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Gueritos6

I had something approximating this at a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs a few years ago. I came up with my own way to make them, without using rice as a filler. There is no set recipe, just a description. They are a super-delicious snack.

On this day I used six yellow chiles, (these are no longer than your index finger and very mild), 3/4 lb. of raw shrimp (any size), grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar). That’s it for ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the “core” of the chiles, then cut a slit down each chile, and remove the seeds. This is the most tricky part of the whole process.

Gueritos

Make a shrimp paste using about 2/3 of the shrimp. I use a small food processor. Hand-chop a few more of the shrimp into pieces and stir the pieces into the shrimp paste. Then stir in grated cheese.

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Use a teaspoon as a tool to stuff each chile.

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Place stuffed chiles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Gueritos5I don’t add any dips when serving mine, but I’ve heard that soy sauce or mayonnaise can be used to dip your gueritos in.

BeanSalad

This is extremely simple, but really yummy. The lemon juice and tomatoes are a nice tart contrast to the earthy bean flavor. You will need small white beans, grape tomatoes, green onions (scallions), lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. There are no set measurements, just use your eyes and your taste buds.

I start with one can of small white beans, drained. Rinse and drain again. While it’s draining, cut grape tomatoes in half. Slice green onions. Stir the beans, tomatoes, and green onion together gently. Sprinkle with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, then stir gently again. Boom! Done. If not serving right away, keep it refrigerated and then give it a stir when you’re ready to serve.

CauliflowerCake13So, I made this deliciousness last night for dinner. And I mean DELICIOUS! I had to search Pecorino Romano vs Parmigiano Reggiano in order to find out what the difference is. Apparently, it’s an important difference in this instance. Yes, of course, you can use parmesan, but I tell you this was flat out tasty and I think the Pecorino Romano was the reason. The recipe is found at Ciao Chow Bambina. I changed the recipe by using gluten-free flour (Namaste Perfect Blend) and was VERY pleased with the result. The recipe is a bit complicated, but I learned some things along the way and I can say I’ll be making this again.

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets (NOT mashed)
1 tsp. salt
1 medium red onion
Olive oil
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
2-3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
6 eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and pepper

Place the cauliflower florets and 1 tsp. salt into a saucepan with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Cover and bring to a boil. Let simmer, checking the florets every few minutes, until they are quite soft. Drain and set aside in a colander.

Cut 3 round slices, each 1/4-inch thick, off one end of the red onion and set aside. Chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with a little olive oil and the rosemary. Saute until the onion is tender, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line the base and the sides of a 8-1/2 inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. I found how to do this on YouTube. Place your pan on top of parchment paper and draw a circle around the outside. Cut out the circle — that’s the bottom piece. Roll your cake pan on its side to measure out how long/wide a piece of parchment paper you need for the sides. Cut it. Butter the bottom and sides of the cake pan and place the parchment paper onto it. It sticks! Voila! Then brush the sides only with melted butter. Mix the sesame seeds together and sprinkle them onto the sides. I rolled the pan slowly while sprinkling. Voila again! They stick. It worked really well.

Place your sautéed and cooled onions into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and chopped basil. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, 1-1/4 cups Pecorino Romano, 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth. Add the cauliflower florets and stir gently until well combined.

Carefully spoon the thick batter into the prepared springform pan, spreading evenly and smoothing the top. Arrange the reserved onion rings on top. I pressed mine into the batter a little bit. Place into the preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and set. It took mine about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Unlock the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm with Pecorino Romano sprinkled over the top. Heavenly.

 

I’m going to quickly jot down how I did this so I don’t forget. It was a really special meal. So delicious! I served it with roasted Italian sausage links and eggplant au gratin. Yummy!

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Cut about a dozen small roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Prepare a large baking sheet by covering it with foil and sprinkling with a little bit of olive oil. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and a little sea salt or kosher salt. Take 5 cloves of garlic and wrap in a foil bundle with a few Tbsp. water. Place the foil bundle on the baking sheet with the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes (and the garlic bundle) for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees F, or until the bottoms of the tomatoes are brown. Remove from heat and let cool. (I saved the leftover tomato-flavored olive oil to use in a salad dressing some day.)

