Posts Tagged ‘sides’

Sugar Dusted Corn Fritters

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Here’s another one of our 4th of July treats: Sweet and Crunchy Corn Fritters. If you’ve never had a corn fritter, they are hard to describe. It’s like a doughnut but less sweet. Or a hush puppy, but more sweet. Kind of like a doughnut with a sweet cornbread flavor. These had fresh corn on the cob inside, and were seasoned with just a little bit of cayenne pepper for a mild kick. They were super easy, and as long as we were frying things anyway, totally worth while.

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Sugar-Dusted Corn Friters
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 generous cups corn kernels: fresh, frozen, or canned
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, more to thin if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying
  • Sifted powdered sugar to finish

1. Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a batter.

2. Add corn to batter. Fold together to combine.

3. Heat oil to 365 degrees. When oil is heated, drop spoonfuls of batter and cook, flipping to the other side, until golden brown. The fritters will sink and then float to the top as they finish cooking.

4. Drain on a towel-lined plate. Serve  sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar.

Note: This made a huge batch of fritters. I only cooked about a fourth of it, and it was enough for the 5 of us eating dinner. I’ll probably halve it next time I make this. But there will be a next time.

Yukon Gold Garlic Fries with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

For our Fourth of July party, I made these garlic fries with a spicy dipping sauce to go with our main dish of BBQ Ribs. I actually got this recipe from a couple different places. I got the idea for the one-step french fries from The Hungry Mouse, and then doctored them up with fresh garlic and parsley, inspired by Seven Spoons.

They were delicious.

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Yukon Gold Garlic Fries with Spicy Horseradish Dipping Sauce

To make the fries:

  • 2-3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, and cut into desired frying shape
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying

1. In a small bowl of your food processor (I used the chopper function on my immersion blender) combine the garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes.

2. Place the sliced potatoes in a large heavy bottom pan (or deep fryer). Pour in (cold) oil of your choice (I used a mixture of canola oil and vegetable oil), so that the potatoes are covered by at least an inch. Then turn on the heat, to medium high.

3. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the oil will begin to bubble around the fries, and the fries will float to the top. Continue to cook, stirring frequently. The fries will continue to brown steadily, so watch them carefully. When they are browned and crisp to your liking, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels.

4. Sprinkle the fries with kosher salt and the garlic/parsley mixture, while they are fresh and hot.

To make the dipping sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip–actual mayonnaise)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, stir together all five ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Alton Brown’s Rice Pilaf

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

This one’s a weird one for me to write.

I love rice. I love rice pilafs. I love Alton Brown, and am almost never disappointed in his recipes.

But I was kind of disappointed in this recipe.

On the plus side, the directions were clear, and it wasn’t really difficult at all to make. I just didn’t think that the result tasted like much of anything. Kind of a waste of saffron and all the veggies and other ingredients, if you ask me, because I didn’t think it tasted much better than plain rice. The texture was good, though, so I think there’s something to this method. I will probably give this another chance, especially since David liked it just fine. I didn’t dislike it, I was just…underwhelmed.

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Alton Brown’s Rice Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • Pinch of saffron strands, steeped in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • Golden raisins and pistachios for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy, wide, lidded pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion, red pepper, and kosher salt. Sweat the onions and peppers until aromatic, stirring constantly. Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring until rice smells nutty. Add chicken broth, orange zest, saffron and water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir once, then cover pan with moistened dish towel (or tea towel). Place lid on pan and fold towel corners over lid. Bake for 15 minutes. Then rest at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes without removing the cover. Meanwhile, simmer peas in salted water until heated through or heat in a microwave. Remove lid from rice and turn out onto a platter. Add peas and fluff with a large fork. Add raisins and pistachios.

Note: I followed the directions almost exactly, but I used about 1/2 cup white wine in place of part of the chicken broth–we didn’t have quite as much chicken broth as I thought (oops!). I also skipped the raisins and pistachios, only because I served the rice with Chicken Kiev, and I didn’t think raisins went so well with garlic-herb butter.

Fried German Potato Salad

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I actually stumbled across this recipe while searching for the recipe for Guy Fieri’s McCalister Potatoes on the Food Network website. It was accompanied by a video, which I watched right away–the idea of a fried potato salad was intriguing to me. Plus, I find German potato salad oddly compelling. It shouldn’t be good, with all the mustard and vinegar, but the sharp tangy flavor sticks with you. It’s the kind of thing that you find yourself craving months later. I do, anyway.

So when I read through Guy’s recipe for Fried German Potato Salad, I could just taste how it would turn out, and I was excited to try it. I thought it was really tasty.

Fried German Potato Salad
Adapted from Guy’s Big Bite

  • 6 Red potatoes medium size, cut into large dice
  • 8 ounces thick sliced bacon, cut into pieces
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cidar vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Put diced potatoes into a pot and fill with cold water (water should just cover the potatoes). Put pot on stove on medium flame and add salt. When water comes to a boil, and the potatoes are cooked, drain the potatoes and spread out on a side towel to dry.

