Showing posts with label side dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label side dishes. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roasted Asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano

I had family over for Easter this year. It wasn't a large crowd but I still had to make some side dishes. I had ordered a ham from Honeybaked Ham so I didn't have to actually make the main dish. My mother made a chicken, a potato dish and some other great dishes to serve, as well. I've been getting asked for asparagus and seeing recipes for asparagus quite a bit recently. I am not a fan of asparagus but that doesn't mean I won't cook it for others. It wasn't hard to make. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say it was easy. The recipe is from a flier I got from Wegman's. They are using all Wegman's brand products but that isn't necessary. I used whatever brand I had available to me. I also went on youtube to find out exactly how to trim asparagus. It was fairly easy. I doubled the recipe and it went very quickly. I should have tripled it.


Makes: 2 Cups

1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1. Arrange asparagus in single layer on baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, rolling to coat.

2. Roast about 10 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Remove from oven.

3. Season generously with salt and pepper; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Return to oven. Roast about 5 minutes, until cheese begins to soften and brown.


The Creative Cook

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Roasted Colcannon

I made the usual corned beef for St. Patrick's day this year.  It was great as always.  I tried something different with the vegetables.  I liked it more than the boys did.  They want me to go back to the old way next year.  I found this recipe through The FruitGuys Almanac on Facebook.  It is originally from Delilah's Farm Report.  I also found several recipes on various websites where you boil the potatoes and the cabbage and add bacon. I'm sure my boys would love that.  Hmmmm, maybe next year?

Roasted Colcannon


2 cups of red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup of very coarsly chopped cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons butter


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.  Put cubed potatoes in a large mixing bowl with the cabbage.
3.  Whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar.
4.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.  Roast until tender, about 20 - 25 minutes, tossing once after 10 minutes.
5.  Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Add additional butter if it seems too dry.  Taste for salt/pepper and add if necessary.

Serves 4.


The Creative Cook

Monday, August 2, 2010

Red Sweet Corn

I made another interesting produce discovery last week at Safeway.  I found Sweet Red Corn!  It is beautiful.  The only time I had seen red corn before was hanging on someones front door during Thanksgiving.  Not only is this corn beautiful but it is delicious and super healthy. The red sweet corn is higher in protein than other types of corn.  The main producer of Red Sweet Corn is Colorful Harvest, Inc. They are located in Merced, California.  Colorful Harvest is now also growing this corn in Southern California and Florida because it is becoming so popular.  I am somewhat am surprised that this corn has made its way across the country to our little corner of Maryland.  Since Safeway is a large grocery chain that can be found all across the country, you may find red sweet corn at your local Safeway, too. 

I found lots of recipes for Red Sweet Corn on California based food blogs.  The easiest and simplest "recipe" was for roasting the corn and then rubbing it with a lime coated in Ancho Chili powder.  So simple but so delicious.  Check out Colorful Harvest's website for more great recipes for red sweet corn.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

"Salt potatoes are bite-size "young" or "new" potatoes scrubbed and boiled in their skins. Salt is added to the water to the point of saturation, giving them their name, and unique flavor and texture. After cooking, salt potatoes are served with melted butter.
Salt potatoes are creamy as the starch in the potatoes cooks more completely due to the higher boiling temperature of the extra-salty water. The salty skin stands up particularly well to both herbed and plain melted butter.
Salt potatoes are a regional dish of Central New York typically served in the summer when the young potatoes are first harvested. They are a staple food at fairs and barbecues. In this region, potatoes specifically intended to be made into salt potatoes can be purchased by the bag along with packages of salt during the summer months.
The Syracuse, New York area has a long history of salt production. Salt springs located around Onondaga lake were used to create consumable salt that was distributed throughout the northeast via the Erie Canal. Salinated water was laid out to dry on large trays. The salt residue was then scraped up, ground, and packaged. Salt potatoes were created in the nineteenth century by Irish immigrants working the springs who cooked their potatoes in the salty brine."
Wikipedia provided all this great background information about Salt Potatoes! 
Thanks to my husband's good friend from college, I discovered Salt Potatoes.  N and her husband R came down for B's 50th birthday party and part of their gift to him was a bag of Salt Potatoes.  At first, I thought that Salt Potatoes were an unusual gift but then I found out that they were a tradition in Syracuse going back to the 1800's!  
I used the recipe on the back of the bag of potatoes but since I didn't keep the bag I found a similar recipe on "" to share with you.  I also found another recipe on the NY Times website that looks interesting.  N told me you can buy any new potatoes and boil them in salt to create Salt Potatoes. You don't need to buy a bag marked "Salt Potatoes".  Not that I would ever find them down here in Maryland.  Salt Potatoes are excellent.  You must try them.  B told me that the ones I made tasted just like he remembered from his childhood!



4 pounds new potatoes
1-1/2 cups fine salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted


Wash the potatoes and set aside.
Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom.
Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes.

Drain; cover to keep hot.

While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small pan over medium high heat, or in microwave. Serve immediately poured over potatoes.

New York Salt Potatoes

by Kim Severson (NY Times)
adapted from American Test Kitchens Recipe
8 cups of water
1-1/2 cups of kosher salt (add another cup if using the Diamond Crystal brand)
3 pounds well-scrubbed small red or white potatoes, as uniform in size as possible and with skins on
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
Freshly snipped herbs (optional)

1. Bring salt and water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.

2. Drain potatoes in a strainer and place pot back on stove over medium heat and add butter. When just melted, after about a minute, add potatoes and, if desired, herbs and black pepper. Toss and serve immediately.

