SIDES

EZ Cornbread

February 19, 2012

It baffles me that I haven’t featured this cornbread yet. My mom’s EZ Cornbread is a must-bake sort of recipe during soup season. It’s EZ and delicious. For those of you that like dry, crumbly, skillet-cooked varieties of cornbread, this isn’t for you. EZ Cornbread is soft and moist… almost souffle-like.

EZ CORNBREAD

You Will Need:
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
3 eggs, whipped
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small can cream corn
8 ounces sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a square baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.

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I Heart Rainbow Carrots

February 2, 2012

These baby rainbow carrots make me smile. I found them on sale at Publix in a little steam bag. They are sure to make any dinner plate pretty! This would be an especially pretty addition to a Valentines Day meal.

Boil the carrots for five minutes. In the meantime, create a flavored butter. Soften some butter and mix in a little honey. Stir in a fresh herb like parsley or thyme. Top the warm carrots with the sweetened butter and serve.

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BRINGING BACK AMBROSIA

January 30, 2011

Ambrosia salad is a staple in many Southern homes during the winter months.  Maybe it’s because of the abundance of ripe citrus or a craving for something tart to contrast against decadent desserts. Recipes vary from home to home but they all have citrus and coconut.  My grandmother served her grapefruit-orange-pineapple Ambrosia in this retro glass jar.

Christmas has come and gone but we are still enjoying Ambrosia at our house.  I make the simplest version with just grapefruit, coconut and a sprinkle of sugar. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this is a refreshing and healthy side.

AMBROSIA SALAD
You Will Need:
4 grapefruits
1/4-1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1 tablespoons sugar

Peel the grapefruit with a paring knife.
Section the grapefruit, cutting down either side of the white membrane.
*To catch the precious juice, do this over a bowl.
Drain some of the liquid (the amount is up to you) and drink with breakfast.
Fold in coconut and sugar.
Store in the refrigerator for days.

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Bean Heaven

October 13, 2010

I saw these fall colored butter beans at Lucy’s Market last week and had to bring them back to my kitchen. They are one of nature’s perfect foods that is almost too beautiful to cook. Honestly I am not sure of the correct name for these beauties but I do know they are special. These heirloom beans butter beans make a wonderfully simple side dish. Unfortunately they lose their unique color in the cooking process but their taste is on par with the physical beauty.

SPECKLED BUTTER BEANS

You will need:
butter beans- traditional, speckled or any heirloom variety
water
butter
salt


Rinse these southern beans in a colander.
Pour into a stockpot or dutch oven.
Cover with water by a couple in inches.
Plop in a 1/2 stick of butter.
Sprinkle salt.
Bring to a boil.
Simmer for about an hour.
Serve with a little broth.

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Welcome Home Morgan

September 14, 2010

We hosted our first official family dinner on Sunday to welcome home my sister from school. The menu was an ode to the end of summer and beginning of fall. I would cook every dish again and therefore want to share each recipe with you.


For the menu….drum roll please…..
Appetizer-Jalapeno Thingies (a la Colleen)
Supper- Grilled Marinated Lemon Chicken, Mayonnaise Biscuits, Roasted Caprese Salad
Dessert- Peach Cobbler

JALAPENO THINGIES
-Colleen Williams
(These were gone in .5 seconds and would be perfect for a football party where there are lots of hungry males.)

You will need:

20 fresh whole jalapenos
2 cubes of cream cheese, softened
1 pound bacon, sliced into thirds

Cut jalapenos in half, lengthwise (use gloves if you have them!)
Remove seeds and white membrane- leave a little if you want to leave some spiciness.
Smear softened cream cheese into the scooped out jalapeno.
Wrap with bacon piece.
Secure thingies with a toothpick.
*You can freeze them at this point if needed
Bake at 375 degrees on a pan with a rack for 20-25 minutes or
Broil for a couple of minutes if the bacon isn’t brown or crispy enough for you.

GRILLED MARINATED LEMON CHICKEN

You will need:
1 whole chicken, spatchcocked *I’ll explain
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
black pepper, freshly ground
1 lemon, halved

How to Spatchcock a Chicken
According to Martha Stewart, this technique is “similar to butterflying but is specific to preparing a whole chicken for grilling or broiling”.

1. Rinse the chicken and remove insides.
2. Set the chicken, breast side down, and use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut along the backbone to remove it.
3. Flip the chicken over, then press down firmly on the breastbone with you palm to flatten (or break the breastbone.

