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Entries in Side Dish (23)


Rice with Herb Pesto and Feta

Rice with herb pesto

Some days, I just do not feel like being creative for dinner. I don't feel like getting every kitchen gadget out and dirtying up every pot and pan in the house (and I tend to do that on a regular basis). On those days, I crave something simple for dinner. There are not a whole lot of meals that are more simple than rice that has been jazzed up with a few herbs and some cheese; especially when all of those herbs come from the garden! This meal would be a delicious side dish to almost any protein, or even a great stand alone meal. We chose to grill up some herbed chicken sausage and serve it sliced on top. However you dish it out, this recipe is sure to please!

2 ounces Mixed Fresh Herbs (I used parsley, thyme, chives, and basil from the garden)
2 tablespoons Pine Nuts
12 Walnuts
1 Red Chile, seeded (I used a hungarian hot from my garden)
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 pound Cherry Tomatoes, quartered (I used less)
1 1/2 cup Long Grain Rice (I used brown rice)
4 ounces Feta Cheese

Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes (mine took more like 35 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the herbs, pine nuts, walnuts, chile, and garlic and pulse for about 15 seconds. Add the oil and pulse until combined. Transfer the pesto to a large bowl and add the tomatoes and rice. Gently fold in the feta and toss well. Season with salt, if desired. 

SOURCE: Quick Food by Jenny Fanshaw & Annette Forrest


Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries with Sriracha Lime Mayo

Zucchini fries

It's no secret that I love zucchini. I'm a bit upset that we weren't able to plant any in our garden this year, but there's always next year. I'm always looking for new ways to cook up squash aside from the typical sauté, and this is one way that does not disappoint! I've made countless kinds of fries with regular or sweet potatoes, but never thought to make them using zucchini. I always assumed that there was too much moisture in them and they would end up being soggy. Little did I know that when baking them on a rack, the heat is able to wrap around the entire fry, making each of them perfectly crunchy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. I think I will have to try that method next time I make french fries. These fries would have been tasty on their own, but dunked inside of a quick spicy mayo and they are out of this world! They are best when eaten right away, but that was not a problem for us. In fact, when they were gone, I found myself wishing that I had made a double batch just to munch on!

For the Fries:
2 tablespoons Flour
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Water
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 pound Zucchini (about 1 medium squash)

Add the flour to a resealable plastic bag. Combine the egg and water together in a shallow dish and beat lightly with a  fork. In a second shallow dish, mix together the panko, parmesan, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Cut the zucchini into fries by first slicing off the top and bottom of the zucchini; then cut into 3-inch fries by cutting the zucchini in half, then cutting the halves lengthwise into 4-6 pieces. Add the zucchini to the resealable bag containing flour and shake to coat. Working one at a time, shake the excess flour off the fry, dip it in the egg mixture, then dredge it in the panko mixture, pressing to coat completely. Repeat with remaining fries. Place the fries on a wire rack that has been placed over a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake the fries at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and crisp. 

For the Dipping Sauce:
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
1 teaspoon Lime Juice

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.  

SOURCE: Tracey's Culinary Adventures


Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Aparagus tart

bought a bunch of asparagus with the intention of making a quiche of sorts. Somehow, it became the meal that kept getting pushed back day after day. It got to the point where I had to use the asparagus or toss it, and that is exactly when I came across this recipe on Joy the Baker. I did end up having to trim a little more off the asparagus spears than I would have liked to, but they were able to be salvaged. And this recipe was the perfect way to salvage them! I did switch up the cheese because the gruyere was $12 at my grocery store, but that didn't matter because any kind of cheese is delicious in my eyes! We paired these tarts with steak and stuffed mushrooms for dinner, but I had one on its own for lunch the next day and it was the perfect amount of food. These might even make a great bite-sized appetizer, too!

