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sides help!

cooking for the dad's side of the family for the first time.

i want to make bobby flay's recipe for his spice rubbed pork tenderloin (basically enhanced chili powder) with red bell pepper sauce and cilantro oil. he serves it with a tamale but i want something more general. they've never had mexican food before, so i can't make anything in that line. is there something safe and yet impressive that would complement it?

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  1. Mashed potatoes go with everything and are delicious. Grits would also work well.

    Braised fennel or leeks if you want a vegetable.

    1. Polenta would work well as a starch. I agree entirely on the braised fennel or leeks for vegetables, especially if you put some garlic into them.

      1. Mexican rice and refried beans or black beans

        3 Replies
        1. re: Hank Hanover

          Hank's suggestion sounds like it's in line with the flavors you will be creating in the main dish. A harmonious meal is the way to impress.

          If you wanted to get a little different, how about sauteed, diced sweet potatoes garnished with seasoned pepitas and some skillet cornbread. A tomatilla salsa with chips to start and some hibiscus iced tea to drink. Dang, now I want to make this.

          1. re: charlesbois

            What about a mexi-corn style dish? Saute a pint of grape or cherry tomatoes in some butter and garlic until they pop and get kind of 'jammy' for lack of a better term. Add a bag of frozen corn kernels and some chili powder to taste,not to heavy handed. A half teaspoon or so. Add a quarter cup of water and cook til heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. I think the black beans are a good idea too. I make them with canned beans. Saute half a small onion and a clove of garlic in a pot. Add a heaping tbsp of Goya sofrito or jarred salsa in a pinch. Cook for a few minutes to marry flavors and add a pinch of oregano,cumin and chili powder. Add a bay leaf and a quarter cup chicken stock or water. Simmer low for twenty minutes or so stirring it now and then. So good.

          2. re: Hank Hanover

            good choice hank. I'd do the black beans with lots of cumin, garlic, and onion, and the rice with a little saffron, diced tomatoes, and maybe a little orange zest...and of course garlic and onion..ok, im predictable

          3. This recipe is gorgeous to look at, not spicy despite jalapenos, and very refreshing. I add a dusting of ground cumin to it just before dressing. I've made it both with and without the beans, fabulous either way: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

            3 Replies
            1. re: mcf

              That looks very tasty, thanks for the link.

                1. re: ChristinaMason

                  It's so refreshing, a summer staple in our house... and colorful. I make a half recipe when it's just the two of us, it's best made fresh and eaten same day, though is good enough the next day. Hope you make it and enjoy it as much as we do, and think about adding that bit of ground cumin...

              1. I think I posted to the wrong person for your request to 'sides help. If so please read the mexi-corn and black beans and let me know if it was of any help. It is one of the posts on your thread. Good luck with the pork. I am trying a pork loin tonight. Yikes! I hope it is not dry.

                1 Reply
                1. re: suzigirl

                  pork loin only becomes dry when it is overcooked. err on the side of pink rather than cooked through.

                  to the op: i like the idea of polenta as mentioned above and also the leeks. people are funny about fennel so i wouldn't go there with unknown palates.