While the tomatoes are roasting, swazz olive oil in a large skillet, sprinkle in about a tsp. of dried thyme. Heat the oil and then add 5 cups sliced red onion and a tsp. salt. Saute until the onions are brownish and soft. Remove from heat and let cool.

Open the foil bundle and remove the garlic from the skins. Mash.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a single pie crust on parchment paper, or a silpat, on a baking sheet. Heap the onions in the center of the pie crust, then dab the garlic over the top. Place the tomatoes on top of that. Remember to leave an edge around the pie crust. Sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles. Fold the edge up, it will be haphazard, but it’s a “rustic” pie so haphazard is good. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center bubbles and the crust is nicely browned.

Ingredients:
1 dozen small roma tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt
5 cloves garlic
Few tablespoons water
1 tsp. dried thyme
5 cups sliced red onion (about two medium)
1 single-crust pie crust, unbaked
Crumbled goat cheese

 

 

Spaghetti-Squash with TomatoThis has become a favorite. It’s based upon the recipe found at Simplex. The recipe requires cooked spaghetti squash. I prepare mine by cutting the squash in half (or in quarters if it’s very large), sprinkling it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then laying it cut-side down in a greased baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 40-50 minutes.

Once you have cooked spaghetti squash, scoop out about 3 cups. In a 8″ square baking dish layer a cup of the squash, then a layer of sliced tomatoes, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, a pinch of dried basil and oregano. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Cover with another layer of squash, tomatoes, spices, and cheese. End with a layer of squash and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

This is a very forgiving recipe. You can use any kind of cheese, any kind of spices.

Layer of spaghetti squash.

Layer of spaghetti squash.

Layer of tomatoes.

Layer of tomatoes.

Layer of cheese.

Layer of cheese.

Stuffed Tomatoes1

I hosted a Realtor luncheon last week and laid out sandwich fixins. In the process of shopping I bought a box of big tomatoes at Costco. What was I thinking? I sliced a couple for people to put on their sandwiches, but really they only ate one. I had about a dozen leftover. Thus I was on the hunt for tomato recipes. Tomatoes where I live are very expensive and it’s not often I have to search for ways to use them up. I like this recipe because it doesn’t have the kind of carbs I’m trying to avoid. I served these with grilled lamb chops and salad. Yummy combo!

Ingredients

Four beefsteak tomatoes

Salt

Olive oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 yellow squash or zucchini

Fresh or dried parsley

Oregano

Basil

Baby spinach

Feta cheese crumbles

Grated or shredded Parmesan

Scoop out the pulp from the tomatoes. I used the pulp to make tomato soup the next day. You won't need the pulp anymore for this dish.

Scoop out the pulp from the tomatoes and then sprinkle the inside with salt. I used the pulp to make tomato soup the next day. You won’t need the pulp anymore for this dish.

Lay the tomatoes upside down on several layers of paper towel. Set aside while you make the filling.

Lay the tomatoes upside down on several layers of paper towel. Set aside while you make the filling.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent and then add the squash. Saute for a few minutes and then sprinkle in a little parsley, oregano, and basil. Continue sauteing until the squash is soft.

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent and then add the squash.

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Saute for a few minutes and then sprinkle in a little parsley, oregano, and basil. Continue sauteing until the squash is soft.

Stir in a couple large handfuls of baby spinach.

Stir in a couple large handfuls of baby spinach.

Continue sauteing until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Continue sauteing until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Prepare a baking dish with spray or olive oil. I sprayed mine. I used an 8" square dish, but a smaller one would have worked, probably better.

Prepare a baking dish with spray or olive oil. I sprayed mine. I used an 8″ square dish, but a smaller one would have worked, probably better.

Sprinkle feta crumbles into the bottom of each tomato, then add a layer of filling, more crumbles, and then more filling.

Sprinkle feta crumbles into the bottom of each tomato, then add a layer of filling, more crumbles, and then more filling.

