The Ingredients Marcus Samuelsson Keeps Stocked For The Holidays - Exclusive

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The holidays are a time to get together, see loved ones, and — of course — eat. In the United States, the holiday season tends to be colder and does not offer much in the way of bright, fresh produce from the summer, but that doesn't stop chef Marcus Samuelsson from creating wonderful meals. In an exclusive interview, Samuelsson told us what ingredients he likes to keep stocked up on to create exciting and tasty holiday dishes. 

Like many of us, Samuelsson enjoys a comforting hot beverage this time of year, so that's a must in his pantry. "I love teas," he told us. For foods, Samuelsson keeps a selection of easy-to-grab ingredients that can be used to complement many dishes. "Small things like pumpkin seeds, toasting them on low heat. It's nice and delicious ... also pomegranate." For Samuelsson, not only are these classic fall holiday flavors, but they also elevate his dishes in other ways — he looks for "anything that could add textures." He explained that texture is an essential aspect in creating a successful dish "because so much of all the cooking is about sides and making sure that the sides both visually and textually wise also pop."

A favorite holiday dish

A perfect example of this intersection of flavor and texture is one of Marcus Samuelsson's favorite holiday dishes. "One of my favorite Brussels is cheese, bacon, and pomegranate, and toasted peanuts I'll put on top of that, going back almost to a Nigerian suya spice that has those flavors," Samuelsson told us. This dish features classic colder-weather flavors in the form of Brussels sprouts paired with the textural and flavor elements of pomegranates and peanuts. Suya is a spice blend often comprised of finely ground peanuts, peppers, and other ingredients; it is popularly used to season beef. Taking inspiration from suya, Samuelsson takes this dish to the next level by bringing in different textures from the ingredients he keeps in his pantry.

For those who want to try this at home, Samuelsson further explained: "For caramelizing roasted Brussels, and then adding peanuts, adding pomegranates on top with a little bit of soy, gives you that perfect caramelized Brussels." The result is a colorful and tasty meal that will surely be the star of any holiday table.

Marcus Bar & Grille pop-up ended on Sunday, October 15. To keep up with Marcus Samuelsson's latest projects and future events, follow him on Instagram.