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Easy Holiday Recipes from "Food Network" Stars

Sure, the Deen Brothers are pros-- but they know sometimes it's best to keep it simple, too. Here's a few of their best holiday recipes that'll make you feel like a five-star chef as you whip them up to create the ultimate holiday feast.

Food Network

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While Food Network stars Jamie and Bobby Deen say they still let Queen of Butter Paula Deen do most of the holiday cooking, the brothers created recipes you may want to introduce to your family this year. What holiday table couldn’t use sweet potato and squash soup with gingerbread croutons or cranberry apple rum raisin pie?! And it wouldn’t be the holidays without lots of wine and at least a little good will. The Deen brothers created each recipe with Beringer Founders’ Estate wines in mind in honor of the Million Meals campaign. When you purchase a bottle of Beringer Founders’ Estate wine this holiday season, the Napa-based wine company will donate a dollar to a food bank in your area. If you’re going to imbibe, you might as well do so knowing your purchase will help the company reach its goal of providing 2 million meals to families in need nationwide. Read on for Jamie and Bobby Deen’s custom recipes.

Easy Sweet Potato and Squash Soup with Gingerbread Croutons

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6 as a starter Servings
Difficulty: Semi Easy
Course: Soup & Stew
Main Ingredient: Sweet Potato
Prep Time: 40 min Cook Time: 40 min Total Time: 1 hr 20 min

*Ingredients* 3-4 slices of prepared gingerbread cut into 18 large cubes 2 pounds butternut squash, halved, peeled and seeded; cut into 1-inch pieces 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1 large onion, diced 4 tablespoon butter 8 cups vegetable stock, more if you like a thinner soup 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of nutmeg 1/2 cup light cream Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

*Directions* Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the prepared ginger bread cubes on the tray and bake for 15 minutes, turning over once in the middle of baking. Gingerbread croutons should be hard and dry. If not, continue baking until hard. In a large saucepan, add squash, sweet potatoes, onion, butter, vegetable stock, cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Temper the cream by adding a little of the hot soup purée into the light cream before stirring into the rest of the soup purée. Serve topped with gingerbread croutons.

Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Pan Sauce

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6 Servings Difficulty: Semi Easy Course: Main Course Main Ingredient: Beef Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 15 min *Ingredients* 1 (4 to 5 pound) tenderloin of beef, trimmed 1 tablespoon olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon minced parsley 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary 1 teaspoon minced thyme 1 cup red wine 1 cup beef stock 3 cups sliced button mushrooms 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons butter *Directions* Preheat oven to 400º F. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Place the beef tenderloin in a roasting pan and rub the entire outside of the beef with the olive oil herb mixture. Place in the oven and roast until medium rare, or 120º F when tested with a meat thermometer (approximately 30-45 minutes). Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest, covered, while making pan sauce. Place the roasting pan with the beef renderings over medium high heat and deglaze the pan with red wine. Stir constantly until the red wine is reduced by half. Stir in the beef stock, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and butter and cook until mushrooms are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Slice the tenderloin and serve with the Mushroom pan sauce drizzled over the top.

Pan Fried Kale and Pecans

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6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Course: Vegetable Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 8 min Total Time: 38 min *Ingredients* 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 sweet onion, diced 3 large bunches of kale, rinsed, midrib removed and roughly chopped 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 cup unsalted toasted pecans, roughly chopped 1 lemon *Directions* In a very large shallow saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and onions. Cook until onions are translucent (approximately 5 minutes). Increase heat to medium high and add the remaining olive oil. Add the kale and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat in the olive oil. Cook, turning constantly until the kale begins to wilt (about 5-8 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste. Toss in pecans and squeeze fresh lemon juice over prior to serving. Serve immediately.

Cheesy Potato and Parsnip Mash

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6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Course: Side Dish Main Ingredient: Potatoes Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 40 min Total Time: 1 hr 10 min *Ingredients* 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 cup butter 1 cup heavy cream pinch of nutmeg Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (can substitute Swiss) *Directions* In a large pot add the parsnips and potatoes and cover with cold water. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the vegetables to simmer until fork tender (approximately 20-30 minutes). In a small saucepan, add the butter, heavy cream and nutmeg. Gently heat through. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Prepare a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Drain vegetables and return to pot over low heat to remove any excess moisture. Mash vegetables with a potato masher, adding the warm cream mixture a little at a time until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Spoon mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake just until the cheese on the top is melted (approximately 5-10 minutes). Serve hot.

Cranberry Apple Rum Raisin Pie

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8 Servings
Difficulty: Semi Easy
Course: Dessert
Main Ingredient: Apples
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 65 min Total Time: 1 hr 35 min

1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon pinch of ground cloves pinch of salt
1 cup frozen cranberries
6 medium apples (4 Granny Smith and 2 Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" wide wedge slices
zest and juice of 1 lemon
Prepared pastry for a double crust pie
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar

Soak the raisins in the rum overnight. Preheat oven to 425º F. Position oven rack to the middle position. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add cranberries, apples, lemon zest and juice and rum raisin mixture. Toss to coat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Drape over a 9-inch pie plate. Do not stretch dough. Trim edge leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Refrigerate while rolling out top crust. Roll out remaining dough to a 10-inch round. Remove pie plate from the refrigerator and fill with apple cranberry filling. Dot the top of the fruit with butter. Cover the pie with the top dough round. Allow dough to gently drape over the fruit. Trim edges to to be flush with the edge of the pie plate and decoratively crimp the edges. Brush the top of the pie with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut 4 steam vents in the top crust. Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375º F and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling out the steam holes (approximately 45 minutes more). Cool pie to room temperature before slicing.

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