Posts tagged ‘Sides’

July 9, 2012

Unfried Chicken Fingers and CSA Coleslaw

What is better than fried chicken with some light and crispy slaw? Unfried chicken and aioli slaw with fresh farm veggies! You might remember the chicken fingers. They come out right every time! The orange zest and fresh breadcrumbs are the keys to these. I had a special request for these chicken fingers last week and finally got around to making them. We happened to have some shredded cabbage from the farm in the fridge and I got the urge to make coleslaw inspired by a friend. When I went to my college friend’s wedding last year, her now husband made this amazing coleslaw and was kind enough to give me a roadmap to recreate it at home. He used homemade aioli as dressing for the slaw. Mary and I took a few liberties and came up with this basil version which was a perfect complement to the chicken. Throw in some extra fresh veggies and you have a perfect meal and a new staple in our house!


Basil Aioli

3 egg yolks

1-3 cloves of garlic, pressed (depending on your taste)

Lemon Zest

2 T Lemon Juice

Salt and pepper

A few dashes of Tabasco

About a cup of olive oil

Handful of fresh basil

Add the egg yolks, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process until combined. Turn on the processor and VERY slowly add a thin stream of olive oil. The consistency will change as you go turning more liquidy and then to a thick sauce. Martha says you can hear it change, and you can! When you get to a mayonnaise consistency stop and add the basil. Pulse a few times to combine. Use on everything (just plan on feeding it to everyone you want to be in contact with for the next day or so thanks to the garlic)!

CSA Coleslaw

Basil Aioli

1 Small Head of Cabbage, shredded

2 Carrots, shredded

6 Small Green Onions

3 T Red Wine Vinegar

Juice of Half an Orange

Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients and toss. Dress with desired amount of aioli, thinning it out a bit with the liquid to make it easier to distribute. Enjoy!

Chicken Fingers

Make these delicious chicken fingers and serve with coleslaw and aioli or the sauce of your choice!

July 8, 2012

Purple Artichoke

We are having a bit of a lazy Sunday evening with another rainstorm moving through Colorado tonight (hooray!!) I was just thinking about this lovely gem I made one day; a purple artichoke. It was so pretty sitting on the shelf that I just couldn’t leave it. I think artichokes are great to begin with. They are a lot of work to eat and present a challenge to get a little reward, but so worth it. Artichokes are one of the few foods that we actually use the microwave to cook (even if it seems like sacrilege.) Let me tell you, it is super easy and you will be enjoying your artichoke in mere minutes. In our experience, this method is more consistent than boiling.

First, wash and clean the artichoke. Trim off the top to remove most of the points at the tips of the leaves. (You can trim the leaves you miss with scissors if you feel like it, though when it is just us we don’t.) Wrap the whole artichoke in plastic wrap and place in the microwave on high for 4-6 minutes or until the leave easily pull away from the artichoke. You can test it after four minutes, but be careful when removing the plastic wrap because that is some hot steam! After the artichoke is done, allow to cool while you melt a couple tablespoons of butter. Add a pinch of salt, fresh cracked black pepper, a bit of thyme, if you like, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the melted butter for dipping. Serve immediately or cold later, it will be delicious either way!


PS – If you have never cleaned an artichoke, once you have eaten all of the leaves, remove the soft center leaves and you will see the fibrous choke. Take a spoon and carefully remove the spiney part and enjoy the heart. J

January 30, 2012

Spicy Sweet Potatoes

If you are like me (and many other women out there), you have come to love Pinterest. It is such a simple concept with so many possibilities. Pinterest has given me the ability to easy keep track of things I find online and discover lots of new ideas! This recipe came to me through this wonderful new community. Read the original blog post here. I made a few changes and I think I will make a few more next time I try this. Sweet potatoes are really good for you and super yummy too. Sometimes it is fun to put a twist on an old favorite; I thought these were awesome. I don’t really think you have to parboil them, so I would just start by roasting them instead. After being boiled, they got just a little too soft and squished a little too much (although that could just be me being overzealous.) I also added a bit more spice to balance out the sugar in this recipe since the potatoes are sweet on their own. This was amazing with some simple roast chicken, try it out! I will update you when I try these again.


Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 quarts water

1-2 tablespoons melted butter

1-2 tablespoons olive oil


1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon Meat Magic

10 grinds black pepper – coarse

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice about 1 & ¼ inches thick.

Add ½ teaspoon salt to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add potato slices and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until somewhat softened. Remove carefully to a wire rack and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Blend the topping ingredients together really well with a fork, making sure to get the sugar completely incorporated.

Line a large, heavy sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Using a flat bottomed bowl, slightly mash each potato slice, taking care that they stay intact. Drizzle each slice with a mixture of the butter and oil and sprinkle evenly with ½ of the topping mixture. Make sure you avoid getting the topping on the sheet between the slices if possible – it will burn and smoke before the potatoes are done.

