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Side Dish Recipes

 


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Peppers Escabeche 

Just another name for a pickled type dish, Escabeche is something with vinegar as an ingredient. Amounts vary, but there is always vinegar in Escabeche. In this case pickled is a misnomer, as there are a few tablespoons added and cooked slightly. No matter what it's called, these peppers are so good. A great accompaniment to a meal, or great on their own. They may be used as a condiment; added just for color.

Makes 2 - 4 servings, depending on use

1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium small white onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, then coarse chopped
2 small sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
¼ cup yellow raisins
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon capers
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons more olive oil, for drizzling

Peppers Escabeche
Peppers Escabeche

Set peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler, turning as necessary for even blackening of skins. Once blackened on all sides, place the peppers in a zip top bag to steam for 10 to 15 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, working over a bowl, peel the skins off the peppers, then open them, saving the pepper liquid inside. Remove all seeds and stems. Cut the peppers in long strips about 3/8 inch wide, then set aside.

In a skillet heat the olive oil on medium high heat and saute the onions and garlic, allowing the onions to soften a bit and start to darken at the edges. Add in the thyme leaves, raisins, pine nuts and capers, along with the reserved pepper strips. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the two vinegars and stir over the heat for about 1 minute more, to distribute flavors. Drizzle extra olive oil over top to serve.

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Peas Sauteed with Shallot and Prosciutto 

This delicious side dish is so quick to make. I keep packages of prosciutto in the freezer for times like these. Just pull one package out, thaw and you have a gourmet side dish.

Serves 3 - 4

2 - 3 shallots, peeled and cut into long wedges
2 - 3 ounces prosciutto, cut into half inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups frozen peas
pinch salt
small pat butter. optional

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Throw in the shallots and prosciutto and quickly toss them until the shallots are mostly cooked and the prosciutto is crisped. Add in the peas and toss for 1 to 2 minutes until they are heated through. Add in the small pat of butter and pinch of salt and serve.

Peas Sauteed with Shallot and Prosciutto
Peas Sauteed with Shallot and Prosciutto
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Balsamic Pearl Onions 

These take a little time to blanch and slip outer skins off, but can be made well in advance and reheated when needed. I serve these with the most elegant of meals as they are the perfect accompaniment to things like chicken or beef Wellingtons, or the perfect steak. They are great as an appetizer dish all on their own. The flavors are unbeatable.

2 pounds fresh pearl onions
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt

In a large saucepan of boiling water, blanch onions for 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Using a small knife, trim the root ends and slip off skins.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small, nonreactive saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar, butter, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, and stir over moderately low heat till butter is melted. In a bowl, toss the onions with the vinegar mixture to coat. Spread the onions in a single layer in a low-sided baking dish and roast for 35 - 40 minutes, stirring often, until evenly browned. Good hot or cold.


Balsamic Pearl Onions
Balsamic Pearl Onions
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Mom Rawstern's Famous Baked Beans 

Five ingredients and long slow cooking make these baked beans a hit at any time. If the thought of ketchup puts you off, think about the fact that ketchup has all the flavor ingredients already included; spices, vinegar, sugar. You need a long day at home to babysit these, but the recipes is large and they freeze very well, so it's easy to have them at any time.


Makes one large pot of beans

1 pound great northern beans, picked over and soaked overnight
1 leftover ham bone with at least 1 pound of meat left on
2 cups ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons molasses

When ready to begin the recipe, place the beans with their soaking water into a 8 quart, oven-safe soup pot. Make sure the water covers the beans by about 2 inches. Set the ham bone into the beans and water; the water will not cover all the ham bone; this is fine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
Mom Rawsterns Famous Baked Beans
Mom Rawsterns Famous Baked Beans

Preheat oven to about 275 degrees, or whatever temperature will maintain a low simmer. Add in the ketchup, brown sugar and molasses and stir. Bring back to a boil and cover the pot. Set pot into the oven and allow to slowly simmer for 4 to 5 hours more. If the beans still look soupy, remember that once they cool they will thicken significantly. If making these for a party, it is best to make them at least a day in advance, giving them time to thicken to proper consistency.

NOTES: With any beans, it is best to soak them overnight in water to cover by about 3 inches. If you forget, put the picked over and washed beans into
a large pot with water to cover by 2 to 3 inches and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for 1 hour, then proceed with the recipe.

This recipe can be made using smoked ham hocks. You will need at least 3 of them, and you might need more ham to add in to cook with the hocks, to make this as meaty as with using a regular leftover ham bone.


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Dijon Caper Brussels Sprouts 

A mouth watering butter elevates these homely little sprouts to magnificence. Capers lend a great piquancy and the Dijon gives zip. Do try this out. Naturally Gluten-Free!

