Side Dishes Feed

Perfectly Spiced Indian-Style Basmati Rice

Perfectly Spiced Indian-Style Basmati Rice

This makes a perfect side dish for Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, or Tandoori. Rinsing the rice is an important step which delivers a light and fluffy dish with grains that are separate and distinct.

Download Perfectly Spiced Indian-Style Basmati Rice recipe

1 ½ cups basmati rice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

3 whole cloves

2¼ cups water

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon table salt

*Note: For basmati rice with a bright yellow color, add ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric and a pinch of saffron threads with the water in step 3.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place rice in fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Place strainer over bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin, cardamom, and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 17 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat for at least 10 minutes. Discard cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Fluff rice with fork and serve.

Sautéed Summer Sweet Corn and Zucchini

  Sauteed Summer Corn Zucchini

 

There’s nothing like fresh sweet corn in the summer, especially from a local farm. While eating corn straight from the cob with melted butter is probably the most traditional method, it’s nice to add a few other ingredients to perk things up. Sweet corn pairs nicely with summer’s other abundant garden vegetable – zucchini.  Fresh herbs add great flavor and the jalapeno gives it a nice kick, add a few jalapeno seeds for extra heat.

Download Sautéed Summer Sweet Corn and Zucchini recipe

3 ears fresh sweet corn

1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small zucchini

2 cloves garlic

½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. With a sharp knife, cut kernels from cobs into a medium bowl.  Holding cut cobs over bowl and using the butter of a butter knife, scrape any corn pulp and liquid into bowl.  Set aside

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add zucchini and sauté until softened and browned at edges, 3-5 minutes. Add corn and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds. Off heat, stir in fresh herbs, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4-6

Sweet corn

Cutting corn kernels1

Sauteed Summer Corn Zucchini pan


Pan Grilled Spring Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled-Asparagus1a

This is the perfect time of year to serve fresh asparagus and one great method for cooking is an indoor grill pan. I generally prefer the thin stalks for steaming and fat stalks for grilling, but use whatever you want – fat, thin, green or white. Choose bunches with tightly closed tips and no flowering.  Delicious asparagus depends on freshness and proper preparation. Pan grilling gives you slightly charred stalks with delicious brown spots that you get from roasting or barbecuing without having to heat up your oven or grill. The lemon vinaigrette enhances the dish perfectly and adds to the bright fresh flavor of the asparagus.

Download Pan Grilled Spring Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe

2 pounds asparagus spears (2 bunches), tough ends trimmed

1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 large shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves

¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

1. Warm a grill pan over medium-high heat (4-5 minutes).

2.  Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, dry with paper towels.

3. Toss the asparagus lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Grill asparagus 5 minutes, then flip and grill until slightly blackened on both sides, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter.

5. Whisk shallot, lemon juice and zest, thyme, mustard, and olive oil in small bowl (or shake well in jar with tight lid); season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.

Asparagus fresh
Asparagus grill pan

 


Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Red pepper hummus1 

Makes 2 cups

 

Hummus makes a great appetizer to keep on hand and has a wide variety of uses. It’s perfect as a dip with pita chips or veggies, great as a spread on sandwiches and wraps, or as a side dish with grilled chicken or lamb kabobs.  The popularity of this Middle Eastern dish continues to grow; in fact,The New York Times reported that the hummus industry has grown from just a $5 million dollar business 15 years ago, to one that totaled $530 million at U.S. food retailers in 2012. While basic hummus is a classic, I like to add a little extra flavor with additional ingredients like roasted red peppers or grilled artichokes. If you are having a large gathering, make a variety of flavors and serve with crisp homemade pita chips. (Pita Chips recipe)

Download Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe

 

3 tablespoons water

¼ cup tahini, stirred well (Joyva or Krinos brands)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

¼ cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, optional

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

 

1. Combine water and lemon juice in a measuring cup; set aside. Whisk tahini and oil together in second small bowl or measuring cup. 

2. Process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne and smoked paprika until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With food processor running, slowly add lemon/water mixture until incorporated and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down bowl again with rubber spatula. With food processor running, slowly add tahini mixture until incorporated and process until creamy, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle almonds and parsley over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Red pepper mixed


Roasted Zucchini Filled with White Beans, Tomato and Basil

Stuffed Zucchini Tomatoes Beans Basil

This is a great way to use up zucchini from your garden and is an easy recipe for vegetarians. I made it recently for lunch, but it would also make a great first course for dinner.  This will serve two as a main course, or four as an appetizer. You can easily double the ingredients. 

