Sweet, Sweet Dinner: 8 Sugary Touches in Savory Meals
Why wait ’til dessert to tickle your tastebuds with a touch of sweetness? We talk about how a sweet touch can round out savory tastes and make a dish more complex in this post about our Seared Trout with Peach & Arugula Salad. The idea is that the sweet notes round out the savory base of the dish. It’s an easy way to create a new and interesting version of a go-to meal, one that dazzles and excites your tastebuds.
Whether you use honey, fruit, syrup, or actual sugar, a touch here and there will go a long way towards making your meals taste better than ever.
Here are some of our sweet and savory favorites:
1 .Tomato, Watermelon & Spelt Salad. Halloumi, a sheep’s milk cheese, is originally from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and is popular throughout Greece and the Middle East. It has a high melting point, which means it gets super crispy in a grill pan, and a salty nature, which is why it’s often served with sweet, juicy fruits like watermelon and tomato.
2. Bronzed Salmon with Orange Marmalade. This recipe was the the proud winner of our Mother’s Day Recipe Contest–the first-ever crowd-sourced recipe. The dish hits all the right sweet, sour, and spicy notes: there’s a mix of Cajun spices, brown sugar and tangy orange marmalade.
3. Chicken & Apricot Coconut Curry. In so many areas of the world, curry is a way of life, and it’s paired with ingredients both sweet and savory. We created this recipe using ingredients that celebrate the home flavors of the various curry destinations—coconut milk used in Southeast Asia, curry powder in the style of India and Bangladesh, and nuts and dried fruit as in North Africa and the Middle East.
4. Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa. Not just sweet and savory but sweet and spicy, our juicy pork is seasoned with curry powder, Spanish paprika, ground fennel, and brown sugar. That mix becomes a caramelized crust when the pork is seared in a hot pan. Afterwards, we balance out the spice with more sweetness, in the form of peach salsa.
5. Chicken with Candied Pistachios.You might not have thought you’d learn to make candy while cooking dinner, but in this dish you melt and boil sugar until it turns into caramel. Together with a hint of sea salt in the caramelized sugar, the rich
pistachios become an extraordinary garnish for each bite of the crispy-skinned chicken.
6. Maple & Sesame Root Vegetable Stir-Fry. Maple syrup enlivens this beautiful vegetarian toss of lotus root, sunchokes, bok choy, and sweet potatoes. Since many veggies (sweet potatoes especially) already have a degree of sweetness, the syrup helps amplify that side of the dish, in contrast to the savory cashews, sesame oil, and soy sauce that finish the stir fry.
7. Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Chutney. Though it’s a fruit, rhubarb is really not all that sweet to begin with, a problem that’s easily remedied by turning it into a sweet-and-sour chutney itself. Note the beautiful pink color of that chutney! As with the Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa, pork loves to be paired with fruity sides.
8. Moroccan Vegetable Stew. Here, two kinds of dried fruit–dates and prunes–highlight the variety of vegetables that make their home in this quintessential Moroccan stew, one that derives its flavor from the ras el hanout spice blend. The blend, which can vary from spice shop to spice shop, contains sweet notes, including coriander, allspice, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. A little bit of honey adds sweetness here, too.