Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

In my family sweet potatoes are an integral part of our Thanksgiving spread.  While some prefer regular mashed potatoes, their sweet cousins have always been the potato of choice at our house.  There are a number of different preparations for them.  I like this one because it’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes sweet potatoes with marshmallows hit the spot, but with such a rich meal these potatoes bring the sweetness without going overboard.

 

Grandma Grace’s Sweet Potatoes  – 1 Knife

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sweet potatoes (about three medium-large potatoes)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 cup butter

Prep:

  1. Peel the potatoes and chop them into ½ inch cubes.
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot and add water so that they are covered.
  3. Cook the potatoes over high heat until they can be pierced with a fork.  Once the water comes to a rolling boil stir occasionally and check on the potatoes every few minutes.
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked strain them in a colander.
  5. Melt ¼ cup of butter by putting it in a microwave safe bowl and cooking for 30-45 seconds depending on the strength of the microwave. Set aside.
  6. Break the eggs in a small bowl and beat with a fork.  Set aside.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

Cook:

  1. Pour the potatoes into a large bowl and mash them.
  2. Add to the bowl the sugar, eggs, ¼ cup of melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and salt.
  3. Stir well so that all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 1½ quart baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour and walnuts.
  6. Melt the 1/3 cup of butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the melted butter to the brown sugar and flour mixture and stir until completely integrated.
  8. Using a spoon or hands spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of the potatoes.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  10. Serve in the baking dish and enjoy!
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Cranberry sauce is a staple of Thanksgiving.  There are two camps, people who like whole-berry and people who like the jelly in a can.  I like both.  There is something about how the jelly holds the can shape that makes it a holiday classic.  At the same time the whole-berry just has a little more of that great cranberry zing.

This recipe is ridiculously simple and is as basic as it gets for cranberry sauce.  It will hold up well in the fridge for a few days, so you can make this well in advance of Thanksgiving Day allowing more time that day to focus on other dishes.  It is also so tasty it might just convert some of the jelly folks over to whole-berry…

 

Cranberry Sauce – 1 Knife

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (like Ocean Spray)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup sugar
  • water

Prep:

  1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander.
  2. Wash the orange and remove any wax that might be on the skin.
  3. Zest the orange to yield about 1 teaspoon of zest.
  4. Using the same orange, juice it into a measuring cup.  It should come to short of ½ cup.  Add water until you get ½ cup of liquid.

Cook:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the cranberries, orange zest, juice and water, cinnamon stick, and sugar.  Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  2. Allow the content to come to a rolling simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the cranberries have broken down and the liquid has thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Once room temperature remove the cinnamon stick and transfer into another container to cool in the refrigerator.
  5. About an hour before you want to serve the cranberries remove them from the refrigerator so they can come up to room temperature.
  6. Transfer the cranberries into a serving dish, serve and enjoy!

Read Full Post »

I don’t know why, but I absolutely love tabouli, sometimes also spelled tabouleh.  I find it to be a very refreshing salad, and enjoy piling it up on pita with hummus.  The one thing about tabouli though, is that I have found a big difference among the tabouli you buy at the grocery store, are served in restaurants and what you make at home. The grocery store and restaurant varieties have more parsley and less bulgur wheat, whereas the homemade version features the bulgur more.  This version features more bulgur, but it’s not totally overwhelming.

This recipe is written as I make it – with a food processor.  If you do not have one, all of the ingredients that go into the food processor can be chopped into a fine mince.  This will require just cutting the parsley, mint, scallions and garlic to smithereens.  It is totally doable; it just takes a bit more work.

I also made one special substitution in this batch that I really liked.  Instead of garlic cloves I used one garlic scape in the recipe.  It added the delicious garlic flavor without the harsh garlic punch.  If you have access to garlic scape I highly recommend using it instead.

 

Tabouli Salad– 2 Knives

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dry bulgur wheat (#1 or #2 bulgur)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ cucumber
  • 4 scallions (green onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch curly parsley
  • 10 mint leaves (about 1 sprig)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Prep:

  1. In a medium pot bring the water to a boil.  Once boiling, pour in the bulgur wheat and turn off the burner.
  2. Allow the bulgur wheat to sit in the water for 30 minutes to hydrate.
  3. While the bulgur is hydrating wash and peel the cucumber.  Remove the seeds and cut the cucumber into a small dice using the method in this video and set aside.  I recommend cutting the cucumber into smaller sticks then done in the video.
  4. Wash the tomato and cut into quarters.  Remove the seeds and then cut the quarter into slices, then chop the slices to create a dice.  Set aside.
  5. Peel the garlic cloves and set aside.
  6. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl, removing any seeds that fall in and set aside.
  7. Wash the scallions and chop off the white roots and discard them.  Then chop the scallions into 1 inch pieces.  Set these aside.
  8. Chop the tough stems off the bottom of the parsley.  It is ok to keep the small stems at the top by the leaves.

