Meal Ideas 27 October 2017

Holiday Recipes Packed with Flavor and Crunch

(Family Features) The holiday season can be full of special occasions that bring friends and family together around the dining room table. While certain classic dishes may be expected, adding new recipes to your holiday menu can keep even the traditionalists reaching for seconds.

A staple of any holiday dinner is the tried-and-true green bean casserole. Tender green beans immersed in a creamy mushroom sauce that are then topped with a crunchy layer of classic French’s Fried Onions to complete the dish. These flavorful and crunchy onions can be the star ingredient of many of your holiday recipes.

The green bean casserole recipe may be an expected part of the holiday dinner spread, but you can add other sides to bring a new twist to this year’s meal. A fun way to start is a macaroni and cheese recipe with a twist to spice up the dinner table.

Mix French’s Crispy Jalapenos into your favorite mac and cheese recipe to kick the spice and crunch up a notch. Made with real jalapenos, the addition creates a flavor explosion of cheesy goodness paired with just the right amount of spice to become a new family favorite.

For more holiday recipe inspiration, visit

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Crunchy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

  • 8          ramekins (4 ounces each), greased
  • 1          box (7 1/2 ounces) macaroni and cheese
  • 1/2       cup milk, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1          cup French’s Crispy Jalapenos
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place ramekins on baking sheet.
  2. Cook macaroni and cheese, according to package instructions.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup milk, chili powder and paprika while macaroni is still hot. Add cheddar cheese and 1 cup Italian cheese blend and continue to stir, over low heat, until melted.
  4. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup of crispy jalapenos.
  5. Fill ramekins topping with remaining Italian cheese blend and crispy jalapenos. Bake 10 minutes.

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Green Bean Casserole

  • 1          can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 4          cups cooked cut green beans
  • 1 1/3    cups French's Crispy Fried Onions, divided
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In 1 1/2-quart baking dish, mix soup, milk and pepper. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup onions.
  3. Bake 30 minutes, or until hot. Stir.
  4. Top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden.

Substitution: Use 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) green beans, drained, in place of 4 cups cooked cut green beans.

Source: French’s

Holiday 19 January 2017

Holiday Ham and Savory Sides

(Family Features) Holidays are a time filled with family, friends and — perhaps most importantly — feasts. Traditional holiday menu items have the power to evoke warm memories of holidays past while continuing to bring people together year after year. For many, the center of that coveted holiday table would not be complete without a sweet and savory spiral-sliced ham.

But what kind of holiday spread would it be without a plethora of delicious side dishes to accompany and complement the meal? Whether you prefer ham with notes of honey, nuts or fruit, make sure your dinner table boasts a variety of options that enhance its delectable flavor. Look for recipes that incorporate both traditional and unexpected ingredients for a holiday menu makeover. Doing so will keep guests pleased with familiar favorites, yet pleasantly surprised with the new variations.

Savory side selections
If you’re looking for a savory side that spotlights the distinct flavors of the season, butternut squash is an excellent choice. White Beans with Bacon and Butternut Squash is a perfect blend of savory, sweet and salty. Serve it alongside your favorite Smithfield ham — Honey, Caramel Apple or Pecan Praline glazed — for a true taste of tradition. For more great recipes, visit

A potato dish is also a must for many holiday spreads. Break away from mundane mashed potatoes and gravy with this recipe for Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes. Family and friends will line up for seconds when they get a taste of the ranch dressing and smoky bacon combination. Or, try this recipe for Green Bean Corn Casserole for another new twist on a classic holiday favorite.

3 ways to make ham leftovers delectable

For many, the best part of the holiday meal awaits them in the fridge the next day. If you find yourself with a kitchen still stocked for a holiday feast, here are some easy ways to turn delicious ham into a flavorful meal with just a few extra ingredients:

Pizza: Nothing pleases a child — or a parent for that matter — more than pizza. Simply place marinara sauce, cheese and cubed ham atop broiled French bread or English muffins for a crunchy post-holiday lunch.
Pasta salad: Whip up a cool classic you can nibble on all week long. Prepare your favorite whole-wheat noodles, then mix in cubed ham, your favorite cheeses, diced tomatoes, spinach and a generous pour of creamy Italian dressing. It’s an easy meal in just minutes.
Sandwiches: Take standard ham and cheese sandwiches to new levels with uneaten goodies from your cheese platter. Fill leftover artisan rolls from your holiday fare with sliced ham. Experiment with your favorite cheeses — Gouda, Gruyere or Roquefort — and place on the grill for a gooey, crunchy bite.

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Holiday Spiral Sliced Ham with Honey Glaze

Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes per pound
Yield: 14 servings

  • 1 Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham with Honey Glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Remove packaging; reserve liquid. Place ham cut-side down on large sheet of foil in roasting pan, pour reserved liquid over ham and wrap completely with foil. Warm ham in oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Do not overheat.
  3. After removing from oven, let sit for 5 minutes before glazing. Heat glaze packet for 15 seconds in microwave. Glaze is hot, so be careful when opening packet. Holding packet with towel or oven mitt, cut corner off packet and pour glaze into bowl. Stir well and spoon over ham. Let glazed ham sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow glaze to melt over ham.

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Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes

Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 to 6 slices Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon
  • 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan and mash coarsely. Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until browned; drain and crumble. Pour off drippings from skillet, leaving clinging particles in skillet. Add potatoes, salad dressing, buttermilk and vinegar to skillet; stir until well blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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White Beans with Bacon and Butternut Squash

Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices Smithfield bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until crumbly; remove from skillet, drain on paper towels and reserve 2 tablespoons of drippings in skillet. Add butternut squash, onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg and curry powder to the skillet; saute for 5 minutes; add chicken broth to the skillet, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 additional minutes or until butternut squash is tender. Add beans and spinach to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes or until all vegetables are heated through. Sprinkle with reserved bacon.

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Green Bean Corn Casserole

Cook time: 50 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 bag frozen French-style green beans
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (or more)
  • 1 sleeve butter crackers, finely crushed
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In large mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients and place in prepared 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish. Combine crushed butter crackers and melted butter and spread over top of casserole. Bake for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Note: Add 1 cup diced ham and 1 cup shredded cooked chicken to this recipe to make it a main dish.

Source: Smithfield




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