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Side dishes for Christmas Ham?

Having chosen and ordered a "City Ham" for Christmas Day with the help of several CHers,

in case anyone is interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/672235

I have now turned my attention toward side dishes. We will be having hors d'oeuvres as well as a soup course and plenty of dessert, so I am thinking that three side dishes will be sufficient. I have my heart set on making a sweet potato gratin, and would love some recipes/tips. I had found a recipe (link follows) that I liked which called for both yukon and sweet potatoes, and am wondering how/if to adjust the cooking time and liquid amounts were I to use sweet potato only?

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I think I will make a roasted onion relish-possibly shallots in balsamic or port- and am at a loss for the third side. Any suggestions?
Thanks :)

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  1. While I think the gratin recipe is great I wonder about gruyere with straight sweet potatoes, or any cheese with sweet potatoes, for that matter. I think I'd do the original recipe with both potatoes, it's different and sounds extra special.
    I also like the roasted shallots in balsamic with a touch of port.
    You need something green, what's fresh right now where you live? Since you have a glazed ham, a rich potato dish and a sumptuous relish, you really only need a nice simple green vegetable that you can blanch beforehand and saute to reheat right before your meal. It looks like, from your profile, you're in the tri-state area and we have beautiful broccoli available right now. Blanch your broccoli and jazz it up with a little lemon zest, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, olive oil (to saute) and a bit of lemon juice to coat right before serving.
    Just food for thought...

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Yeah, I had the same feeling about the "gruyere with straight sweet potatoes" thing, myself.

    2. I think grilled asparagus would be very nice with your meu.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Analisas mom

        I agree, grilled asparagus.
        But to add a little wow factor to them, try adding Moody Blue smoked blue cheese.
        Just a little sliver to two will make for an incredible dish.
        It has the taste of smoky bacon.

        1. re: pacheeseguy

          smoked blue cheese? where can i find this wonderful sounding cheese? It sounds amazing with the asparagus....

          1. re: kubasd

            Any decent sized quality super grocery store should have this.
            As would your local cheese shop. It's from Roth kase cheeses.
            We sampled it in our store melted into mashed potatoes. Divine, truly divine.

            http://www.rothkase.com/new.html

        2. re: Analisas mom

          Asparagus is not in season in the winter. I think Brussels sprouts or Russian Kale would be a much more seasonal and flavorful vegetable.

        3. Your ham and other side dishes are rich so a nice contrast would be some kind of salad with fruit---I would have an apple salad since my family adores it---or you might have something green---mesclun with fresh blueberries or grapefruit segments and a raspberry vinaigrette?

          1. The other night I made a potato and parsnip gratin, which would be wonderful with ham. You could easily add parsnip to your sweet potato plan to add another color and texture element.

            4 Replies
            1. re: CookieGal

              I like this idea- maybe for a more delicate gratin, with less cheese and more cream...

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                FWIW, since "gratin" is a French word, and that is where the dish originated, you might be interested to know that most French gratins contain little or no cheese at all. As well, their baked macaroni dishes don't usually contain cheese. They're basted with juices from the meat they're to accompany and topped with seasoned crumbs.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Thanks, chefJ. I did not know about the basting part. Of course, some type of crumbs are essential!

              2. re: CookieGal

                I've made potato and parsnip gratin to accompany ham before - I think with the addition of porcini mushrooms, which worked well.

              3. Or green beans with almonds.