When it comes to holiday meals, most people have the main dish all figured out. Opting for ham, turkey, or some other favorite centerpiece, they know what they will be serving, as it is usually a yearly tradition. But it’s the side dishes that many people grapple with, unsure what to serve and often bored of the same old things. The good news is that there are some great holiday side dishes that are not only simple enough to make, but will impress a crowd.
“The side dishes are often overlooked because people are so busy focusing on the main dish that will be served,” says Ryan Fichter, Executive Chef at both the Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge and Thunder Burger & Bar. “But the side dishes can really add to a meal, as well as take a good meal and make it a great one.”
Here are 5 great holiday side dishes to consider making this year:
1. Sausage stuffing. Opt for mild or spicy sausage, depending on your culinary preferences.
2. Oyster spoon bread. This hearty dish not only pleases the palette, but it also looks like a warm fall dish.
3. Roasted turnips. Roasting the turnips will help create a mild and mellow flavor that goes well with all holiday main dishes.
4. Salad. Serve up a special salad, such as the ensalada de Mis Recuerdos de Verano that is served at Bodega. The salad features romaine lettuce, hearts of palm, tomato, bonito tuna, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and egg, with mustard vinaigrette dressing.
5. Green beans. There are always a nice side dish touch to a holiday meal. Switch them up by opting for something like the Judias Verdes Finas Salteadas con Almendras served at Bodega, which are French green beans with almonds.
“You probably already know what your main dish is going to be,” adds Fichter. “Give some thought to your side dishes and you will have a winning combination that everyone will love.”
Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge and Thunder Burger & Bar both offer a wide variety of popular side dishes. Bodega offers both cold and hot ones, including marinated anchovies, tomato bread, roasted beets, smoked salmon, and sautéed mushrooms. Thunder Burger offers such side dishes as sweet potato fries, vegetarian chili, hummus, grilled buffalo wings, fried calamari, and loaded skins.
Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge offers a variety of traditional Spanish dishes, including several varieties of paella, cold and hot tapas, and dishes featuring squid, shark, octopus, cuttlefish, scallops, monkfish, quail, lamb and more. Bodega, located at 3116 M St. NW, offers a happy hour, a weekend brunch and patio seating during nice weather, and serves lunch and dinner daily. For more information on Bodega, visit www.bodegadc.com.
In addition to serving 15 different burger options, Thunder Burger’s menu features such dishes as salads, appetizers, sandwiches, steak, fish and chips, crab cakes, ribs, salmon, and more. Thunder Burger & Bar is located at 3056 M. St., NW in Washington D.C. Information and reservations can be obtained online at www.thunderburger.com.