. Semi-sweet chocolate and rich heavy cream are combined into a mousse, spooned into a delicious Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry crust and chilled to create the Chocolate Velvet Torte. This dessert is easily prepared, ensuring plenty of time with friends and family.
Sweet Potato and Spiced Pecan Soup With Chive Chantilly
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine
Heat butter in 6-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add broth, bay leaves, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and potatoes. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add 1 cup cream and heat through. Discard bay leaves. Place one-third broth mixture in blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining broth mixture. Return to saucepot and heat through. Mix hot sauce, Worcestershire and remaining black pepper. Add pecans; toss to coat. Spread pecans in single layer on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Beat remaining cream with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide soup mixture among 6 bowls. Top with chive mixture and pecans. Serves 6.
Chocolate Velvet Torte
1/2 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm FrozenPuff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 F. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 12-inch square. Cut off corners to make a circle. Press pastry into 9-inch springform pan. Prick pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan on wire rack. Place chocolate and cream in saucepan. Heat and stir until chocolate softens. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add some chocolate mixture into egg yolk and stir well. Return egg mixture to remaining chocolate mixture and stir well. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour mixture into pastry crust. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Garnish with raspberries. Serves 6 to 8.
1/2 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14- by 9-inch rectangle. Cut into 24 rounds, using 2-inch cookie cutter. Prick rounds with fork. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Brush with water and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack. Beat cream, cocoa and remaining sugar in bowl until stiff peaks form, using electric mixer at high speed. Split pastries into 2 layers. Spread about 2 teaspoons chocolate mixture on 24 bottom layers. Top with top layers and spoon 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture on each. Decorate with chocolate curls or chocolate sprinkles and a dusting of cocoa, if desired. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Makes 24 pastries.
Green Bean Casserole
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom or 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
Mix soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake for 5 minutes. Serves 6. Tip: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, 2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.
Holiday Vegetable Stuffing
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Heat butter in saucepot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrots and onion and cook until tender. Add broth, chestnuts and spinach. Heat to a boil. Stir in stuffing. Mix lightly. Serves 8.
Gravy as easy as 1, 2, 3!
For savory herb turkey gravy, simply heat 2 cans of Campbell's Turkey Gravy, 6 tablespoons of turkey drippings, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of sage. Makes 2 1/2 cups.