Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

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Mmm…. stuffing. Mmm… pie.

November 23, 2006

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! Well, it’s one of those super busy days for us cooking fools. Luckily, this year I avoided the duty of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. We are enjoying it with my family in North Carolina. This means my step-mother has the job of cooking for 10 or more. I suspect I will be in the kitchen offering to help, but have a feeling I’ll be turned away. Read the rest of this entry ?

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It was the chicken. Under a brick. With the potatoes.

October 28, 2006

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Chicken under a brick doesn’t sound glamorous, does it? In fact, it may not even sound appetizing. The idea of a bit of poultry stewing under some sandy building implement doesn’t get the saliva flowing. That is, unless you’ve actually had chicken under a brick. In which case, you’re willing to knock down old women and children to cut a path to the serving station – fork in hand and plate outstretched.

Chicken under a brick – or geek chicken, as my husband fondly calls it – is a delicious, flavorful and moist roasted bird. But that’s only the half of it. In addition to beautiful and juicy meat, housed in a herb-incrusted and crispy skin, are wondrous, aromatic and deliciously decadent roasted potatoes. That’s correct, they come right with the recipe! The potatoes cook right under that bird, soaking up the fatty goodness that drips down into the pan and melding with the tangy thyme seasoning mix the potatoes are lovingly tossed in. It’s magical, folks.

The best part is, my husband can be easily persuaded to make this recipe because it’s so darn easy. You don’t even need a brick – my husband uses a pan weighed down with 32 oz cans of whole tomatoes. Genius, I tell you. So read on for the recipe, and eat on for satisfaction!

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Risotto. Sweet Potato Leek Risotto.

October 18, 2006

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Risotto. It’a a genius dish. Sometimes it’s a mere sideshow, sometimes it’s a solo act with its name in lights. Sometimes it features glamorous ingredients, such as exotic mushrooms and truffles (yes, please!); sometimes it’s a more humble mix of rice and cheese. Whether side dish or main dish, whether with white truffles or white cheese, risotto is always delicious.

Channeling famed Italian chef Roberto Donna (more on that below), my husband has concocted his own fabulous and unique Sweet Potato and Leek Risotto. While it has not yet surpassed the place in my heart held by his delicious mushroom risotto, it is still a deadly quiver in his culinary arsenal.

It might sound strange to combine sweet potatoes and leeks in a creamy rice brew — I admit that I thought so. But as usual, I was wrong. The sweet potatoes don’t war with the leeks, as I thought they would. Instead, they both contribute their mild, sweet flavors to the starch party and mingle generously with the rice and other spices. The result is a colorful, delicious and sweetly flavored risotto that was a perfect side dish to the salty, savory sirloin-steak star that night. Ah, risotto. You’ve done it again. Read on for hubby’s recipe and more on Roberto Donna.

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Behold! Macaroni and cheese…

September 25, 2006

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

You say cheese, and I say “Where? Can I have some?”

Yes, I love cheese. But who doesn’t? Cheese is fantastic. And it comes in so many wonderful, varied flavors. Just gazing at the vast offerings of our Whole Foods cheese monger — a tiny fraction, I’m sure, of the true number of manufactured cheeses — makes me weak in the knees. Tasting all these cheeses is a worthy obsession for a lifetime. Every time I think I’m at the ultimate cheese summit, I discover that there’s yet more Everest to climb. Right now, for example, I’m obsessed with bleu cheese. But there are so many bleus! What can a girl do? Try them all, of course.

But I digress. We’re talking today about macaroni and cheese. And nevermind about the macaroni. The cheese is the thing. Here my husband has combined four glorious cheeses to make a zesty, sharp, melty delicious sauce that smothers the pallid macaroni and raises mac and cheese to new heights. And unlike the familiar Kraft macaroni and cheese — which fond childhood memories will not allow me to knock — this is a hearty, delicious casserole dish. You have to power your spoon through a wonderfully crunchy bread crumb layer to mound out the steaming, cheesy macaroni and its dairy-ful sauce.

My stomach is growling just thinking about it. Yours, too? Read on for my hubby’s recipe.

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A salad to sink your teeth into…

September 15, 2006

Lobster salad

I have a confession to make: I am not a rabbit.

Maybe that’s not clear. Let me try again… I mean to say, I am not a salad person. That’s right. A big old pile of raw leaves, even with some carrots and cucumbers thrown in, doesn’t make me want to chow down. I’ll pause to let your recover from your shock.

But I can be tricked into eating salads if the right temptations are piled on top of said raw greens.

Lobster, for example. (Also, fried chicken, assorted meats, olives, beans, nuts, cheese of any sort, and delicious dressing.)

I know that I should eat more salads, of course — and probably not put so much dressing and cheese on top of them. Apparently, my husband agrees… because he has tricked me into eating a very healthy salad without cheese OR bacon.

His lobster salad is delicious, delicate and fresh — and I devoured it. The sweet, fresh taste of lobster is paired perfectly with a zesty lime viniagrette. And the lobster meat, while luxurious and flavorful, is light enough that it makes for a substantial starter or lunch, but doesn’t spoil a meal.

So, go ahead, fellow non-rabbits. Eat this salad. It’s good. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tater tot salad battle!

September 11, 2006

Tater tot saladHusband’s tater-tot salad (above) squares off against wife’s (below).

Tater tot salad

Just to throw off any regular readers we might have… my husband is going to start off the commentary on this post (so, no, I’m not referring to myself in the third person):

My wife and I went to the wedding of a very dear friend not long ago. On the day we were returning home, we were sitting in a restaurant discussing food with our friends. This was a barbeque joint, so the topic was not haute cuisine or even the fancy places we had gone recently for my birthday. Instead, the discussion settled on my wife’s secret obsession — tater tots. (Wife: It’s not a secret. I’ll shout my love for tater tots from the hills, thank you very much.)

I say obsession because it’s not an unusual occurrence over the years for my wife to turn to me and say, “You know… I could really go for some tater tots right now.” I like them, but I could say that until this project, I had never bought them in my entire life. So most of her requests were met with me rolling my eyes.

Therefore, when the discussion of tater tots reached a glowing stage at the restaurant, I was rather amused. I can’t remember who said it first, but the words “someone should invent tater tot salad….” were uttered. My wife and I looked at each other and agreed. We would heed that call.

The story now turns a corner. My wife decided to change it up: “I” won’t invent the tater tot salad, “she” won’t invent tater tot salad, and “we” won’t invent tater tot salad. No, we would enter into an Iron Chef style death match! We were quickly off honing our thoughts and ideas.

The results are hers to describe, but let’s just say that her tater tot salad was awesome. If she says anything otherwise, she’s being overly modest. Also, these recipes are dedicated to our good friends Toby, Andrea and Mark for their truly inspiring idea.

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