Download Roasted Zucchini Filled with White Beans, Tomato and Basil

 

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 zucchini (about 8 ounces each) halved lengthwise

Sea salt and pepper

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 shallot, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

¾ cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded - about 3 ounces (reserving ¼ cup)

¼ cup fresh chopped basil

 

1. Adjust rack to upper-middle position, place a rimmed baking sheet on rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Using a small spoon, scoop the seeds from the zucchini halves. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over cut side of zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place zucchini halves, cut side down, on hot baking sheet. Roast until slightly softened, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip zucchini halves over and set baking sheet aside while preparing filling.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add panko and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook panko, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer panko to a small bowl and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in wiped skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and cook until softened 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add beans, tomato, oregano and pepper flakes and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

5. Off heat stir in ½ cup shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide filling evenly among squash halves and pack lightly. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese and then cover each with toasted bread crumbs. Return pan to oven, and bake stuffed zucchini until heated through, about 6 minutes.

Stuffed Zucchini roasted

Stuffed Zucchini filling

Stuffed Zucchini prep pan

Stuffed Zucchini pan


Best Creamy Homemade Coleslaw

Creamy coleslaw 2013

It’s hard to believe that we’re already approaching Labor Day weekend – the summer just flew by. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), Labor Day is one of the most popular holidays for barbecuing - after 4th of July and Memorial Day. So most likely, if you’re not hosting a gathering, you’ve been invited to one. No other side dish embodies a cookout quite the same as coleslaw. When made correctly, it’s the perfect accompaniment to savory barbecued meats and vegetables. The trick is to create a crisp salad with fresh vibrant flavors that isn’t too sweet or too soupy. This is one of my favorite “dressings” for coleslaw. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss with the cabbage and veggies.

 

Serves 8

 4 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 head cabbage)

4 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 head cabbage)

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or 1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 cup grated yellow onion

1 green or red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 ½ tablespoons buttermilk

5 teaspoons celery seeds

1 ½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

 

1. Toss cabbage and carrots with salt in colander set over medium bowl. Let stand until cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

2. Dump wilted cabbage and carrots into the bowl. Rinse thoroughly in cold water (ice water if serving slaw immediately). Pour vegetables back into colander, pressing, but not squeezing on them to drain. Pat dry with paper towels. (Can be stored in a zip-lock bag and refrigerated overnight.)

3. Pour cabbage and carrots back again into bowl. Add onions, bell pepper, and parsley; toss to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, buttermilk, celery seeds, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and whisk well to dissolve the sugar.

5. Toss with the dressing with cabbage mixture until evenly coated. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Place in the refrigerator, covered, to chill slightly before serving.

Red green cabbage1



Red Bliss French Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and Fines Herbes

French potato salad1

Memorial Day weekend has become synonymous with the beginning of summer and usually celebrated with barbecues, outdoor gatherings, or some kind of pre-summer fun. A great side dish to almost any outdoor menu is potato salad. This version uses a mustard vinaigrette rather than mayonnaise to bind the ingredients - it’s lighter and the abundance of fresh herbs gives it great flavor – and it will hold up a bit longer on a warm summer day. “Fines herbes” (fēn-ˈzerb) is a classic combination of herbs that is commonly found in French cuisine and usually include fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil. leaves (If fresh chervil isn’t available, substitute an additional 1/2 tablespoon of minced parsley and an additional 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon)

Download French Red Bliss Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette and Fines Herbes recipe 

2 pounds small red bliss potatoes (about 2-inch diameter), unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 tablespoons table salt

1 ½ tablespoons Champagne vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup minced scallions (white and green parts)

1 large shallot, finely minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

Sea salt to taste

1. Place potatoes, 6 cups cold water, and salt in large saucepan; bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Continue to simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Arrange hot potatoes close together in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.

2. Whisk reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, and pepper in small bowl until combined. Drizzle the dressing evenly over warm potatoes; let stand 10 minutes.

3. Toss scallions, shallots and herbs in small bowl. Transfer potatoes to large serving bowl; add shallot/herb mixture and mix gently with rubber spatula to combine, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt if needed. Serve immediately.

Red_potatoes1

Sliced red potatoes1

Fine herbes1


Carrot Spiked Mashed Potatoes

Carrot Mashed Potatoes

Although they’re often a favorite side dish staple, sometimes mashed potatoes need a little inspiration. Root vegetables make a perfect addition to potatoes, and I particularly like the sweet flavor of carrots in this recipe, but parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, and celery root will work just as well.. Yukon Gold potatoes are a great choice because of their rich, creamy flavor. It’s important to rinse the potatoes will, to remove excess starch which can make the mixture gluey.