Gently turn over each slice, drizzle with the remaining butter/oil mixture and sprinkle with the remaining seasonings. (I didn’t think these needed that much fat. To keep it lighter, brush lightly with melted butter for the flavor or spray with cooking spray.) Roast at 375° for 20 minutes, carefully flip each slice and return to oven for about 10 minutes more.

Serve hot. YUMMY!!

July 7, 2011

Summertime Succotash

As I mentioned in our Americana Steak post, we made succotash as our accompaniment for our fabulous steak. Now, I have been reminded several times, that succotash means lima beans. Lima beans don’t really top my list of favorite foods. It’s not really that I don’t like them, I just haven’t had any great lima beans…so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was right up my alley. The lima beans are replaced with green beans, yum! This was a quick and easy way to switch up our regular vegetable options. We did adjust this recipe a little based on the vegetables we had available. The big changes we made to this were that we threw the corn on the grill before adding it, we left the peppers fresh, and we were lacking zucchini (but I am sure that would be awesome). We left the corn a bit on the underdone side so it wouldn’t be overdone when added to the pan. This was a great way to round out our meal.

One other thing—If you struggle with corn going everywhere when you cut it off the cob, try this little trick. Get out your Bundt pan, yes the one for baking, place the corn cob vertically in the center of the pan and cut the kernels off as you normally would. All of the kernels will fall into the pan, keeping them contained. It is like magic! (Sorry I don’t have photos, I will remember next time!)


Summertime Succotash

Based on the ‘Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook

1 to 1 ½ c green and/or yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

2 T olive oil

1 T butter

¾ c minced scallions (white and light green parts only)

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 ½ c fresh corn kernels

¾ cup corn stock, chicken stock, or fish stock

¼ c heavy whipping cream

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Blanch the beans in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook gently for one minute, until slightly soft. Add the zucchini, pepper and corn kernels (reserve if grilled) and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the beans, stock and cream (and corn if grilled) and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a thick, creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

June 1, 2011

Great-Grandma’s German Potato Salad

This recipe is a long time family favorite from my great-grandma. She emigrated from Hungary in the early 1900’s with her mother and 8 siblings. With another family with 9 kids, they made the tough journey through Ellis Island to St. Louis to join the fathers who had already come to America to work. It really is quite the story with the 18 children all miraculously being well enough to make it through Ellis Island at the same time. Then on the train trip, the mothers got off the train to get some food for the children and the train left without them. None of them spoke English, but as always told in the family, “panicked mother is a universal language” and they were somehow reunited, and here we are four generations later. Anywho…back to the recipe!

According to my aunt, Great-Grandma always said if you are making this for children; add a little extra sugar to cut the tartness of the vinegar. I never liked traditional potato salad since I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise, but this was something I always looked forward to. I love the crunch the celery and onion added to the soft potatoes. Not to mention, bacon makes everything better! The sweet and sour dressing is a childhood memory that always brings back memories. I remember making it with my grandma and lots of us helping. Always such fun! It is a little time consuming, but worth the effort as it makes a large amount and keeps well. Let us know what you think!


“Grandma always used to make this for picnics with fried chicken. I remember when I was too little to like the potato salad, Grandma would leave a few boiled potatoes out for me, and sprinkle them with salt.”


German Potato Salad

10 Small Potatoes

1 Onion

2 Celery Sticks

2 t. Salt

5 Slices Bacon

½ c. Water

½ c. White Vinegar

4 T. Sugar

2 T. Flour

2 T. Parsley (finely chopped)

Boil potatoes for 45 min. Drain and allow to stand covered for 30 minutes. Chop the bacon, fry until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Pour off half the grease. Add to it water, vinegar and sugar. Thicken sauce with a slurry of the flour and a couple tablespoons of water. Finely chop the celery and onion. Slice the cooled potatoes and combine with vegetables and bacon in a LARGE bowl (trust me on this one). Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix gently, trying not to break up the potatoes too much. Add the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Can be served immediately while warm or made ahead and refrigerated.

February 20, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

Ok, I know you can buy Mott’s applesauce for around $3. Just to buy apples for applesauce will cost more than that. But it will taste as good or better than gramma made! You may save money, based on how much you will yield but that’s not why you want to do it. It’s the taste and a low calorie, low sugar comfort food.

I bought apples at 10lbs for $10 and bought a mix of organic gala and braeburn, but only because those were the sale ones.

6 lbs apples, peeled and cored

½ c cane sugar

½ c water

Juice from 1 grapefruit

Zest from 1 grapefruit or candied grapefruit or other citrus if you have it

½ T Cinnamon

  1. Peel and core the apples. You don’t have to be perfect on this because it will be strained later.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Cook on medium low heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally
  4. When tender put through a food mill
  5. Check for the amount of liquid. If it’s too liquidy put back in the pot and reduce. It will absorb a little liquid when it cools.
  6. Serve hot or cold, alone or with grilled meats.

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