Cook:

  1. Strain the bulgur from the water and pour the bulgur into a large bowl.  Splash with one tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to coat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers to the bowl with the bulgur.
  3. Add to the food processor the garlic and scallions.  Pulse until pulverized.  Add this to the bowl with the bulgur and veggies.
  4. Add the mint and the parsley to the food processor.  Pulse until the leaves and stems are chopped down significantly.  If you cannot fit all of the parsley into the food processor bowl at once you can do this in batches.
  5. Pour the parsley and mint into the bowl with the bulgur and stir well.
  6. In the small bowl with the lemon juice add the salt and the remaining olive oil.  Stir well and then pour over the tabouli in the larger bowl.
  7. Stir the salad well so that it is evenly coated, serve and enjoy!

Read Full Post »

One of my summer favorites at the farmer’s market is the green tomatoes.  Last summer was the first time I started working with them, and I love their crisp, tart flavor.   Now one of my favorite movies is “Fried Green Tomatoes” (girl power!) so naturally frying the suckers up wasn’t even a question.

Since my first intrepid batch my fried green tomato skills have improved.  I’ve found for instance that if you don’t mind wasting little oil, having some depth – say ¼ inch of oil – can go a long way to an even browning.  I’ve also found that you should wait a minute to let them cool before shoving them in your face.  The alternative is a bad burn in your mouth.  Trust me on that one.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes  – 1 Knife

 Ingredients:

  • 1-2 green tomatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup cornmeal (add more if you need more)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup flour
  • cooking oil like vegetable or canola

Prep:

  1. Add to a small bowl, but that is big enough to dredge (this means coat on both sides) tomato slices in, the egg and tobacco sauce. Stir well with a fork until the egg and tobacco are well mixed.
  2. Add to a second small bowl, that again an fit tomato, the cornmeal, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add to a third bowl the flour.
  4. Slice the tomato(es) across the entire tomato to create cross-sectional slices of the tomato, about ¼ inch thick.   Each slice should show off the entirety of the tomato.  I do not recommend using the end pieces.
  5. Set up an area to drain the tomatoes when they come out of the oil using a folded paper bag (like from the grocery store) and paper towel.  You can also use a plate and paper towel.

Cook:

  1. Dredge a slice of tomato in the flour and coat both sides.  I like to use a fork to move flour around to make sure it covers everything.
  2. Next dredge the slice of tomato in the egg mixture, making sure it completely coats.
  3. Finally, dredge the slice of tomato in the cornmeal mixture, turning to make sure both sides are evenly coated.
  4. Repeat this step with all of the tomato slices, and set them aside on a plate.
  5. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add oil until about ¼ inch high (or less if you are more conservative, or more if you wish). Allow the oil to heat up, you will know it’s hot if a drop of water (do this carefully please, oil burns hurt) causes the oil to bubble.
  6. Add tomatoes to the pan, being careful not to crowd them.
  7. After 3-5 minutes once the tomatoes are brown but not burnt on the on side, carefully flip them with a spatula to cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  8. Once cooked through remove from the pan and place on the drain bag/plate and blot with paper towel if you want to remove more oil.
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then serve and enjoy!  I recommend serving with a fresh fruit chutney or relish.  Makes them delish!  

Read Full Post »

Everyone has their 4th of July traditions.  Once I left home and was on my own, I created my own traditions and this macaroni salad is one of them.  My grandmother was given this recipe by her neighbor in Valley Stream, NY, Elaine Cohen.  If any recipe shows the power and importance of sharing it might be this one as it became a family staple over the decades.  I grew up this recipe whenever my father would make it as his mother made it for him growing up.  It was always so special – I loved it.  So as an adult I decided that every 4th I would make this salad.  Whether I bring it to a cookout or eat it all on my own varies year to year.

Now to be honest, if I saw this recipe in a cookbook I might overlook it as it is quite retro.  But don’t be turned off by the olives and pimentos.  This salad has all of the right flavors to compliment hot dogs, hamburgers, anything you can throw on a grill on a summer day.  It also holds well on its own as a lunch entrée.  The one quirk of this salad is that its best to make it the day before you plan to serve it to allow the flavors to come together.

 

Macaroni Salad with Olives and Pimentos– 1 Knife

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni (half a standard box)
  • 1 15 oz can of small black pitted olives
  • 1 15 oz can of green olives stuffed with pimentos
  • 1 small jar of pimentos
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Prep:

  1. Drain the cans of olives.  Chop the olives in half across the equator to create two short halves – one half with the top of the olive with the hole and then the bottom (not long, even halves).  Set aside.
  2. Drain the pimentos from the liquid.  Chop the pimentos into a fine dice, and set aside.
  3. Wash the carrots and grate them.  Set them aside.
  4. Wash the green pepper.  Cut out the core and discard all of the seeds.  Cut the green pepper into thin slices and then cut those slices into a small dice.  Set aside.
  5. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a small bowl, removing any seeds.

