Category Archives: sides

Skillet Corn with Edamame, Tomatoes, and Basil Oil

It is really starting to feel like summer around here, which means in Texas it is 90+ degrees outside.  It is also starting to look like summer with an abundance of summer vegetables hitting the shelves!  This past weekend we had a memorial day party which left me with 10 ears of sweet summer corn left over.

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I made this recipe from Martha Stewart Living last summer and it was a hit.  I put it on everything from salads to tacos, although it really is a perfect summer side on its own.  I did not need all of the basil oil but luckily that is not something I mind having around.  A possible Chimichurri anyone??

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With a recipe that uses such simple ingredients how can you go wrong.  Oh and did I mention it takes no time at all??!?

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Skillet Corn with Edamame, Tomatoes, and Basil Oil

adapted from Martha Stewart

  • cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/4 cups corn kernels, I used 4 ears
  • 2/3 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  1. Puree basil, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add corn, edamame, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring, about 10 minutes.  If it seems to be getting too brown reduce the heat. Add tomatoes and vinegar; cook until tomatoes start to break down, about 8 minutes.
  3. Drizzle basil oil on vegetables, and stir. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Kale Salad

Welcome 2013! January is always the month that I eat the best.  I think it has more to do with the fact that I overdosed on chocolate and cheese, but soups and salads here I come!

I used the popular kale salad from Whole Foods as an inspiration for this and while not exact I think it is just as good.

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Kale Salad

serves 4-5 as a side

1 large bunch kale
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds and almonds toasted
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

Toss all of these ingredients together into a bowl.

Dressing:
Juice from 1 orange
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp. chipotle powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

whisk all ingredients together. Toss with kale.

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Potato Latkes

If you haven’t had your latkes yet heat up some oil and get grating!!!

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Latkes are so simple to make and a Hanukkah staple.  Serve them with sour cream and apple sauce.  I used this recipe from Epicurious and added 1 Tbsp. of matzo meal.

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Potato Latkes

makes 10-12 latkes

1 pound potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. matzo meal

serve with sour cream and applesauce

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.

Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed.

Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.

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Brussels and Apples

My mom loves cabbage and apples and have been thinking about another way I could recreate the dish using something other than cabbage.  Thanks to my Mom I came up with this, Brussels and apples!

This is a sweeter side and I cooked mine down until they were really soft.  At the end the brussel sprouts and apples just melt in your mouth.

Brussels and Apples

serves 4-6 as a side

1 lb. brussel sprouts, trimmed
1 apple, diced
1 medium-large shallot, diced
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp water
1/4 c. vegetable stock
sea salt
pepper

Prepare your produce. Chiffonade, or thin slice your brussel sprouts. When you dice you apple and shallot, you want everything to be a similar size for even cooking. set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When hot add the apples and shallot to the pan. Saute them 2-3 minutes then add the brussel sprouts. Add the cider vinegar and cook for a minute. Next add the agave and a little water. saute stirring often about 8-10 minutes. Add 1/4 c. vegetable stock, cover, and cook about 10 minutes more.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving plate and enjoy!

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Quinoa with Orange Blossom Vinagrette

Here it is again.  My favorite super food, Quinoa.  I saw this recipe as I was flipping through whole living in the grocery store and it really caught my eye.  It is the perfect blend of your fall and summer produce and the dish looks just as amazing as it taste.

I love dishes like this one that can compliment food so well or stand completely alone.  You could dress this salad up with a nice piece of fish or eat it as a healthy lunch.

Quinoa with Orange Blossom Vinagrette
adapted from Whole living

serves 4 as a side

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 21/2 tablespoons, divided
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch-cubes
1 cup haricot vert or small slender green beans, trimmed
1 apple, skin-on, cored, julienned (granny smith preferably)
1 cup thinly sliced Swiss chard stems and leaves
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In small pot over medium-heat, reduce orange juice by half. Cool. In small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, honey and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In medium pot, bring vegetable stock to boil. Add quinoa and cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Meanwhile, oil a baking sheet with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Spread butternut squash cubes in single layer; sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender.

Meanwhile, in heat remaining tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté apples and Swiss chard until apples soften and Swiss chard wilts, about 3 minutes. Add haricot vert; sauté 2 minutes more, or until crisp-tender.
Add roasted quash and sautéed ingredients to quinoa in bowl. Toss to combine. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Garnish with slivered almonds and serve.

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Hatch Chile Cornbread

My mom came home the other day and all she could talk about was this cornbread she had at Whole Foods.  She prefaced the story by saying she was having one of those days when she was absolutely starving and had to stop at the grocery store on the way home.  I totally felt her pain, I mean there is absolutely nothing worse than being surrounded by food when your stomach is grumbling.  I usually opt for a box of cookies or something equally terrible and ridiculous, but my mom opted for a sample of their hatch chile cornbread instead.  Hunger can do crazy things to a person so I was a little skeptical about how amazing this cornbread really was.

Sooo… she rambled about this cornbread until I finally gave in and went and sampled it and she was right.  I immediately bought some hatch chiles and started experimenting with recipes until I got it right.

Hatch Chile Cornbread
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup flour
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh removed from the cob
2 medium hatch chiles
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat broiler. Lightly butter a 12-cup mini-muffin tin or coat with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Place hatch chiles on baking sheet and broil 6” from the heat source.  Rotate peppers to char on all sides.  Place peppers in a bowl and cover with saran wrap to steam for about 10 minutes.  Remove skins and seeds and dice.  Set aside and change the oven temperature to 375°F.
Combine buttermilk, egg, and oil. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until combined.  Add in corn and hatch chiles.
Fill cups of muffin tin three-quarters full with batter. Top each with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn out muffins from tin. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Okra and Walnuts

Summer time = lake time to me.  My friends and I love to go wake boarding, tubing, swimming… basically anything that involves water and sunshine!  Where I live there is this little restaurant on this lake that serves burgers, pizza, a lake fare type of thing.  One of their menu items that probably doesn’t get as much publicity as it deserves is their fried okra.  I mean I don’t know why, but it is perfect.  Crispy, hot, and just… perfect.  After a long day on the lake I usually have no problem stuffing my face with the deep fried goodness of it, but on a normal day all I can think about is how far I have to run if I eat this.  Boo!

It wasn’t until I had this okra that I imagined there would be a healthy substitute.  My mom had this at a dinner party, then recreated it at one of her dinner parties, then I recreated it for you.  I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it is amazing and this is my version for you to try.

Okra and Walnuts
serves 4 as a side

1 pint okra, it seems like the smaller okra work better for this
1/2 cup diced red onion or shallot
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt

Prepare your okra by cutting the brown stem off the top of the okra and halving them lengthwise. Set aside with your diced red onion and walnuts. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over your peeled garlic clove and mince it. Leave you cherry tomatoes whole.

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium high heat and add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil. When hot add your diced onion and soften it for 4-5 minutes. You want it to get soft, but not too brown. Lower the heat slightly if you feel like it is cooking too fast. Add the garlic and saute another minute until fragrant.

Add the okra. You want to stir pretty consistently so the the okra browns all over. The trick is to get good color and a nice sear on it, but for it not to get slimy. I cooked mine about 7-8 minutes.

Add the walnuts and cooked them 2 more minutes to get them nice and toasty. Finally add your tomatoes and season with a little salt. Continue cooking another 2-3 minutes. taste and adjust seasoning then you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

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