Roasted Beets and Onions

images (4) I love beets and I really like them in vegetable medleys with a great dressing and served at room temperature. It seems to brink out the flavors just perfectly.

This recipe is both easy and tasty. Great for a big feast when you want to make something a bit ahead and not have to pull it together at the end. It’s all ready to dress at the last minute and serve.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Medium Beets
  • 1 lg Red Onion
  •  1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Capers
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut off the root end and peel around the tougher fibrous tops, but otherwise just wash well. Cut into large chunks and lay on parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the top off the onion, slice in half from stem to stern and then into wedges. Place these on the parchment as well.
  2. Roast at 425° until fork tender, but not mushy.
  3. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Place in a serving dish.
  5. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Pour over the beats and onions and mix gently.
  7. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: These serve well hot or at room temperature. Frankly they are fine cold as well, but I would warm them gently in a microwave as a leftover.

SOURCE: Italian Food Forever

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Green Chiles*

cauli Comfort food today. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? How about lightening up that carb total a bit, and spicin’ it up at the same time?

A winner for sure.

So get up and get busy in that kitchen.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 1/3-1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, broken up into fairly small flowerets.
  • 1 c elbow macaroni (or other such as small shells)
  • 1 1/2 c of milk
  • either a roux of butter and flour (1:1 ratio) generally 2 tbsp of each, or 1 tsp xantham gum.
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 large Poblano or other chile of your choice, charred, seeded, peeled and chopped.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-3 tbsp hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is great)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt a large saucepan  of water and either place pasta in cold or bring to a boil first. It really doesn’t make any difference. Cook until about half way done and then add the cauliflower and continue cooking until macaroni is al dente and cauliflower is firm but pierceable with a knife fairly easily. Drain.
  2. Add the roux and milk, or add the milk to the empty saucepan, sprinkle the xantham gum on the surface and whisk, while heating until it gets bubbly and thickens.
  3. Cut up the cream cheese into bits and drop in and continue whisking until it has melted in.
  4. Add the mustard and salt and pepper and hot sauce.
  5. Add 2 c of cheese, cheddar.
  6. Add the pasta and cauliflower back in and stir until fully coated.
  7. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: you can add whatever chiles you wish and also vary the cheeses as you desire

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Brussels All Dressed Up

brussel-sprouts-recipe-images (1) Don’t ask me why I love Brussels. I just do. I think they are cute, and I like that they have some a strength of taste.

Recognizing that not everyone shares my love, I look for recipes that provide additional interest.

This is one of them. It is just good. You will love it. So get on and buy some little bitty cabbages and get started.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces and fried until crisp.
  • 1 lb of brussels, cleaned and halved.
  • 1 pkg of pearl onions, typically about 6-8 oz bags
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Remove the bacon from the pan and place on paper towelling to drain.
  2. Pour off all but about 2 tbsp of the bacon grease.
  3. Cut off the ends of the onions and place in a water. Bring to a soft boil and then remove and place under cold running water until cool enough to work with.
  4. Slice down the side of each onion carefully just one layer and peel off the outer leaf.
  5. Add the brussels and the onion to the pan with the bacon grease and saute gently until just tender.
  6. Remove to a serving dish, add salt and pepper and then the bacon.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You really can’t peel the onions any other way. You could also steam them if you wish. It’s fine if they get a bit done since they will take longer than the brussels and you definitely don’t want to slice the pearls since they will just come apart. You might want to add a tbsp of lemon juice, orange, or lime juice.

SOURCE: Adapted from Applegate

Southwestern Dressing

southwesterndressingThis year I tired of making my usual Italian Thanksgiving dressing and decided to change things up a bit.

Actually it turned out rather well.

The amounts are not exact, but if you stay close to the approximations all will be well.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups cubed sourdough bread, dried at least 24 hours
  • 2 cups crumbed and dried cornbread
  • 1 c chopped celery, finely minced
  • 1 c chopped onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 c chopped carrot, finely minced
  • 2 Anaheim, Hatch, or Poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 finely minced red sweet pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage of 2 tsp dried
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb chopped andouille sausage
  • 1 c corn, frozen or drained canned, or fresh
  • 2 – 4 cups chicken stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the breads in a very large bowl and mix gently.
  2. Place the celery, onion, carrot, sweet pepper and saute in a bit of olive oil until softened and translucent.
  3. Add to the veggies, the chiles and herbs and mix.
  4. Add the sausage and corn, mixing again.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour into the bowl with the breads and mix gently.
  7. Add the chicken stock a cup at a time, and stir carefully each time, until it starts to cling together. Too much will make it soggy and mushy and not enough will make it dry. Err on the dry side, you can always add a bit more half way through the baking time if it seems too dry.
  8. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, until hot throughout.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: I used to pour all into a casserole and then pour the stock over, but I found it harder to judge the amount that way, and ended up with a pretty soggy dressing. So I suggest you do it in a bowl where you an stir and see a bit better how much you really need.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Sweet Potato Fries

