(StatePoint) When planning your holiday menu, consider selecting one ingredient to be the star of the show. Not only is this a good way to simplify your shopping list during a busy time of year, it will unify your meal with complementary flavors.
Need some inspiration? Consider sweet tea. Not just a hot or cold beverage, sweet tea can be used in cooking and baking to deepen the flavor profile of mains, sides, desserts and more.
For holiday ease, purchase a ready-to-drink version like Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea — it’s available nationwide and is fresh brewed daily without any added colors or preservatives.
Get started on your holiday meal prep by wowing your family with this simple recipe for a Sweet Tea Turkey Brine:
• 1 gallon Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea
• 1 cup kosher salt
• 3 large sweet onions, quartered
• 4 lemons, sliced
• 8 garlic cloves, peeled
• 5 sprigs rosemary
• 10 cups ice
• Whole turkey
- In large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine sweet tea and kosher salt; stir frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onions, lemons, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- When broth mixture cools, pour into clean 5-gallon bucket. Stir in ice.
- Wash and dry turkey. Remove innards. Place turkey, cavity-side up, into brine to fill cavity. Cover and place bucket in refrigerator overnight.
- Remove turkey, carefully draining excess brine; pat dry. Discard excess brine.
- Cook turkey, as desired, reserving drippings for gravy.
For those in need of a pick-me-up before or after dinner, try this recipe for Milo’s Holiday Hot Tea:
• 12 cups Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea
• Two 12-ounce cans frozen limeade juice concentrate
• Orange, thinly sliced (reserve 1 slice for garnish)
• 12 whole cloves
• 4 cinnamon sticks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup fresh cranberries
• 1 cup ginger ale
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large crockpot and stir. For easier serving, place the cloves into a tea ball or a double layer of coffee filters and close with kitchen twine.
- Heat combined ingredients on high for 30 minutes, then reduce to low for an additional 2 hours; or heat on low for 2 hours then reduce setting to warm overnight.
- Optional serving garnish: garnish rim of glass with remaining orange slice and sugar in the raw or brown sugar.
For more sweet-tea inspired recipes for your holiday meal, including cobblers, cakes, sauces and dressings, visit drinkmilos.com/recipes.
By using a baking and cooking ingredient you might not have considered before, you can give your holiday meals a delicious twist.