Download Carrot Spiked Mashed Potatoes recipe

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 medium carrots (about 8 ounces) cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into ¼” thick pieces

1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; rinsed well in cold water and drained

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt

2/3 cup half-and-half, warmed

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion greens

Ground black pepper

 

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is browned and vegetables are dark brown and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. (If after 4 minutes vegetables have not started to brown, increase heat to medium-high.)

2. Add potatoes, broth, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cook, covered, over low heat (broth should simmer gently; do not boil), stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart easily when poked with fork and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. (If liquid does not gently simmer after a few minutes, increase heat to medium-low.) Remove pan from heat; remove lid and allow steam to escape for 2 minutes.

3. Gently mash potatoes and root vegetables in saucepan with potato masher (do not mash vigorously). Gently fold in warm half-and-half and chives (or scallion greens). Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

Carrot Mashed Potatoes Saute 1

Carrot Mashed Potatoes pot

Carrot Mashed Potatoes masher

Carrot Mashed Potatoes pan


Thanksgiving Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Cookie Topping

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Oatmeal Topping


If you’re a fan of sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, but are looking for an alternative to ubiquitous marshmallow topping, this is the recipe for you. It’s an easy dish that can be made a day ahead and baked when needed. Make ahead recipes are really key to a manageable and peaceful Thanksgiving celebration! Marmalade is the secret ingredient that compliments both the sweet potatoes and the crunchy oat topping. A potato masher will yield slightly lumpy sweet potatoes, which gives the dish a rustic homey appeal; a food mill, however, will make a perfectly smooth puree.  You can also skip the cookie topping and just serve the sweet potatoes on their own.

Download Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Oatmeal Cookie Topping 

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 Tablespoons heavy cream

3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar, dark or light

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup sweet orange marmalade

1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

For topping

14 three-inch crisp oatmeal cookies,(like McVitie’s HobNobs) broken into pieces (about 3 cups)

¼ cup toasted pecans

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch ground cumin

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the topping:

1. In a food processor grind cookies fine. Add the pecans and spices and pulse 3-4 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles soft cookie dough. Wrap topping in wax paper and chill until firm, about 2 hours. Topping may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

For the sweet potatoes:

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, cream, brown sugar, maple syrup, orange juice, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.

2. Off heat, mash sweet potatoes in saucepan with potato masher (or press through a food mill). Stir in marmalade and gingerroot .  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spread potato mixture evenly in baking dish. Preheat oven to 400F. Crumble the chilled topping mixture over potato mixture and bake in middle of oven until topping is browned lightly, about 25-35 minutes. (Potato mixture may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring potato mixture to room temperature before proceeding)

Cubed-Sweet-Potato1


Hobnobs



 


World's Best Creamy Coleslaw

Red Green Cabbage Coleslaw1

It’s hard to believe that we’re already approaching Labor Day weekend – the summer just flew by. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), Labor Day is one of the most popular holidays for barbecuing - after 4th of July and Memorial Day. So most likely, if you’re not hosting a gathering, you’ve been invited to one. No other side dish embodies a cookout quite the same as coleslaw. When made correctly, it’s the perfect accompaniment to savory barbecued meats and vegetables. The trick is to create a crisp salad with fresh vibrant flavors that isn’t too sweet or too soupy. This is one of my favorite “dressings” for coleslaw. It can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss with the cabbage and veggies.

Download Worlds Best Creamy Coleslaw recipe.

Serves 8

4 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 head cabbage)

4 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 head cabbage)

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded

2 teaspoons kosher salt, or 1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 cup grated yellow onion

1 green or red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 ½ tablespoons buttermilk

5 teaspoons celery seeds

1 ½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

 

1. Toss cabbage and carrots with salt in colander set over medium bowl. Let stand until cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

2. Dump wilted cabbage and carrots into the bowl. Rinse thoroughly in cold water (ice water if serving slaw immediately). Pour vegetables back into colander, pressing, but not squeezing on them to drain. Pat dry with paper towels. (Can be stored in a zip-lock bag and refrigerated overnight.)

3. Pour cabbage and carrots back again into bowl. Add onions, bell pepper, and parsley; toss to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, buttermilk, celery seeds, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and whisk well to dissolve the sugar.

5. Toss with the dressing with cabbage mixture until evenly coated. Adjust seasoning, to taste. Place in the refrigerator, covered, to chill slightly before serving.