Tag Archives: side dishes

The post with all of the excuses.

The truth is, I have about five (okay, ten) posts in various forms of draft. The long weekend was going to be the weekend where I finally caught up and finished all of my recaps before starting yet another series.

You know what they say about the best laid plans.

What happened was this: the work week was brutal. Then, I was getting sick. And, please stop me from talking about the weather or this will be the most boring post that I’ve written in almost two years. You get the point, at any rate.

This week promises to be just as chaotic as the last—currently, my dresser is dismantled in my bedroom as I attempt to fix one of my drawers with hope and gorilla glue. And, tomorrow I have approximately 5 hours of meetings. So, to bed very soon. But I cannot let another week go by without finishing the recap of a meal that happened two months ago, and was already a month late.

Yeah, I know. Are you still with me here?

Cornbread Stuffing

This recipe is infinitely adaptable to accommodate a crowd. I’ve included the measurements that I used below. This served nine with leftovers that lasted for days. Feel free to scale it back or add more if necessary. The most important thing is adding the egg just before baking so that the stuffing has something to bind it.

1 loaf cornbread, cubed
1 2-lb loaf white bread, cubed
2 TBS olive oil
1 onion
8 oz roasted and shelled chestnuts
4 ribs celery, diced
2 apples, peeled cored and cubed
1 tsp thyme
2 cups vegetable or poultry stock
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the bread and corn bread approximately 25 minutes, until it is dried out but not browned. Set aside and then raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the bread is heating, you should saute your vegetables. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add in the onions and saute on a medium heat until they are translucent, adding salt and pepper to taste. This should take approximately five minute. Then add your celery, apples and thyme to the skillet, stirring. Heat for another 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is aromatic and the apples and celery have started to soften. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled bread, vegetables and the chestnuts. Add the stock a half a cup at a time, until the entire mixture is moist but not soggy. Stir to combine, then add in the beaten egg.

Transfer the stuffing to an oven safe serving dish and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Serves twelve

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Filed under Bread, Etc., Starch & Grains

And, go—

If the Friendsgiving feast that I’m planning is going to be a success this Saturday, I have a lot to accomplish.

A lot.

Let’s go through the list, shall we?


  • Defrost a turkey.

  • And, er, figure out how to cook it properly. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit this?)

  • Come up with the rest of my menu.

  • Groceries. Laundry. Holiday Shopping. Cleaning. Blah, blah, blahing. (In theory, this will all get done. In practice, it’s pretty to think so.)

  • Find dehydrated corn, so that I can make Momofuku corn cookies. (Increasingly unlikely)

  • Take a serious look at the menu, cutting three items off, rather than adding four more. (I think that it’s safe to say the Corn Cookies might be the first thing to go.)

  • Begin cooking.

  • Finish cooking.

  • Be a relaxed host.

I could go on, but I’d imagine that it’s a little boring for you and overwhelming for me.

At any rate, I think it’s safe to say that this is my least thought out dinner, yet.

So, the menu is mostly in the planning stages—there’s bread to be baked and left out to stale for stuffing, flavorings to be determined.

Mind you, the whole point of Friendsgiving is to relax with friends, so the key here is finding the rhythm to get the cooking started and slough off what’s felt like the longest. week. ever.

The recipe for corn pudding that follows is my way in—it’s a family favorite, tried and true, and straddling the line between sweet and savory so well that it could be served at any course. So, if the pumpkin custard that I’m considering making for dessert doesn’t pan out, I have a back up. And, if it does, I have leftovers for breakfast the next day.

Not a bad result for less than 45 minutes worth of effort if I do say so myself. Or, put more bluntly: there’s no reason you shouldn’t make corn pudding immediately.

Corn Pudding

2 cans corn kernels, rinsed and drained
1 can creamed corn
3 TBS flour, plus 1 tsp
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
2 eggs, well beaten
4 TBS butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a oven-proof casserole dish.

Shake corn kernels in a bag with 1 tsp flour until they are coated to prevent the kernels from settling to the bottom of the dish.

Combine all ingredients in the order that they are listed, making sure to mix continuously as the hot butter is being added in.

Pour the mixture into the greased casserole dish, and bake for 35 minutes at 425 Fahrenheit, until the pudding is golden.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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Filed under Meatless, Starch & Grains, Vegetables

Catching up

Remember that breakfast I mentioned a few days back? The one with the biscuits?

Well, there was something else on the plate that I want to tell you about, too: Sautéed Kale.

It doesn’t sound impressive, but I’ll say this: when the friend that you’re visiting works at a farm stand, it’s a safe bet that all of the food that she serves you is going to be delicious, and that the vegetables in particular will be outstanding. When that friend’s career is based in cooking and food, take note.

In other words, long after I had finished the last of the biscuits that Peggy sent me home with, I was still thinking about the kale that accompanied them. It was unbelievably flavorful, and still light. Impressive, given that one of the two ingredients was thick cut bacon. This is my favorite kind of recipe—quick, simple and, most importantly, just plain good.

Needless to say, I’ll be making a trip to the Greenmarket this weekend in search of kale and heritage pork to make another batch.