Now that your chicken is spatchocked (awesome word), you may proceed with the next steps.
Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt on each side.
Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a ceramic baking dish large enough to hold the chicken.
Add the chicken and turn to coat.
Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but as long as over night.
Turn chicken once or twice.
Time to Grill-
Heat grill as hot as it will go but make sure to create an indirect heat source (ceramic plate or move coals to one side).
Place chicken skin side up and grill for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Weigh down the chicken with a ceramic dish (the one you used to marinate).
Turn chicken skin side down and cook for another 12-15 minutes.
Throw some lemon on the grill just before chicken is ready.
Move chicken to a cutting board and let rest under aluminum foil for 5 minutes.
Cut chicken in quarters.
Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Serve rustically on a cutting board with grilled lemon halves.
*Please note: These photos don’t do this chicken justice.
So, I LOVE homegrown tomatoes in the summer. Not sure what is going on around the south but I have not had a single good tomato this summer- not from my house, farmers market, Publix anywhere! Thankfully my mom turned me onto this recipe that makes use mediocre tomatoes. The dish is so yummy that I would make it even when tomatoes are at their best!
ROASTED TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD

You will need:
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.
Roast for 2 hours or until the tomatoes are caramelized and concentrated.
Layer cooled tomatoes on a tray with sliced mozzarella.
Julienned the basil and sprinkle on top.
And we are still eating…
If you want to serve hot homemade bread for your family or friends but don’t have time to yeast rolls or biscuits that need hours of kneading, whip up these EASY and yummy biscuits. They are more fluffy then dense but satisfy the need for hot bread on the dinner table.
FLUFFY MAYONNAISE BISCUITS

You will need:
1 table spoon oil
2 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush muffin tin with oil.
Combine flour, mayonnaise, milk and sugar in a bowl.
Spoon into muffin cups, filling about 1/2 way.
(You can spoon directly onto an oiled sheet pan)
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter.
As Ina would say, “How easy is that?”
For the grand finale…

Tomatoes may have been a let down this summer but the peaches pulled through. What to do with an abundance of ripe summer fruit? Make a cobbler!
PEACH COBBLER
You will need:
5-6 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place peaches in 9×9-ish dish.
Mix together 3/4 cup of the sugar, flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add milk and melted butter and mix well.
Pour batter over peaches.
Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl.
Sprinkle over the batter.
Evenly pour the boiling water all over.
Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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A Twist On Da Dip

August 28, 2010

The flavors in this summer corn salad are similar to the flavors in the popular Skinny Dip post. So if you like Da Dip, try this fresh side dish. Corn is the main event so be sure to use fresh corn instead of the can corn.

FRESH CORN SALAD

You will need:
5 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup red onion or green onion, small-diced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup basil, chiffonade

Boil corn in a large pot of boiling water.
Cook for 3 minutes.
Drain and immerse corn in ice water to stop the cooking and set the yellow color.
Cut kernels off the cob when the corn has cooled.

To cut off the cob, lay corn on it’s side and slice down, creating a “square”. Be sure to scrape close to the cob- there is lots of goodness close to the cob!

Toss kernels in a large bowl with red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil.
Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

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Summer Dinner

July 8, 2010

Summer grilling doesn’t always have to involve beef and pork. These turkey burgers deliver the satisfaction of a burger but the lightness of summer fare. To accompany your burgers, the summer succotash recipe includes most all summer veggies and serves a crowd. The succotash is hearty enough to stand alone for a lunch or light supper. I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as your summer!

Turkey Burgers
(serves 10)
You will need:
1 pound ground white-meat turkey
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
1 cup ricotta (maybe less)
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup sauteed spinach (cooked and drained)
A bit of basil
2 garlic cloves
salt/pepper
olive oil
Mix together all ingredients (except olive oil) and form into patties.
* Keep the patties smaller than larger- 3 1/2 inch diameter, 1/2 inch thick
Transfer patties to parchment paper.
Refrigerate for an hour.
Heat grill (or green egg) to medium-high.
Brush tops of burgers with oil.
Flip, oil side down, onto grill.
Grill for 4 minutes on each side (remembering to brush with olive oil).
Top with cheese if you desire.
Serve on your favorite grilled bun.

