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This makes a nice side dish for turkey, ham, roast pork, etc.
1 can whole kernel corn, preferably Niblets, drained
1 can creamed corn
4 large eggs
2 TB sugar (optional, if you want a slightly sweet pudding)
1/4c minced chives
1/2c diced red bell pepper
3/4c dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
Saute the red pepper in a little butter until partially cooked, 2 minutes perhaps. Let cool
Whisk the eggs with the salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1/4c breadcrumbs and stir all remaining ingredients into the eggs. Turn into a 2 quart casserole and sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to get moist. Bake uncovered at 350f for about 30 minutes or until the center is firm and the top is lightly browned.
Pie crust dough (see below)
2 medium sweet onions (tennis-ball size or a bit larger)
6 oz Swiss cheese in slices
3 large eggs
2 tsp flour
1/2c heavy cream
1/4c milk (or for the cream and milk, substitute 3/4 c half-and-half)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper (or use black pepper) plus an optional pinch of cayenne.
You need an 11 or 12 inch tart pan with a fluted edge and a removable bottom. Press the pie crust into the pan and against the edges, trimming the top even with the sides of the pan. Use frozen crust or your own home-made. You'll need about 10 oz, which is about 1-1/2 frozen crusts (cut and press together as needed to fill the pan).
Peel the onions then cut in half and into 1/4 inch slices and separate into rings.
Whisk the cream,eggs, milk, S&P, and flour together until well combined.
Put 1/2 the onion rings in the prepared pan and top with 1/2 the cheese slices and 1/2 the cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Put the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until nicely browned, rotating the pan halfway thru.
Cool for 10 min and then remove the outer ring of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.
Grilled eggplant and tomato salad
1 medium to large eggplant
Salt, pepper, olive oil (this is a place to use really good oil)
1 large clove garlic put thru a press
Optional: 1/4c diced fresh basil
Peel the eggplant and cut into 3/4 inch slices. Toss with olive oil to coat. Grill on a hot charcoal fire until browned on both sides and just tender. Remove and cool, then cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
Dice your lovely, ripe, delicious, local field tomatoes into 3/4 inch pieces - you want about as much tomato as you have eggplant. Toss with the eggplant, oil (perhaps 1/3c), garlic, basil (if using), salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.
These make a very nice side dish for many meals, and are a great way to use left-over rice
2c cooked long grain white rice
1/2c finely diced onion
1/2c fine dry bread crumbs
1/4c chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TB olive oil
Additional oil for frying
Mix all ingredients together well and let sit for at least 1/2 hour. Form into 8 patties, pressing each one firmly together, and cook in 1/8 inch olive or other oil until browned on both sides, turning only once, about 6-8 minutes. It will form a tasty crisp crust.
This is a lovely way to do potatoes, not much work either.
Use small potatoes, golf ball sized or perhaps a bit larger, and scrub well, leaving the skin on. Boil until just tender, then drain. You can do this part ahead of time.
Brush about a 4 inch circle of olive oil onto a baking sheet and place a potato on the circle. Use a potato masher or some other object to squish the potato until it's about twice as wide and half as thick. The object is not to get a nice, smooth circle of potato, but rather to get edges and top that are sort of rough and "craggy" to provide more surface area for browning. Repeat with all the spuds - they can be close on the baking sheet but should not touch. Brush or spray each potato with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. They are great plain but can also be flavored in various ways, for example with finely chopped fresh rosemary, chili powder, or dill sprinkled on top. The photo shows the potatoes ready to go into the oven. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned.
Vegetarian Mexican casserole
About 12 corn tortillas
2 TB olive oil
2 cans enchilada sauce (about 3.5-4 cups)
1 large red bell pepper
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1-15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
1-15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
Coarsely chop the pepper and onion into 1 inch pieces. Mince the garlic. Saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking until things just start to brown, then remove from heat. Stir in the kidney beans and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a casserole dish, spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom. Cover with a layer of tortillas, cutting them and positioning to get a single layer. Top with some of the vegetable mixture, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Repeat layers of tortillas, vegetables, sauce, and cheese. End with tortillas, sauce, and cheese in that order.
Bake covered at 350f for 45 minutes, then uncovered for a final 15 min.
