Recipe Swap: Festive Side Dishes

Patch readers across the North Shore share their favorite holiday side dishes.

Need a side to go with your feast? Here are some ideas from fellow readers:


Sweet Potatoes

Provided by Ray DePaula, Marblehead Patch reader


6 sweet potatoes

9 Marshmallows (S'More size)

1/3 cup light brown sugar.

Cream to mix with. You can adjust to your consistency.



Peel and cook sweet potatoes. When cooked, drain and mash them. I usually use about 1/4 stick of butter and about 1/4 cup of cream. While they are still hot/warm. I mix in the brown sugar and put it in a baking dish. 

Put the marshmallows on the top. Put in a preheated oven 350 degrees and watch it, about 15 minutes or so. You want to get the marshmallows to golden up a little.

This recipe came from my mom, when she used to make Thanksgiving dinner. She never shared how to make stuff, so I had to watch when I was younger.


Squash Soup

Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe by Erin Cyr, Salem Patch reader/blogger


2 tablespoons butter

5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes.

Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blend until smooth. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.

If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend half of the soup at a time in a regular blender before adding the half and half. This can be made vegetarian by substituting a great tasting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Serve with a crusty French bread. This dish is lovely with a little parmesan cheese on top, chopped chives, and freshly ground black pepper. It makes a wonderful first course for Thanksgiving and it is both light and satisfying. Makes about 8 servings.


Cyr Family Stuffing with Options

Provided by the Cyr Family of Salem


Extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 ribs celery, diced


1 pound sausage, casing removed, broken into bite-size chunks

2 cloves garlic, diced

10 sage leaves, finely chopped

3 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped

10 cups stale cornbread, broken or cut into 1 inch cubes

2 cups dried cranberries

3 to 4 cups chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onions and celery with olive oil in a large pan. Season with salt. Cook on medium heat until vegetables start to get soft. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown.

Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add sage and rosemary and cook for another minute, then remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix together the cornbread, cranberries, and the sausage mixture. Add chicken stock and mix with your hands until the bread is wet. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Bake the stuffing about 30 to 35 minutes. It should be golden brown with a nice crust on top.

Sometimes I also add some peeled and chopped apples in with the cranberries. Golden raisins and walnuts also make nice additions. If you would like to make this with pre-made cornbread stuffing you can follow the same instructions. You can also substitute poultry seasoning for the rosemary and sage.

Makes about 12 servings


Zesty cranberry sauce

Provided by Danvers Patch Editor Molly Buccini


1 bag cranberries

1/2 cup  sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup H2o

1/3 cup oj

2 T orange zest

1/8 t cinnamon


Combine all in a skillet and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until cranberries begin to pop. 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool. It will thicken as it cools.

KlassySalem November 22, 2011 at 07:16 PM
I've been looking for a stuffing recipe. I'll try this.
Erin Cyr November 24, 2011 at 03:03 AM
It's really good!! We eat it every year!


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