5 Easy Ways to Sweeten Up Dinnertime February 26, 2018
Sweet is great. And savory, our fave. But sweet and savory? Now you’re talking.
Chocolate-covered pretzels. Kettle corn. Caramelized nuts. The evidence of sweet and savory’s budding romance is everywhere. And now, they want to take their relationship to the next level. We’re talking a full-fledged, home-cooked dinner date. Maybe even with wine.
Help sweet win over savory by cooking with one (or several) of the key ingredients below — all of which happen to make an appearance in some form on next week’s red carpet-ready menu.
1. Maple Syrup
Turns out when you extract sap from a maple tree and boil it down, the water content reduces and sugars concentrate for a characteristic amber color and sweet but not too sweet flavor. Maple syrup is a staple in our test kitchen for roasting hearty winter veggies (think carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and parsnips), whipping up a quick granola, and searing pork.
In fact, one of our all-time favorite sweet and savory pork recipes is on the menu next week.
Although we love a good glug of maple syrup on a tall stack of breakfast pancakes or whirled into a muffin recipe, we’re also partial to the naturally sweet stuff in savory dishes. Here, the maple syrup gets stirred into the sauce for the tender pork, coating each cutlet in sticky deliciousness. With couscous as a hearty base to back up all those flavors, you’ve got nothing less than sweet, sweet, perfection. Taste it to believe it by ordering this 20-minute meal off next week’s Classic or Family menu. And in the meantime, check out the recipe here and watch it all come to life below.
With a much chunkier consistency than jelly, jam (aka preserves) is speckled with pieces of actual fruit, which means more fibers and seeds remain. Try not to confuse it with its cousin, marmalade, though, since that one calls for citrus fruits specifically.
When it comes to variations, the possibilities are endless. Apple, cranberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, etc, etc, etc. But if it were up to our chefs, they’d opt for fig preserves as their sweetener of choice — especially when looking to add an extra oomph to tender pork.
You’ve likely come across figs baked into desserts, dried and nestled onto cheese platters, or preserved and slathered on toast for breakfast. But in this recipe, we’re mixing things up with Bonne Maman® Fig Preserves that, when paired with tangy balsamic vinegar, result in a sweet and savory sauce that’ll transform the pork tenderloin it’s drizzled on top of. Bonus points if some sneaks onto the green beans and potatoes, too. Get the recipe here, and be sure to order this stunner off next week’s menu.
And because we love Bonne Maman® soooo much, we’ve partnered with them for a “Homemade Moments” sweepstakes. Five lucky winners (who aren’t currently active customers with us) will each win TWO free months of HelloFresh meal kits! To enter, visit http://www.bonnemaman.us/entry/.
All hail the only sweetener with an eternal shelf life… honey! But once you taste the sticky-sweet flavors of honey-based rubs, marinades, sauces, and salad dressings, we have a feeling those little packets won’t last long.
Honey adds a delicate floral sweetness to everything from fish and chicken to root veggies, cheese, and yogurt parfaits.
Thai cuisine is known for its love of aromatic ingredients. In that spirit, we packed this recipe with lemongrass, sriracha, garlic, and more items that’ll have your kitchen smelling heavenly. But it doesn’t stop there. Our chefs also dreamed up a honey-based, sticky-sweet glaze for the chicken legs, creating waves of flavor in every bite. Add some jasmine rice and snow peas to the side, and you’ve got a meal that’s just as likely to transport you as it is to satisfy. Get the recipe here, but better yet — order this meal off next week’s menu.
4. Whole Fruit
Cooking with raw fruits works wonders to intensify their natural flavors and tenderize even the unripe ones. Our chefs are big fans of cooking with stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots in the warmer months — especially when it means firing up the grill. But since we’re not there quite yet, we’ve been taking advantage of apples for chunky sauces to spoon on top of our favorite proteins.
Clearly, pork has a way of embracing fruity flavors like no other protein. And in this recipe, we’re smothering it in cubes of warm apple for a welcome burst of sweetness. Add crisp sugar snap peas and creamy potato cauliflower mash to the mix, and you’ve got a dinner guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters. Trust us — every recipe that makes its way onto the Family menu is kid-tested and approved. Feast your eyes on this Hall of Famer here, and don’t miss the chance to order it off next week’s menu.
5. Dried Fruit
Thanks to its concentrated sweetness, dried fruit lends an intense burst of flavor when cooked — not to mention an irresistibly chewy texture to salads and spreads. Raisins are great, as are dates are dried cherries. But we’re partial to dried cranberries for their tangy zing.
Thanksgiving may be months behind us, but we’re happy to indulge in November’s gems well past their season. And once you take a bite of these turkey burgers slathered in cranberry mayo, with a cranberry-studded salad on the side, we have a feeling you will be, too. They’ll make you thankful that you can get your sweet and savory gobble gobble on at burger night — or any time of year. Get a double dose of sweetness with cranberry mayo and dried fruit by ordering this one-pot wonder off next week’s Family menu. And in the meantime, take a peek at the recipe here.
For another sweet and savory recipe that’ll allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds, whip up this heavenly blueberry balsamic grilled cheese.