Successful home cooks know the secret is in the side when it comes to holiday entertaining. Seasonal side dishes steal the show at festive celebrations, and for many partygoers, a plate heaped high with stuffing or bacon-studded baked potatoes can be the best part of a holiday meal.
A twist on tradition
Holiday hosts can put a twist on traditional holiday sides with ingredients that are sure to please the palate. Savory flavor enhancers, such as bacon and ham, enrich the taste of just about any side dish and create an irresistible flavor combination.
"For many traditional side dishes, pork provides the secret ingredient for boosting flavor in vegetable and potato recipes," says Ceci Snyder of the National Pork Board. "Adding pork to sides can take the whole meal to another flavor level."
Pork on the Side
Flavor-packed side dishes made with bacon, sausage or ham are sure to get cheers from holiday guests. Spice up your menu with these side dish options:
- Sensational stuffing: One of the easiest ways to enliven simple stuffing is to sprinkle in cooked sausage, bacon or ham. Great stuffing combinations include cornbread, ham and sage; sausage, mushroom and parsley; and bacon, apple and walnut. Impress your guests with Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries or Corn Bread, Sausage & Apple Stuffing.
- Gorgeous greens: To give steamed green beans some crunch, toss with cooked and crumbled bacon. Or try dressing up Brussels sprouts by topping them with thinly-sliced prosciutto and Parmesan cheese.
- Posh potatoes: Liven up baked potatoes by topping them with a delicious combination of cooked bacon, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese and onions. Roast potatoes before guests arrive and top with bacon-cheese mixture before serving.