The holiday season is upon us, and that means many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen than usual.
If you’d like to make an impression with an other-than-ordinary meal, use traditional family dishes as a starting point for your special menu, then add little twists to easy-to-prepare dishes to create a holiday feast that your family and friends will talk about for weeks.
Here are six ideas to get your creative cooking juices flowing…
1. Oregano can be sprinkled on grilled eggplant and zucchini, sautéed with mushrooms, or blended into tomato sauces.
2. Grind peppercorns to bring almost any salad to life, or combine them with extra virgin olive oil and salt, and toss the mixture with pasta.
3. Rosemary is an aromatic, flavorful complement to a leg of lamb. You also can pair it with garlic in marinades for pork, or sprinkle it with crumbled feta over focaccia.
4. Herbs de Provence — a mix of aromatic Mediterranean herbs such as fennel, rosemary, lavender, thyme and savory — can be added to grilled zucchini and peppers. If you like olives, add a dusting of herbs de Provence and warm them in olive oil. For a special treat, add the herbs to roast turkey or grilled swordfish.
5. If you’re a fan of twice-baked potatoes, add a sprinkle of sweet paprika for a new (and wonderful) culinary experience.
6. To add a different twist to your holiday turkey, rub rosemary directly on the bird prior to cooking. Your nose… and your guests… will thank you.
Tomorrow and Wednesday: Tasty recipes for leftover turkey and ham.