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Rosemary Flatbreads

8 Dec

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My dear friend, Keri Brennan, passed this recipe my way. And it was perfect timing as I was headed to a family dinner and wanted to bring some things. These lil flatbreads would be the perfect thing to bring.

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They require some yeast – but don’t let that keep you from trying. It’s so easy to throw these together.

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You just need a little bit of time to allow the dough to proof and rise.

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You can also toss in any herbs/seasonings you like. They are so versatile!

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They were delicious! I think next time I wouldn’t add as much sea salt to the tops of them – they were a bit salty. But they tasted great and made a great accompaniment to our meal!

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Rosemary Flatbreads

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 F/43 C)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme ( I used minced rosemary)
  • (homemade seasoned salt made by combining dried homegrown herbs with sea salt)

Directions:

Place the water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms. Add the minced rosemary.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface all over. Cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out each piece to approximately 4″x10″ (or however small/large you like) on a lightly floured surface.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs (or homemade seasoned salt.)

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage and Freezing Instructions/Tips: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months.

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Potato Latkes

17 Nov

My mom has been making these potato pancakes for as long as I can remember. And before this recipe, she probably made another version of potato pancakes. Eating potato pancakes (aka potato latkes) is part of our eastern european heritage (we’re Lithuanian).

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Most of the time, I am disappointed with potato latkes when I order them out. So I typically don’t eat them anywhere other than my family’s house. They are usually made with too much “filling” so that its consistency is more cake than potato. They are too thick and greasy and sit like a bomb in your stomach. I don’t know what they add to it to weigh them down, but it’s just not cool. I find myself asking “where’s the potato”?

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This recipe is INSANE though – not only insanely simple, but insanely delicious. It was posted in the New York Times EONS ago and it comes from Simon and Garfunkel. Here is a pic of it!

simon and garfunkel

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When you use a food processor to grate your onions and potatoes, it goes SO much easier and quicker! Also, if you find the mixture to be too wet, drain some of the liquid out of the bowl.

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You want to make sure you use a non-stick frying pan as well – something that will encourage the pancakes to lift up easily. I have made the mistake of using a bad pan and it was a disaster!

potatoes

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Our family serves these with sour cream. Some people like to eat them with applesauce or ketchup. Whatever you prefer, go for it!

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 The next time you have Jewish friends over, make this for them – they will beg you for the recipe!

Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tblsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

Grate potatoes into the milk. Grate the onion into the mixture. Add flour and salt, mix well.

Spoon mixture one tablespoon at a time into hot oil in a frying pan. You can make the pancakes as little or as large as you like. Make sure that the pancake is flat and not too lumpy or thick.

Brown on one side, then turn and brown on the other. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve hot with a side of applesauce or sour cream.

Moroccan Farro with Kale, Pomegranate, and Almonds

22 Sep

I got the dreaded “you need to bring a side dish” assignment again for our summer Sunday dinner a couple weeks ago. I searched through my files for something that sounded good, knowing I wanted to stay healthy.

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I found this recipe in my email. It was from my co-worker, Brian! It utilizes farro – a grain made up from different wheat species. Oddly enough, the exact definition is not too clear. It is a dried grain that you cook in water until soft, but it still has a crunch!

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This dish is interesting because you cook the farro with allspice added to the water. So it has a semi-sweet taste. And that’s before you add the rest of the ingredients! This dish is also perfect for the fall – the flavors are so exotic.

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The health factor in this salad is amazing – healthy grain, kale, raisins, almonds, and pomegranates! I believe there are some superfoods in there for sure!!

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Pomegranates aren’t in season during the summer unfortunately, so I substituted some craisins. It worked out well!

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It tastes exotic and delicious. There is a satisfying crunch as well. And it is truly an intensely healthy side dish to accompany any meal! We paired ours with salmon/shrimp and grilled romaine.