1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed but still cold
1 Egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups Gruyere Cheese, finely grated (I used grated swiss)
1 pound Slender Asparagus
Salt and Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Reduction (bring balsamic to a boil in a saucepan, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened)

Unfold the thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and slice into 6 rectangles. Gently press each rectangle with your fingers, flattening slightly. With a small paring knife, score a 1/4 inch border along the inside of each rectangle (oops, I skipped this step, but it worked just fine). Arrange the rectangles 1 inch apart on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of each pastry with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Top with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Press 5-6 asparagus spears into the cheese. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with more black pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden brown and the asparagus is cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle the top with balsamic reduction, if desired.


Scallion Potato Cakes

Scallion potato cakes

When we were in Napa, we drove to Yountville and saw Thomas Keller's restaurant Ad Hoc. We didn't go, partly because I really didn't know much about the restaurant and just assumed that, with a pig as the main decor, it was a restaurant that was heavy on meat. Instead, we ate at Michael Chiarello's restaurant, Bottega (I'm pretty sure I saw him walk past me a few times while I was sitting in the courtyard waiting for our table, too). Fast forward to Christmas 2011. Joel had put the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook on his wish list, so I purchased it. While picking it up at the store, I flipped through a copy and noticed that it was far from what I had originally expected. I read the story about how the restaurant came to be and what types of meals they serve, and while Bottega was excellent, I was immediately sorry that we passed up the chance to give Ad Hoc a try. I guess that means that we will just have to make another trip out to Napa some day! So, a few days after Christmas, Joel and I parked ourselves on the floor with his new cookbook and a package of sticky notes. We flipped through every page and flagged the recipes that we liked the most. This recipe was one of them. The concept of scallion potato cakes is so simple, yet when cooked, they taste so wonderful! We made these as a side dish to steak (and even though I asked Joel to pick up a veggie as the other side, he brought home macaroni salad, so we had that too...). I wish that we would have planned only these cakes to be our meal, because it would have given me an excuse to eat more! Joel had leftovers for breakfast the next morning, and said they were even good then! I will definitely make these again and again.

5 Scallions
3 pounds Russet Potatoes
1/2 cup Cornstarch
Canola Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cut the scallions into thin slices, reserving 1/4-cup for garnish, and set aside. Peel the potatoes, then shred them (you can use a food processor to do this, but I used a box grater). Immediately, transfer the shredded potatoes to a large bowl of cold water; swirl and rinse the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the water and spin dry in a salad spinner (or squeeze dry using a towel). Transfer the potatoes to another large bowl and spoon the cornstarch around the sides of the bowl, tossing the potatoes with it. Heat some canola oil in a 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering; turn the heat down to medium. Add one-sixth of the potatoes to the pan, gently spreading them into an 8-inch circle. Do not press down on the potato cake while it is cooking. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and sprinkle one-third of the scallions over the top. Carefully spread another one-sixth of the potatoes on top. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the bottom has browned. Turn the pancake and brown on the other side, adding more oil if necessary. Cook until the other side is browned and crisp. Keep the potato cake warm by placing it on a cooling rack over a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven while you cook the other 2 potato cakes. Cut each pancake into 4 wedges and garnish with reserved scallions (and sour cream, if you would like). *I made smaller pancakes instead of the 8-inch rounds that were suggested in the recipe. 


Garlic Rice Pilaf

Garic rice pilaf

A few weeks ago, I made this delicious Lemon Thyme Chicken from Annie's Eats. I was planning on serving it over plain white rice, but then I clicked on a link from her post to this rice pilaf recipe. I had everything I needed on hand, so I changed course and decided to make it. I was a bit nervous, because I do tend to mess up rice, but It was, by far, the best choice I could have possibly made. Baking the rice made it surprisingly tender. It was incredibly flavorful, and helped to soak up the juices of the chicken and pan sauce. This rice would be delicious as a side dish to any meal, and it was delicious on it's own for lunch the next day, as well!

2 tablespoons Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Long Grain White Rice
2 1/2 cups Chicken Broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Squeeze of Lemon Juice

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into a covered casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. After 25 minutes, stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of broth and bake, covered, for 45 more minutes. About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.