(Family Features) - Updating holiday menus doesn't have to mean out with the old and in with the new. Having a bit of fun by mixing up seasonal flavors can reinvigorate comfortable family classics while still evoking cozy memories of holidays past.
This is good news for the eight out of 10 people who described their 2009 holiday meals as "predictable," according to the National Pork Board's "Holiday Table Trends 2010" survey. To help break free from holiday predictability, celebrity chef Michael Symon has created pork pairings inspired by the survey results.
"Pork's versatility makes it my first choice for holiday dinners," said Symon. "I can pair pork with sweet holiday favorites like cranberry and cinnamon - and explore unexpected flavors like chocolate - when recreating holiday classics."
The survey also found that chocolate was a top-rated festive flavor that many people would never consider pairing with pork. But Symon insists that mole, a savory Mexican sauce that incorporates chocolate, is a perfect pork pairing. He created this "Cider-and-Beer-Braised Pork with Chocolate Mole" recipe to show how pork's savory flavor can be enhanced by almost any holiday ingredient.
Chef Symon has created more holiday recipes, such as "Coriander and Cumin Roasted Rack of Pork with Five Spice Pumpkin Puree." For these recipes, a free brochure filled with tips, and videos for how to celebrate the season with pork, visit www.TheOtherWhiteMeat.com and facebook.com/TheOtherWhiteMeat.