Serves 6 to 8


1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon lime zest
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water until barely tender. Better yet, steam them. Watch that they stay bright green. They become bitter when overcooked.

While sprouts are cooking, mix all the rest of the ingredients together into a paste. When sprouts are tender, drain and return to pan. Mix in the flavored butter and toss until melted. Serve immediately.


Dijon Caper Brussels Sprouts
Dijon Caper Brussels Sprouts

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Noodles and Cabbage 

A great combination to trick the eye of those who think they don't like cabbage. A little sweet and a lot of flavor and color to make this an appetizing side dish for any meal, though it is great with pork.


Serves about 6 to 8


6 ounces wide egg noodles
2 onions, sliced thin
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces cabbage, cored and cut into ½-inch strips
1 tablespoon paprika, preferable Hungarian
¼ cup dark brown sugar, or more, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Noodles and Cabbage
Noodles and Cabbage
Put 6 ounces of water into a large pan.  Add the onions, vinegar, butter, caraway seeds and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium low, and stir in the cabbage, paprika and brown sugar.  Cover the pan and cook for 35 minutes, removing the lid three times to stir.  Add water, if necessary, to ensure that the liquid in the pan remains about ½-inch deep.

Approximately 5 minutes before cabbage finishes cooking, drop the noodles into 2 quarts of boiling water, with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook them for 5 minutes.  The noodles will be undercooked.  Drain them and add them to the cabbage mixture, along with some ground pepper.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the noodles are al dente, 5 - 7 minutes. 

NOTES: This recipe can be made gluten-free if you have a favorite source for gluten free curly noodles.

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Red Cabbage with Bacon and Apple 

This dish is rich, spiced and delicious. With bacon making a statement, wine to perk flavors, apple for sweetness, you cannot go wrong. A great accompaniment for pork, chicken or turkey dishes, it is so good I can eat it all by itself. Red Zinfandel wine is the best choice because of its fruitiness, but other good red wine works fine.

Serves 6 to 8

3 slices bacon, ½-inch cubes
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 to 7 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 large apple, peeled, cored, sliced
1 cup red zinfandel (merlot is also good)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup packed brown sugar

Red Cabbage with Bacon and Apple
Red Cabbage with Bacon and Apple

In a large fry pan, deep enough to accommodate the cabbage when raw, fry the bacon. When nearly brown, add onion and fry until onion begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Add cabbage and saute, tossing with tongs until it has collapsed slightly and is no longer stiff, about 2 to 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir to coat with the spices. Add apple slices and the wine and cover the pan, reducing to med-low and cook till almost tender; about 30 to 40 minutes or until the wine has cooked down to a glaze on the bottom of the pan. If wine has not reduced, raise heat with lid off and allow to evaporate.

Raise heat to medium and add the vinegar, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the brown sugar, stir and cover again, reducing heat to medium low.  Continue to cook until liquid is reduced and cabbage is very tender - about 30 minutes.  If cabbage is done, but still has liquid in the pan, raise heat and cook uncovered until liquid has reduced to a glaze.

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Sweet Potato Casserole 

No marshmallows in this casserole! I have been using this recipe for about 30 years. You'll love it! The amounts of sugar and butter can be altered to fit your lifestyle.  More or less streusel can be used, as desired. Can be made with fresh cooked sweet potatoes also.

Serves 6

1 large can sweet potatoes, drained, OR
   3 - 4 fresh sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked
½ cup sugar or brown sugar
2 - 4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts

Mash sweet potatoes with the half cup sugar, 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter to taste, and vanilla. This can be done right in the casserole (7 x 10 or 8 x 8-inch). In another bowl, make a streusel out of the ¾ cup brown sugar, the stick of butter and flour. When crumbly, sprinkle over the casserole. Grind the nuts or chop coarsely and sprinkle these over all. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


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Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole



Coconut Sweet Potatoes and Mustard Greens 

This recipe provides a superbly flavorful way to add less-used greens into the diet.  Creamy and rich with the coconut milk, and colorful with sweet potatoes and greens.

Serves 6

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, cut in half,  then thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 can coconut milk (I prefer Thai Kitchen)
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
cassia cinnamon stick, broken in half
3 cups sweet potato, peeled, in ½-inch cubes
4 - 5 cups mustard greens (about ¾ pound)
1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Coconut Sweet Potatoes and Mustard Greens
Coconut Sweet Potatoes and Mustard Greens

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and mustard seeds and saute for another 2 minutes. Add in the coconut milk, coriander, cinnamon stick and sweet potato. Cook, covered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until sweet potato begins to soften.

