Side Dishes Feed

Minty “Mushy” English Peas

Mushy Minty English Peas

Mushy peas are a traditional side dish to the British classic - Fish & Chips. I was recently in London for the Queen’s Jubilee and stayed at the incredibly beautiful Corinthia Hotel (Click here for hotel link). It is truly one of London’s best properties. The hotel’s restaurant, The Northall, features "traditional British fare focusing on seasonal produce supplied by artisanal producers from around the British Isles."  Without hesitation, I chose the Deep Fried Haddock in Beer Batter, chips and “proper mushy peas”.  My version of mushy peas may not be “proper”, but they are delicious. Bright, vibrant green with just a hint of mint, they’re great with fish or chicken. Use caution when pulsing with the food processor, you want them coarsely mashed, not pureed. 

Download Minty Mushy English Peas recipe

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound frozen peas, not thawed

2 cups chopped Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 Sea Salt and pepper

1. Bring broth, peas, lettuce, mint, butter, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until peas are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Transfer to food processor, add lemon juice, and pulse until coarsely mashed, about ten 1-second pulses Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve.


The Northall restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel -

The-Northall restaurant1

Fast Easy Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce 2

Fast Easy Homemade Applesauce

A friend of mine called and asked me what was the best way to use up a bunch of apples and I naturally suggested applesauce. I often find the crisper drawer in my  own refrigerator filled with a variety of apples and end up throwing them into a pot with a few ingredients to create a delicious homemade applesauce. It’s so versatile – I add it to oatmeal at breakfast, blend a scoopful into smoothies, use it to replace pumpkin in muffin recipes and it’s also a great accompaniment to many main course dishes. 

Download Fast Easy Homemade Applesauce recipe

4 pounds apples, such as McIntosh, Gala, and Braeburn

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

1 cup apple juice (or water)

3 inches of cinnamon stick

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

1. Peel, core, and slice apples.

2. In a large pot, bring apples, salt, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, and apple juice (or water) to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until apples are very soft and falling apart, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor until smooth with small chunks remaining. (Add sugar, if using.)

4. Let cool, and then transfer applesauce to airtight containers.


Perfect Mixed Berry Salad with Simple Syrup


Simple syrup is incredibly handy and can be used to sweeten fruit salad as well as your favorite summer drinks. It lasts for a couple of months in the refrigerator and you can create a variety of flavors. Just add fresh mint, ginger root, lemon, lime or orange zest to create new flavors – I like using fresh mint with mixed berries.

Download Perfect Mixed Berry Salad with Simple Syrup recipe

Simple Syrup

½ cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon chopped Fresh mint (or other flavor from list above)


2 cups fresh blueberries

1 ½ cups fresh blackberries

1 ½ cups fresh raspberries

½ cup white grapes, sliced in half lengthwise

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)

1. Bring sugar, water and mint to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Transfer syrup to airtight container and refrigerate until needed.

2. Toss berries in serving bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup (and optional Grand Marnier) and mix gently to combine.


Classic Scalloped Potatoes with Celery Root

Scalloped potatoes 2 

It’s important that the potatoes are sliced very thin, no more than 1/8” thick. I use a mandoline, but you can also use your food processor with the blade attachment. These are great to serve on Easter with a glazed ham or a leg of lamb.


Download Classic Scalloped Potatoes with Celery Root Recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced, and rinsed well

2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoons table salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 

2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and sliced thin

8 ounces celery root (about 1/2 medium), peeled and sliced thin

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 

1 cup heavy cream 

2 bay leaves 

4 ounces grated cheddar cheese or gruyere, shredded (1 cup)

1.    Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.

2.    Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until foaming subsides. Add onion and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add celery root, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, bring mixture back to simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped into and out of potato slice with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

3.    Transfer mixture to 8-inch-square baking dish (or other 1 1/2-quart gratin dish) and press to an even layer; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake until cream is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead: Once the scalloped potatoes have been transferred to the baking dish and pressed into an even layer in step 3, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, add the cheese, cover with foil, and bake in a 400-degree oven until the mixture is hot and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the cheddar begins to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Scalloped potatoes stovetop 

Scalloped potatoes dish

Colcannon - Irish Mashed Potatoes

Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it's a classic comfort food in Ireland. I first discovered this unique potato dish on a trip to Dublin - you can read about the trip and my visit to the Merrion Hotel on One for the Table's site:

click here --->


Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage)

Download Colcannon Recipe


3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

Table salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

1 cup half & half, warmed

 Ground black pepper

1 head Savoy cabbage, cored and shredded

2 leeks, cleaned and finely sliced, white and light green parts only

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (to use with cabbage and leeks)

2 scallions, green parts only, chopped


1.    Place potatoes in large saucepan; add cold water to cover by 1 inch and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes break apart when paring knife is inserted, about 18 minutes.


2.   Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons of the butter to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, discarding liquid, and set aside.


3.    Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add leeks to the cabbage mixture.


4.    Combine half & half and butter in small saucepan and keep warm until potatoes are done.


5.    When potatoes are done, turn off burner, drain and return the saucepan to still-hot burner. Using potato masher, mash potatoes until a few small lumps remain. Gently mix in melted butter mixture; using rubber spatula, gently fold in cabbage, leeks and scallion greens until just incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately.


Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon

Glazed bacon

Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon

Download Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon Recipe


1 1/4 pounds thickly sliced bacon

1/4 cup dark-brown sugar

Freshly ground black pepper


1.    Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Lay bacon on the paper, and sprinkle the brown sugar liberally over bacon and then grind pepper over slices. Transfer bacon to the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully drain the fat into a container. Return the pan to the oven, and bake until bacon is crisp, 6 to 7 minutes more. Transfer bacon immediately to a wire rack, and let sit until cool enough to eat.

Glazed bacon tray

Simple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Glazed sweet potatoes 

Simple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

This is a fast and easy side dish to prepare – a little spicy and a little sweet.

Download Simple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

3-4 medium sweet potatoes (2 lb. total), preferably the same size and shape, peeled, halved crosswise, and quartered lengthwise

4 Tbs. unsalted butter; plus more for the pan

¼ cup maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup orange juice or apple cider

½ tsp ground ginger 

1/4 tsp. cayenne

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter a large Pyrex or ceramic baking dish.

2. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the maple syrup (or honey), orange juice, ginger and cayenne. Drizzle the mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss the pieces well to coat them thoroughly.

4. Roast until the potatoes are browned and tender and the juices are bubbly and thickened, 45 to 55 minutes. To ensure even roasting, stir and baste several times with the pan juices, doing so more frequently toward the end of roasting.


    Glazed sweet potatoes pan

  • Thanksgiving Peas with Shallots and Thyme


    Peas with Shallots and Thyme

    Serves 12

    Do not thaw the peas before adding them to the skillet. Save time by prepping other ingredients a couple of hours before and keep in a plastic wrapped dish. Then throw it all together just before dinner

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter 

    2 shallots, minced

    2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves 

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    2 pounds frozen peas 

    1 tablespoon sugar

    Salt and pepper


    1.  Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, thyme, and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the peas and sugar. Cover and cook until the peas are heated through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


    Download Peas with Shallots and Thyme



    Classic Sage Onion Bread Stuffing



    This recipe is combination of technique and ingredients from Cook’s Illustrated and Joy of Cooking, which I suppose now makes it my own. There are tons of recipes with exotic flavors and ingredients, but if you’re looking for that classic Thanksgiving stuffing, this is the recipe to use. Drying the bread before making the stuffing is an important step for texture and flavor. If you plan ahead, you can just leave the bread cubes out on the counter for a few days to become stale. I usually just spread them out on baking sheets and dry in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 60 minutes. Let the bread cool before using in the stuffing. You can substitute three 14-ounce bags of plain dried bread cubes for the homemade dried bread cubes, but you'll need to increase the amount of  broth to 7-8 cups. This recipe can easily be halved and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish for a smaller crowd. 

    Download Classic Sage Bread Stuffing recipe

     To Make Ahead:

     The stuffing can be assembled in the baking dish, then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. To bake, let the stuffing stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and proceed to bake as directed in step 3.


    1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (plus extra for baking dish)

    4 medium ribs celery, chopped fine 

    2 large onions, minced 

    4 scallions, chopped fine 

    3 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons dried 

    3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried 

    1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

    1 teaspoon dried tarragon or basil

    ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

    2 tablespoons cognac

    2 pounds high-quality sandwich bread (like Pepperidge Farm White), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and dried

    5 cups turkey stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth

    3 large eggs, beaten lightly

    ¼ cup cream

    1-2 teaspoon kosher salt

    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

    3/4 cup fresh coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 1 bunch)

    1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, scallions, and celery, and cook until onions are translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Add sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon and nutmeg and stir to combine, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add cognac to deglaze pan, and then 1/2 cup stock, and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes, until liquid has reduced. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.

    2. Add the dried bread cubes, remaining stock or broth, eggs, cream, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper to the sautéed vegetables and toss gently to distribute dry and wet ingredients evenly. Turn mixture into buttered 15-x 10-inch baking dish.

    3. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until golden, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    Perfect Turkey Gravy with Make Ahead Turkey Stock

    Turkey gravy 

    Rich Turkey Stock

    This stock has incredible flavor and can be made ahead to save time at Thanksgiving. It’s the base for perfect turkey gravy, and can also be used in your favorite dressing recipe. To roast the trimmings and vegetables, it’s best to use a roasting pan that can sit on the stovetop, so that you can deglaze the pan and make sure all the dark flavorful bits wind up in the stock.

     6-8 turkey parts – wings, thighs, neck (most local markets will carry these around the holidays) 

    2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces  

    2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces 

    2  onions , chopped coarse 

    1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped in 2” pieces

    1 head garlic , unpeeled 

    12 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

    2 cups dry white wine  

    6-8 sprigs fresh thyme

    1 sprig rosemary

    6 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley

    1 tsp whole peppercorns

    1 bay leaf   

    1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place turkey trimmings, carrot, celery, onions, and garlic in large flameproof roasting pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray and toss to combine. Roast, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, 60-90  minutes.

    1. Remove roasting pan from oven and transfer contents of roasting pan to large stockpot. Place roasting pan over 2 burners set at medium high heat; add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan with wooden spoon, and then pour into stockpot.

    1. Add remaining chicken stock, wine, and herbs; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain stock into large pot using cheesecloth lined strained. Cool to room temperature; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fat congeals, at least 1 hour or overnight. Skim fat from stock and reserve for Turkey Gravy recipe.

    Turkey Gravy


    ½ cup reserved turkey fat (add melted butter if needed to make ½ cup)

    ½ cup all purpose flour

    6-8 cups Rich Turkey Stock

    Salt and pepper

    1. Bring stock to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
    2. In second medium saucepan, heat reserved turkey fat over medium-high heat until bubbling; whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until combined and honey-colored or brown, about 2-5 minutes. Continuing to whisk constantly, gradually ladle in hot stock; bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 -15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with turkey. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days; reheat in medium saucepan over medium heat until hot, about 8 minutes.


     Download Rich Turkey Stock Recipe