sweetpotatofriesI’d done sweet potato fries before and although they were fine, they didn’t have a lot of pizazz. I’d traditionally just rubbed them with regular canola oil and some salt and then put the ketchup on the table.

This recipe changed everything. It made me a true believer, and now it’s a great side to a burger or hot dog Saturday kind of day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 clove garlic microplaned
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • Sriracha sauce
  • 1 large sweet potato

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add the spices and stir, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Peel and slice the sweet potato into fries.
  4. Place the fries in a plastic bag and pour in the butter.
  5. Massage and shake well until the fries are thoroughly covered.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450°.
  7. Place the fries onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. Keep in one layer but dont’ be overly finicky, just spread them out.
  8. Place in the oven and bake until browned and done, about 15 minutes. Stir or shake around, flipping most of them about half way through.
  9. Place the mayo in a bowl and add as much sriracha as you wish as a dip.

SERVES: 2

NOTES: you can easily change the spices to reflect say an Asian taste and also change the mayo with curry or mustard. Getting away from the ketchup is the key to making this dish soar above average.

SOURCE: The Pioneer Woman

The Best Potato Latkes

latkes-01-rpLatkes seem so simple, grate some potatoes mix in some egg, fry. And yet, often they turn out limp, undercooked, and down-right blah.

Here’s a method more than recipe that I found quite good. It came from the TV show America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a bit more effort, but the results are worth it.

So do give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 russet potatoes ( you do want starch), grated
  • 1/3 c of grated onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the first three items in a bowl and toss until mixed.
  2. Remove to a clean cotton towel and twist to squeeze out the liquid.
  3. DO NOT DISCARD–pour the starchy water into a measuring cup or other cup.
  4. Return the potato mixture to the bowl and cover with Saran wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Cool by spreading on a baking sheet or simply gently tossing every few minutes until cool.
  6. Take the starchy water and carefully pour off all the water leaving only the white chalky starch at the bottom.
  7. Add your two eggs and whisk with the starch.
  8. Pour into your potatoes along with the parsley and pepper, and mix.
  9. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls into oil heated to 350° for 3 minutes or so and then turn for another three minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  10. Drain on paper toweling and then place on a cookie sheet in a warm oven to keep hot until ready to serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Traditionally served with sour cream and applesauce. You could use chopped green onion, other herbs if you desire.

SOURCE: America’s Test Kitchen

Pearls and Taters Gratin

pearlsnpotatoesIf you are like me, you’re always looking for  a new way tuck a few potatoes in the meal. After all, after the meat, the next question becomes, “what kind of potatoes shall I fix with that?”

Well, you won’t go wrong with this dish. It’s cheesy which is always good, and has lovely pearl onions which I adore. A bit more work than the average dish, but not enough to keep it off the menu.

If you follow the tips on cleaning your pearls, it will go quickly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 medium clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds pearl onions
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch lardons
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 ounces grated Comté or Gruyère cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk together 1 tablespoon parsley, bread crumbs, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, peel onions by cutting off tops and bottoms, scoring a light X on one cut side, and plunging in boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse under cool running water. Peels should come off easily by hand or with the help of a paring knife. Set aside.

  4. Place bacon in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, until  bacon begins to crisp. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until bacon is browned and crisp all over, about 8 minutes total. Remove the bacon to a towelling covered dish. Add potatoes and onions and saute until browned nicely on all sides. Drain off most of the bacon grease.   Add  heavy cream, and remaining tablespoon parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer mixture to a rectangular casserole dish. Cover with cheese and transfer to oven. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top and return to oven. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool slightly, and serve.

    SERVES: 6

    NOTES: Feel free to substitute any cheese you wish.

    SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats