Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

Thank you, Pioneer Woman, for yet another delicious recipe! These are a nice change from mashed or baked potatoes. They’re nice enough to serve to company, but simple enough that you don’t have to slave over them. They’re kind of a cross between a baked potato and a french fry – crispy and salty. I served them with a beef roast, and they were great.

PW suggests seasoning them with the herb of your choice, but I chose to use only salt and pepper, which turned out just fine. Whatever floats your boat!

Crash Hot Potatoes a la Pioneer Woman (Recipe found here)

  • 12 small round potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Rosemary or other herb of choice, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.


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Sincerest apologies for the terrible photo – but I figured a phone photo would be better than no photo at all.

This was SO good. I love muenster, and I have Annie of Annie’s Eats to thank for turning it into a scrumptious mac & cheese. Plus its near-ridiculous simplicity just made it that much better. It isn’t diet food by any means, with a cup of heavy cream, 8 oz of muenster cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping, but it sure is worth the calorie splurge!

Muenster Macaroni and Cheese (Original recipe here)

  • 16 oz macaroni pasta
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz Muenster cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Important – salt is hugely important in mac & cheese!)
  • ¼ cup Ritz cracker crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish (or in my case, a regular ol’ 9×13).  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Mix in the cracker crumbs.  Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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Focaccia Bread

I wish I’d taken a picture of the full loaf, but this one will have to do. I can’t say enough about this focaccia bread. It. Is. SO. Good.

We had a “make your own salad” bar the other night and this bread was the perfect accompaniment. Probably killed the low-cal point of making salads, but it was totally worth it. It was really pretty easy too, which was a huge plus. I used the recipe I found at The Paupered Chef, except I omitted the extra topping ingredients and just used olive oil and kosher salt. If you want step-by-step photos of the process, check out the original link because they did a great job of documenting the preparation.

I thought I had gone a little overboard with the olive oil drizzling on top, but it turned out great, so I highly recommend not being stingy with the oil. It helps give it a beautiful crust.

Focaccia Bread (Original recipe here)

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (plus more for dusting & kneading)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 13.5 ounces warm water (slightly over 1 1/2 cups)
  • Olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Kosher salt

Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl, and whisk together. Add water a little at a time.

Using your hands, combine the flour mixture and the water, kneading in the bowl. Check consistency of the dough – if it is too wet (should be somewhat sticky but not too much), add a bit more flour and work it in.

[From The Paupered Chef: A good test is this — ask a friend to poke an unfloured finger into the dough (or rinse one of your own off and dry it and do the same).  The dough should stick to the finger a bit, but it shouldn’t be impossible to get off.  You don’t want it to be gloopy at all.  You want to be able to work and knead the dough without the majority of it clumping between your fingers.]

Scrape dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep it from getting too sticky. After kneading, scatter a little flour back in the mixing bowl, and dump the dough back in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towl, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Drizzle a baking pan with olive oil (I used a metal pizza pan, but you can use whatever pan you like) and spread it around to coat the bottom and sides, then scatter a little cornmeal around the pan. Drop the dough in and spread it around the pan. It’s okay if it doesn’t reach the edges, but you do want it to be a relatively uniform thickness throughout.

Cover the pan with (greased) plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

When dough is finished rising, poke holes with a floured finger all over the surface. Drizzle with olive oil (don’t be stingy), spread it around a bit, and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake 25-30 minutes , until top is light golden. Remove from oven and let cool just a couple minutes – it is best eaten warm.

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I made this to go with our panko baked chicken, and I was pretty pleased with it. It’s kind of a take on that typical oriental salad you see with the Ramen noodles (which this one has too), but it is a little different. I thought it had some interesting flavors, but probably next time I will not add quite as much cabbage – just a personal preference. It’s a texture thing.

The original recipe includes mandarin oranges, but since those are almost (but not quite) up there with broccoli on my Foods-I-Don’t-Like list, I left them out.

For what it’s worth, JW thought it tasted better the second day.

Asian Pasta Salad (Recipe found here)

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta mix
  • 1 pkg (3oz) Oriental flavored Ramen Soup Mix
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup frozen peas (original calls for snow peas or sugar snap peas)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup slivered (or sliced) almonds

Empty the pasta mix into a pot of boiling water. Gently boil for 10 – 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and shake to drain again.

In a large bowl stir together the seasoning mixes from the pasta and the soup mix, sugar, oil, vinegar, water and soy sauce. Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.

Just before serving, coarsely crush the dry noodles from the soup mix and stir into the pasta mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

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I had never made corn casserole before last night. Eaten it? Sure. Enjoyed it? Absolutely. But never made it. And this one turned out great. What I like about it is that it is a nice starchy side that isn’t potatoes, pasta, or rice.

An added plus? JW, who does not like corn, cornbread, or sweet things, ate two helpings of this and said I should make it again. THAT, my friends, is success 🙂

I researched several recipes and this one kind of came together as a result of personal preferences and things that sounded good. Sorry… no picture… we ate it too fast.

Corn Casserole

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can cream style corn
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 box (8.5 oz) Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack, but probably would be great with sharp Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and spread into dish.

Bake 45-55 min. or until golden brown and set.

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What I loved about this macaroni and cheese is that it was quick, easy, delicious, and still homemade. I was in the mood for a creamy mac & cheese, so I used Velveeta, although in the future I may use a combination of Velveeta and cheddar, or something else, for a little stronger cheese flavor. That said, this was delicious and it will definitely be staying in my repertoire for future meals (although not too frequent as it’s not a dish for the super health conscious)!

Macaroni and Cheese (Recipe found here)

  • 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 lb cheese, cut into cubes
  • Breadcrumbs, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pan, cook butter, salt, pepper, and flour, and stir until smooth.

Remove from heat and stir as you gradually add milk. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted.

Pour over macaroni noodles, sprinkle with breadcrumbs if desired, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover with foil before baking if you do not use breadcrumbs and you do not want a crust to form on top.

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