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Moroccan Farro with Kale, Pomegranate, and Almonds

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C Farro ( or wheat or rye berries)
3 C water
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt

4-5 Cups chopped Lacinato Kale ( one bunch)
6 cloves sliced garlic
1 T fine chopped ginger
1/3 C golden raisins.
3 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C fresh pomegranate seeds

Directions:
In a small pot bring farro, water, salt and allspice to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to low and simmer for 45 min’s or until farro is tender and water is mostly gone.

In the mean time, saute ginger and garlic on med low heat in 3 T Olive oil. When lightly browned add chopped kale. Cook slowly on low heat, stirring often for about 5 min. Add 1/3 C golden raisins. Let simmer on lowest setting until kale is tender …about 15min.

Seed your pomegranate.

When farro is tender, pour it all into the sauté pan with the kale. Its ok if there is a little water still in the farro. Pour it all in. Add the salt, spices, honey, vinegar and sliced almonds. Let flavors meld for a few minutes on low heat. Just before serving toss in the fresh parsley and pomegranate.

Israeli Couscous Salad

18 Sep

So I’ve been in Maine for the past few days with my mom eating TONS and tons of lobster……..13 to be exact 🙂 More on that later. Here – look at this:

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My mom’s been making this summery side dish for years and years. I have always liked it, but didn’t pay much attention to it until last year.

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And then I started making it myself this year. It is not only a cinch to throw together, but it’s soooooooo delicious. I don’t even know what it’s officially called – we just call it “Israeli Couscous” which is so generic.

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The main ingredient is Israeli couscous. Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped like little balls. It is made from wheat flour and then roasted in the oven. It was meant to be a rice substitute for a select population in Israel back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. It cooks a little longer than couscous, but a little less than pasta.

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When you add everything together, it tastes so fresh and has a bit of a crunch from the pepper. It is addictive.

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Oh, and I always toss in more ingredients than the recipe calls for – I usually put in 3 chopped peppers, double the cilantro and green onion, and definitely add more fruits and almonds! And you cant double the ingredients without increasing the amount of dressing. You get the point….more is better with this recipe.

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This stuff is so darned good. As Robbb says when I make this salad –  “I could eat this everyday”!

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Israeli Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked Israeli couscous
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup snipped dried apricots, craisins, or raisins
  • 2 Tblsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup poppy seed dressing
  • ½ tsp shredded lime peel
  • Dash hot pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

Directions:

Combine all ingredients for the salad.

Then combine the dressing – lime peel, hot pepper, and poppy seed dressing.

Pour dressing mixture on top of salad and mix. Sprinkle almonds on top.

(See how simple that was??)

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Avocado Lime Dressing

4 Sep

I love grilled lettuce. I absolutely love it. It is such a wacky idea, but yet tastes so amazing!

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There isn’t much to it either…..you put a lil olive oil on your lettuce, grill it on low heat, and then fix however you like! It can be casual or very refined, depending on how you dress it up and top it.

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And this dressing is amazing. Like, amazing. It is bright and fresh and enhances the grilled romaine.

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Never mind the shrimp there 🙂 That was for another part of the meal. But thinking it through more, you could easily put grilled shrimp on top of this grilled lettuce with the dressing and it would taste amazing. Hmmmmm, another meal idea!!

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There is the grilled romaine to the right in the pic. I had an accidental drunk-pour of the dressing and put a bit too much on there……ooops! It tasted delicious – and I saved the extra dressing to put on some garden-grown tomatoes later in the week. Yum!

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Avocado Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 romaine hearts, washed, trimmed, and sliced in half
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped up all small
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

Avocado Lime Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped all small
  • ½ teaspoon agave or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt to taste

Directions:

For the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and combine until creamy. Add the pinch of sea salt and mix it in. If it looks way too thick, add more water until it looks like salad dressing. Pour it all into a small container and refrigerate until the lettuce is ready. Can be made a day ahead.

To grill the romaine hearts, heat the grill to a medium-low heat. As long as the grill isn’t crazy hot, you are good.

