Category Archives: Side Dish

Sweet Potato Texas Caviar.

Both black eyed peas and sweet potatoes are things that I have had to come to terms with. I did not like either during most of my life, but I have embraced them both. Texas caviar was my first introduction to black eyed peas. And you what, I like it! Sweet potatoes I am still a little hesitant about. But got it into my head that I was going to replace the black beans in traditional Texas caviar with them and you know what? It worked. The combination of all of the flavors cuts the overt sweetness that you sometimes get with sweet potatoes. In all, this was a fantastic side (can also be served as a dip with chips) to Serrano/garlic burgers and grilled sweet corn. It’s also super quick and easy to whip up.

Sweet Potato Texas Caviar. Serves 4.

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes

1 can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

2 T cilantro, chopped

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 C apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)

1 T agave or honey

juice of 1/2 lime

2 T olive oil

Process

Peel and dice potatoes into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Cover with water and boil over high for 8-12 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Remove from heat, strain and run cold water over potatoes to stop the cooking process.

While the potato boil, combine beans, cilantro, onion and peppers in a medium bowl. Add potatoes when cooled and mix.

To make sauce combine remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl and whisk well. Add oil slowly, whisking the entire time to emulsify the sauce. Add to the bean and potato mixture. Mix to combine.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

***A note! I was thinking of adding corn to this, but I did not because we had corn on the cob with our meal, but I am going to do this next time!! Let me know if you try it out and love it :)

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Beans, Dairy Free, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Potatoes, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Fizz Kale Salad.

I have not blogged in a while, surely not any recipes anyhow. I blame the end of winter blahs. But with the newly light evenings I have been getting my grove back and now that there are fresh vegetables coming out of the garden again (carrots and turnips ended about a month ago) I am feeling like getting into the kitchen some more. This lovely and very simple salad is made with fresh Fizz kale from the garden. I planted it back on December 29 and got it outside on 2/4. It was finally ready for its first harvest this weekend. I took only the largest leaves to promote future growth. We had this salad as a side to herby roast chicken.

Fizz Kale Salad. (Serves 2)

Ingredients

2-3 oz Fizz kale or Red/White Russian Kale, woody stems removed and rough chopped

1 medium carrot, shred

1 oz goat cheese (optional if you want to make this vegan)

1 t olive oil

1 t red wine vinegar

1/2 t agave nectar

pinch of kosher salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Process

Make dressing in a small bowl by combining oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper, whisking quickly with a fork.

Toss kale and carrots together with dressing. Add goat cheese and toss again. Serve as a side.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Blue Cheese Kohlrabi Slaw.

If you follow the blog, you might start to notice that we like slaw. Slaw is great, it is chock full of veggies. Since I still have kohlrabi and turnips from the garden I am going to keep making slaw. Tonight will feature a blue cheese vinegar slaw.

Blue Cheese Kohlrabi Slaw. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

2 medium/large kolhrabi

2 t kosher salt

2 small turnips

2 large carrots

1 t brown or yellow mustard seeds

1 T cider vinegar

1/2 t celery salt

1/2 t natural cane sugar

1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 T oil oil

3 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Process

Peel and shred kohlrabi and put it in a colander. Toss with salt and place colander over a bowl. Allow the kohlrabi to drain for an hour. Rinse well to remove salt and squeeze dry (I use a tea towel for this).

Peel and shred turnips and carrots and toss with the kohlrabi. You may want to use your fingers here to ensure that all of the veg gets mixed well.

In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients, except cheese, with a fork. Drizzle over vegetables, add cheese and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Simple Roasted Winter Squash.

Roasting winter squash often involves the time consuming task of peeling and cubing the squash. It also cannot help but add calories to the dish because you are covering the squash with oil and butter during the roasting process. A long time ago I developed a method for roasting the squash without any of these added measures. It is easy, quick, and allows you to control how much added calorie you put on the squash.This is the same method I used when roasting the squash for these crazy “shepherd’s pies” last winter. But I wanted to share it again here as we enter into squash season.

Simply cut the squash in half and place cut side down on a baking dish or in a cookie pan with edges. Fill the pan with 1/2-1 inch of water. Bake squash in an oven preheated to 425 for 40-60 minutes, or until the back is soft when presses with the flat of a butter knife (the type and thickness of squash will vary the time). Using a spatula, remove squash from the pan and place cut side up on a plate or cutting board. Add butter or olive oil…whatever you want really, and salt or sprinkle with other desired herbs.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Casseroles/Bakes, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing.

A long time ago a very good friend of our started having Thanksgiving dinner with us. From the beginning his contribution was stuffing. It was the recipe his mother always made at home and she provided him with the recipe to continue the tradition. I am not sure of the origins of this recipe outside of that as I only ever received a typed version that she did in Word herself.

