SOURCE: Dole Bananas

December 06, 2010 08:00 ET

Make Room for New Holiday Favorites

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - December 6, 2010) - (Family Features) Move over, green bean casserole. It's time to bring something new to the holiday table. These recipes make the most of holiday favorites by adding unique and flavorful twists.

Bananas and pineapples add a touch of the exotic (as well as some good nutrition) to the holiday cheesecake, sausage stuffing and sweet potato casserole that the family loves. And for a super simple dessert, try these easy baked bananas. Baking bananas brings out the natural sweetness even more, and they can be topped with just about anything you like.

For more Dole banana and pineapple recipes that will become the new family favorites, visit www.dole.com/bananas.

Pineapple Sausage Stuffing  
Makes: 12 to 16 servings  
Prep: 30 minutes  
Bake: 40 minutes  
  1 package (12 ounces) pork sausage
  1 cup butter
  1 1/2 cups chopped Dole Celery
  1 cup chopped Dole Onion
  8 cups sliced sourdough bread, cut into cubes
  1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
  1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  1 cup dried cranberries
  1/3 cup chopped parsley
  1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  1 teaspoon ground sage or
  2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

Crumble sausage into large skillet; cook over medium high heat until pork is completely browned. Drain sausage. Set aside.
Melt butter in skillet. Add celery and onion and cook about 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Combine together bread, cooked sausage, celery-onion mixture, pineapple, pecans, cranberries, parsley, oregano and sage in large bowl; mix well. Spoon into lightly greased 3-quart casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray; cover.
Bake at 375°F, 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Garnish with pineapple wedges or slices and fresh sage, if desired.
Lighter Variation: Reduce butter to 1/2 cup and increase chopped pineapple to 2 cups.

Caribbean Sweet Potato Bake  
Makes: 6 to 8 servings  
Prep: 20 minutes  
Bake: 40 minutes  
  3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
  2 eggs, slightly beaten
  1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  1/4 cup melted margarine
  2 tablespoons dark rum, optional
    Grated peel and juice from 1 lime
  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  2 Dole Bananas, peeled, diced

Combine mashed sweet potatoes with eggs, brown sugar, margarine, rum, lime peel, juice and nutmeg in large bowl; beat until well blended. Fold in diced bananas.
Spoon into shallow 5-cup or 8-inch baking dish, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375°F, for 40 minutes. Garnish with banana slices and parsley, if desired.

Baked Bananas
Makes: 2 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
  1 ripe Dole® Banana, peeled and sliced lengthwise
    Lemon juice
  2 teaspoons honey
    Ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
Lightly brush banana halves with lemon juice. Place cut-sides up on sheet.
Spoon honey over banana halves and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 10 minutes.
Topping Ideas: peppermint chocolate; pumpkin spice and marshmallows; dried cranberries and dark chocolate; dried cranberries, chocolate syrup and pecans/walnuts; peanut butter and chocolate chips; chocolate chips, graham cracker crumble and marshmallows; peanut butter and jam; chocolate candy bar chopped; honey and peanut butter; honey and lime
Note: Can also be made in a toaster oven.

Holiday Cranberry Banana Cheesecake  
Makes: 12 servings  
Prep: 30 minutes  
Bake: 70 minutes  
  2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1/3 cup margarine, melted
  1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
  1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  3 packages (8 ounces each) light cream cheese, softened
  2 teaspoons lemon peel
  1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1/4 teaspoon salt
  2 extra-ripe, medium Dole Bananas
  3/4 cup light sour cream

Combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and margarine. Pat on bottom and 3/4 of the way up side of 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350°F, 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool.
Combine cranberry sauce and cornstarch in saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove 1/2 cup for topping; set aside.
Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Puree bananas (1 cup); blend into cheese mixture. Spoon 2 cups cheese mixture into cooled crust. Spoon cranberry filling over. Cover with remaining cheese mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Combine sour cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; spread over top. Spoon reserved 1/2 cup cranberry topping in center to form a circle. Gently swirl cranberry and sour cream. Return to oven 15 minutes more or until glaze is firm. Cool.
Run thin knife around inside of pan to loosen cheesecake; chill 6 hours or overnight. Remove side of spring form pan before slicing. Garnish with mint if desired.

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