Sprinkle the tops with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle the tops with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Ratatouille

I have prepared and eaten Ratatouille many times. Of course, why not, because I like eggplant . . . a lot. Usually my ratatouille is a delicious, but rather unappetizing-looking, mess. This recipe is something completely different. Not only is it delicious, it’s beautiful!

I used the recipe https://realfoodnuts.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/ratatouille-casserole/ at Real Food Nuts, with a few modifications. It was so tasty that I tried it again so I could take pictures and show you how I did it. This is what happens when you don’t have a round casserole dish and you’re married to a wine-maker. Recipes morph.

Here goes . . .

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Slice two small eggplants (each one is about 7” long) crosswise into ¼” slices. I had bought a package of these small eggplants at Costco the other day, there were five of them in the bag.

Set the slices on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Turn the slices over and salt the other side. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes.

Set the slices on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Turn the slices over and salt the other side. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes. (I’m only picturing part of them. You will have  more.)

In the meantime, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. When translucent, stir in a 6-oz. can tomato paste, ¾ cup red wine, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Set aside. Rub a 9” square baking dish with olive oil. Empty the red sauce into the baking dish and smooth it evenly across the bottom.

In the meantime, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. When translucent, stir in a 6-oz. can tomato paste, ¾ cup red wine, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Rub a 9” square baking dish with olive oil. Empty the red sauce into the baking dish and smooth it evenly across the bottom.

Slice summer squash (yellow obviously is what I used, but zucchini would work just the same) into ¼” slices crosswise. I had a bag of sweet mini-peppers from Costco and I used what was left of those, a dozen should do it. I was a little shy on the peppers, but it turned out fine. I cut the tops off and made sure there weren’t any seeds, then sliced each pepper in half lengthwise.

Slice summer squash (yellow obviously is what I used, but zucchini would work just the same) into ¼” slices crosswise. I had a bag of sweet mini-peppers from Costco and I used what was left of those, a dozen should do it. I was a little shy on the peppers, but it turned out fine. I cut the tops off and made sure there weren’t any seeds, then sliced each pepper in half lengthwise. Of course, the usual thing to use would be sliced bell pepper. Use whatever you have.

Blot the eggplants with paper towels and put them, with the squash and peppers, into a bowl. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and stir around with your hands so that all the vegis are coated.

Blot the eggplants with paper towels and put them, with the squash and peppers, into a bowl. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and stir around with your hands so that all the vegis are coated.

Alternate rows of vegetables onto the sauce as pictured.

Alternate rows of vegetables onto the sauce as pictured.

I started with the peppers upright, but when I realized I’d be short at the end, I turned the remaining ones sideways. I filled in some of the gaps with the smaller slices of squash. Sprinkle the top with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sliced fresh basil.

I started with the peppers upright, but when I realized I’d be short at the end, I turned the remaining ones sideways. I filled in some of the gaps with the smaller slices of squash. Sprinkle the top with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sliced fresh basil.

Cover with parchment paper, tucked into the inside, and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Cover with parchment paper, tucked into the inside, and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

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Voila, so beautiful!

Voila, so beautiful!

And delicious!

Ingredients:

Eggplant (2 small, about 7”)

Summer squash (2 small, about 7”)

Mini sweet peppers (12)

½ onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

¾ cup red wine (or water)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

RanchBeans

This dinner is one that I make fairly frequently. I call it the cowboy dinner. My father spent the first quarter of his life in Texas. That stays with you and a little bit of it gets passed down. I love spicy, smoky, salty foods.  The brisket recipe is from my aunt Joyce. It is so simple that you don’t really need a recipe. Simply know that if you put a beef brisket into a Reynolds oven bag and pour over a mixture of equal parts liquid smoke (1/2 bottle) with Worchestershire sauce and let it bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees, you will have a delicious piece of beef. Aunt Joyce served it on New Year’s Day with black-eyed peas (which I cannot abide) and it has become a favorite of mine. She sliced it across the grain. Mine sometimes comes out more like shredded beef instead of sliced beef, but the taste is fabulous so who cares?