Cuban black beans
Serve over white rice with fried plantains, a salad, and cold beer. Omit the meat for a vegetarian version.
1 lb dried black beans
1/2 lb or so smoked pork neck bones or a ham hock.
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalape˝o pepper, seeds removed, sliced thinly.
1 TB wine vinegar
2 TB olive or other oil
4 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
Rinse the beans and soak overnight if desired. There's no need to soak, however. If you do not the beans will just take a bit longer to cook.
In a large Dutch over, sautÚ both peppers, the garlic, and the onions in the oil until wilted. Add the beans, the vinegar, and enough water to just cover (if you soaked your beans) or to cover by a couple of inches (if not soaked). Add some grindings of pepper. If not using the neck bones, add 1 tsp salt (the bones are quite salty). Bury the neck bones and bay leaves in the beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the beans are done, stirring once in a while and making sure the water level does not go below the top of the beans.
When the beans are quite soft (1-1/2 to 2 hours appx) remove the neck bones and bay leaves. Take any meat off the bones and reserve. Use an immersion blender or other method to mash/puree about 1/4 of the beans. Stir the reserved meat back into the beans and check for salt. Simmer for another 30 minutes and serve.
This Indian dish makes a great appetizer or part of a larger meal. See onion pakoras (below) for something similar.
3/4c besan (chick pea flour)
1/4c rice flour
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
appx 1c water
appx 2c cauliflower broken into bite-sized pieces
Peanut or other oil for deep frying
Mix the furst 6 ingredients and enough water to create a batter that is the consistency of heavy cream or perhaps a little thicker. Mix with the cauliflower making sure each piece is completely coated. Heat oil to 350f and drop pieces individually into the oil, maing sure they don't stick together. Fry until deep golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Drain and serve with tamarind and other chutneys.
A different take on pakoras. You can use pretty much any chopped vegetable, or a combination, for these.
Make the pakora batter from cauliflower pakoras (above) but make it a bit thicker. Add 1-1/2c chopped raw onions for each cup of batter. Use 2 spoons to drop 2 TB sized dollops into 350f oil. Fry until golden brown.
Greek style roasted potatoes
6 large Yukon gold potatoes (tennis ball size)
1/2c olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and put thru a garlic press
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut in half. Toss with the remaining ingredients and place in a roasting pan that is large enough to hold them in one layer. Pour 3/4c water into the bottom of the pan, making sure not to rinse the goodies off the potatoes. Place uncovered in a 475f oven until the water starts to simmer, then reduce heat to 400f. Cook for 1 hour, adding a little water if necessary to keep from drying out. Stir and continue cooking for another 20-30 min. Ideally the water be just about gone when the potatoes are done.
Variation: Include 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, with the potatoes.
A nice change from plain mashed potatoes. Use a whole cauliflower and omit the potato for a low-carb variation.
1/2 large head cauliflower
1 large russet potato
2 TB softened butter
1/4c heavy cream
Peel the potato, cut into chunks, and simmer until soft. Cut the cauliflower into similar size pieces and simmer until soft. Combine with other ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Place in a greased soufflÚ dish or other casserole and bake at 375 until heated thru and lightly browned on top. Optional: top with grated cheese before baking.
Curry cauliflower pancakes
This is modified from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. It makes a terrific side dish for steaks, chops, and other grilled meats.
2 lbs cauliflower florets
1 medium onion
2 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 TB dry bread crumbs
2 large eggs
Cook the cauliflower in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash with a fork or process in a food processor until fairly smooth, with some small chunks remaining. Mince onion finely and sautÚ in 1 TB olive oil for about 10 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from heat and stir in curry powder and cumin for 30 seconds. Mix onion, cauliflower, breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, and salt to taste. Using your hands form into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. sautÚ in 1/8" vegetable oil until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain and keep warm in a 250 degree oven while cooking the remaining patties.
This is an exceptionally easy and flexible recipe that can be used in many situations. There is lots of room for imagination here.
4 russet potatoes
spices (see below)
Preheat over to 450F (400 convection). Peel potatoes and cut into pieces appx 1 inch in size. Immediately toss with enough olive oil to coat well - about 2 Tbsp. Add 1 tsp salt and appx 1 tsp spices of your choice and toss. Some possibilities are:
- ground cumin
- cumin/coriander mix
- hot or sweet paprika
- curry powder
- garam masala
- chili powder
Put in a single layer in a non-stick baking pan and roast for about half an hour, turning every 10 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned.
