Tampilkan posting dengan label Side Dish. Tampilkan semua posting
Tampilkan posting dengan label Side Dish. Tampilkan semua posting
  Syracuse Salt Potatoes – Lot's Wife Would Have Loved These

Syracuse Salt Potatoes – Lot's Wife Would Have Loved These

Not only is this Syracuse salt potatoes recipe one of the most delicious ways to cook baby spuds, it’s also one of the most interesting. I generally don’t like when people watch me cook their food, you know, in case anything gets dropped (#5secondrule), but these are kind of fun to do in front of guests; just to see that look of shock in their eyes, as you dump in all that salt. Amazingly, only a small amount of salt gets inside the potatoes, and by “small amount,” I mean “perfect amount.” 

This recipe really takes the guesswork out of seasoning. Of course, I could go into all the science behind why these don’t absorb too much salt, but that would mean having to learn it first, and then figure out how to explain it, which sounds like an awful lot of work. Instead, I’ll let my intrepid readers take wild guesses.

I mention in the video that these were invented by Irish salt miners, which is true, except I don’t think they used actual mines, but salt pools instead. Apparently digging is a lot harder than waiting for water to evaporate. Regardless, they used this abundant supply of salt to boil less-than-perfect quality new potatoes, and the rest is culinary history.

Regarding the amount of salt, I used a ratio of 1 cup of kosher salt to 5 cups of water. Believe it or not, this is actually less than traditionally used. Hey, we all don’t have salt factories in our backyards. A cup of the brand I use weighs about 6 ounces, which means if you’re using regular, fine table salt, you’ll need just over a half-cup to get the same amount of salt.

Anyway, other than having to sponge-up some salt speckles from the stovetop, this recipe is fast, easy, and truly unique. So, if you want to serve something this St. Paddy’s Day that truly celebrates Irish-American heritage, then I hope you give these salt potatoes a try. Enjoy!



Ingredients for 6 servings:
2 pounds of small new potatoes, scrubbed
5 cups of water
1 cup Kosher salt
melted butter
Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin – Simply Amazing

Pancetta-Wrapped Leek Gratin – Simply Amazing

I’m all about simply prepared vegetables, but every once in a while I need to cover them in caramelized pork and cheese, and this stunningly delicious pancetta-wrapped leek gratin was one of those times. I love those times.

This “umami bomb” is so flavorful and satisfying, it almost seems disrespectful to serve it as a side dish. Pair this with a slice of buttered bread, hedge your bets with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and enjoy a truly special lunch.

For extra credit, after you finish your meal, call your best French friend and describe what you had. They will love and hate you for it. So, whether you make this for lunch, or use it to upstage a steak or grilled piece of salmon, I hope you give this great leek gratin a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
3 large leeks
about 4 oz pancetta
2 tsp olive oil
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup drinkable white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as needed
chives to garnish
Duck Fat Steak Fries – There’s a New Fat in Town

Duck Fat Steak Fries – There’s a New Fat in Town

You know a potato side dish is going to be good when 75% of the name refers to fat or meat. These super-crusty, oven-fried potato wedges, or “steak fries” as they call them where I’m from, are done with rendered duck fat, and while I’m a big fan of ones done with olive oil and/or butter, these really are better.

Not only does this fat help create a great texture, but it also adds a layer of richness and meatiness to the potatoes that’s nothing short of magical. Back in the day, you had to work or eat in a restaurant that served duck to enjoy this special treat, but happily, those days are over.

Thanks to evangelizing celebrity chefs and apparently smarter marketing people in the duck industry, this rendered fat is now pretty easy to find. My neighborhood Whole Foods stocks it, and I’ve seen it at many of the higher-end grocery stores.

By the way, if you’re concerned about that next cholesterol test, relax; duck fat is surprisingly healthy, and a quick Google search should explain why without me having to type any more. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 large russet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons duck fat
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
- 325 F. for 40 minutes
- 450 F. for about 20 minutes or until done
Potato & Parsnip Gratin – Less Parsnips is More Parsnips

Potato & Parsnip Gratin – Less Parsnips is More Parsnips

Parsnips are a nutritious, uniquely delicious root vegetable, which we should all be enjoying on a much more regular basis, but I think I know the reason why we don’t. The problem with parsnips is that they taste too much like parsnips.

The earthy taste and licorice nose is almost too much when served in their pure form, but when mixed and mellowed in something like this classic potato gratin, you get a much more user-friendly way to enjoy this cheap and easy to find root. Of course, I'm sure the low-carb folks would argue, but that's only because they're irritable from the no carbs.

By the way, you can also use this same exact technique for other subterranean treats like turnips, rutabagas, and celery root. As I said in the video, while this makes a fine side dish to almost anything, it’s also a stellar brunch potato for those occasions when hash browns just don’t seem cool enough. For that, and many other reasons, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions Potato Parsnip Gratin:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp melted butter
3 Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 smaller parsnips (about 12 ounces total)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) crème fraiche, divided or heavy cream and a tsp of white vinegar)
1 cup chicken broth
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
cayenne to taste
375 F. for 45-60 minutes
Utica Greens and Beans – Finding Good Fortune in Upstate New York

Utica Greens and Beans – Finding Good Fortune in Upstate New York

As many of you hardcore foodies know, there’s a southern tradition of eating beans and greens on New Year’s Day to help bring good fortune in the coming year. 