But anyway, we simply fell in love with this stuffing and over the years, as our friend as moved on to having other Thanksgiving plans and commitments, we have started making the stuffing ourselves.  I have altered the recipe, as is my habit of doing, to it my cooking style, but the flavors and nostalgia of the stuffing have remained the same.

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing. Serves 8.

Ingredients

14 oz bag cubed stuffing mix (the original recipe calls for Pepperidge Farms but you could use anything, probably even make your own cubes with the equivalent weight, dried in the oven–I am going to try this soon!)

1 unsalted stick butter

12 oz bulk pork sausage (I use sage breakfast)

2 1/2 C chicken stock

1 t kosher salt

8 oz mushrooms ( I use crimini and chanterelle)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup fresh cranberries, cut in half

Melt a stick of butter (less one tablespoon) in a big pot over medium heat. Add broth and salt to butter and warm. Remove from heat. Brown sausage until cooked in a large skillet over medium heat, remove from pan and put in the big pot.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the sausage fat and add mushrooms, onions and celery. Sauté until onions are soft and starting to turn translucent. About 3-5 minutes.

Add vegetables and cranberries to the big pot. Slowly add stuffing mix, toss gently until the crumbs are moist.

Put the entire mixture into greased 9×13.

Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more to get a good crust on it.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Bread, Casseroles/Bakes, Dairy Free, Holiday, Side Dish

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw.

I have cabbage and kohlrabi coming out of the garden right now and even though cole slaw is one of those traditional dishes that epitomizes summer cook outs, it seems fall is a great time to make such a dish with garden veggies. Both the cabbage and kohlrabi were seeded in early July and planted outside in late August. The kohlrabis have been ready each week for the last three or four weeks, but the cabbage finally produced a head! Only one so far, but the rest are not far behind (those that made it through the rash of bugs we have had).

To accompany a lovely tri-tip steak this past Sunday evening we had this lovely slaw and some simply roast fingerling potatoes. It is just a little bit of summer as we head full boar into November!

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

1 small head of cabbage

1 medium kohlrabi

2 medium carrots

2 T sour cream

1/4 t celery salt

1/4 fresh cracked black pepper

1 t cider vinegar

1 t lemon juice

2-3 oz crumbled blue cheese, optional

Peel kohlrabi and carrot and core cabbage. Shred all three vegetables using a hand grater or the grater attachment for the food processor. Transfer to a tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place in a medium mixing bowl.

Make dressing in a small bowl by combining all remaining ingredients except cheese, adjusting seasonings to taste as needed. Add dressing and cheese to the vegetables and mix to combine. Refrigerate until serving.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Julia Child’s Baked Cucumbers.

Baked cucumbers…um, yes, baked. Wierd. This is not something I have ever thought about before. But, I have a lot of cucumbers lying around. These are the ones that came off the vines as I was ripping them out to prep the beds for onions, shallots, and garlic. I am pickled out, I am cucumber salad-ed out, so then what the heck was I going to do with the cucumbers that I had left? Bake them, right? I did an internet search for baked cucumbers. I found out that Julia Child had a recipe that people very often make. I thought, sure, I should make it too. And I did.

I have to say, the cucumber was much more firm than I expected and the overall flavor was good. However, I am strange about things and there is something a little “egg plant” about the texture that I just can’t get past. I am not sure I will be able to talk myself into walking this path again, but hey, who knows. Maybe there is a cucumber gratin in my future. So here it is, though adapted slightly to the ingredients I had on hand.

Concombres au Beure. (Adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child)

Ingredients

6 medium cucumbers

2 T white wine vinegar

1 1/2 t kosher salt

1/8 t sugar

2 T unsalted butter, melted (original calls for 3)

1/2 t fresh oregano, chopped (original calls for fresh dill)

4 T chives, chopped (original calls for green onions)

1/8 t fresh ground black pepper

Peel cucumbers. Remove seeds with a spoon and cut into two inch pieces. Toss cucumbers in a medium bowl with vinegar, salt, and sugar. Strain cucumbers into a colander and place over the bowl to drain for at least 30 minutes (several hours is ok) on the counter.

Preheat oven to 375. In an 8×8 baking dish, toss cucumbers with melted butter, herbs and pepper. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes, tossing one time as the cucumbers cook.

Salut!

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Filed under Appetizer, Casseroles/Bakes, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Smoked Cream of Celery Soup.

Do you ever make something really good, but find yourself at a loss for how to use it all? I did exactly that with last year’s Thanksgiving duck. We smoked the duck to serve alongside our grilled turkey. It was very good, and I rendered the fat, and that was very good…especially in gravy. And then I made broth out of the bones and skin, and put it in the freezer…and left it there. What exactly does one do with a delicacy like smoked duck broth? Well, I have determined if they are doing anything, most people are not posting it on the internet!

