The holidays are one of those yearly events that almost every family prepares for. And usually, it’s the same main event – a holiday roast. It can be pork, beef, lamb, chicken, you name it. Americans love any roast meat served on their table.
But can you imagine a table that only has the main event? It seems pretty empty, right? That’s why you have side dishes. Side dishes are like the Robin to the Batman – they don’t have to be there but it makes everything else go full circle. So if you plan to have that roast for Christmas, you should know the side dishes that best complement it. Here are the 10 side dishes that you can prepare right alongside your roast.
Mashed potatoes are no stranger to the American kitchen. It’s a traditional side dish for any roasted meat that it’s hard to not have it around. Although this traditional dish is very easy to make, there are a lot of ways to give it a twist.
One way to spice up your mashed potatoes is to add flavor and texture. You can add bits of bacon on top of the mashed potatoes or you can incorporate the salty flavor by mixing bacon bits with the potatoes. If you want a stronger flavor, you can also use onions. A good thing about onions is that they’re very versatile. You can add crispy fried onions on top or just sprinkle onion leeks.
Truffle French Fries
Another potato dish that you can make is truffle french fries. French fries usually count as snacks but for this recipe, it can easily be considered part of the sides for prime rib Christmas dinner. What’s great about this dish is you don’t need a lot to make it taste good. And since they’re fries, you don’t need to put a lot of garnish on it.
A simple truffle french fries recipe can be elevated with a few add-ons like cheese and parsley. It would also help to find high-quality truffle oil to create good-tasting fries. Some think that truffle fries are just like your ordinary french fries. But with good presentation and truffle oil, you can prove them wrong.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze and Bacon
Brussel sprouts are not very famous among young people because of their bitterness. But when you give it a balsamic glaze, it suddenly tastes a lot better. It becomes even tastier when you sprinkle bacon strips on the dish. Just imagine – it has bitterness, acid, and a pinch of salt in every bite.
If you don’t want to roast the Brussel sprouts, you can cook them in boiling water instead. This will make the veggies tender. If you’re worried about it being too soft, just leave it for 8-10 minutes before you sprinkle cooked bacon on it. For an added crisp, you can choose to put croutons so it can resemble a salad.
Creamed spinach is a common side dish especially since it’s creamy and healthy. Unlike Brussel sprouts, spinach doesn’t taste that bad. You might even just taste a hint of it with all the cream you’ll put on this. And what’s great is that you only need 30 minutes at most. You can do this while you wait for your roast meat to get cooked.
Although most recipes recommend using Parmesan cheese, you can experiment more for this. You can use a different cheese as long as it doesn’t taste too strong for the cream. After all, it’s not cream cheese you’re making.
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Who says you can’t have rice as side dishes? This Porcini mushroom risotto will tell you otherwise. In fact, if you want to elevate your Christmas dinner, serving risotto will automatically do that. But beware because you need a total of 50 minutes to prep and cook this risotto.
Risotto in itself is a delicious dish that has a lot of subtle flavors in it. Some people think it’s just rice, mushroom, and cream but it’s definitely more than that. It’s so flavorful that you can eat risotto alone. And when you run out of roast meat (hopefully this doesn’t happen), the risotto can help save your meal. This means that this is not a side dish that is light. With all the cream, cheese, and carbs in this risotto recipe, you might want to eat this in small amounts.
Garlic Butter Mushrooms
If you’re more of a garlic person, you’ll be happy to know that garlic butter mushrooms are perfect side dishes for pork roast. It has a strong flavor that you can’t get enough of. Imagine garlic butter prawns. It’s delicious, right? Same goes for this dish except that you have mushrooms to balance out the protein you have as your main ingredient.
You can use any kind of mushroom for this side dish and it will only take you 30 minutes to cook. This already includes 15 minutes of prep time. So if you’re running out of time for side dishes, this easy to cook food will help save the day. Apart from being easy to prepare, it’s also easy to eat. It’s like a healthy version of chips because you won’t notice how much you’ve eaten already.
Bacon Wrapped Veggies
For veggie lovers, a meal won’t be complete without a delicious vegetable dish. In this dish, you add more flavor to some bland vegetables without having to add a lot of spices. All you need is a few vegetables cut in strips and bacon. To add a little design to this side dish, what you can do is use the bacon strips as ribbons. It’s like bundling a few veggies together. The common veggies you can put are carrots, asparagus, and parsnips.
If you only have the veggies, this side dish won’t be delicious. But if you add bacon with a maple glaze, everything becomes different. You can even prepare a dip for your veggies. Dips can be simple sauces or dressings you would usually use for salads.
Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze
Another balsamic-tasting dish on the list is this sweet medley of healthy foods. You might be wondering why you need to roast beets in this recipe. But if you didn’t know, compared to boiling, roasting brings out more flavor from the beets. The roasting sort of caramelizes the beets which brings out the sugars and gives it a crisp flavor. However, if you plan on roasting the beets, make sure that they’re covered in foil. This will make it easier for you to peel the beets.
And when it comes to the balsamic glaze, you only need balsamic vinegar, sugar, and orange zest. These 3 ingredients will give a twist to your beets. Although they’re good as is, having this glaze will give you a burst of flavor, unlike any other side dish.
Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole
Filed under roast chicken sides, a butternut squash and apple casserole dish is a sweet side dish that will perfectly complement your roast chicken. It’s a good alternative to a potato side dish especially if you want to try something different. Although you have to know that this is not easy to make. On average, this dish takes around an hour to create which is long for a side.
But even if it takes longer to make, you will only need 8 ingredients. To add more crunch to your casserole you can chopped walnuts or pecans. Some prefer to have them crushed and make it look like crushed graham over the dish.
Yorkshire puddings don’t exactly have American origins, but they are famous in the country for a reason. This is because it’s one of the best side dishes for roast beef. You might be wondering why since it’s some sort of pudding. But did you know that Yorkshire pudding doesn’t taste sweet? If anything, it tastes savory because of the butter and beef drippings that you brush with it.
One of the well-known recipes of Gordon Ramsay (again, not American) is his version of Yorkshire Pudding. His recipe involves brushing the muffin tin with beef drippings from your roast. This gives the dish a rich meaty flavor. Another secret to golden and puffy Yorkshire pudding is to heat the muffin tin for 15 minutes before putting the batter. The ending result is a golden-brown pudding that is soft and fragrant.
The holidays are a time for families and friends to get together in the dining table. Even if you don’t admit it, side dishes play a huge part in this meal. Sure, there’s your roasted meat which is always a staple, but nothing adds more color and character than side dishes. Hopefully, these side dishes will push you to be creative in prepping for your next holiday meal.