By eating “poor” the first day of the year, you supposedly ensure prosperity and good luck the rest of the year. I think I speak for all superstitious, Italian-Americas when I say, that totally makes sense.

Whether you believe in such things or not, you should still try this year’s edible good luck charm, Utica Greens. This delicious Upstate New York vegetable casserole comes in many forms, but usually contains some combination of bitter greens, usually escarole, pancetta or prosciutto, hot fresh or pickled peppers, and bread crumbs.

I’m adding some cranberry beans, so you all get rich in 2014, but that’s totally fine since the locals often add chunks of potatoes, and once you start doing things like that, all bets are off. Whether side dish or main course, this is a perfect winter vegetable magnet, and I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy, Happy New Year, and most of all, good fortune!


Ingredients for 6 side dish servings:
2 heads escarole
2 tbsp olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or prosciutto, diced (You can drain some of the rendered fat if it looks like it's going to be too much. You want about 2 tablespoons total rendered fat pancetta in the casserole)
handful of sliced fresh hot peppers, or jarred pickled peppers
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
12 ounce can cooked cranberry beans, or Cannellini beans, butter beans, white beans, etc., optional
salt and black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fine plain bread crumbs, plus more for the top
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
drizzle top with more olive oil
Ultimate Mashed Potatoes - Not Your Every Day Recipe

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes - Not Your Every Day Recipe

Every year around holiday time, I see people posting recipes for low-fat and no-fat mashed potatoes, which I find as sad, as I do perplexing. There’s no sane doctor alive, or bartender for that matter, who will tell you eating a scoop of these mashed potatoes a few times a year will, in any way, negatively effect your health.

So what’s up with the reduced-fat holiday potatoes? Isn’t that the reason we try to eat well all year, so on Thanksgiving we can bathe guilt-free in gravy? Sure, serving your loved ones potatoes with a pound of butter in them on a regular basis would be cause for alarm…or at least a glance at any recently purchased life insurance policies…but for truly special occasions, it’s crazy not to enjoy such a pleasure.

By the way, this is no viral-video gimmick. Those star chefs you see Anthony Bourdain dry-humping every week (sorry, I was channeling my inner Anthony Bourdain) all use at least this much butter, and as legend has it, some even flirt with equal parts. Of course, they call it pomme purée, and say it with a French accent, but it’s the same stuff.

Nobody says you have to go full Joël Robuchon and actually use this recipe, but please try to force yourself to add more than the few meager tablespoons that get us through the rest of the year. Anyway, if you’re never experienced this ethereal pleasure, I hope you make them a part of your next special occasion menu. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 8 portions:
3 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (3 or 4)
Note: this will not work with red potatoes, as they are too waxy
1 pound unsalted butter
1/4 cup hot milk
salt and pepper to taste

Note: Thanksgiving gravy warning! For obvious reasons, these aren't very sturdy mashed potatoes, so be careful with the gravy. If you totally drench them they'll basically melt.
Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce – I'm Fine Now, But I Used to Be Nuts

Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce – I'm Fine Now, But I Used to Be Nuts

It funny how certain food memories stick in your brain, and this maple walnut cranberry sauce is the result of one such remembrance. I can’t tell you when or where, but sometime during my formative years I saw a cranberry sauce loaded with chopped walnuts, and I totally freaked. 

Not outwardly, as I have a decent poker face, but inside I was like, “what the hell is that?” That’s how it was for me early in life. If I saw a food prepared differently from the way I’d always seen it, I just assumed it was a terrible idea. Like ketchup on a hot dog…okay, so I happened to be right that time, but generally it’s not a great attitude to have.

As I pondered this season’s annual Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, and which styles I hadn’t tried yet, I remembered how off-putting that walnut-studded version was, and I decided to face my demons. I’m happy to report, as usual, I was totally wrong. It works perfectly.

Besides the nuts, I really enjoyed the job the maple syrup did sweetening the acidic berries. I recommend using a Grade B maple syrup if you can find it. It’s darker and thicker, and boasts a stronger maple flavor, so it’s the preferred syrup for cooking and baking by those in the know (also know as, “Canadians”).

So, if you’re looking for new and exciting cranberry sauce recipe this holiday season, I hope you give this a try. You’d be nuts not to. Enjoy!


Maple Walnut Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:
(makes about 2 cups)
1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries, washed
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup port wine
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
pinch of salt
1 cup chopped walnut, toasted a light golden-brown
Kicking Off Side Dish Season with Roasted “Wild” Mushroom and Potato Salad

Kicking Off Side Dish Season with Roasted “Wild” Mushroom and Potato Salad

It’s almost that time of year again. The holidays are still a little ways off, but you’re already starting to wonder (worry?) what creative side dishes will adorn the season’s holiday tables. This delicious, and very versatile roasted mushroom and potato salad could be worth a look. 

