Side Dishes

Naughty Nachos

March 27, 2011

Naughty Nachos

If I had to pick my last meal on earth it would be Naughty Nachos!

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Ground Sirloin

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

8 Ounces Refried Beans

15 Ounces Black Beans

¾ Pound Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

1 Pound Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Large Chopped Red Onion

½ Cup Chopped Green Onions

2 Chopped Tomatoes

8 Ounces Chopped Black Olives

3 Diced Jalapeño Peppers

16 Ounces Tortilla Chips

Iceberg Lettuce

Sour Cream  (optional)

Guacamole   (optional)

Salsa  (optional)

Brown ground sirloin in a medium skillet. Drain and add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and salt.  Set aside.  Spread the refried beans over the bottom of a platter or shallow heat proof dish.  This is to anchor the first layer of tortilla chips.  Next, spread a layer of chips over the refried beans, top with layers of cheeses, ground sirloin, black beans, red onion, green onions, diced jalapeño peppers, tomatoes and olives.  Repeat until all ingredients are used.  Bake in preheated oven at 375° F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.  Top with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Serves 6

Asparagus In Vinaigrette

March 26, 2011

Asparagus In Vinaigrette

I learned how to make this dish while living in France.  It is so easy and tasty!

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Trimmed Fresh Asparagus

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

¾ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Fresh Ground Pepper

Place trimmed asparagus in a steamer basket.  Place in a saucepan over 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.  Cover and steam for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp and tender.  Do not overcook!  Rinse with cold water and drain well.  Set aside. 

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour over asparagus and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Makes a great side dish.  Serves 8

Spaghetti With Garlic & Oil

March 21, 2011

Spaghetti With Garlic & Oil

This classic combination of garlic and oil gives this simple pasta its heady flavor.  Serve with lots of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese.

INGREDIENTS

16 Ounces Spaghetti

¼ Cup Olive Oil

1 Large Finely Chopped Garlic Clove

1/8 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)

¾ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Course Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

In a large stockpot, cook pasta.  Do NOT overcook.  Drain, but do NOT rinse.  Reserve ½ cup cooking water.  Meanwhile in a 1 quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook just until golden, about 1 minute.  Add crushed red pepper and cook 30 seconds longer.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Stir in salt and pepper.  In a warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and parsley.  Use the cooking water to moisten the pasta if necessary.  Serves 6

Easy Add-Ins For Garlic & Oil Sauce

Spaghetti With Garlic & Oil is just the starting point for many delicious possibilities.

  1.  Add 4 to 6 coarsely chopped anchovy filets in oil, drained (or 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon anchovy paste), and 2 tablespoons capers, drained to cooked garlic-oil mixture.  Reduce heat and stir until anchovies & break up.  Cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add ½ cup Gaeta, Kalamata or green Sicilian olives, pitted and chopped to cooked garlic-oil mixture.  Reduce heat and stir until olives are heated through.  Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add 2 to 3 ounces crumbled & firm goat cheese to tossed pasta.  Toss again.
  4. Add 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes to pasta with garlic-oil mixture and parsley.  Toss.
  5. Substitute 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, oregano, chives or tarragon for parsley.

Egg Drop Soup

March 19, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup is a traditional Chinese soup that literally means “egg flower soup.”  The basic recipe is very simple. 

INGREDIENTS

4 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Lightly Beaten Eggs

2 Minced Green Onions

¼ Teaspoon White Pepper

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.  Add the salt, pepper and sesame oil.  Cook for about a minute.  Very slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a steady stream.  Gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until shreds form.  Serve in individual bowls garnished with minced green onions.  Serves 4

Warm Crab Dip

March 15, 2011

Warm Crab Dip

INGREDIENTS

1 ¾ Cups Cream Cheese

1 Cup Sour Cream

4 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Pound & 2 Ounces Fresh Cooked Crabmeat

1 Cut In Half Garlic Clove

Butter For Greasing

Salt & Pepper

Fresh Dill For Garnish

Crackers Or French Bread To Serve

 

Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  Add the crabmeat, salt & pepper and gently stir together.  Taste and add extra Worcestershire sauce if needed.  Cover and let chill for up to 24 hours. 