See, occasionally, my cravings are virtuous.

Sautéed Kale

1 rasher thick cut bacon, diced
1 bunch kale, rinsed and drained
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a pan over a medium flame. When you cannot hold your hand over the flame for more than ten seconds, it’s ready to use.

Add the bacon to the pan and reduce the heat slightly. Cook, allowing the fat to render out and the bacon to be crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside, allowing it to drain on paper towels.

Add the kale to the pan, sautéing approximately five minutes, until the greens have completely wilted.

Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the reserved bacon.

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Just Add Crunch

Right. A while back I told you about pulled pork, mentioning that it didn’t need much, just some white bread and slaw.

The problem is when it comes to slaw, I’m as finicky an eater as there is. Despite trying it countless times, I simply cannot bring myself to like mayonnaise. And, as I searched for mayo-less recipes, one thing became quickly apparent: I would have to make my own.

I know, I know, my life is so hard.

This slaw is fantastic with the pork, not least because the dressing gets its acidic kick from mustard—an ingredient that’s featured in the dry rub of the meat and the accompanying sauce. The apples, right in season at present, play off the classic pork and apple combination as well, bringing it to a different level.

That said, there’s no reason not to serve this at all your (indoor) picnics.

Cabbage and Apple Slaw

1 head of green cabbage, shredded
4 gala apples, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 TBS and 1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS honey
2 TBS red wine vinegar

Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl of ice water with 1 TBS salt and all to sit at least 30 minutes.

Strain the cabbage and spin in a salad spinner until it is completely dry.

In a large bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, honey, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk it all together. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Add the cabbage and apples to the dressing and toss until well combined. All the slaw to sit at least 15 minutes prior to serving to all all of the flavors to meld together.

Makes approximately 8 cups

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Spilling the Beans

Fine, I admit it: by the time these baked beans came out of the oven, I was too hungry to get any serviceable pictures. Squint a little and you can sort of see them on the photo below.

That said, I’m not convinced it matters.

The truth is, baked beans are never going to be glamorous, but what they lack in appearance, they make up in taste, and this recipe does not disappoint. The Dijon mustard gives them a nice acidic kick which is well balanced by the sweetness of the molasses.

If you’re looking to make them quickly, you can use canned beans instead of the dried. Three cans’ worth should do the trick. If you choose to go the dried bean route, the beans can be made several days ahead. Simply allow them to come up to room temperature before the next step.

Baked Beans

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

The original recipe calls for bacon to be added to the top of the beans for the last 30 minutes of cooking. I left it out (shocking, I know) since I was serving these beans alongside pulled pork, but I can only imagine it making the beans even better.

1 pound dried navy beans
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced into 1/4″ thick slivers
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the navy beans and place them in a dutch oven. Add water to the dutch oven, so that it comes up an inch above the beans. Bring to a boil and then place the covered dutch over and cook for an hour and a half, until the beans are tender.

Drain and rinse the cooked navy beans and add them back into the Dutch oven.

Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the molasses, ketchup, and mustard with the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Place the onion slices on top and cover the dutch oven.

Bake 30 minutes covered and another 30 uncovered. Cool for at least 5 minutes and stir well before serving.

Serves 8 as a side dish

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Eating Your Greens

brussels sprouts with bacon

This is my favorite kind of dish—the kind that feels indulgent while still allowing you to think you’re being healthy. And, it really is mostly healthy.

Sure, there’s the bacon. But it’s minimal compared to the vegetables, there for flavor more than anything else. And what flavor it imparts—it’s the perfect foil for the vegetables and seasoning. The saltiness nicely offsetting the tartness of the granny smith apples and perfectly balancing the acidic punch of the vinegar.


brussels sprouts onions

Then, there are the Brussels sprouts, filled with fiber and vitamin rich, detested by children everywhere.

Seriously.

My mother was so convinced that my sister and I would hate them that she refused to serve them in our house while we were going up. I’m almost entirely convinced that’s the only reason I like them so much now.

bacon and onions

This is also the kind of dish that comes together quickly, making it the perfect candidate for a quick weeknight dinner. A little bit of chopping, a quick stir and dinner is on the table.

Make it tonight.

frying away

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

A note about the oil before you get cooking: I realize it seems a bit excessive what with the bacon fat. You can certainly leave it out, but in my experience, the vegetables stick to the pan without it and burn instead of brown. So, do so at your own risk. (Upon rereading that, I realize that it sounds rather ominous. Forgive me, but I take my vegetables very seriously, apparently.)

1.5 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
4 bacon strips, diced
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced
1/2 large or 1 small onion onion, cut into slivers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
2 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS olive oil

In a large pan, heat bacon, rendering the fat, about 5 minutes.

Add olive oil to the pan, and once it has heated, add the onions, garlic and thyme, and saute until the onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the brussels sprouts without stirring, another 5-7 minutes until they have caramelized, appropriately another 5-7 minutes.

Pour in the cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, and stir to get up all of the brown bits.

Add the apples, stirring until they’ve heated.

Cover the pan for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Finish off with more salt and pepper, as needed.

Serves 4 as a side dish and 2 as a main dish.

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