2. While potatoes are doing their thing, add bacon to a large saute pan and cook over a low/medium flame. When the bacon is cooked remove with a slotted spoon and drain the bacon fat, reserving some if you want to add it later. Wipe out the pan with a wad of paper towels (and crank up the heat), add a decent amount of a neutral oil, like canola, and heat it until you get some smoke.

3. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the potatoes and shake the pan a couple of times to make sure nothing sticks. Lower the heat a little and let the potatoes brown. Season with salt and pepper.

4. After a few minutes, shake the pan and get the other sides going. When the potatoes are almost completely cooked, add the red onion and let everything cook together. Once the onions are caramelized, add the vinegar and deglaze. When the vinegar is mostly evaporated, add the extra-virgin olive oil, mustard and bacon (and reserved bacon fat if you want), re-season with lots of cracked black pepper. Serve warm.

Note: Just like last time, I think I over-cooked my potatoes a touch, which gave them a softer, more crumbly texture than the recipe intended. Guy’s recipe called for capers and red wine vinegar, but I skipped the capers and substituted apple cider vinegar, just because it felt like cider vinegar was the more traditional choice for a german potato salad.

Smashed-Down Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

This is one of those recipes that’s so bad for you, you know it’s going to be amazing. It’s a fried potato side dish from Guy Fieri, topped with crispy bacon, shredded Parmesan cheese, and a tangy sour cream topping. The best part is that it starts with whole baby yukon gold potatoes, which are boiled and then smashed down into the best of both worlds: a flat potato that crisps up all around the edges, but with a smooth, creamy, almost mashed-potato texture at the center.

Smashed-Down Potatoes with Bacon & Cheese
Adapted from Guy’s Big Bite

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 pounds baby Yukon potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (freshly grated, no green cans!)

In small mixing bowl combine sour cream, mustard, and white wine. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In large stock pot cover potatoes with water and add 2 tablespoons salt. Set heat on high and boil until fork tender.

In a large saute pan over medium heat cook bacon and saute onions until caramelized. Transfer bacon and onions from pan on to a paper towel to absorb grease. Distribute evenly on a platter and keep warm. Leave remaining fat in pan.

When potatoes are fork tender, drain, and with a clean kitchen towel, palm smash the hot potatoes to approximately 1/3-inch thick.

Reheat fat in saute pan and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Heat to oil medium heat and place potatoes in oil. Season with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, then transfer to onion and bacon platter. Repeat, adding more oil, until all potatoes are cooked crispy.

Top potatoes with Parmesan and then with sour cream mixture.

Note: Be sure to keep an eye on the potatoes–I didn’t have any trouble the first time I made this recipe, but this time, I think I let them go a little too long. These had a tendancy to start to crumble when I smashed them, which made it harder to fry the smashed-down potatoes intact.

Baked Sweet Potato “Fries”

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Oddly enough, I am in love with sweet potato fries. I don’t know when it happened, really. I can’t stand the Thanksgiving marshmallow monstrosity casserole, and I have never been tempted by the football sized baked sweet potatoes they serve at steak house restaurants. But sweet potato fries are a whole different story.

There’s a bar across the street from us that has great sweet potato fries, and in general, I’m excited whenever I come across them on a menu. Finally, I decided to make my own. We seldom deep fry things around here, so I opted for a baked version.

They turned out pretty well, though a touch too dark (oops!). If you like french fries, I don’t know why you wouldn’t like sweet potato fries. They’ve got the same crispy texture but tend to have a lot more flavor. Sweet potatoes are also better for you than regular white potatoes, with more fiber and more vitamins. Plus, french fries are such old news…sweet potato fries even look cooler!

sweet-potato-fries

Baked Sweet Potato “Fries”

  • 1 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled (2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
  • hot sauce, to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon, and they had just the right amount of heat for me)
  • extra salt, for seasoning
  • Cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into and toss with the oil, adobo seasoning, cinnamon, and hot sauce. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until the “fries” are tender and crisp, about 40 minutes.

3. Season with additional salt, to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: I’m kind of a whimp when it comes to hot sauce, so you could certainly add more if that’s what you like. I wasn’t going for something very spicy, just a little bit of heat to balance the sweetness, and that’s what I got. The cinnamon is just for little something extra–it brings out a little bit of the sweetness in the potatoes without being overpowering. I normally use cumin in my spice blend for sweet potatoes, but the adobo seasoning added the perfect amount of salt and in addition to the smoky cumin flavor.

Sizzled Green Beans with Crispy Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Leah, an integral part of my “Test Kitchen” here, gets recipes emailed to her from her work’s wellness programs. She emails them to me when they sound good, and even though I almost always agree with her, I believe this was the first one that I’ve made.

