Boiled Brussels sprouts. Baked potatoes. The same ole pasta. These side dishes are fine when you just need to put food on the table during a busy week. But for the holidays, you want your meals to feel extra special. This doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Forget the fancy recipes and go with what you know! 

If you can steam vegetables, prepare penne or mash potatoes, you can easily give your mainstay sides a formal upgrade. All it takes are a few gourmet ingredients, like fresh truffles, crispy bacon and imported cheese. Presented with the entrée and served with an excellent wine pairing, your everyday dinner is transformed into a 5-star holiday. 

(Note: If you want to skip the cooking, scroll to the end to find out how I can take care of it for you!)

Fresh Truffles

Referred to as “the diamond of the kitchen,” truffles add sophistication to any meal. Many Italian restaurants use them to create award-winning pasta dishes. So why not do the same?

Lobster Truffle Macaroni and Cheese: Take your 5-year-old’s favorite meal and turn it into an indulgent adult side dish. Simply shave fresh truffles into your go-to mac-and-cheese recipe, and add some pre-cooked lobster. Or, replace the fresh truffles with a drizzle of truffle oil. Serve it alongside a perfectly prepared beef tenderloin and a glass of bubbly for an unexpected surprise.

Honey Truffle Ravioli with Pancetta Thyme Cream Sauce: If you love to make homemade ravioli, this one’s for you. The saltiness of the pancetta pairs beautifully with the honey. The whole dish is punctuated with the woodsy flavor of the truffles. Alternatively, prepare store-bought ravioli and season the cream sauce with truffle salt. Serve alongside pan-seared sea bass with spinach and Sauvignon Blanc.

Imported Cheese 

More cheese, please! Adding cheese to any dish is a surefire way to impress all of your guests. Opt for imported varieties from France and Italy to up the ante. 

Dauphinoise Potatoes: This ultimate French bistro dish comes to life with sliced potatoes, heavy cream and Gruyere cheese. Bake until hot and bubbling, and add it to your buffet. For a sit-down dinner, serve it with a hearty boeuf bourguignon and Pinot Noir. Expect rave reviews!

Roasted Garlic and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes: Roasted garlic lends a sweet caramelized flavor you just can’t achieve with raw or sautéed garlic. Add fresh mozzarella and grated Parmigiano Reggiano for an Italian take on an American classic. Serve with herb-roasted chicken and a crisp Chardonnay.

Crispy Bacon

Everyone loves bacon. Need I say more?

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus: Using thin slices of bacon, wrap the spears and place them on a baking sheet. Broil until cooked and crisp. For the piece de resistance, top with a poached egg. As the yolk mingles with the bacon and asparagus, you may just forget about the rest of the meal! 

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze and Bacon: A classic reinvented, Brussels sprouts get a whole new look with a sweet balsamic glaze and crunchy chunks of bacon. Instead of boiling your sprouts, steam them to retain their unique flavor and texture. 

Serve both of these bacon-inspired sides with roasted turkey breast and a bottle of Zinfandel.

Holiday Menus are Here!

Like what you see? Forget about cooking, and select a signature Deb Miley menu. Or customize your own with family favorites. If you book before 12/31/16, you’ll receive a free bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal. Contact me today for details.