Tag Archives: side dish

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.

I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a lighter vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad

Adapted from here.

Ingredients

    For the Dressing:
  • 5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
  2. Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
  4. Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
  5. Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
  6. Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
  7. Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.
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Gluten Free Goat Cheese Soufflés

Double Cheese Souffles

This was my first attempt at making soufflés and I must say I was quite impressed. I know I have had soufflés in the past, but I only remember them being in dessert form, so I really had no idea what was going to happen once I closed the oven door. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The texture was wonderful, really light and airy with just a little bit of crisp from the top crust. I really like that you could taste the goat cheese in every bite as well.

I think for this recipe to be a success, a scale is going to be necessity. I absolutely adore my small little kitchen scale and it’s definitely one of the most worthwhile investments I’ve made in a kitchen accessory. At the time I didn’t have any one cup ramekins to bake these, so used half cup ramekins instead. I have since found bigger ramekins at Ikea for next to nothing, so next time I will try the bigger cup.

 

Gluten Free Goat Cheese Soufflés

Adapted from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

  • 25g/1 ounce butter
  • 25g/1 ounce flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 250g/8.8 ounces soft goat's cheese , crumbled
  • 50g/2 ounces Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 250ml/1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Butter 4 x 250ml/1 cup soufflé dishes. (I used 8 half cup ramekins.)
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time to make a thick sauce. Cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the floury taste.
  4. Stir in the cheeses and chives then add 4 of the egg yolks, season generously and mix well.
  5. In a clean bowl, whisk all the egg whites until they are stiff and form soft peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture and pour into the buttered soufflé dishes.
  6. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden.
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St. Patrick’s Day Sides: Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter

First asparagus of the season. Oven roasted with garlic brown butter. I love #spring!

I was quite happy to find asparagus everywhere at farmers’ market last weekend. I love asparagus, especially during the spring when it’s super thin and not gross and woody. Roasting just about any vegetable makes it about 100 times better in my book and asparagus is no exception. Roasting the asparagus give it a little crispy crust to the tips that is just amazing. While not a traditional Irish side dish, it’s green, seasonal and delicious. It’s also one of the simplest side dishes in the world. Perfect for a quick, weeknight dinner or a fancy dinner party.

This dish is adapted from my balsamic roasted asparagus, but I made an amazing garlic brown butter sauce instead of the balsamic. As much as I love balsamic, it is a bit harsh and very overpowering. I think the garlic brown butter sauce works with a lot more dishes.

Excuse the Instagram photo, I wasn’t planning on posting this originally, but it turned out too delicious not to. 

Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Brown Butter

Ingredients

    For the Asparagus:
  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
  • cooking spray
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Brown Butter Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6+ garlic cloves, minced (I used a whole head, but I'm crazy)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Arrange the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray until coated and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the asparagus in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender and just starting to crisp.
  4. While the asparagus is in the oven, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is almost completely melted, add in the minced garlic. Stir to coat. Allow the garlic to cook until crispy, stirring occasionally so the butter and garlic don't burn.
  5. When the asparagus is done, place in serving dish and pour garlic and butter over. Serve immediately.
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St. Patrick’s Day Side Dishes: Horseradish & Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Irish Beef Stew

Look beyond the Irish Beef Stew and let’s talk about the potatoes. I’m Irish. I love potatoes. I’m basically a potato expert. While I have nothing against tried and true, plain mashed potatoes, sometimes you just need to spice things up a bit. I like horseradish quite a lot and horseradish is quite nice with beef dishes. I knew I was going to like these, but I was very pleasantly surprised about how well the horseradish went with the stew. The horseradish really brought out the best of the flavors on the stew. I think these potatoes would be the perfect side dish to any St. Patrick’s Day meal

 

Horseradish & Scallion Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick softened butter or 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2+ tablespoons prepared horseradish (I think more is better)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped scallions

Instructions

  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low to medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let sit until just cool enough to handle, then peel and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the butter/oil to the potatoes. Add the milk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste; mash with a potato masher or large fork.
  3. Fold in the horseradish and half the scallions. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions.
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Carrot-Miso Soup

Carrot-Miso Soup

 

The second I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, I knew I was going to make it. Every single ingredient in the original recipe sounded soup-er appealing. My end result ended up being a little different.  It may be the sore throat, or the stuffy nose, or the general quasi-illness induced haze I am currently living in, but I set about making this soup and then promptly forgot to include half the ingredients. Oops…

I left out the ginger. I meant to put it in. I even put it out on the counter to peel, but promptly forgot about it until I was ladling it into the bowl. I even dug out my little bottle of toasted sesame oil to drizzle over the top. Neither the ginger, nor sesame oil ended up in the soup, but I was pretty okay with that. I like carrots. I love miso. Throw in some garlic and onions, and I really don’t see how you could go wrong.