While the grill heats up, mix the garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper in a little cup. Brush or spoon the oil mixture to the cut side of the lettuce. This isn’t the real dressing so go easy.

Place the lettuce face down on the grill for 60 seconds or until there are clear grill marks and the leaves are beginning to wilt. Flip the hearts over and grill the other side for another 60 seconds. You want the leaves to look charred but not all limp so pay attention.

When they look good, put them on a plate and put some dressing over the hearts. Top with sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and plenty of black pepper.

Makes enough for 4 people with some extra dressing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Dill Pickles

31 Aug

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My friend, Matt Smith, posts some great pics and recipes of yummy dishes he makes from time to time. Earlier this summer he posted a pic of a giant vat of pickles that he had just made. And all of a sudden it dawned on me – I desperately want to make pickles.

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He graciously gave me the recipe he used. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect pickle recipe. IMG_1497

It had all the ingredients I love in a pickle – jalapenos, garlic, dill, and some sugar. Cucumbers are flooding the farmers market at this time of year – everyone is practically giving them away. And I have a ton of jalapenos in my lil garden 🙂

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The hardest part to this recipe? Waiting for the pickles to marinate for a week…..It takes SO much patience. Every time I opened the fridge, those pickles were staring at me – daring me to take a taste. Look at them….mocking me.

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But I resisted. And my hard work paid off. These pickles are incredible. They might not be for everyone – so you might want to tweak the recipe. Tweak away, friends! These pickles are tart and have a definite vinegar flavor. They mellow over time.

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I highly recommend draining all of the spices/seeds/dill/peppercorns out of the liquid when the week is up. That way they don’t continue pickling while you eat them (and you don’t reach into the vat and pull out a strand of dill or random spice).

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Garlic Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 3.5-4 pounds of pickling cucumbers (the lil guys)
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (seeds and all)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tblsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar (I used a lil less)
  • 5 heaping tblsp pickling spices
  • 2 tblsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tblsp black peppercorns

Directions:  

Make sure you prepare a large container – at least a 3.5 quart container – to hold your pickles.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pull the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down while you slice your cukes.

Prepare garlic, jalapenos, and dill. Slice your cucumbers into ½ inch-thick rounds – you can slice thinner if you like as well. Put them in your container along with the dill, garlic, and jalapenos and mix well.

Pour the mixture over your other ingredients and make sure everything is all mixed around and ingredients are distributed. Cool to room temperature and cover.

Here comes the hardest part: put them in the fridge and don’t touch them for a week unless you are going to shake them up a bit.

This recipe makes a TON of pickles and they keep for weeks!

 

Wheatberry Salad

11 Aug

Again, tasked with the “can you bring a side dish?” request early in July, I decided to try a wheatberry dish. I am always on the hunt for delicious, fresh, and HEALTHY side dishes for the summertime when the veggies are so plentiful!

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What is a wheatberry? A wheatberry is almost the whole kernel of wheat and are added to salads or served as a side dish along with corn in some countries.

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They are a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. I love putting them in my salad because they give a nice lil crunch.

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This recipe couldn’t be simpler: Cook your wheatberries, chop your veggies, and put together the dressing at the end and pour over top. I also threw in some more veggies than the recipe called for – I couldn’t resist putting in some red and orange pepper to give it some more color and crunch.

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This salad packs a light taste with a lot of crunch and TONS of healthiness!!! Everyone loved it! It was the perfect accompaniment to our summer dinner and would go great with burgers or any type of grilled meat.

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Wheatberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool.

Toast the walnuts in a medium dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Chop all veggies and parsley.

In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, walnuts, celery, dried cherries, scallions, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Calories 360; Total Fat 17 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 8 g) ; Protein 9 g; Carb 46 g; Fiber 8 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 15 mg. Excellent source of: Fiber, Vitamin K, Manganese. Good source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Iron)

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