Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Your Choice Of Holiday Sides

One of the treats of the holiday table is the vast array of sides. From jewel toned cranberry jelly to home bowls of stuffing, holiday feasters can enjoy a wide range of flavors and textures,Best of all most holiday roasts can go with a wide variety of sides.These could be healthy or decadent, yet all delicious.

Sweet sides work well with poultry and pork. Cranberry jelly or chutney goes well with both turkey and capons. For more adventurous home chefs. you can make your own cranberry jelly.This is an easy mix of fresh cranberries cranberry juice, lemon and maple syrup (!) first cooked over a high heat and then a lower one for only ten minutes  or until the mixtures thickens into a jelly. Chutneys also work with fowl and they can be ladled over the meat too for added flavor. Try an apple mango one with a melange of cubed Gala apples and mangoes ,blended with dried apricots  and spiced up with mustard, cloves and black pepper. Pork and hams always benefit with the addition of sweet sides. Grilled , unadorned pineapple rings work with both these meats. You can add a very small sprinkling of sea salt to give it a boost of savory. Apples are another excellent accompaniment. You can try homemade applesauce  to go with a pork loin roast or better yet , a warm apple and onion salad with the addition of freshly fried bacon and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Apples can be sliced into a stir fry, cooked with kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Add some apple cider vinegar for tartness and walnuts or pine nuts for crunch. Sweet potatoes are the ultimate sweet side. Instead of layering them with marshmallows, turn them into tasty fries for the kids or a creamy , buttery mash with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.

There are many savory sides to try as well. Stuffing is always in demand, especially if you have turkey. Make it interesting by using nothing but pretzels for a tastier side. Eggs  and sour cream bind together three cups of pretzel sticks that have been soaked soft in hot water. Onion powder is then added to the mix for more flavor. You can also make it in the traditional stuffing way, with sage and onion being first cooked with celery and then adding in the pretzels. Mind , this has to be cooked on it's own and not in the bird. Another fun side is Yorkshire pudding, perfect with any roast beef or London Broil. It's an easy recipe.It's four eggs, and equal amounts of milk and flour. What makes these tasty popovers sing are the meat drippings. mixed into the batter. They're wonderful, loaded with roast beef slices and gravy. For something a bit more healthier, try the classic string beans almondine.You can use fresh if you can find them or frozen green beans along with almonds browned in butter or margarine. Brussels sprouts are another emerald gem, perfect for the holiday table. Simmer in hot salted water until tender but firm. Drain and then dress with melted butter and a liberal sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Of course no meal would be complete without potatoes. You could have them in a mash but enrich it by adding sour cream and chives or the skins for added nutrients. Scalloped ones are a supremely elegant addition to any dinner or holiday lunch.its just taking sliced potatoes and baking them in a creamy roux.

Sweet and savory sides will add oomph to any holiday meal. They're good ,complementing the main roast or just wonderful on their own. Make one or make them all for a special treat.

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