Are you like me in that you shudder at the thought of a "typical" American salad? Iceburg lettuce mixed with store-bought croutons and fake bacon bits and slathered with bottled dressing is not something that tempts my taste buds. It used to be a major undertaking to make a nice mixed greens salad (unless you had a garden full of goodies). You had to buy a variety of greens - escarole, romaine, bibb, radicchio, etc. - then carefully wash it, dry it, and tear it into the right size pieces. This problem has been solved by the common availability in many markets of baby lettuce salad mix. No, I am not talking about the chemically treated "salads" that come in plastic bags, but rather the loose lettuce mixes that you load into a bag yourself using tongs. They are clean, dry, and ready to use without further ado. Then, for a simple, elegant, and delicious salad:
2-3 quarts salad mix.
1 stale crust of French or Italian bread rubbed with a peeled clove of garlic.
1 TB best quality extra virgin olive oil
Big pinch of sea salt
Several grinds of black pepper (fresh ground only!)
1 scant teaspoon red wine or white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar, or Japanese rice vinegar, or lemon juice.
Put the garlic-rubbed crust in a large wooden salad bowl. Pour the oil over and add the salad mix. Toss thoroughly, adding the salt and pepper about half way through. The idea is to completely coat the lettuce with a thin layer of oil. This may seem like not enough oil but with sufficient tossing it will be. Add the vinegar and continue to toss until completely mixed. Whoever makes the salad gets first dibs on the crust!
Incredibly good! Adapted from Marcella Hazan.
4 sweet red Italian bell peppers
2 cloves garlic
4 anchovy fillets cut into 1" pieces
1 TB capers
Extra virgin olive oil
Roast the peppers over an open flame until charred black all over. Seal in a paper bag and let cool. Remove skin, seeds, and inner ribs. Cut into broad strips. Do not rinse!!
If your capers are salt packed (preferred) soak in several changes of water for 5-10 minutes. If pickled, rinse thoroughly.
Peel garlic and cut each clove into 3-4 slices.
Place a layer of peppers in the bottom of a small dish. Arrange about 1/3 of the capers, anchovies, and garlic over the peppers. Grind some pepper over and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat layers, ending with peppers. Add oil if needed to cover everything. Let sit at room temp for 2-3 hours. Can be refrigerated for several days but the garlic should be removed after 1 day. Serve at room temperature.
Mashed potatoes with kale (Colcannon)
A traditional Irish dish, this makes a lovely change from the standard mashed spuds.
1.5 lbs kale
2-3 lbs russet potatoes
1/2c diced scallions or onions
6 TB butter
Clean the kale and remove tough stems. Steam or boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool, squeeze out as much water as you can, and chop coarsely. Scald the milk with the onions or scallions and set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Simmer in water to cover until tender. Drain and return to pan. Toss over low heat until dry and floury. Mash with a hand masher using the milk/onion mixture and 4 TB of the butter, adding more milk if needed to get a result that is slightly wetter that your typical mashed potatoes. Salt/pepper to taste, and mix in the kale. Place in a buttered casserole dish and dot with the remaining butter. Can be done ahead to this point. Bake uncovered at 400f until heated through and starting to brown on top, about 30 minutes.
Spicy beet greens
When I was a kid I hated all the traditional food that kids hate - spinach, brussel sprouts, green beans - but I loved beet greens. I still do. Here's one of my favorite ways of preparing them
1 large or 2 small bunches of beet greens
2 TB butter
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp prepared horseradish
Wash greens well and steam until almost done. The time required wll depend on the greens; young fresh ones take only a few minutes. Drain and chop coarsely. Melt the butter in a saute pan and add the greens, mustard, and horseradish. Mix well, cover, and cook slowly for a few minutes. Add S&P to taste and serve.
Marbled mashed potatoes
This was a happy accident that resulted when I was using a combination of leftover and new potatoes to make mashed potatoes. It doesn't really taste any different but it is rather pretty.