Fresh beans were expensive at the store, so I opted for whole frozen green beans (Green Giant Selects, I believe, which seemed a little better quality than the store brand frozen veggies we usually buy). I also skipped the sage, and used thyme instead, because that’s what we had on hand. Finally, I halved the recipe you see below, and it was plenty for the three of us.

Sauteeing the green beans brings out just a touch of  sweetness, and the prosciutto adds a tasty balance of salty flavor. The toasted pine nuts are delicious, too.

Even David ate his veggies that night, and he doesn’t care for green beans at all. I’m sure we’ll be making these again.

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Sizzled Green Beans with Crispy Prosciutto & Pine Nuts
Adapted from, well, Leah’s email

  • 2 pounds of green beans trimmed (I used frozen)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt divided
  • 2 teaspoons of minced fresh sage (I used minced fresh thyme leaves)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ounces of prosciutto thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beans, return to a boil, and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Wipe out the pan; heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic, sage, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are browned in places, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, lemon zest and the prosciutto. Season with lemon juice, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Adobo Potatoes

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

This recipe is so simple, it almost doesn’t deserve to be called a recipe. These are the potatoes I made with the barbecue pork sandwiches. The potatoes were super-easy–but despite so little effort were surprisingly delicious.

I’m not kidding when I said the recipe was simple, I just checked, and it’s so basic I could twitter it:

Recipe: Oil & Onions in pan over med. heat, saute. Add butter, red pot. wedges, Adobo seas. Cook until tender. Add Italian seas. Serve. Yum!

There’s your potato recipe in 140 characters…feel free to ReTweet. 🙂 Of course, if you’re looking for a little more guidance, keep reading.

The basic idea for the recipe actually came from The Spice House website. In addition to the awesome spice blends that I talked about in my post earlier this week, the Spice House website includes ideas and recipes for each spice, herb blend, and seasoning that they sell. I found this recipe for Adobo Potatoes while writing my post about our shopping trip to the Old Town location.

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Adobo Potatoes
Adapted from The Spice House website.

I’ve linked to the original recipe above, but here’s how I made them:

  • 1/2 cups sliced onions (you could skip these, if you wanted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 package of Simply Potatoes red potato wedges, unseasoned (They’re in the refrigerated section of your grocery store)
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1. In a large non-stick skillet, saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add butter and potatoes and stir, so that the potatoes are coated in the oil and butter mixture. Sprinkle with Adobo Seasoning. Cover, and continue cooking over medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, so that the potatoes brown evenly.

2. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Mix to combine and serve.

Note: I know, it’s not complicated, and it doesn’t seem like much–but they were very tasty. There was a lot of “Mmm! Those ARE good!” going on in the kitchen that night.

P.S. What do we call a recipe on twitter? A Twecipe? Twrecipe? Tweetipe? Ridiculous? Take the poll!

If recipes via twitter were actually a thing, what would they be called?

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Alton Brown’s Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I think we may have bought our last box of macaroni & cheese. I like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in a pinch, and Velveeta is pretty good, occasionally. They aren’t as good as homemade, of course, but they’re also an entirely different animal than most homemade macaroni & cheese recipes. After all, when it comes to homemade mac & cheese, you’re usually talking about a rich, heavy dish, baked in a casserole, topped with bread crumbs. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except that that kind of macaroni & cheese is almost a meal in and of itself. Sometimes, you want macaroni & cheese to take it’s rightful place as a side dish.

Enter AB’s Stovetop Mac & Cheese. Alton Brown’s Macaroni & Cheese recipe is just as quick and easy as the box variety.True, there are a few more ingredients, but they’re actually ones that we always have on hand.

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Alton Brown’s Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

Directions

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Note: See? That’s it. Just like with the blue box, boil the pasta, add some stuff, and stir. The flavor, however, is much, much better than any boxed macaroni and cheese. It was rich and creamy and deliciously cheesy.

Baked Potatoes with Yogurt & Sour Cream

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

I made these baked potatoes from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook, and for the first time, I was slightly disappointed.

Disappointed probably isn’t the word, because the potatoes were…good. They just weren’t as good as the other recipes I’ve tried from the book. The sauce was fine, but nothing spectacular, and I know that oven-baked potatoes are supposed to be better than the microwave kind, but since this recipe didn’t do anything to the skins, there really wasn’t much of a difference in the actual texture of the potato.

In short, there’s nothing wrong with the recipe below, but I probably won’t make it again. It wasn’t special enough to be worth the trouble. On the plus side, the sour cream/yogurt sauce is lower in fat and calories than the traditional butter & sour cream mixture, and doesn’t really sacrifice any flavor.

Baked Potatoes with Yogurt & Sour Cream
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook

  • 4 Idaho russet baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the potatoes and place them directly on the oven baking rack. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, sour cream, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with extra chives. Chill.

When potatoes are done, cut them down the middle and squeeze both ends. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve the hot baked potatoes with the cold chive dressing.