While sweet potato is cooking, wash the mustard greens and strip leaves off the stems. Discard the stems. Chop greens into bite-sized pieces.

Stir in the mustard greens with the maple syrup and simmer, uncovered, over medium heat for approximately 15 minutes. The greens should be tender and the sweet potato soft. Adjust salt level; remove cinnamon stick. Just before serving, squeeze in some lime juice, or serve with a lime wedge.

NOTES:  If sweet potato is not your favorite, other vegetables may be added or substituted, such as broccoli or cauliflower. Collard greens or spinach could be substituted for the mustard greens.

This is most excellent served with pork chops and rice!

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Creamy Corn Casserole
 

A different twist on corn casserole, this has been my favorite for many long years.  Easy as can be - one dish baking at its best!

Makes one 9 x 13 casserole; serves 6 - 8

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can cream-style corn
½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Combine all ingredients in a 13 x 9-inch casserole. No need to even grease the pan! Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or till golden.

NOTES: This recipe can be made gluten free by using a similar amount of gluten free corn muffin mix, such as Bob's Red Mill.


Creamy Corn CasseroleCreamy Corn Casserole


Making Creamy Corn Casserole

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Szechuan Hot Sour Cabbage 

This dish is one way my husband will eat cabbage.  It is still a bit crispy, without being raw, and it has absolutely fantastic flavor from the Szechuan peppercorns and the Asian sesame oil.  Find Szechuan Peppercorns at specialty spice shops.

Serves 6 - 8

1  pound cabbage
1  green bell pepper
1  red bell pepper
2  tablespoons soy sauce
2  tablespoons vinegar
2  tablespoons sugar
1  teaspoon salt
3  tablespoons vegetable oil, I use olive oil
4  hot chilies
12  Szechuan peppercorns, or black peppercorns
1  tablespoon Asian dark sesame oil


Thinly shred cabbage and green and red peppers. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine soy, vinegar, sugar and salt; set aside.

Preheat a wok or a large skillet over high heat.  Add vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add chilies and peppercorns and stir-fry a few seconds. Add shredded cabbage and bell peppers and stir-fry for 1 - 1½ minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add sauce mixture and stir until blended.  Place cabbage mixture in a serving dish.  Discard chiles and peppercorns if desired.  Sprinkle cabbage mixture with sesame oil and serve either hot or cold.

NOTES: Find Szechuan "peppercorns" (sometimes spelled "Sichuan") at a health food store. These are not really peppercorns at all. They resemble a miniature "pod" that has split open and are a dark reddish brown in color. They can usually be found at specialty spice shops, either online or in some higher end stores.

Szechuan Peppercorns closeupSzechuan Hot Sour Cabbage
Closeup of Szechuan Peppercorns, Szechuan Hot Sour Cabbage
Below, closeup showing Szechuan Peppercorn

Szechuan Hot Sour Cabbage closeup

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Better Than Mom's Stuffing 

This recipe is a take on my Mom's stuffing.  I always loved Mom's stuffing, but over the years, I have played with and refined the recipe until I was satisfied.  I do not use it to actually stuff a turkey anymore, but that doesn't change how good this is.

Makes one 13 x 9 inch casserole

1 extra-long loaf sandwich bread, in cubes, or torn
1 onion, chopped
¼ pound bacon, cut in thin strips across
¾ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
¾ teaspoon mace
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 - 2 Granny Smith apples, grated
3 eggs
1½ cups chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, chestnuts)
1½ cups milk
1 - 1½ cups turkey or chicken stock

In a very large bowl, place all the bread cubes.  In a large skillet, cook the bacon until mostly rendered, but not quite done.  Add in the chopped onion and continue to fry until the onion is nicely browned.  Pour the contents of the skillet over the bread in the bowl, bacon grease and all.  Add in the parsley, mace, pepper, apples (these may be peeled and then grated, or skin left on), eggs and nuts.  Toss with hands, gently until well combined.  Do not pack together.  Add in the milk and toss again until combined. 

Better Than Mom's Stuffing
Better Than Mom's Stuffing

In a very large bowl, place all the bread cubes.  In a large skillet, cook the bacon until mostly rendered, but not quite done.  Add in the chopped onion and continue to fry until the onion is nicely browned.  Pour the contents of the skillet over the bread in the bowl, bacon grease and all.  Add in the parsley, mace, pepper, apples (these may be peeled and then grated, or skin left on), eggs and nuts.  Toss with hands, gently until well combined.  Do not pack together.  Add in the milk and toss again until combined. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray, and place the stuffing mixture into the casserole, patting gently, but not pressing.  Pour the turkey stock over all and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center springs back when pressed lightly.


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