Cook:

  1. Place a pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.  Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package.
  2. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the black and green olives, pimentos, carrots and green peppers.
  3. When the pasta finishes cooking, strain and run under cold water until the past feels lukewarm.  Be sure the remove any access water.
  4. Add the pasta to the bowl and stir so that all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Add the lemon juice to the pasta mixture and stir well.
  6. Add the mayonnaise to the pasta mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.  If you prefer more mayo in your salad, feel free to add a little more.
  7. Sprinkle the garlic powder evenly over the bowl and stir well.
  8. Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill, but preferably allow it to sit for a day.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Today’s potluck is comfort food themed.  This left the door open to so many different foods.  The only problem is that my comfort foods don’t work well with Ben’s entrée of meatball subs and/or grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup.  My comfort foods are eggplant parmesan, bagels with lox, noodle pudding, beef burgundy – foods that are either the star of the show, or I’ve already cooked recently on this blog.  I decided to go for a different favorite, green beans and spaetzle.  My dad would prepare the Bird’s Eye version to go along with a steak for dinner on busy work nights.  I decided to take things up a notch and cook the whole dish from scratch, including the spaetzle.

Now I should mention that my dad has given me flack lattely for in his view underrating the difficulty of some dishes.  I’m not going to sugar coat this dish, making spaetzle is a right pain.  It is messy and requires a lot of quick work.  So this recipe is not for everyone, but if you have a good sense of adventure and are willing to clean up whatever mess you make I recommend giving it a try at least once.  And if it turns out well you’ll have a great dish to make for potlucks and nice dinners for years to come.

 

Bavarian Green Beans and Spaetzle – 3 Knives (Spaetzle recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Spaetzle Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Green Bean Ingredients:

  • 1 32 oz package of frozen cut green beans
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 small white onion
  • ½ cup beer (lager, pilsner or anything light – I used Miller Lite that I am trying to get rid of)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • spaetzle

Spaetzle Prep:

  1. One hour before you plan to cook the actual spaetzle, make the spaetzle dough by combining the flour, eggs, egg white and milk in a small bowl.
  2. Stir well until everything is well incorporated.
  3. Chill the spaetzle dough in the fridge for at least an hour prior to cooking.

Cooking the Spaetzle:

  1. In a large pot of water add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. In the meantime fill a large bowl with water and about 1 cup of ice to create an ice bath.
  3. Place half of the dough in a colander with circular holes, and using a spatula or the back of a spoon press the dough through the colander and into the boiling water.  I highly recommend wearing an oven mitt on the hand holding the colander over the water.
  4. Once the dough is pressed through allow to boil for two minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon remove the spaetzle from the pot and transfer it into the bowl with the ice bath.
  6. Once you have removed most of the spaetzle (getting all will be tough), repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining dough.
  7. Set the spaetzle aside in the bowl to be added to the green beans later in the recipe.

Green Bean Prep:

  1. Add the frozen green beans to a large pot of water and set on high heat to bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the skin from the onion and chop it into a fine dice.  Set the onion aside.
  3. Cut the bacon strips into small ½ inch pieces.  I just used the lean parts of the bacon, removing the excess fat.
  4. Measure and set aside ½ cup of beer.

Cooking the Beans:

  1. Once the green beans are boiling turn off the heat and strain the green beans, setting them aside.
  2. Heat up a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Once hot add the bacon.
  3. Cook the bacon for about 1-2 minutes until some of the fat has released.
  4. Add the onions to the pan and cook with the bacon for about 5-10 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Add the beer, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan and bring to a boil.
  6. Once the liquid has boiled for about 2-3 minutes remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Add the green beans and stir well.
  8. Strain the spaetzle making sure to get ride of any access water.
  9. Finally add the spaetzle, mix well, serve and enjoy!

Read Full Post »

There is nothing better than an easy, no-frills side dish.   These carrots definitely qualify.  They are simple, flavorful and include pantry staples.  And for once I will be keeping the intro short and sweet, just like these carrots… (bah-zing!)

Maple Glazed Carrots – 1 Knife

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Prep:

  1. Wash the carrots and cut them into ¼ inch thick slices along a diagonal.

Cook:

  1. In a large pan (with a lid) combine the carrots, syrup, butter, water, salt and pepper.
  2. Place on a burner on medium-high heat and cook until the butter is melted and the liquid starts to bubble.
  3. Stir well and reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Partially cover the pan and cook the carrots for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced down to a thick glaze.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »