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Old 02-08-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
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Pioneer Woman is

being run on Food Network UK. The other day she was demonstrating Thanksgiving food (a bit out of season but never mind). I think the "asides" she made to go with the "gobbler" (turkey to the uninitiated) would take some swallowing to the British palate.

I was really surprised at the amount of sugar she used in the savoury dishes she was preparing including "dressing" which looked similar to our stuffing. I have a very sweet tooth and no hang-ups about sugar being bad for me but I don't think I could have eaten more than a forkful of PW's sides. I was beginning to feel a bit sick watching the demos.

Is it usual for American cooks to use so much sugar in savoury dishes? (I'm not talking just a teaspoonful or two here - she was ladelling it in as if it was going out of fashion!)
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:57 AM   #2
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When it comes to Thanksgiving the only place we ever went over the top was with a casserole of candied sweet potatoes and maybe pecan pie for dessert.

We did add a teaspoon of sugar into a large bowl of cabbage salad as a seasoning and also just enough sugar to the cranberries to leave them a little tart. With the cranberries we added a pinch baking soda and cut the sugar called for in most recipes by half. It doesn't take much baking soda, about an 1/8 t or just enough to fit on the tip of a paring knife blade.

Not sure about the rest of America, it's a big place!
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
being run on Food Network UK. The other day she was demonstrating Thanksgiving food (a bit out of season but never mind). I think the "asides" she made to go with the "gobbler" (turkey to the uninitiated) would take some swallowing to the British palate.

I was really surprised at the amount of sugar she used in the savoury dishes she was preparing including "dressing" which looked similar to our stuffing. I have a very sweet tooth and no hang-ups about sugar being bad for me but I don't think I could have eaten more than a forkful of PW's sides. I was beginning to feel a bit sick watching the demos.

Is it usual for American cooks to use so much sugar in savoury dishes? (I'm not talking just a teaspoonful or two here - she was ladelling it in as if it was going out of fashion!)
No sugar in any of the dishes I make for Thanksgiving. Certainly not in my wild mushroom dressing (it's only stuffing if it's "stuffed" in the bird). However, sweetened or candied yams are common side in may homes, just not in mine.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:32 AM   #4
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My stuffing has no sugar. I looked at her page on Thanksgiving sides. It looks like her sausage and apple stuffing has sugar, but not the other two. People sometimes put brown sugar in winter squashes (acorn, butternut, etc.). I've had candied carrots and yams or sweet potatoes. Not at the same meal, though Sounds like you happened upon the high-sugar episode

I doubt she determines when reruns are broadcast.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:51 PM   #5
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The only savory dishes I use sugar in are sweet potatoes/yams and that's usually brown sugar or glazed carrots if we have them instead of the sweet potatoes. I will use sugar if I make a cranberry relish/compote from scratch but I rarely do that anymore since I'm the only one that will eat it. Craig likes the canned jellied cranberry, actually he likes it as part of a leftover turkey sandwich, not the actual meal itself.
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Old 02-08-2016, 02:00 PM   #6
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Hmmm, I don't care for all the TG sides that require sugar, such as yams and winter squash, or sweet glazed carrots for example. I always make a broccoli salad for a side however, and that calls for sugar. I adore fresh cranberry sauce and I'll sure remember your valuable hint AB!
Quote:
With the cranberries we added a pinch baking soda and cut the sugar called for in most recipes by half. It doesn't take much baking soda, about an 1/8 t or just enough to fit on the tip of a paring knife blade.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:35 PM   #7
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I don't sugar dishes that are considered savory. When it comes to most dinner sides that do use sugar (cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole), I use about half the amount of sweetener called for - and that's without using the baking soda trick! Then again, most times when I've read over one of the Pioneer Woman's recipes, I don't understand what the popularity is. Most times I'll read the recipe and say



Maybe the draw is her screen presence? I don't know, since I've never seen one of her shows, either. I lead a sheltered life when it comes to cooking shows.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:25 AM   #8
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I can't imagine putting sugar into a dressing. If a recipe has sugar and is supposed to be a savory dish, I just don't use the sugar.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:18 AM   #9
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Sweet and savoy can work together, but it's not a universally acceptable pairing. While I can't imagine using sugar in a poultry dressing (or stuffing), I like some sweetness in a barbecue sauce. I've had it where the sweetness was cloying, and I've had it with no noticeable sweetness at all, and didn't care for either one although they were acclaimed as excellent sauces. I prefer a middle ground. I guess that some things one has to be raised with.

Lots of Chinese dishes are sweet and savory, and spicy too. Most spaghetti sauce recipes call for varying amounts of sugar, and while I will often reduce what is called for (I add a little then taste and adjust as needed), it doesn't taste right if left out completely. In such a sauce, the sugar acts almost like salt does in other recipes by enhancing the flavors, not making the sauce sweet.
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:42 AM   #10
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A lot also depends on region. The north uses more flour and sugar for cornbread, the south doesn't use any sugar. PW is located in the western south. And then we have cooks living in the northern western part of the country. Each region has their own recipes that have been passed down for generation after generation.
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