One quick note about the Miso, I used Cold Mountain Miso . I can’t find the details on their website, but as far as I can remember all but one of their miso is gluten-free (one is made with barley). I had two different types of miso on hand (I might have a slight miso soup problem), one is Kyoto White Miso and the other is the Light Yellow Miso (Japanese White). I used the Kyoto White to begin with, but I have to say it was super mild, like you could barely taste the miso mild. I had to add the same amount of  the yellow miso to get any miso flavor. If in doubt, go with the stronger miso.

Carrot-Miso Soup

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic clove, minced (I used double that amount)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, very thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  2. Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper or additional miso to taste.
  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a small mound of scallions.
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Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Brussels sprouts and capers! I can’t think of anything finer. I love both brussels sprouts and capers. This dish is the stuff my dreams are made of. Roasting the sprouts is essential. Roasting gives them a nuttiness and subtle caramelized flavor that is amazing when combined with the salty, crispy capers. The red pepper flakes are a nice background note. You can adjust your red pepper usage to your own taste. I like spice, so I went a little heavy with it. With so many other wonderful flavors it remained a nice accompaniment to the dish, not overpowering and hot.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup drained brined capers
  • 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2-6 garlic cloves, minced (more is better)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (adjust to your own heat preference)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425F/220C. Toss brussels sprouts with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Place sprouts on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.
  2. While the sprouts are roasting, blot capers on a paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring carefully (mixture will splatter), until capers start to open and are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chile flakes to pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer capers and garlic to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with capers and a squeeze of lemon.
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Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad

This salad wasn’t really planned out. I set about making lunch one day, but was in one of those moods where nothing really sounded good. After hemming and hawing for a bit, I ended up grabbing several random ingredients. Anything I saw that seemed appealing at the time got put on the counter. Not surprisingly these basic ingredients are some of my favorites. Feeling accomplished about picking out items for lunch, I then realized I still had to figure out what to do with them. This salad is what ended up happening. Nothing too fancy, but delicious and filling nevertheless.

I don’t like overly oily salad dressing, so I just mixed lemon juice into the lentils instead of making an actual dressing. And olive oil  lemon dressing or a light vinaigrette could definitely be used on the lettuce or lentils if you like. If you are looking for something a little warmer for this time of year, the lentils could also be served warm with all the ingredients mixed in. If serving warm, I would leave out the lettuce and substitute a bed of sautéed spinach.

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad

 

Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Lentils:
  • 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
  • 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • handful of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil (optional)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • bacon or pancetta, cooked until crispy and crumbled

Instructions

    For the Lentils:
  1. Wash Lentils in a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water. Then transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the broth/water. Add any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
  2. Bring the broth/water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
  3. When lentils are done, remove from pot and allow to cool in a serving dish.
  4. For the Salad:
  5. While the lentils are cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Divide lettuce onto individual serving dishes.
  7. When lentils are cooled, add onion, tomato and olives and top with lemon juice (and olive oil if using). Mix ingredients together. Crumble goat cheese and sprinkle bacon over the top. Divide the lentils between the lettuce plates and serve.
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Basic Cranberry Sauce

Basic Cranberry Sauce

This is the world’s most basic cranberry sauce. It is really more of a cranberry sauce base. You can do just about anything with it since it is just a ratio (1 cup water:1 cup sugar:4 cups cranberries). I generally add in substitute some orange juice instead of all water, but that’s just me. Throw in some nutmeg, maybe some orange zest and call it a day. I’ve heard of some folks adding chopped pecans or other fruit as well. Go wild.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 cups fresh cranberry sauce
  • Optional: Pecans, orange zest, dried cherries, dried apricots, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

Instructions

  1. Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring the water and orange juice to a boil water and stir in the sugar until it is dissolves. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst. Stir in any and all optional ingredients you desire.
  2. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
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