Recipe: Holiday Tzimmes in a crock pot

Here we have altered the traditional Yiddish tzimmes recipe to fit in with any generic American-style holiday meal. This is an ideal option for a vegetarian side-dish or a modern, but hearty variation on traditional sweet-potato-type recipe.

I came across this dish Dec. 23, 2007 when Rich and I were having a Christmas dinner in Petaluma, California with the Straub family. I altered it slightly to make the recipe easier to prepare without losing any of the flavor.

Like candied yams, it is a sweet and slightly spiced dish that not only brings the Autumn harvest color orange to the table, but as it cooks, the house fills with a mood-lifting aroma that says a delicious holiday meal is being prepared.

These are made in a crock pot – and are slow cooked over 10-11 hours. Don’t be limited to thinking these tzimmes are only a side dish. They also are ideal to prepare the night before Christmas when you can wake up with a house smelling like the holidays and a warm, sweet and healthy holiday breakfast treat.

Pat’s Christmas Tzimmes

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into medallions
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 medium yams, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cups dried fruit: apples, prunes, cherries, apricots
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups white wine (optional)
  • water

Put the sliced vegetables and dried fruit in the insert of your crock pot. Stir to evenly mix to avoid layers. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt on top. Add wine and juice. Then, add water until the mix is covered. Cook on HIGH for 10-11 hours or until vegetables are very soft. Serve warm.