Holiday meals are often times our favorite comfort foods. Sometimes you just need a big bowl of chicken and dumplings or a helping of rich, gooey macaroni and cheese. Comfort food is usually high in fat, energy-dense food that can be either sweet or savory. Most of the time comfort food are the simplest of meals that almost feels like a comfy blanket for your soul. It’s the food you come back to them time and time again

These meals are welcome anytime. But, on the holidays, you may want to elevate these meals a bit to make them a little more special.

Delicious macaroni with cheese served on table with toasted bread and sauce bowls
Photo by Yasser Mohamed on Pexels

We eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs

When we are serving meals to our family, we often don’t worry so much about presentation. This holiday season, try setting a festive table that includes fantastic food presentation as well. Plate entrees on beautiful platters. Be thoughtful about finishing touches. You may never add that extra flare or don’t even know where to begin. It’s easy to learn how to garnish your entrees.

You may want to try a fancier presentation on meals prepared for a dinner party. Your friends will be duly impressed.

Mix in something indulgent

There are ingredients that most of us don’t bother with for daily meals. But, for an extra special kick to holiday meals, try adding some caviar to top your deviled eggs. Add a dish with Indian flare by flavoring with some garam masala. Glazing a ham with a praline glaze takes it to the next level. And even a pork tenderloin can be elevated as in the recipe found here. 

Very simple meals can be turned into something truly special with just a few indulgent ingredients.

Pair with the right wine

Even familiar comfort foods can be made more special by pairing the perfect wine. Try pairing a beautiful chardonnay with salmon cooked on a cedar plank to enhance the flavor. Provide an appetizer charcutier board with rich delicious cheeses paired with your favorite rosé. If you’re serving a spicier menu, try going with a sweeter wine like a Riesling. The right wine can truly heighten the flavor of foods.

Try a different cooking method

There are so many cooking tools today that you can decide to choose the method in which you’ll cook your dishes. For instance, that delicious meatloaf you traditionally bake in your oven can be moved outside. A smoked meatloaf adds a layer of flavor you cannot get from the oven. Take your favorite ingredients and put them on a pizza crust, add some sauce and cheese and bake for a new take on old flavors. Try a reverse sear on your favorite cut of meat and top with a compound butter. Cooking old favorites in new ways can create an entirely new look and flavor of old classics.

Comfort foods will always be favorites but to bust out of a rut you may have fallen into, try elevating them. Everyone who eats your cooking will thank you!

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