Whether it’s for a holiday family feast or a New Year’s dinner party, you’re going to need some inspiration for hearty side dishes to wow your dinner guests. Chefs from some of our favorite Hudson Valley caterers have graciously shared some of their best-tasting seasonal secrets with us. Give these recipes a try and serve them over the holidays to please any crowd and make your event a little more festive; better yet, order your entire meal directly from these establishments to save more room to party
roasted fall vegetables
Difficulty level: Easy
Courtesy of: Main Course in New Paltz
If you’re looking for something quick to whip up, this is it. A mixture of savory and sweet, your guests won’t even realize they are eating vegetables.
• Brussels sprouts
• Delicata squash
• Olive oil
• Salt & pepper
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• Handful of dried cranberries
• Preheat oven to 425°F
Wash vegetables and slice them into bite size portions. Place vegetables on a baking sheet. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until caramelized and tender for about 20 to 30 minutes. When vegetables are hot, toss in the maple syrup for taste and dried cranberries for color.
butternut squash bread pudding
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Courtesy of: Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go in Kingston
Bread pudding is often considered a dessert, but it’s surprisingly wonderful as a savory accompaniment to roast chicken or pork. Like most casseroles, this travels and reheats well, making it perfect to bring to a potluck dinner. Cheddar or fontina cheese easily replaces the Parmesan, if you prefer.
• 1 large butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4" cubes (about 6 cups) 1/2 cup chopped fresh sage
• 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cups thinly sliced onions (2 medium onions)
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 6 eggs
• 1 cup grated Parmesan
• 2 cups milk
• 2 cups half-and-half
• Freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup garlic confit or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
8–10 cups stale, dry, crusty peasant-style bread,
with crusts, cut into 1" cubes
Salt and pepper
butternut squash bread pudding cont.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Season butternut squash cubes with salt, 1/4 cup chopped sage, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
Caramelize onions in a medium saucepan with butter and the remaining sage while squash is cooking. Cook until onions are soft, sweet, and deep brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, milk, and half-and-half. Season with grated nutmeg, minced garlic, a generous pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Add cubed bread to custard mix and let stand at least 20 minutes. Now it’s time to assemble the dish. Combine the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions with the bread-custard mix. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake until pudding has set and is lightly browned on top, about one hour or more. Check center with a toothpick, much as you would with a cake. If the casserole has not browned on top, turn the oven to 425°F for the final few minutes or pass it under a broiler. Allow to settle and cool for about 10 minutes before serving.