Category Archives: Side Dishes

Yum Yum Asparagus

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Now anyone who knows me really well, knows I am not a fan of any green vegetable (especially such a pungent one).  Spinach is my only exception.  My Husband says of all the veggies to like you like the one most people hate.  Hee Hee that is me!  The boys love love asparagus so I make it quite often and I never taste it I just serve it.  I make it for them, for family, for guests, and I even have an asparagus appetizer that people love.  And I had never tasted ONE bite of any of them!!!  I know what you are thinking, how can a cook serve something that she has not tasted?  Well I make it the same way each time with rave reviews so it must be good! I have 3 ways I make it. This is my quick stove top version. 

1 bunch fresh or frozen asparagus
olive oil to drizzle
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 of one lemon

In a saute pan over med high heat drizzle olive oil and add asparagus.  Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle a bit more olive oil. Saute approx 3-5 min.

Add the juice of half the lemon and toss the rind in the pan.  The heat will help release some of the essential oils and raise the citrus flavor.  Cook about 1-2 min more and then serve immediately.
I actually had a bite of this one.  I still don’t like it……….

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Scalloped Potatoes

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Rich, hearty, cheesy, creamy, savory, delightful…. let’s see what other adjectives can I use to describe this dish?  I tweaked this recipe a few years ago and it has been a show stopper each time I make it.  This was the best accompaniment to my Wine Pot Roast (post coming on Friday so check back) and the whole family was super happy with dinner! I first made this the way it was posted and it was all runny and kinda blah… I have since then cut back on the amount of milk I use and added more CHEESE!

1 1/2 lbs of russet potatoes sliced thin on a mandolin. (be careful I just got my bandage off a week later.)
3 tbs unsalted butter or more
salt and pepper
3/4 cup milk
2 bay leaves
1 cup shredded Dubliner cheese (you can use white cheddar also)
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar

Spray a 1 or 2 qt casserole dish with fat free non stick spray and arrange a layer of sliced potatoes and salt and pepper. Dot with a few dabs of butter.

add a second layer of potatoes and 1/2 of the dubliner cheese, then a third layer and remaining cheese.
In a small sauce pan heat the milk and bay leaves until just before a boil.  Little bubbles will appear on the edges of the milk.

remove from heat an pour over potatoes and cheese.  I always make a little flower on top with extra potato slices.

bake at 375 for 40-50 min until potatoes are tender and cheese is all melted. Remove and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and put under the broiler for 3-4 min until golden brown and bubbly

Drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top and you have a great side dish ready to impress!

Veggie Fries

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Who doesn’t like fried food? Crazy people that’s who!!! No seriously I know that the trans fat and artery clogging food is not good for our body or our soul….. but dog gonnit it is so darn tasty!!! So every now and then I have to indulge in a little bit.  Not too bad right?? Right??

See Vegetables and Panko bread crumbs.  I told you not too bad!!
You can use any veggie combo that you like.  This is just what I happen to have and also like!

1 eggplant peeled, sliced in french fry style and sweated. (that means after you slice it up place on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt and let the bitterness sweat out for approx 30 min.)

2 zucchini sliced in french fry style
2-3 potatoes sliced in steak fry style
flour to coat
1 egg and 3 tbs water combined
panko bread crumbs to coat
 canola oil to fry

In 3 separate bowls place flour, egg mixture and panko bread crumbs.  In small batches coat the veggies first in flour, second in egg mixture, third in panko. Try to use one hand for dry and one hand for wet. It will help keep the mess to a minimum.  Well sort of……
Heat 1/2 inch oil in a pan and in batches fry the veggies about 2 min per side till golden brown. Drain on paper towels for a few seconds….. And you all know the Rule by now right?  Right?  Place on a cooling rack to keep crispy!!!!
Now you have a healthy fried food!!!!

Greek Cauliflower

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My friend Ashley at http://www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com tells the best stories about her day and all about the inspiration that got her to make a particular dish.  I am not so good about that. I am like “hey I was hungry this is what I made and here it is”……. Not that I don’t have alot to say, just ask her or my husband! So as I struggle to find a good balance of how much back story to give you on a dish go ahead and make this one and I will work this problem of mine out……
P.S. This cauliflower is amazing with Zeus Burgers!

1 cauliflower cut into florets
1/2 red onion sliced in rings then cut in thirds
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese
2 tbs white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tomato diced
1/2 cup kalmata olives sliced

Boil salted water and cook cauliflower till tender but not soft.  Drain and keep warm.  Drizzle olive oil in pan and cook red onions till almost brown. Approx 8 min.  Add the cauliflower back in and all reaming ingredients.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook about 3-5 minutes.  This Dish is tangy, and savory and all around delish!

Grilled Cheese Pie

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Do you have something called Cheap Night? No? Well I do.  Cheap night is, well just that, cheap.  The meal costs pennies to make and takes no time at all.  It is always 100% kid friendly and it makes the adults feel like it is ok to say sometimes we miss the food we ate as a child. It is quick, super super easy and vegetarian! Oh and did I mention YUMMY?!

Are you ready for this huge ingredients list?
3/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus 1/4 cup
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

mix all except the 1/4 cup cheese and pour into a greased pie dish.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 400 for  25 to 30 min.
Serve with a nice spring salad on the side!

Cucumber and Tomato Galette

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So I named this a galette, then you see the picture in a pie dish. A bit of a contradiction I know.  I used phyllo this time instead of pie pastry. Phyllo being the temperamental floppy ingredient that it is I erred on the side of caution and used a pie dish. Chicken, I know…..
Summer’s bounty is still in full bloom and the tomatoes and cucumbers just keep coming in our garden.  As much as I love salads I wanted to do something a little different.  A fresh and healthy side dish or even as a main dish for a lunch, this is a fun easy and yummy dish to make!

2 cucumbers diced
4 small tomatoes or 2 large diced
8oz cream cheese
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 c kalmata olives sliced
8 sheets phyllo dough and melted butter to coat

Lay sheet of phllyo across pie dish and brush with melted butter repeat four times.  Layer 4 additional buttered sheets in opposite direction. Fold excess sheets up and brush with melted butter.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes till brown and golden.

In a mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and feta and oregano.  Spread over the bottom of the phyllo crust. In another mixing bowl combine tomatoes and cucumbers, and olives with a drizzle of olive oil and and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the cream cheese filled phyllo crust. Serve immediately.

Pomme Frite Crisps

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These easy and yet just a touch of gourmet crisps/chips are quite delectable.  They are a perfect accompaniment to the Stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu. Make these earlier in the day and serve them as nice after school snack or warm with a meal.

Again this is one of those recipes that the amounts will vary depending on how many you want to make.  Make a batch as big or small as you want!
You will need:
russet potatoes
salt and pepper
herbs d’ provence
and oil to fry in
Slice the potatoes  on a mandolin slicer and place slices in a bowl of ice water. This will help wash off the starch and make your chips crisper.  See how cloudy the water is? That is all the starch coming off.

Drain the slices on paper towels and pat dry.

In a large skillet heat about 1/4″ of vegetable oil to aprox 375. When you put a potato slice in it should bubble up all around it.  If it doesn’t the oil is not hot enough.  In batches fry the slices about 2 min on each side. Remove to paper towels then sprinkle with salt and pepper and the herbs d’ provence. Immediately put on a wire rack so they won’t get soggy.  Keep working in batches till all are done.

Enjoy your gourmet snack!