side dish

Chowhound’s Grilled Corn with Cayenne, Lime, and Cotija

I’m a huge fan of appreciating ingredients for what they are. For example, when I’m having corn I like tasting the corn. I’m a believer in simple is best. That said, I also love experimenting with flavors. I love trying things I’ve never tasted before. So when my sister brought this to a recent gathering I was ecstatic. I love corn on the cob grilled in the husk, seasoned with a little pat of butter that melts into the cracks of the kernels and topped with a sprinkling of salt. As it turns out I also like it smeared with a spicy mayo, rolled in Cotija cheese, and brightened with a squeeze of lime.

As found on Chowhound.com

As organic as possible:

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 4 ounces)
6 ears corn, husks on
1 medium lime, cut into 6 wedges

Stir together the mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl until well combined. Place the cheese in a shallow dish that is at least as long as the corn.

Heat the grill to medium high (about 350°F to 450°F). Before grilling the corn, carefully peel back the husks of each ear a little more than halfway and remove as much silk as you can without pulling the husks off. Then pull the husks back up.

Place the corn on the grill and close the lid. Every 10 minutes, roll the corn a quarter turn so it cooks evenly. (If your grill tends to have hot spots, move the cobs around so they grill evenly.) Cook until the husks are charred and starting to peel back from the corn, about 35 minutes total. Remove from the grill and set aside until the corn is cool enough to handle.

Without detaching the husks, peel them back completely, turning them inside out so they form a handle. Brush the corn with a thin layer of the mayonnaise mixture, roll the cobs in the crumbled cheese, and serve. Pass the lime wedges on the side for squeezing over the corn.

Szechuan-Style Green Beans

This dish is amazing. Yes, you can serve it as an awesome side. But I am telling you this dish could stand up to being a meal in itself. Seriously, it is that good and flavorful. Even better, it’s easy and quick! Yay! The original version can be found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s All Easy; which I am loving btw… It’s makes healthy eating fun! A couple of the ingredients might not sound familiar, so here’s a quick note: you could probably replace the tamari with soy sauce and the sambal oelek with a chili paste (such as Thai). Enjoy!

 

As organic as possible:

Salt

2 tsp minced fresh Ginger

2 tsp Sambal Oelek

1 Tbsp Tamari

1 tsp toasted Sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp Maple syrup

1/2 pound Green Beans

3 Tbsp Olive or Peanut oil

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the green beans.

In a small bowl, combine the ginger, sambal oelek, tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup to make the sauce.

Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook just until the water comes back to a boil, about 3 minutes; drain well and dry on a kitchen towel.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the green beans and cook until sizzling and beginning to blister, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce, turn off the heat, and let sit for 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Parmesan Kale Chips

I don’t know what you may or may not be thinking, so let me just clarify… These are Delicious! They are crispy and salty, with more depth in flavor than you can get from a potato chip. I think they would be a great side dish for any meal. But they are so good on their own, that my favorite way to serve them is as an appetizer or starter. They are perfect little finger foods to accompany aperitifs. Only four ingredients and completely guilt free, because it is kale after all!

As found in Barefoot Contessa’s Make it Ahead:

1 Large bunch of flat-leaf kale

Good olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

With a sharp knife, remove and discard the hard rib from the center of each leaf, leaving the leaves as intact as possible. Place them on the sheet pans, drizzle or brush them with olive oil, and toss to coat lightly. Sprinkle generously with salt and bake for 10 minutes, until crispy. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool and serve.

* I like to brush them with the oil for even coverage. And yes baking kale gives off a strange green leaf vegetable aroma, but it is so worth it in the end!

Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

I make this bread every Thanksgiving. It’s like edible baked Autumn.  It’s got texture, body and flavor. It’s sweet enough to serve with dessert but so pretty served with dinner. Besides, can you have too many dishes on the table for a holiday? But don’t limit yourself to just one day! I make this bread other times too. It’s great with coffee for breakfast, it goes fantastic served with salad, and I serve it as a sweet bread side dish with all of our regular staple dishes (soups, stews, even pasta…) to give them a Fall feel. No one is disappointed to see this bread being served.

As organic as possible:

1 cup Brown sugar

1/2 cup Sugar

1 cup cooked or canned Pumpkin

1/2 cup Walnut oil

2 Eggs, beaten

2 cups Flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

3/4 cup dried Cranberries

3/4 cup chopped Pecans

1/4 cup Water

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sugars, pumpkin, oil and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. In a small bowl toss cranberries and pecans with a couple tablespoons of the flour and spice mixture. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Add the cranberries and pecans and stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack*.

*If using a molded loaf pan: The bread does rise. I have used a thin string to slice the loaf and give it a flat bottom to invert onto a plate. However, I have found that the best method (and prettiest on a plate) is to use a serrated knife and cut the loaf about 1/2″ over the loaf pan. That is also the best part about using the loaf pan, because you get to eat some of it without cutting into the presentable part! (And you’re going to want to taste it right away.)

Cool completely before slicing.

