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Posts Tagged ‘Side Dish’

Few words today, as it is the 12th anniversary of my Mom’s passing.  A dish that’s beautifully hued and antioxidant-rich; a perfect combination of savory and sweet.  Delicious as a side to fish or chicken (or your choice of protein) or topped with a fried egg, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Purple Cabbage and Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients

3 strips bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, about 8 ounces each, peeled and 1/4-inch diced
1/2 head of small purple cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
2 scallions, sliced, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a 13-inch saute pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon and half the olive oil. When the oil heats and the bacon begins to sizzle, add the cabbage and cook 3-5 minutes, until wilted.  Set aside. 
  2. Add the remaining olive oil and sweet potatoes and cook until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes and cook another 3 to 5 minutes longer, until other sides are brown and potatoes are cooked through. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes.  Taste and re-season if necessary.  Top with scallions, if desired.

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Arroz Verde

I discovered something recently: My nearly 4-year-old Rice Kernel cannot stand the texture of sauteed fresh spinach.  In casseroles or frittatas, it seems to be okay.  But when I cook it simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, his little tongue touches the spinach and rejects it.  Even if there are other foods in his mouth, somehowonlythe spinach finds its way onto a napkin.
 
Well, I’ve got him fooled on this one.  Blended to perfect green oblivion, this is a flavorful rice dish in my little boy’s favorite hue. 
 
Note: I did not use milk.  I substituted additional broth.  Also, seems I didn’t use enough spinach since my arroz verde is missing some verde….
 
Arroz Verde
 
 
 
Instructions
 
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro sprigs (about 1/2 oz.)
1 cup tightly packed fresh stemmed spinach leaves (about 1-1/2 oz.)
1-1/4 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. kosher salt 
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
 
Directions

Put the cilantro, spinach, and broth in a blender and blend until the vegetables are puréed. Add the milk and salt and blend a bit more until well combined.

In a medium (3-qt.) heavy-based saucepan (with a good lid) over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the rice and sauté, stirring about every 30 seconds, until it just begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the contents of the blender, stir well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the rice carefully to avoid crushing it, cover, and cook another 5 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and let the rice steam in the covered pot for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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Beautiful, fiber-rich eggplant.  Underused in our house, but appreciated by my Dad and FHE very much.  I can’t get Rice Kernel to eat it, no matter what I do to dress it up or conceal it.  (When eggplant is on the menu, I do what I swear I’ll never do – cook Rice Kernel a separate dish, usually broccoli or a cucumber salad.)  As for myself, eggplant needs a lot of flavor for me to enjoy (and overlook the texture!).  This is a recipe the adults always appreciate.  Best served with white rice, you can add some extra flavor to the rice by cooking it in chicken stock and/or coconut milk (equal parts).

Spicy Eggplant Tofu

1 tbsp chili sauce (any Asian brand you like – I’ve found some organic ones at a local Japanese market)
1 tsp sugar or honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp olive oil
10 oz tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
3 red chiles, cored, seeded and cut into very thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into triangles or squares
4 Asian eggplants, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Salt or soy sauce, to taste

Additional vegetables of your choice (I used a few leaves each of bok choy and napa cabbage)

 
  1. In a bowl, mix chili sauce, sugar, and sesame oil; set aside.
  2. Heat tbsp olive oil in a large pan or nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Sauté tofu about 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add remaining tbsp olive oil, garlic, and chiles; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and eggplant. Raise heat to medium. Stir-fry 10 minutes, flipping eggplant after 5 minutes to cook on each side. Add oyster sauce mixture; stir well. Add tofu to pan and mix. Serve with rice.

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Warm Celery Salad

Celery is one of those vegetables I rarely buy.  But every now and again, FHE sneaks into our grocery cart.  I’d happily fill the celery with peanut butter or make ants on a log for Rice Kernel, but he simply eats the raisins and leaves the rest.  So I’m left with hearts of celery in the fridge.  Short of stir-frying the vegetable or putting it in a stew or stuffing, I’m often left scratching my head thinking of ways to use up the distinctively fresh, acidic vegetable on its own.  Enter a warm salad.  Simply dressed with a vinagarette and lightly cooked, the vegetables retain much of their texture and the celery takes on a sweeter, aromatic profile. 

Warm Celery Salad

Ingredients

1-2 tablespoons honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 whole celery heart, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 carrots, shredded or diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small to medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or herbs like thyme)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine honey, lemon juice, and vinegar then whisk in extra-virgin olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. In a pan over medium high heat, cook onions for 3-5 minutes.  Add the celery, carrots, corn, peppers, and herbs (or whatever vegetables you are using).  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  Toss the vegetables into the dressing and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Colcannon Oven-Roasted Potatoes, inspired by Anne Burrell


 
2 baking potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
4 scallions, greens sliced on a bias, whites thinly sliced, separated
Kosher salt
1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and cut in chiffonade
1/3 cup sour cream (or shredded cheese)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Plate the potatoes skin side down in a roasting pan and roast for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes have a golden brown crust.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve lengthwise with a serrated knife. Carefully scoop out the flesh of the potatoes, using a melon baller or spoon, and then run the scooped section through a ricer into a glass mixing bowl.
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Place butter/oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites, sprinkle with salt and sweat until tender. Stir in the kale, sprinkle with more salt and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  6. Combine the kale with the mashed potatoes, and mix in the sour cream or cheese until combined. Fill the potato skins with the mashed potatoes and kale.
  7. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan under the broiler just until the tops are crunchy. Garnish with the scallion greens

Note: you can also use small potatoes for an h’orderves

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Roasted Carrot Puree

Rice Kernel loves carrots.  He does not love mashed potatoes.  In fact, without painting a revolting picture, let me say that he will spit out mashed potatoes whether they are creamy, lumpy, or laden with ginger-licking, salty, meaty gravy.  Very sad, I say.  I can’t deny a spud.  Especially a creamy one.  Somehow, my boy does not mind creamy carrots. 

Roasting carrots until they are golden brown brings out their sweetness and adds a touch of nuttiness.  This silken puree is a particularly good side dish for a roasted meat dish, but I have to admit I’ve used it as a spread on sandwiches.  If you have some pan drippings to add in, it is even more delicious.

Roasted Carrot Puree

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 large), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped roughly
2 tablespoons olive oil
Herbs of your choice (I like fresh thyme and rosemary)
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk (or soy, or a mix of milk and chicken stock)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Any pan drippings from roasted chicken or roasted pork, optional

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°. In a roasting pan, combine the carrots with the oil, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Roast the carrots, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, puree the carrots with the butter, milk, lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. If necessary, reheat the puree in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring.

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As simple as it gets.  Cauliflower gets caramelized in the oven and is topped with cheddar cheese.  This is a flavorful side that stands up to any type of meat – prepared any way.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut into medium florets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup grated cheddar (4 ounces)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  2. Push cauliflower to center of sheet and top with grated cheddar. Return to oven and cook until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Toss again before serving

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