 

When you are ready to heat the dip, remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Rub the cut sides of the garlic cloves over the base and sides of an oven proof dish suitable for serving  from.  Then lightly grease and spoon the crab mixture into the dish and smooth the surface.  Heat the dip through in the oven for 15 minutes. 

The dip is best kept warm when served, traditionally by using a chafing dish heated by a candle.  Either spoon the dip into such a dish, sprinkle with dill and set over the heat source or set the dip in its ovenproof dish over a fondue burner and garnish with dill.  Serve with crackers or French bread pieces.  Serves 8 to 12

Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls

March 14, 2011

Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls

INGREDIENTS

18 Thick & Trimmed Asparagus Spears

2 Teaspoons Salt

6 Slices Imported Italian Prosciutto (such as Prosciutto di Parma)

4 Ounces Fontina Cheese – Cut Into Thin Slices

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter – Melted

Freshly Ground Pepper

Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a large shallow pan.  Add the asparagus and salt.  Cook until the asparagus are partially tender when pierced with a fork (about 4 minutes – depending on their thickness).  Do NOT overcook.  Drain the asparagus and rinse them under cool water.  Pat dry with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter a large baking dish.  Make 6 bundles of 3 asparagus each.  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around the center of each bundle.  Place the bundles in the baking dish.  Lay the pieces of cheese on top of the prosciutto.  Brush the butter over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with pepper.   Bake 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the asparagus are tender.  Serve hot.  Serves 6

Curried Cauliflower Soup

March 8, 2011

Curried Cauliflower Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 Chopped Onion

1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger

2 Cups Cauliflower Florets

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Cup Coconut Milk

Chopped Cilantro For Garnish

Place onion, ginger, salt & pepper in a medium sized pot along with 3 cups of water.  Cook for 10 minutes on high heat or until onion is tender.  Next add the cauliflower florets and curry.  Cook for another 5 to 8 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.  Add 1 cup coconut milk and cook for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree using a standing blender or food processor.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.  Serves 4

Creamy Potato Gratin

March 5, 2011

Creamy Potato Gratin

INGREDIENTS

3 Garlic Cloves Cut In Half

4 Tablespoons Butter

3 Pounds (Peeled & Scrubbed) Yukon Gold Potatoes

3 Cups Milk

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Rub half of 1 garlic clove all over the inside of a 3 quart shallow glass or ceramic baking dish.  Throw away the garlic piece.  Rub ½ tablespoon of the butter all over the dish and cut the remaining butter into small pieces and reserve. 

With a sharp knife, cut potatoes into 1/8 inch thick slices.  In a 12 inch skillet, combine potatoes, milk and remaining garlic.  Heat to boiling on medium heat and stir occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Remove and throw away garlic cloves.  Carefully transfer potato mixture to prepared baking dish and spread evenly.  Top with the reserved butter pieces. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Potatoes should be tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.  Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 12

Broccoli Rabe With Garlic

March 3, 2011

Broccoli Rabe With Garlic

INGREDIENTS

4 Large Thinly Sliced Garlic Cloves

¼ Cup Olive Oil

2 Bunches (about two pounds) Broccoli Rabe – Trimmed & Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces

Salt & Pepper To Taste

In a large skillet, cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat until the garlic is golden (about 2 minutes).  Add the broccoli rabe, ¼ cup water, salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the pan and cook until the broccoli rabe is tender (about 5 minutes).  If the pan becomes too dry add a little more water.  Remove from skillet and plate.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  This is also good tossed with hot cooked pasta.  Serves 8

Greek Salad

March 1, 2011

Greek Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Ripe Tomatoes

1 Thinly Sliced Small Red Onion

1 Seeded & Sliced Green Bell Peppers

1 Sliced Small Cucumber

5 Ounces Cubed Feta Cheese

8 Black Olives

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Dried Oregano

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Cut the tomatoes into quarters lengthways and cut out the stalk pieces.  Cut the quarters into bite sized wedges and put in a medium sized bowl.  Add the onion, bell pepper, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat with the olive oil and infuse with the oregano.  Keep at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serves 6

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