How To Match Your Side Dish With Your Main Meal

How To Match Your Side Dish With Your Main Meal

Not everyone has the time to cook daily; even those that do, try to minimize the time spent in the kitchen. It explains why some households prefer to cook in bulk and store them in sizable freezer-safe containers until they run out of food. Meanwhile, those who cook daily may resort to simple but hearty meals. There is also the option to fix a side dish, but you can only fully enjoy that when it perfectly complements your main meal. According to news reports, 24% of people in Canada eat mostly salads as a side dish, but you can try something different. Whether you’re preparing for a special occasion or want a memorable family meal, here are some tips to consider to pair your side dish with your main meal perfectly.

Consider the main dish’s flavours and textures.

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. And this can also apply to your side dishes. A plate with various textures is visually appealing and can easily whet your appetite. It also makes it more fun to eat and would make you want to try your hands at preparing more side dishes with contrasting flavours and textures. For example, if you are serving a creamy pasta dish, pair it with a crisp and refreshing salad to balance out the richness of the main course. Again, if you are serving a hearty stew, try combining it with soft and buttery bread to complement the sauce’s flavours. While it may look too much to cook for dinner, you will be happy to know that contrasting textures and flavours are not too hard to create. You can quickly get the ingredients for these tasty dishes in the grocery store. 

Consider the main dish’s cultural origins.

Matching the cultural origins of a main dish with a side dish is a great way to create a cohesive and authentic meal. One way to do this is to research the traditional side dishes commonly served with the main dish in the culture of origin. For example, if you are serving a Chinese dish, pair it with a side dish such as steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, or dumplings.

Another way to match the cultural origins of a main dish with a side dish is to use ingredients, and cooking techniques commonly found there. For example, if you are serving a Mediterranean dish, use ingredients such as olives, feta cheese, and herbs like oregano and thyme in your side dish. Additionally, you could prepare your side dish using cooking methods like grilling, roasting, and braising, which are popular in Mediterranean cuisine.

Plan or alter the cooking methods

This step is especially crucial if you don’t have much time. Planning your pairings ahead of time can significantly reduce the time you spend in the kitchen. It will also make it easier for you to multitask and maximize your kitchen equipment. For instance, while you use your stove for the main course, you can use the oven for your side dish. Suppose you want to try something quick and different using this technique. In that case, there’s an excellent recipe for oven-roasted Brussels sprouts at this site that can be used as a side dish for the family. Specific cooking methods require more time, which can be a significant put-off when cooking. Fortunately, with this approach, you will be able to make the most of your efforts in the kitchen. Ideally, a side dish shouldn’t take too long to be ready. 

With these tips, your side dishes should be an enticing and appealing part of your lunch or dinner table.


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