So as the world turns and the autumn air brings in a desire for warm, comfort food, I started thinking about soup. I found this bacon cream of celery soup over on The Kitchn and started thinking about my smoked duck broth. If smoky bacon tastes good in this soup, smoked duck broth should too. And it does! It tastes so good, in fact, that I am no longer intimidated by the duck broth, instead, I am going to see what else I can make with it.

Smoked Cream of Celery Soup.

Ingredients

4 thick cut strips of bacon

5 C celery, chopped into 1 inch long pieces

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 large or 2 small/medium shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 T fresh thyme, removed from stems

1 large potato, cubed

2 C smoked duck broth (can sub smoked chicken or turkey)

2 C chicken broth

2 C milk (you can experiement with how fatty you get-1%, 2% or whole, the soup is pretty creamy without the milk, so you could even try leaving it out)

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat a large stock pot over medium heat. Ass bacon slices and cook slowly until done. Remove bacon and set aside and chop when cool. Add celery, onion, shallot, garlic, and thyme. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the celery is soft. Add potato and broth. Increase heat to medium-high, bring pot to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion circulator puree until smooth. You can use a blender here, but I highly recommend purchasing the immersion circulator…less chance of burning yourself.

Fold milk and bacon into soup. Serve hot with your favorite garnish.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Outside of the Box, Side Dish, Smoker Fare, Snacks, Soup/Stew

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.

I grew a mystery pepper this year. It came out of a mixed bag of hot pepper seeds I got two years ago…I had no idea it would take. Through a little internet searching…and simply reading the varieties that were listed on the mix, I have decided it is a Hungarian Wax Pepper and it is doing quite well. After figuring out what the heck it was, I had to decide how to use them. I settled on stuffing and roasting them. It was good decision because they turned out quite well. Do you have any mystery peppers? What did you do with them?

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.

Ingredients

4-6 Hungarian wax peppers

1 oz cooked Mexican chorizo or lump crab

1 oz shredded cheddar cheese, chopped

1.5 oz cream cheese, softened

2 T chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off each pepper and set aside. Using a small spoon, a pepper corer, or the back of a fork, remove the seeds from the peppers. Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix until well combined, a fork works well for this. Carefully stuff each pepper full. Replace top (it will stick to the filling) and place each pepper on a silpat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until peppers are tender, golden and filling is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pork, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegetables

Caprese Quinoa Salad.

Labor Day brings out the best of BBQ fare. Going into the holiday weekend we had absolutely no BBQ plans. By the start of the weekend, we had two separate BBQ events to prepare for. Bring a side. the typical party request, but honestly, I run out of new side ideas. Given the intense amount of mini cherry tomatoes I have this year I knew I had to make something with them. A tart? A sauce? Nope, caprese, but of course. I was inspired by the tiny size of the tomatoes to purchase those little tiny mozzarella balls. They are exactly the same size as the tomatoes.

But I ran into a mental snag. I could not figure out how I was going to get the tomatoes to soak up the dressing since they would not be cut…so I started searching through some of the other blogs I read for inspiration. It did not take long to find it. I stumbled upon this basil vinaigrette at Steamy Kitchen. The dressing in an of itself did not solve my issues, so I thought a little more. And it hit me, I love making quinoa salad. Why not combine this all together? Lo and behold it worked. The final result was lovely and chock full of basil flavor.

Caprese Quinoa Salad.

Ingredients

3 C cooked quinoa (cooking instructions below)

1/3 C basil vinaigrette (recipe below)

1 C mini cherry tomatoes (or other, chopped)

1 C mini fresh mozzarella balls (or other, chopped)

2 T fresh basil

Cook one cup of dry quinoa in a medium pan with two and half cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes, cover, remove from heat and allow to sit while you prepare the dressing.

For the vinaigrette:

1 small piece of elephant garlic, chopped (can sub shallot or garlic)

1 C loosely packed basil leaves

2 T water

2 T white wine vinegar

1 t kosher or sea salt

1 t fresh cracked black pepper

6 T  olive oil

Place garlic and basil in a blender. Top with water, vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree, adding oil as you mix. Allow mixture to settle.

Move quinoa into a medium mixing bowl. Add dressing and mix very well to combine. Place bowl in the refrigerator and allow quinoa to cool completely.

When quinoa and dressing is cool, mix in tomatoes and mozzarella. Chiffonade remaining basil and mix that in too. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve. Can make this up to one day in advance.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Condiments and Seasonings, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grains/Rice, Holiday, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian