Roasted radishes! Whoa! So I was in my favorite part of the grocery store: produce. I spotted the radishes and thought I've never photographed them. In my grocery cart went one bunch of radishes. After the shooting, I did a little research on radishes and discovered recipes for roasting them. Radishes? Roast them?Read More
Smoked ham hocks and baby lima beans seves up a delicious hearty meal or just a side dish to a larger one. In this version, the beans have a creamy taste and that’s without cream being added.Read More
A wonderful alternative to white cauliflower is the green cauliflower. Its flavor is sweet, mild and nutty. In this recipe, I chose to complement and intensify its flavor with sweet onion and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. The cheese is baked on cauliflower florets while some of the cheese falls onto the sheet pan and browns. The results is a very tasty side dish. I found myself snacking on the cold leftover.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
Tools: Sheet pan spread with no-stick bakery spray
1 large head of green cauliflower, broken up into florets cut in half
1 large sweet onion
8 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
2 eggs beaten
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Cut the sweet onion into wedges about 1-1/2” wide, then in halves
Toss florets and onion together, and salt and pepper to taste
Pour beaten eggs over floret mixture and toss thoroughly
Pour melted butter over floret mixture and toss thoroughly
Toss the coated florets in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Pour and spread out the florets and onions onto the sheet
Bake for 20 minutes, turn over the florets and continue to cook for 15 minutes
You may decide to substitute Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with Parmesan. However, do note the cheese flavor will be less intense because of the difference between the two kinds of cheese. The latter being an imitation. Yes, it’s less expensive. I get around this by waiting for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to go on sale.
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Side dish or dessert? Call it what you may, this spiced butternut squash delivers flavors for both with its brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. A shot of bourbon bumps up the flavor without the mood altering effect. Then top the spiced butternut squash with crème fraîche for a cool, mildly sour taste.Read More
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There was a time when I purchased a rather popular brand garlic bread. After a time, the size of the garlic bread kept getting smaller and smaller while the price inched up. Frustration and anger got the best of me and I decided to learn how to make my own garlic bread.
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No grill? No problem. Like holding the husk while eating your corn on the cob? No problem. Want flavor on your corn on the cob? That's covered here too.
This is all really quite easy to do.
Pre-heat oven 350 degrees
Fresh corn on cobs, husks still on.
Pull off excess corn silk at the end of the cob. Rinse off the cobs. Place cobs in a pan and fill with sufficient water to cover tops of the cobs. Soak cobs for at least 35-40 minutes.
Drain off water and place cobs on a baking sheet. Place cobs in the oven on the center rack. Bake for 35 minutes or until corn feels soft when you press on the cob.
When ready, pull the husks back. Pull off a long husk leaf and use to bundle and tie the remaining husk leaves. This makes a great handle while eating the corn. Pull off all silks. Butter, salt and pepper to taste.
You may also be interested in trying your roasted corn-on-the-cob with this finishing butter:
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Fork smashed red potatoes has the wonderful textures of being lumpy and smooth with the added flavors of Vidalia onions and lots of garlic. Want more flavor? Just add shredded sharp cheddar cheese., garnish with sour cream or as I did here, add bacon bit.
This side dish is quick and easy to make. And it's a great escape from making labor-intensive, fluffy smooth mashed potatoes but still offers appetite satisfaction when eating potatoes.
Leah Brakke, in her article "10 Healthy Reasons To Dig Into Red Potatoes," writes that it can lower stress levels; increase energy; is naturally fat and gluten free; and can contribute to healthy blood pressure. You can get more details in her article at Black Gold Farms.
Leave the skin on!
Just wash the potatoes, remove the little eyes and brown skin patches (if needed); cut into fourths; and throw into a heavy stock pot. Roughly chop half a Vadalia onions; peel garlic cloves; add these to a pot; and boil until tender.
Yields 6 cups
6 small red potatoes, washed and quartered
1/2 large Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
6 whole garlic cloves
2-1/2 cups of water
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons of milk for additional moisture (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Suggested garnish: crisp bacon bits, shredded sharp cheddar cheese or a large dollop of sour cream. Garnish is optional
Add the first four ingredients to a heavy stock pot. On high heat, bring water to a high rolling boil. Lover heat to medium and continue to boil for 20 minutes or until red potatoes are fork tender.
Drain off excess water but retain just a little water, approximately 3 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup. The retained water adds a bit more moisture. Add the butter, salt and pepper. Using a fork, smash and gently stir the potatoes, onions and garlic. If you decide to add shredded sharp cheese, gently stir it in after smashing the potatoes.
I think of this tuber vegetable as the Mighty Sweet Potato. My grandmother, who reared me, loved, absolutely loved a baked sweet potato. And yes, we had sweet potato pie during holiday seasons. But for her, a baked sweet potato was to be enjoyed at lunch, at dinner or as a snack any other time of the year.
I too came to love baked sweet potatoes. As an adult, I enjoy them by adding more wonderful flavors, not just butter but also spices.
For example, sometimes I just add ground clover, all spice, cinnamon, or mix them up. My latest palate favorite is to add my homemade garam masala. You can purchase garam masala in the grocery store and online. However, if you want to make your own, as I did, see my recipe on Garam Masala - Use Whole Or Pre-Grounded Spices?
Sweet Potato versus Yam:
There is one thing I must make clear: a sweet potato is not a yam! The sweet potato and the yam are not even in the same botanical family. What's the physical and culinary difference? Yams have a white interior flesh, are starchier and tougher than sweet potatoes. For a sweet potato, there are three types. One is firm, has a golden skin and pale flesh. The other type is soft, has a copper skin and an orange flesh. (from the Kitchn) A third type has a purple flesh. (from North Carolina Sweet Potato) Note, I had used the soft variety sweet potato for this recipe.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1 - 1 pound sweet potato for each serving. (2 people, 2 -1 pound sweet potatoes)
1-2 Tablespoons of butter for each potato
2 Tablespoons garam masala for each potato
2 teaspoons of sugar for each potato (optional)
Olive oil to rub on skin of sweet potato (optional)
Scrub the sweet potato skin. Using a fork, prick the skin in 3 different places across the top. My grandmother always rubbed cooking oil on the skin. I honestly don't know why. I've cooked it with the oil rub and without and have yet to notice the difference. So you follow me and don't bother.
Place the sweet potato(es) on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove the potato(es) from the oven. Using a sharp knife, split the skin lengthwise, then crosswise. Carefully pull back the skin. Careful, hot steam will escape. Add butter and garam masala. Using a fork, mash and mix in the butter and spice.
Suggested side servings, if you really need more food:
Sausage patties or links
Fried pork chops
Sweet garden peas and pearl onion
Yes, I'm a Yankee girl but I was brought up by a southern born and bred grandmother. Southern dishes such as black-eyed peas and cornbread were a staple in our household--and for me it still is today. Over the years, I've come to prefer a spicy (hot) dish and cooled down a bit with chopped tomatoes and spring onions.
Serves a small troop! Just kidding. Serves 6-8.
The two most important steps is to soak the peas and cook slowly.
Ingredients for Black-Eyed Peas
1 pound dry black-eyed peas
1/2 - 3/4 pound fresh salt pork, cut into small strips
1 quart cold water (Add more water if you like a lot of juice.)
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
Pour the black-eyed peas into a large heavy stock pot. Add cold water sufficient to cover at least two inches above the peas. Allow to soak for at least six hours. It's preferable to soak the peas over night. After soaking, pour off water and rinse in a strainer.
Rinse the stock pot and dry. Set the stock pot on medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Stir and occasionally turn over the salt pork so that it cooks on all sides. Some of the fat should have released into a juice.
Add the black-eyed peas and cold water. Bring to a boil. Stir in thyme, red hot pepper flakes and jalapeno pepper. Reduce heat to medium low to bring ingredients to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Add onions and bell peppers if you want the vegetables to have a little crunch. Or add the onions and bell peppers earlier with the seasonings if you prefer the vegetables cooked to a near mush.) Continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Top with fresh chopped tomatoes and spring onions. Of course, add a piece of cornbread on the side.
Why call this dish Almost Cream-Style Corn? It's made with frozen corn. For me, true cream-style corn is made with fresh sweet corn cut right off the cob, juice and all. But fresh corn on the cob isn't always in season! That's when I use frozen corn.
Bacon adds a nice flavor to cream-style corn. But I prefer bits and pieces cut from the shank portion of a bone-in hickory ham.
Perhaps, this is because it's as close as I can get to those deliciously wonderful memories of my grandma's cream-style corn. She always used the leftover scrapes of a smoked ham, a Virginia smoked ham--and of course, fresh sweet corn cut from the cob. The steps in this recipe are the same, just a few substitutions--until fresh corn is once again in season.
Ingredients for Almost Cream-Style Corn with Ham Bits:
8 ounces pre-cooked ham bits and pieces (preferably cut off the shank portion of a bone-in hickory smoked ham)
2 Tablespoons butter
24 ounces frozen corn
1 cup half and half milk
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed white pepper or to taste
Salt to taste
On medium high heat, melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add ham bits and pieces and brown them on both sides, about 5-6 minutes total. Set aside several pieces for garnishing.
Mix in corn and cook for about one minutes. Using a fork, smash 1/4 of the corn kernels to release some of its juices. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Stir in corn starch. Set heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until a medium thick sauce forms. Stir occasionally to keep corn from sticking.
Add the crushed white pepper and salt (to taste) during the last few minutes of cooking.
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Small white potatoes is a favorite side dish. It's quick, it's easy to make. It's elegant enough for serving guests at a special dinner; yet, great for an every day meal.
All you need is just butter, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and a small heavy bottom skillet:
Ingredients for small white potatoes:
1 - 2 Tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
1 or more cans of small white potatoes
Fresh parsley (chopped) or dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain juice from can of small white potatoes. Sprinkle with parsley on all sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add potatoes, turning them over until all sides are covered with butter. Add more parsley if needed. Cook potatoes until brown.
What is your favorite quick side dish?