Yield: Six servings


The Creative Cook

Thursday, July 8, 2010

French Red Potato Salad

I made this recipe for 4th of July so I made it into "American Red White & Blue Potato Salad".  I used baby red, white and blue potatoes.  If you can't find the blue potatoes, use the purple ones.  They will do just fine.  The main thing is to cook the potatoes just right.  Be careful not to over cook or under cook them.  This recipe was created by Catherine Kitcho for her "Use It Up Cookbook: Creative Recipes for the Frugal Cook."  She is a caterer turned author. This is one of her favorite recipes from her catering business.  She did not like the idea of serving salads with mayonnaise base for events that were held outdoors in hot weather.  Catherine Kitcho says that this potato salad actually tastes better when it's warm and I agree. 

French Red Potato Salad
by Catherine Kitcho

2 pounds red potatoes
8 green onions, sliced thin (scallions)
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil

Cut the potatoes into quarters, and steam for 15 minutes or until cooked through but not mushy.

Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water.  When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into cubes and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the onions, parsley, dill weed, salt and pepper, and stir to distribute.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, wine, garlic, and olive oil.  Pour over the potatoes and stir thoroughly.

Serve immediately or chill and serve later.


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

This recipe looks much easier than the Baked Beans with Maple Glazed Bacon recipe I posted recently.  I think that I will try to combine the ingredients from the previous recipe (meaning the vinegars) to give this recipe some zing.  But the idea of cooking it all in a slow cooker is so much more appealing than spending two days trying to make baked beans.  Although the Baked Beans with Maple Glazed Bacon recipe got high praise from everyone who tried it, this one looks much simpler and less labor intensive.  I will definitely try it with a few of my own "tweaks."  {This recipe needed a lot of revisions.  I made my changes as noted below.  I doubled all the original ingredients except the onion but I increased the amount of water from 1 cup to 4-5 cups.}

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 10 hrs.
Servings:  12


24 ounces dry white beans
1 pound bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 cup water
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup molasses 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup (or tomato paste)
1/4 tablespoons prepared mustard


1.  The night before, combine the beans with water to cover by an inch or two.  Bring the beans to a boil and cook for 1-1/2 hours.  Pour beans and their liquid into a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Drain beans and place them in a slow cooker.  Add  bacon, onion, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, maple flavoring, molasses, garlic, vinegars and water.

2. Mix well, cover and cook on high setting for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.  Cook on low for another 7 to 9 hours.  During the final hour of cooking, add the ketchup and mustard, remove bacon, chop it and put it back into the slow cooker.  Mix well and serve.


The Creative Cook

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Baked Beans with Maple Glazed Bacon

My husband is closing in on his 50th birthday.  He decided that he wanted to have a birthday party.  I am not a big birthday party person but I relented and hosted a party for him yesterday.   It turned out great.  His one food-related request was to ask me to make baked beans like his mother used to make.  The funny "aside" on this comment is that his sister came down for the party and informed us that his mom used premade baked beans, put bacon or pork on top and baked them in the oven.  Funny!  But not...  because these beans took a long time and a lot of work. The things you do for your family!!  At least they went over well and my husband liked them.  I will tell you that these beans are quite "tangy" so next time I make them I will reduce the vinegar and increase the brown sugar and/or molasses.  I would also like to suggest that you read this recipe thoroughly. I missed a few things when I made it.  I could not find dried yellow-eye or cannelini beans so I used dried pinto beans.

Baked Beans with Maple-Glazed Bacon

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN


    1. 3-1/2 cups yellow eye or navy beans, rinsed and picked over, then soaked overnight for 2 hours and drained
    2. Kosher salt
    3. 9 slices of bacon, 1 slice cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
    4. 1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
    5. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    6. 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    7. 1/4 cup dark unsulphured molasses
    8. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    9. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    10. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    11. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    12. 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard


  1. In a large pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 hours; add water as needed to keep the beans covered by 2 inches.  Season the beans with salt and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.  Drain the beans, reserving 4 cups of cooking liquid.  Transfer the beans to a large, deep baking dish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the bacon strips over moderate heat until the fat has rendered, 5 minutes.  Add the onion and cook over moderate low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes.  Stir in the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, crushed red pepper, black pepper and 1-1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt and simmer for 1 minute, until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the bacon-onion mixture over the beans and stir in the reserved bean cooking liquid.  Cover the beans with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the maple syrup with the red wine vinegar and mustard.  Arrange the remaining 8 bacon slices on a rimmed baking sheet, and generously brush them with maple syrup mixture.  Bake the bacon in the same oven as the beans for about 15 minutes, basting 3 times and turning the bacon twice, until richly glazed. Transfer the bacon to a plate.
  4. Carefully pour 1/3 cup of water onto the baking sheet and return it to the oven for about 3 minutes to dissolve the caramelized syrup.  Uncover the beans and carefully stir in the syrup.  Bake the beans, uncovered, for about 20 minutes longer, until the liquid has reduced by about one-fourth.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Top the beans with the glazed bacon and bake until browned, about 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

The beans can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.  Reheat, covered, in a 350 degree oven before proceeding.


The Creative Cook