2 white sweet potatoes
2 russet baking potatoes
1 red or orange-fleshed sweet potato
cream or milk
Salt and white pepper
Peel and cook the white sweet potatoes and the russets. Make mashed potatoes with them as you usually would. Needless to say using plenty of butter and cream gives the best results, but if you must cut back it's ok, I forgive you. Meanwhile peel and cook the red sweet potato and mash it coarsely. Mix in with the fist mixture, but not completely, so the red streaks and chunks stand out against the white/yellow background.
This makes an excellent side dish for all sorts of things, such as chicken and grilled meats.
1c long grain rice, preferably basmati, unwashed.
2c chicken stock
1/2c diced onion
1-2 tsp curry paste or powder, or more to taste
1 TB butter or oil
Optional: 1/3c raisins and/or slivered almonds
Using a sautÚ pan that has a tight-fitting cover, sautÚ the onion in the butter until transparent. Stir in the curry paste and sautÚ, stirring once in a while, for a few minutes. Add the rice and stir until coated with the fat. Add the stock and cover. Simmer slowly until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the optional raisins and nuts and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Sweet potato casserole
Sweet potatoes are delicious, but all too often they are ruined by the addition of too much extra sweetness or, worst of all, marshmallows. By keeping things simple you create an easy dish that goes well with ham and lots of other things.
Be aware that some confusion exists between the names sweet potato and yam. Technically, a yam is an African plant (Dioscorea Species) that is not at all like a sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), but in the US the two terms are usually used interchangeably. You are unlikely to see true yams in the US except perhaps in specialty shops, so anything labeled a yam is almost surely to be a sweet potato.
Pierce 4 large sweet potatoes with a thin knife and bake at 350f until done, about 1 hour. Remove the flesh from the skin (discard the skin) and use a food mill or potato masher to mash it. Use a mixer or wooden spoon to beat in:
1/2c heavy cream
6 TB butter
Big pinch nutmeg or ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Rub 1 TB of butter over the surface of a casserole dish and coat with dry bread crumbs. Spread the potato mixture in the dish and top with more breadcrumbs. Bake covered at 350f for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 min or so to lightly brown the top.
Wild rice with toasted pecans and raisins
1 c wild rice*
1/2 coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 c raisins, soaked in water or (better yet) port wine
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Rinse the rice, drain, then cook in 2 quarts of salted water or stock until just tender, 40-50 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and toast the pecans until just starting to brown. Drain the rice and toss with the pecans (include all the butter), drained raisins, and S&P to taste. Cover and keep over the lowest heat for 10-15 minutes.
* Wild rice comes in two varieties. They are the same plant but grown and processed differently. Cultivated wild rice has grains that are almost black. It is cheaper and pretty good, but the flavor does not compare with "wild" wild rice that is hand-harvested from plants in the wild. The grains are brown. Expensive but worth it - but you can use either kind in this recipe.
Spinach with toasted pine nuts
1 lb fresh spinach
2 TB olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TB pine nuts (pignoli)
Wash spinach and drain. Put in large pan with 1/2 inch of water and steam over high heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked - this will take 5-6 minutes once the pan boils. Drain spinach and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Chop coarsely and set aside. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the pine nuts (no oil needed). Cook, shaking the pan now and then, until the nuts turn a light brown. Set aside. Heat the oil and add the garlic. SautÚ over medium heat until the garlic is just starting to color. Add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat, stirring now and then, until any extra liquid has evaporated and the spinach is heated. Serve with the pine nuts sprinkled on top.
Latkes (potato pancakes)
In my opinion, this is just about the most delicious thing you can do with potatoes. They are best right out of the pan but can be kept warm in a 250f oven for a little while.
2 lbs russet potatoes
2 large eggs
1/3c grated onion (optional but good)
1/2 tsp salt
A few grinds of black pepper
Canola, corn, or similar oil for frying
Peel the potatoes and grate them finely. The individual pieces should be about the width of a pencil lead or a bit larger. Put immediately into a large bowl of cold water. This keeps them from discoloring and also washes away the excess starch that would otherwise make the latkes gummy. They can sit in the water for an hour or more if you add juice of 1/2 lemon. Drain in a colander, wrap by the handfull in a clean cotton towel, and twist out as much of the water as you can. Mix thoroughly with the other ingredients. Heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a non-stick fry pan. Drop the mixture, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time, into the pan and flatten with a spatula. Don't try to make the edges nice and neat - part of the appeal is the ragged, lacy edges that get deliciously crisp during cooking. Cook until the bottom is nicely browned then turn and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve, traditionally with sour cream.
