From Peking Duck to Takeout Sides, Being Creative Can Make Holiday Meals Easy

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, and for most families, those holidays come with big feasts, lots of visitors and tons of effort to create the perfect holiday dinner.

Creating that perfect dinner can be easier with some “cheats” that will save time, money and possibly your sanity. From choosing takeout sides to accompany the main dish or simply letting someone else cook all the food, creative ways to make the dinner easier allows you more time to spend with family.

Picking up pre-made dishes like Kwan’s Peking Duck or pre-made sides like the mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and green beans from Red Rock Canyon Grill might just be the solution busy families are looking for.

Red Rock Canyon Grill Saves with Sides

Jeremy Brim, area partner for Red Rock Canyon Grill in Oklahoma City and Norman, hesitates to use the word “quality” when it comes to the subject of holiday side dishes because everyone has time-honored family recipes. But choosing to let a restaurant like Red Rock Canyon Grill handle all the sides for a holiday meal ensures not only an easier day but quality food too.

“The convenience is a reason, especially if you are meal prepping for a large crowd,” Jeremy says. “All you have to do is tell us how many people to feed, choose the sides and come pick it up. We can do sides for a family of four or even those who are blessed to have 30 or 40 people for dinner.”

The mashed red potatoes, rotating seasonal vegetables and sweet glazed carrots are popular dishes, but Jeremy says any of Red Rock’s sides can be made to go. The more lead time on an order around the holiday is best, he adds.

“We can make holiday meals easier, and our sides rival anything out there,” he says. “We make it even easier with curbside pickup.”

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Creative New Holiday Traditions

A famous scene from the Christmas classic A Christmas Story shows the family at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day after their home-cooked meal is ruined, but Kwan’s Kitchen isn’t your average Asian restaurant. Instead of slaving over a hot stove cooking a giant turkey, Peking duck could become a new holiday tradition.

“Peking duck is an all-around great dish, but it’s a very traditional Chinese dish as well,” says Kwan’s Kitchen Manager Donald Kerr. “A lot of people have Peking duck for large gatherings, so it lends itself to the holidays really well. To me, Peking duck is a great substitute for your traditional turkey. If you order out, it’s even easier.”

Sliced and served with flat rice “pancakes,” the duck offers up both a crispy side and a succulently juicy side. Traditionally served with cucumbers and carrots, the duck is rolled into the flat rice bread and topped with duck sauce. A typical platter at Kwan’s can feed two people, but call-ins are encouraged for larger gatherings.

Dim sum is another option for Christmas meals, especially for a large family with varying tastes. Small bites on small plates, dim sum offers everything from shrimp- and pork-stuffed fried or steamed dumplings to crispy fried crab balls to even more adventurous dishes like chicken feet.

Kwan’s Kitchen, owned by Chef Pak Kwan of Fung’s fame, is the only restaurant outside of Oklahoma City’s Asian District to offer dim sum. It also has a full bar with craft cocktails and is one of the only places that serves dessert out of the bar area. A special eggnog is planned for the holiday menu.