Browsing articles in "Side Dishes"
May 31, 2011

Recipe for: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Isabel Canfield
TOTAL TIME: less than 5 min prep, 10 minutes to cook  MAKES: roughly 6 bundles

Here’s an incredibly simple recipe with only two main ingredients—bacon and asparagus. Besides garlic, I love cooking with bacon. It’s a natural salt. It intensifies the flavor of any dish, and the smell of it is so addicting. This is one dish that makes me happy. It’s as simple as it sounds. Use fairly thin stalks of asparagus, bundle several of them together, wrap with a piece of bacon and pan sear on the stove top. The saltiness from the bacon flavors the asparagus. No need to add any salt. Maybe a touch of cracked black pepper at the end. Enjoy the simplicity of this dish!

1 bundle of asparagus
3 strips of bacon, cut in half
salt + pepper to taste
drizzle of vegetable oil

1. Prep the asparagus.
Rinse the asparagus and pat completely dry. Bend the bottom part of the asparagus at the natural break. Typically the ends of the asparagus are very woody and hard to eat. You’ll want to discard it. Depending how many asparagus you get in a bundle, divide them evenly. No more than 5 so that it’s easy to wrap the bacon and cook.

2. Wrap the bacon around the asparagus. Take a piece of uncooked bacon and wrap the asparagus. Be sure to wrap the asparagus fairly tight so that it doesn’t fall apart while cooking.

Look at these beautifully wrapped asparagus!

3. Cook the bacon wrapped asparagus. Heat a nonstick skillet at medium temperature. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil. When the oil gets hot, place the asparagus seam side down so that the bacon doesn’t unravel. Bacon should sizzle. Cook the bacon as you would normally do. Be sure to keep an eye on them, turning them occasionally to cook all sides. Remove once bacon is cooked. Takes roughly 10 minutes. Season with a touch of pepper.

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May 27, 2011

Recipe for: Roasted Creminis with Garlic & Butter

FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Smitten Kitchen (with minor changes)
TOTAL TIME: less than 5 min prep, 15 minutes to bake  MAKES: 4 servings

If you haven’t noticed yet, I love garlic. There’s something about garlic that makes every side, entree, sauce and marinade just shine. Truthfully, there’s absolutely nothing about garlic that I dislike. I even like how bad it makes my breathe smell. I frankly don’t care. If you don’t like garlic, learn to love it! So, here’s another tribute to garlic married with butter, capers and olive oil tossed with mushrooms, another favorite of mine. The creminis get roasted in the oven with these flavorful ingredients creating a decadent sauce you can soak up with a crusty piece of bread. Thank you to Smitten Kitchen for a great recipe!

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed & chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
heavy drizzle of olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt + pepper to taste

1. Prep the ingredients. If mushrooms are fairly large, slice in half and place in a baking dish. Mince the capers and garlic on a cutting board.

2. Combine ingredients all together. Add the chopped capers, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to the mushrooms. Mix well until all mushrooms are coated nicely with all the flavors. Top the mushrooms with diced butter. Spread evenly over the mushrooms.

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May 16, 2011

Recipe for: Creole Potato Hash

From the kitchen of: Isabel Canfield

This simple starchy side dish is a nice accompaniment to any poultry or fish dish. Potatoes are one of my favorite things. I love them prepared any way, shape or form. There are not a lot of ingredients to this hash, I went the simple route and used onions to add some depth of flavor, salt + pepper and creole seasoning. These three ingredients certainly take the bland out of the potato. You’ll see in tomorrow’s post that I’ve prepared this to go with my chicken piccata. I’ve also used this hash for breakfast, as well. It’s a nice side to go with eggs and bacon or even made into a frittata or added in an omelet.

1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
salt + pepper
3 rustic potatoes
1 tsp creole seasoning

1. Chop onions and potatoes. Simply dice half a medium onion. Set aside. Peel three fairly large rustic potatoes, rinse and pat dry. Dice the potatoes into small cubes. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium. Add oil to the pan.

2. Saute the onions. Once oil gets hot, add the onions to to the pan and stir occasionally until onions get translucent. This takes about 5 minutes.

3. Add the diced potatoes. Once, onions are translucent, add the diced potatoes and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Apr 12, 2011

Asparagus Fontina + Gruyere Tart

If you want to impress your friends with something so delicious and something out-of-the box, try this asparagus tart with Fontina and Gruyère cheese. This tart only calls for four main ingredients—puff pastry, Fontina and Gruyère cheese, and asparagus. It can’t get any easier? I love this tart because one, it’s incredibly simple to prepare and two, the end result is amazing. The creamy cheese, crunchy asparagus and flaky puff pastry all work so well together. All the flavors are all enhanced by baking it in the oven.

If you don’t like asparagus, try it with a medley of fresh mushrooms. I happen to love asparagus, it’s one of my favorite vegetables because it has a nice flavor profile. Even though asparagus is available all year, it’s now in season so they’re fresh and fairly inexpensive at the market. That’s what I like!

1 cup of shredded Fontina cheese
1 cup of shredded Gruyère cheese
1 pound of fresh asparagus spears
flour, for work surface
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
olive oil for brushing
salt + pepper

1. Prep the ingredients. Defrost the puff pastry per directions on the box. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° and then prep the ingredients. First, start shredding the Fontina and Gruyère cheese. I particularly like these cheeses because of their texture. Both are creamy and nutty in flavor. The flavors are not overpowering in taste, and perfect for dishes that require baking. Rinse the asparagus and pat completely dry. Cut the ends at the natural break of the stalk. The ends are woody and not very edible.

2. Prepare the puff pastry. On a flat surface, lay out some flour so the pastry doesn’t stick. Place the pastry flat on the board and using a rolling pin, roll the pastry keeping it the same width, but making it slightly longer to accommodate all the asparagus. Once you have a rough 10 x 16 size, take a paring knife and lightly score the dough 1 inch from the edges to mark a rectangular. Be sure not to cut through the dough. This creates an edging when baked. Using a fork, pierce the dough inside the markings. Transfer dough to a baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

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Mar 14, 2011

Recipe for: Roasted Brussel Sprouts

From the kitchen of: Isabel Canfield

I never grew up eating brussel sprouts as a child, so I don’t really understand how people dislike them so much. I think most kids grew up with parents not knowing how to really prepare them properly. They would just boil the crap out of them until fork tender, leaving all that delicious flavor in the water. I can’t imagine that being good at all. But honestly, brussel sprouts are quite flavorful. They’re cute little leafy buds very similar to cabbages, just in a much smaller scale. They’re high in fiber and vitamin C. If you were a victim of boiled brussel sprouts and vowed to never eat them again, give them a second chance. Roasting them will change how you feel about them.

Serves 4
1 box of fresh brussel sprouts
3-5 tablespoons of olive oil
salt + pepper
ground sea salt

1. Wash and cut. Before cut the brussel sprouts in half, be sure to watch them thoroughly. If they’re not organic, they might have some pesticides on them. Run the sprouts under cold water. Pat completely dry. Then cut the spouts in half. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350º.

2. Season the brussel sprouts. Place the halved sprouts on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, about 3-5 tablespoons, and season with salt and pepper, about half a teaspoon each. Mix together by hand to make sure all sprouts are coated.

3. Roast the sprouts. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Let it roast for about 35-40 minutes. Mid-way through, take a spatula and turn them over to roast the other side. At 35 minutes, they should be nice and golden brown. Take a bite to make sure they’re cooked through. If they need more time, just give them 5 more minutes in the oven. Oh, the outer leaves that fall off get so nice and crispy. They’re delicious.

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