Swiss chard with garlic and pine nuts
1 large bunch Swiss chard
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3c pine nuts
Wash and drain the chard and chop it coarsely, discarding any thick, tough stem ends. Heat 2 TB oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. Cook until just barely beginning to brown. Add the chard and stir. Cover and cook, stirring now and then, until the chard is tender. This will be 10 minutes or more depending on the chard and how you like it. There should be enough water on the chard leaves for cooking, but if necessary add a little more. The goal is to have very little liquid left when cooking is finished. Salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 TB olive oil in a small nonstick fry pan and cook the pine nuts over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
Put the chard in a serving bowl and sprinkle the pine nuts over.
Medium size (2-3 inch ovals, preferably) Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes
Olive oil (need not be top quality)
Wash the potatoes and half-peel them, removing 1/2 inch strips of peel all around to make a striped pattern. Steam or microwave the spuds until just barely done. Cool and mix with enough oil to coat thoroughly. Toss with salt and pepper. Can be set aside at this point. Place on a hot grill (as in a charcoal grill) and cook, turning frequently, until nicely browned all over.
Marinated vegetable salad
This is an easy salad, healthy as hell. Many variations are possible.
1/2c red wine vinegar
1/3c olive oil
2 tsp celery seeds
1 large clove garlic, peeled and put thru a press
salt, pepper to taste
The vegetables. Use at least 3 or 4, or all if you like. All are raw and cut into bite size pieces:
Red or Vidalia onion
Heat vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Pour into jar with other dressing ingredients and shake to mix. Pour over vegetables and toss to mix. Let stand for at least an hour, tossing occasionally.
This is a Spanish vegetable dish that is a great change from more common ways of preparing vegetables. It is a terrific accompaniment to roast pork.
3 TB olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 lb zucchini cut in 3/4 inch pieces
2 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or the equivalent in canned diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 7 minutes. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Add tomatoes, zucchini, sugar, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook slowly, adding tomato juice or water as needed to keep the mixture moist but not runny. Mash the vegetables as they cook - the result should be a chunky puree. When the vegetables are cooked through stir in the eggs and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
From a can they are awful. Made the authentic way they are divine but a lot of work. This technique uses canned beans for a relatively easy recipe that's much better than any canned refried beans.
By the way, "refried" means well fried, not fried again.
2-15 oz cans of pinto beans
1/4c lard (yes you should use lard)
1/3c finely diced onion
Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
Heat the lard over medium heat. in a nonstick saute or frying pan about 10" in diameter. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Add about 1/3 of the beans and some liquid. Stir the beans, mashing them with the back of a wooden spoon. When they are mostly mashed, add some more beans and liquid. Continue in this way until all the beans have been added and most or all of the liquid. Continue stirring and mashing, a total of 10-15 minutes, until the beans are mostly mashed (you will have some chunks and a few whole beans), the liquid has evaporated, and the bean mash is starting to sizzle around the edges. Correct seasoning and serve.
Saag paneer (spinach with cheese)
This popular Indian dish can be made at home with minimal trouble.
Make the paneer:
1 quart milk (whole or 2%)
2 TB lemon juice
Bring the milk to a boil (a microwave is fine). Remove from heat, pour in the lemon juice, and stir. The milk should immediately form curds floating in a pale greenish whey. If it does not, return to a slow boil for a moment or so. Pour into a cheesecloth-lined strainer and press gently with a spoon to remove excess liquid. Wrap in the cheesecloth - you should have a disk-shaped lump about 5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Set on a wad of paper towels to cool and drain. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
Finish the recipe:
1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1c chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/12 inch piece fresh ginger
2 tsp garam masala (Penzey's is quite good)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 c plain yogurt (use nonfat if you must, but whole milk is better)
Process the onion, garlic, and ginger to a paste in a food processor, adding 1 TB oil if needed. Heat 2 TB oil in a skillet and add the paste along with the garam masala and optional cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the liquid is evaporated and the mixture is just starting to brown. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the yogurt and S&P to taste and simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat. Add the cheese, heat through, and serve.