“Wild” mushrooms have never been less so, and that’s a good thing. Not that hunting for mushrooms in a dewy forest isn’t fun, but I’ll take a nice safe grocery store over actual labor anytime. Especially since the selection has gotten so much better over the years. You can easily find 5-6 varieties of mushrooms in the big markets, and they all will work.

I’ve given you an almost blank canvas here, with possible additions being as numerous as they are obvious. One geometrical change I’d make next time, would be to quarter the potatoes instead of halving them, to add surface area, as well as decreasing the cooking time.

Not only is this salad good hot, room temp, and cold, but it also works for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions
2 tbsp olive oil, more as needed
2 lbs new yellow or red potatoes
1 lb trimmed wild mushrooms
2 oz pancetta
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp tarragon
2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Note: I roasted the potatoes at 400 F. for 30 minutes, then turned the oven up to 425 F. to finish with the mushrooms. For simplicity’s sake, just use 425 F the whole way. It’s 30 minutes for just potatoes, then about 20-30 more with the mushrooms, tossing a few times. Don’t stop until everything is looking awesome.
Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Making homemade cheese crackers has never been very high on my must-do baking list, but with entertaining season rapidly approaching, I decided to give it a try to see just how vastly superior they are to their store-bought cousins.

I’m happy to report that they are better anything I’ve ever had out of a factory-sealed package. They have a much better texture with more crunch, and way more real, cheesy flavor. The only thing they have less of is ingredients; like by 45 to 5.


By the way, these cheesy crackers are based on a recipe I found on my friend, Joy the Baker’s blog. If you’re not familiar with her fine work, I encourage you to go check her out. She’s one of my favorites!

As far as the cheese goes, I went with three parts sharp cheddar to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m giving the cheese measurements below in weight, as the proportions to the rest of the ingredients are critical, and as you’ll see in the clip, measuring by cup is highly inaccurate. Since I used a fine grater on the very dry, hard cheese, it looks like well over a half-cup of cheese, but in fact was only one ounce.

This is why when recipes call for a cup of Parmesan cheese, some people will be adding 2-oz of cheese, and others 4-oz, simply depending on how they grated the cheese and packed the cup. But, when portioning cheese by weight, one ounce is always one ounce. 

Okay, I feel better. I hope you give these delicious homemade cheese crackers a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 36 crackers:
(Note: This is a half recipe, you should double to make enough for a party)
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup lightly packed)
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup lightly packed)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon cold water
Perfect Polenta – Dedicated to Some Fun Girl

Perfect Polenta – Dedicated to Some Fun Girl

Not only is polenta one of the first foods I remember watching someone cook, but it’s probably also responsible for the first time I ever heard someone curse. 

I remember my grandfather standing at the stove, stirring a big pot of the stuff, and every once in a while some of the thick, bubbling polenta would burp out of the pot and on to his hand. He would jump back and yell something, which to my very young ears sounded sort of like, “hey, some fun girl!” 

Of course, years later I realized he was actually saying, “vaffanculo.” I’ll let you translate yourself. By the way, one way to avoid the wrath of the molten mush is to adjust your heat to maintain a nice gentle bubble.

Besides severe burns, there’s not a lot that can go wrong with this recipe. As long as you stir it in slowly, whisking constantly, and simmer it until it’s perfectly soft, you will have one of the world’s great comfort foods, and a beautiful base for any number of stews or braises. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 Portions:
4 cups water or broth
1 cup polenta (you can use regular corn meal, but it’s not as easy to work with, and the texture isn’t as interesting)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/2  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Note: if your question is, “can you add [blank] to this recipe,” the answer is yes.
Cutting Tips To Avoid Cutting Tips – Plus Bonus “Creamed” Corn Recipe!

Cutting Tips To Avoid Cutting Tips – Plus Bonus “Creamed” Corn Recipe!

While the grilled salmon with bacon and corn relish recipe we posted Monday was extremely well received, some viewers had a problem with my extremely dangerous and difficult to perform method for shaving the corn off the cob.

So, just in case you’re one of these people who prefer your culinary techniques not to be dangerous or difficult, I’m posting this alternative method. Sure it’s just as fast, just as easy, and way safer, but you do have to admit, my style was way more exciting.

Anyway, since I had freshly cut corn at my heavily-scared fingertips, I decided to show you my new favorite recipe for creamed corn. This lower-cal take on the classic side dish features Greek yogurt and a little Indian spice, and I was absolutely thrilled with how it came out. 

The flavor was great, and the tangy yogurt gave the dish such an interesting texture. I couldn’t stop eating it. So, if you’re looking for another easy, and relatively healthy way to enjoy fresh, sweet corn, I hope you give this a try soon. Just be safe, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 large ears sweet corn
2 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
cayenne to taste
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or more if you want it creamier)
2 tsp freshly sliced chives

View the complete recipe