Cranberry-Pecan Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup cooked or canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Walnut oil
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground Ginger
  • 3/4 cup dried Cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix sugars, pumpkin, oil and eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. In a small bowl toss cranberries and pecans with a couple tablespoons of the flour and spice mixture.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Add the cranberries and pecans and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack*.
  6. *If using a molded loaf pan: The bread does rise. I have used a thin string to slice the loaf and give it a flat bottom to invert onto a plate. However, I have found that the best method (and prettiest on a plate) is to use a serrated knife and cut the loaf about 1/2" over the loaf pan. That is also the best part about using the loaf pan, because you get to eat some of it without cutting into the presentable part! (And you're going to want to taste it right away.)
  7. Cool completely before slicing.
http://sadiesnest.com/cranberry-pecan-pumpkin-bread/

The Chef’s Creamy Pasta Salad

Sometimes you want a side dish that can stand up with any burger, barbecue chicken or pulled pork you throw at it. You want the kind of pasta salad that makes you happy going back for seconds, knowing that you don’t have to get everything; just some of that really good pasta salad. Here it is…

4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Miracle Whip

1/4 cup Champagne vinegar

2/3 cup White sugar

2 1/2 Tbsp Yellow mustard

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1 large Onion

2 stalks Celery, diced

1 Green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 Carrot, grated

Cook macaroni as directed, rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, Miracle Whip (for that tangy zip), vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, carrot, and mayo mixture to the macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or longer to let flavors combine, overnight is preferred! Enjoy! (Compliments of Sadie via The Chef)

The Chef’s Potato Salad

Almost everyone I know grew up eating potato salad. It’s has to be as American (or German) as BBQ’s and potlucks. The recipe for potato salad is as diverse as the individual making it. Grainy mustard? Boiled eggs? Bacon? Red skin, yellow or Idaho? This recipe from the chef is cool, creamy and delicious! If you want a perfect side dish at your next gathering, here it is.

4 lbs Potatoes (your choice!), peeled, boiled (tender but firm) and chopped into spoonful size pieces
1 ½ Medium onions, diced
3 Celery stalks, diced
5 boiled eggs, roughly chopped
2 cups Mayonnaise
½ cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp Salt
1 ½ tsp Pepper

Place potatoes, onions, celery stalks, and eggs in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combing mayo, Miracle Whip (for a little tang!), vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the mayo dressing on top of the chopped foods and gently toss until all is coated. Place in the refrigerator and allow flavors to combine for at least a few hours and preferably overnight. Taste for seasonings and serve chilled.

The Family Baked Beans

These bakes beans could not be easier to make; they just take time. I realize that they may not seem all foodie and complicated. That said, it is imperative that you make these beans. They will quickly become a staple in your recipe repertoire. They are like candy. They are sticky and shiny and sweet and oh so good. These baked beans belong on every plate at every barbecue or family gathering in the world. That’s how yummy they are.  You’re welcome.
Serves 6

3 lb 5 oz can of pork ‘n beans (Vegetarian/Vegan option: I have made these with meatless baked beans, and they were delicious)

3 cups dark brown sugar

2-3 Tbsp ketchup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the beans, sugar, and ketchup, in a Dutch oven (or bean pot) with lid and stir. Place covered in an oven for about 2-3 hours (depending on how much time you have because the longer they cook the better they are!) Remove the lid and bake an additional hour stirring every 15 minutes. If too wet continue to bake for 15 minute intervals. Keep in mind that beans will thicken as they cool so they should be a little soupy. Serve while warm and gooey. If there are any leftovers, the beans are easily warmed on the stove top or even delicious served cold; served with leftover potato salad and ham or whatever you have…

Side note: This recipe can easily be double, tripled, etc. depending on your crowd. It’s just about 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of ketchup per pound of beans. 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is crazy delicious. It is “the chef’s” recipe and it is full of flavor. You could bring this to a gathering and blow all of the other side dishes out of the water, impress your family at home or indulge yourself for a light lunch. No matter what the ocassion, this should now be your go-to pasta salad.

For dressing

1/2 cup champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves roughly minced
Juice of half one lemon
1 1/2  Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
Pinch of kosher salt
Pepper to taste

1 cup olive oil

Combine the first seven ingredients, all except oil. Then slowly add oil while briskly whisking to emulsify. Then chill for 1/2 hour

For salad

1 cup cucumber diced
1/2 cup Kalamative olives (whole to measure then sliced)
About 10-12 spicy pickled green beans finely diced
3/4 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
2 cups diced mixed mini sweet peppers (about 8 oz.)
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 pound penne pasta cooked

Toss all ingredients and add dressing…chill for an hour and retoss before serving.

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Look at all of the things in this beautiful salad!

Now I have to mention that I first went to the grocery store and couldn’t find a couple of the items… And I said to the chef, “Rachel, I’m going to have to put you on the shelf with my other fancy chef’s cookbooks because I can’t find all of your fancy ingredients.” And because she is awesome she brought me this…

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And because she explained it to me, I can tell you that the spicy beans are found next to the hot sauces, not in the jarred pickle/olive section. And the champagne vinegar was originally bought at Whole Foods, but also found at TJ Maxx. If you still can’t find it you could use a red wine vinegar in its place.