I serve my brisket with Ranch Beans, a recipe that originally came out of Sunset Magazine, I don’t know when. The original recipe says that it serves 6, but really I think it serves 12, so I only make a half recipe anymore. That is what I am going to tell you about.

In a few days I look forward to heating up my leftover brisket and ranch beans, rolling them into a tortilla with grated cheese, jalapenos, and spiced sweet potatoes and chowing down. Amazing. Tonight I am serving the brisket and beans with corn bread muffins and BLT salad.

Put 1/2 # dried pinto beans into pan and cover with water to at least 2” above the beans. Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 or up to 4 hours; drain beans and pour into bowl.

Put 1/2 # dried pinto beans into pan and cover with water to at least 2” above the beans. Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 or up to 4 hours; drain beans and pour into bowl.

In the same pan, stir 1/8# (3-4 slices) chopped bacon over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Discard fat, if any. Add 1/2 small onion and 1 clove garlic; stir and cook until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

In the same pan, stir 1/8# (3-4 slices) chopped bacon over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Discard fat, if any. Add 1/2 small onion and 1 clove garlic; stir and cook until onion is limp, about 5 minutes.

 

Stir in 1 Tbsp. chili powder. Add beans, 1-3/4 cups water, and pepper to taste.

Stir in 1 Tbsp. chili powder. Add beans, 1-3/4 cups water, and pepper to taste.

Cover and simmer until beans are tender to bite.

Cover and simmer until beans are tender to bite, about an hour.

 

Add tomato sauce. If beans are soupier than you like, boil, uncovered, over high heat until liquid evaporates to suit your taste;

Add 4-oz. (half of an 8-oz. can) tomato sauce. If beans are soupier than you like, boil, uncovered, over high heat until liquid evaporates to suit your taste;

stir occasionally and reduce heat as mixture thickens. Add salt to taste.

stir occasionally and reduce heat as mixture thickens. Add salt to taste.

 

Ranch Beans Ingredients

½# dried pinto beans

1/8# bacon, diced

½ of a small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. chili powder

Dash pepper

½ can (4-oz.) tomato sauce

Salt

Jalapeno cheese boatsThis recipe is based upon one found at Taste Of Home. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like these very much. I like to serve these with enchiladas and rice.

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Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds into the trash. Place the jalapeños into an ungreased 15×10” baking pan or on a baking sheet.

In a small bowl combine 8-oz. container herb and onion cream cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup chopped green onion.

In a small bowl combine 8-oz. container herb and onion cream cheese, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup chopped green onion.

 

Spoon into the jalapeño halves.

Spoon into the jalapeño halves.

 

Top with shrimp in a decorative manner.

Top with shrimp in a decorative manner.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until jalapeños are tender. Yield 18 appetizers.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until jalapeños are tender. Yield 18 appetizers.

 

Jalapeño Cheese Boats Recipe

9 jalapeño peppers

1 8-oz. container spreadable herb and onion cream cheese

¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¼ cup sliced green onions

¼# small cooked shrimp (salad shrimp)

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds into the trash. Place the jalapeños into an ungreased 15×10” baking pan or on a baking sheet. In a small bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and onions. Spoon into the jalapeño halves. Top with shrimp in a decorative manner. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until jalapeños are tender. Yield 18 appetizers.

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This makes a great side dish to burritos or barbecue brisket. It’s based upon a recipe found at Food Network. I don’t have frozen corn, never have, but I try to have canned corn on hand for occasional use.

Beat 4 ounces softened cream cheese, a 15-oz. can creamed corn, a 15-oz. can whole corn, 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1/2 chopped onion.

Beat 4 ounces softened cream cheese, a 15-oz. can creamed corn, a 15-oz. can whole corn, 1/2 cup cornmeal and 1/2 chopped onion.

Stir in 2/3 cup milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 beaten egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, and salt and pepper.

Stir in 2/3 cup milk, 3 Tbsp. melted butter, 1 beaten egg, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, and salt and pepper.

 

Spread in a buttered 1-quart casserole dish and bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Spread in a buttered 1-quart casserole dish and bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Spread in a buttered 1-quart casserole dish and bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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