Succotash with Basil



You will need:
2 cups fresh (shelled) butter beans*
coarse salt and pepper
1/2 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Vidalia onion
4 ears of sweet corn, kernels scraped off (about 2 cups)**
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
*You can always use frozen if you have to or substitute or edamame or black eyed peas.
** Set the cob on its side and slice the kernels on all four “sides” Be sure to keep the milky goodness into the bowl too!
Now, cooking all the veggies-
Butter Beans…
Place the fresh butter beans in a pot and cover with cold water.
Boil over high heat and season with salt and pepper
Decrease to low and simmer until tender- about 30 minutes for fresh, less for frozen.
Drain well and set aside.
Potatoes…
Place in a separate saucepan and cover with 1- inch of water.
Season with S&P.
Bring to a boil and then decrease heat to low.
Simmer until potatoes are tender- about 20 minutes. Don’t let them get too mushy.
Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat in a heavy skillet.
Cook on high until foam settles down.
Add drained potatoes and season with S&P.
Cook potatoes, stirring infrequently, until crusted- 8 minutes-ish.
Transfer to serving bowl.
Onion, corn, squash and zucchini…
In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat.
Add onion, corn, squash and zucchini and cook until crisp and tender- 5 minutes.
Stir in reserved butter beans and cook until heated through.
Add to the potatoes.
Add tomatoes and basil.
Taste for S&P needs.
Serve warm, hot or cold.

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Asian Three Bean Salad

May 19, 2010

I have whipped up this side salad 100 times in the past few years. The gingery apricot asian flavors are awesome and the beans make it a healthy snack, meal or side.
Asian Three Bean Salad

You Will Need:
1 pound of string beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame
3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup 100 percent fruit apricot preserves
2 scallions, sliced
salt

Boil water in a pan.
Add frozen edamame and green beans.
Blanch for a few minutes.
Drain immediately and rinse with cold water.
Refrigerate with black beans while you prepare the dressing.
Whisk oil, vinegar, apricot preserves, sugar and ginger in a small bowl.
Add scallions.
Drizzle on beans and toss to coat.
Season with coarse salt.

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Rethinking Salad

May 9, 2010

I love salad but hate that most have to be eaten immediately to avoid sogginess. This salad is a perfect make-ahead dish because the vegetables stand up to the dressing. If you plan to make ahead and want the romaine strips to be extra crispy, add them just before eating.

Lemony Zucchini, Chickpea and Lima Bean Salad

You will need:
1/2 cup fresh or frozen lima beans, blanched*
1/2 cup drained canned chickpeas, rinsed
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into slices
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinley sliced
2-3 romaine leaves cut into thin strips
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, broken into small chunks
1 tablespoon chopped basil
4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
pepper to taste

Combine lima beans* chickpeas, zucchini, onion, romaine, Parmesan and chopped basil.
Add lemon juice, oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Toss to combine.

* Morgan- to blanch, drop the frozen lima beans in boiling water and drain. Soak in ice water immediately.

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Tribute to Aspen

March 11, 2010

I would not dream of trying to recreate 99 percent of the fabulous food we consumed in Aspen. Those culinary memories should stay as memories, and I would never be able to make anything half as delicious. But a few simple pleasures were worth a try……


Cloud Nine Salad

Inspiration from Cloud Nine Bistro and Madaket Market version

You will need:
Bowl full of greens
1/4 jar sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
2 cups mushrooms (baby bellas or shitake), sauteed
1 cucumber, cut into half moons
1/4 cup Roquefort cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup vinegar (tarragon or red wine)
S&P

Prepare the veggies
Sauté the mushrooms


Mix the dressing by combining the Roquefort cheese, mayo and vinegar.
* Portions for the dressing are completely up to personal preference. You may even want to add some olive oil.
Toss the greens with veggies and dressing

Now for a little Aspen comfort food…

Ajax Cheesy Polenta and Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Inspiration from Aspen and Madaket Market version

Back at home in Georgia, we paired the cheesy/sauteed shaved Brussels sprouts with bone-in ribeye instead of stripped bass.

Cheesy Polenta

Boil 4 cups of water
Whisk in 1 cup of yellow corn grits
Stir constantly for a few minutes and until thick
Turn down the temp to a simmer
Cook uncovered, stirring often for 45 minutes to an hour
Add water if the polenta gets too dry
Dollop in 1/4-1/2 stick butter
Stir in a handful of Parmesan
Feel free to add salt, pepper and milk/cream


Shaved and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

You will need:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium shallots, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Slice Brussels sprouts using a Cuisinart slicing attachment


Heat butter and olive oil in a large saute pan
Add shallots and garlic
Saute until shallots are translucent, 3 minutes-ish
Add shaved Brussels sprouts and increase heat to medium high
Saute for about 8 minutes or until tender
Stir in 1/2 pine nuts and lemon juice
Season with S&P
Toast remaining pine nuts in a dry saute pan over low heat
Transfer sprouts to a serving bowl and top with remaining pine nuts

Serve Brussels sprouts over the polenta as a side or topping to fish, steak or chicken.

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