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Tasty make-ahead dishes help ease holiday hassles

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Holiday season is in full gear. Our calendars are filled with Christmas shopping, office parties, family get-togethers and, of course, potlucks. It can be stressful to come up with a dish that will please friends and family yet not take an entire day to prepare.

These dishes are packed with flavor, easy to transport and can be made ahead. That way, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the festivities.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Maui Onions

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large Maui onions, thinly sliced
Pinch sugar
Pinch salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 (8-ounce) Brie wheel
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large skillet over medium-low heat, add olive oil, butter, onions, sugar and salt. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, until onions are caramelized.

Add garlic and sun-dried tomatoes cook for 1 to 2 minutes; set aside and cool completely. (This step can be prepared a day in advance.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to 12-inch square. Place onion mixture in center and top with wheel of brie. Brush edges of pastry with egg and fold over Brie, enclosing it completely in dough. Press all seams together.

Place on baking sheet, seam side down. Brush top and sides with egg. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. (If baking ahead of time, warm in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.) Serves 12.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 220 calories, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein

Lasagna Rolls with Alfredo Sauce

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16-ounce) jar alfredo sauce
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups Swiss chard, blanched, drained and chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 lasagna noodles, prepared according to package
1 cup mozzarella

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish.

In medium saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add alfredo sauce and nutmeg; warm through, about 5 minutes.

In separate bowl, whisk ricotta, chard, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spoon thin layer of alfredo sauce over bottom of baking dish. Lay out lasagna noodle; spread large spoonful (about 3 tablespoons) ricotta mixture evenly over noodle. Starting at one end, roll noodle like a jelly roll.

Lay the roll seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles, making sure that lasagna rolls are not touching.

Spoon remaining sauce on top of each roll. Sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about another 15 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 rolls. (Lasagna Rolls can be prepared the night before and baked before serving.)

Approximate nutritional information, per roll: 280 calories, 17 g fat, 70 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 17 g protein

Jicama and Japanese Pear Slaw

1 pound jicama, julienned
1/2 pound Japanese pear, julienned
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons calamansi lime juice
1 (11-ounce) can whole mandarin orange, drained
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

In medium bowl, place jicama, pear, onion, cilantro, calamansi juice and mandarin orange.

Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours. Serves 6.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including sea salt to taste): 70 calories, 5 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 1 g protein, no fat or cholesterol


More Hawaiian Electric Co. recipes are available at

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