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Written by the YesChef staff
To complement your main holiday course and add a diversity of color, taste, and texture to your holiday plate, there are plenty of options to consider. You can make mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and / or roasted potatoes. You can make a casserole like green bean casserole, rolls or cornbread, and greens and vegetables like some salads and roasted vegetable dishes. You can make Thanksgiving-style stuffing. And you can make any number of side dishes featuring pasta and rice. And as everyone knows, no holiday meal is complete without dessert. Some warming desserts that are great during the winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) holiday season are cakes, cookies, and brownies featuring fun, festive flavors like peppermint, ginger, vanilla, and, of course, chocolate. More specifically, some great options are gingersnap cookies, fudge brownies, and a peppermint cake, vanilla cake, or chocolate bundt cake.
Vegetable side dishes during the holidays provide a much-needed balance – in color, taste, texture, and nutritional value – to roasted meat and its carb-heavy companions. Chapa Veggies with Vinaigrette, a culinary creation of chef Francis Mallmann, would definitely be a hit as a side dish at your holiday table. This dish features a colorful array of sweet vegetables such as pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, and carrots among many others. The side dish is cooked slowly with olive oil on a charpa griddle or cast-iron pan and served on a platter with vinaigrette.
Chapa Veggies with Vinaigrette is a festive dish that is perfect for any holiday meal. That’s because over at the Mallmann household during the holidays, the dinner table looks far from traditional. In his lesson, Francis brings life to vegan cooking and teaches his daughters’ absolute favorite Christmas dish: a platter overflowing with a colorful assortment of seasonal vegetables. Learn how to perfectly choose, cut, and cook fresh vegetables on the plancha and whip up a wonderfully versatile mustard vinaigrette.
Those who eat a lot during the holidays know that holiday dishes skew heavily toward the salty, savory, creamy, and buttery sides of the culinary spectrum. Thus, making sides with some sweetness are important to give balance to the plate as well as to the palate. Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s Fried Plantains and Calypso Aioli is a flavorful Jamaican-inspired dish certain to wow your holiday dinner guests. Part of a comforting dish that Kwame used to eat at home after school almost every day (For Kwame, it complements chicken blackened and braised in a rich brown gravy) it works equally well with your Christmas turkey or the juicy beef brisket you are having for Hanukkah.
It is made by frying sliced ripe plantains, which are dark and sweet, in a pan half-filled with canola oil until the plantains are soft and golden brown. The fried plantains are then put in a small bowl and served alongside a tangy Calypso aioli sauce. Kwame makes the sauce by cooking and blending an array of vegetables into a puree and allowing them to cool. He makes his homemade aioli by whisking egg yolks, mustard, and oil into a thick consistency. Then, he mixes everything together.
A great vegetable-centered side dish to enhance the color and healthfulness of a holiday dinner is red pepper salad. To take your holiday meal to another level entirely, make chef Erez Komarovsky’‘s Red Pepper Salad with Almonds and Marjoram. It is made by charring red bell peppers in a wood-fire oven or an ordinary oven at its maximum temperature, peeling the peppers, and then serving them with toasted almonds, garlic confit oil, anchovy filets, Marjoram, and lemon juice. A divine, silky texture – combined with the nutty crunch of almonds and the fragrance of the marjoram – makes this pepper salad totally unique…and supremely delicious. Erez shows you his secret for burning and peeling the peppers, roasting the almonds, and using the garlic confit from his Challah lesson.