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Category Archives: Sides

Irish Soda Bread

March 15, 2017

A friend who came to dinner last year brought me a homemade Irish soda bread. I was very touched and immediately put it away for safe keeping as I had no intentions of sharing it… and it was delicious!! This year, as St. Patrick’s Day approached, I started thinking of the yummy bread I ate… and immediately emailed my friend to request the recipe. I added and changed the recipe a a bit but it is mostly the same. I did use an unbleached non-white flour, so my bread is a bit darker… other than that, it is delicious, especially with some butter and tea!! Make this today- it is quite simple…. just a few things to keep in mind- don’t over mix even if it looks like a mess and make sure the buttermilk is cold (take it out of the fridge when you need them and not before). I’m thrilled to have homemade, yummy bread for my breakfast for a few days!!

  • 3 cups all purpose
  • ¼ cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mixture of raisins, cranberries and currants, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed or powdered
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, cold
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 10 inch cake pan

Transfer the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl, whisk together and set aside. Add the raisins mixture, fennel seeds and orange zest and mix well. Mix the buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl and whisk well and refrigerate until needed (the key is to have this liquid as cold as possible) Add the liquid slowly to the dry mixture while mixing it with a fork. Once all the liquid is incorporated, gently mix everything with your fingers and form a round loaf and transfer to the cake pan. Mark the top with an ‘X’ and dust with flour if needed. (mine had enough flour on the top so I didn’t need to add any)
Irish Soda Bread

Bake for 45 minutes in the oven and immediately cover with foil so all the moisture stays inside. Serve once it is cooled off.
Irish Soda Bread1

Brown Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Currants

February 12, 2017

I’ve almost stopped cooking white rice… I am able to transform brown rice into so many different dishes, that I don’t end up missing white rice. Try this one and you will be surprised!

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups brown rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water

Heat a heavy saucepan with the butter, add the rice and sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook on a low medium heat with the lid mostly on the pan for 10 minutes or till the water has cooked off from the surface. Cover with lid and lower the heat to a very low and continue cooking for at least 20 minutes or till the rice is cooked through. Fluff the rice with a fork and let it cool.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 5 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup currants
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt

Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil. Add the green onions, garlic and cumin and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the almonds and currants and sauté for a minute. Add the cooled rice and sauté on medium heat. Add salt, parsley and mint. Mix well and taste for seasonings. Serve warm.

 

Roasted Cilantro Cauliflower

January 22, 2017

Cauliflower is my ‘go to’ vegetable… easy to make, delicious and quick… I made this as side dish.

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra  virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat broiler to high.

Par boil the florets in boiling water for a 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the water and pat dry the florets and transfer to a lined cookie sheet.

Add the oil, cilantro, garlic and salt into a mortar and pestle. Grind till a smooth paste is formed- a processor can be used instead. Add the paste to the cauliflower, mix well and roast under the broiler till the florets are golden brown. Serve as a side dish.

Scalloped Potatoes with Roasted Poblano Sauce

November 20, 2016

I am very proud of this recipe. I combined a bunch of peppers, garlic and onion and roasted them till they became soft and deliciously nutty. I then blended the veggies with cream and milk- I basically made a cream sauce to be used to make scalloped potatoes. I bought a reasonably priced mandolin. Usually they are quite expensive and not worth the money. They are handy to have around- as they make slicing the potatoes a cinch. I was done in no time. The whole dish took me hardly any time to make.

I would recommend making the cream sauce ahead of time if you are planning a big Thanksgiving dinner. You could even freeze the sauce and take it out a day ahead and assemble the potatoes the morning of and then bake them right before eating. They are simply delicious…

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 anaheim pepper
  • 1 head of garlic with the top sliced off with a drizzle of olive oil and wrapped in aluminum foil
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the peppers, wrapped garlic and onion onto a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle the peppers and onion with the oil and massage with fingers. Roast in oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the peppers are charred on the outside. Let cool. Take the skin off the peppers and squeeze the garlic out of the skins.
Add the roasted vegetables into a blender with cream and milk. Blend till smooth and add salt. Keep aside. This can be made two days in advance.

  • 2 pounds red skinned potatoes, sliced thin about 1/8 inch
  • ½ cup queso fresco, shredded

Divide the potato slices into three batches. Add the first to the bottom of an ovenproof dish (9X9). Spread a quarter cup of green sauce. Repeat till you have the third and last bit of potatoes. Pour all of the sauce covering all the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Take the foil off and add the cheese. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or till the cheese is golden brown.

Roasted Garlic and Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

November 15, 2016

This was a big hit! I added delicious roasted garlic, cilantro and green onions. I blended the aromatics with half and half and milk. I then added this delicious green sauce to the cooked potatoes. To make it even yummier, I added some grated cheese inside and on top. Everyone loved it!

1 large head of garlic, top trimmed, wrapped in aluminum foil, drizzled with olive oil

Roast the garlic in a 400 degrees F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Let it cool and squeeze the soft garlic out and keep aside.

  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 to 5 green onions, chopped
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Soft roasted garlic

Place the cilantro, green onions, half and half, olive oil, milk, salt and garlic in a blender. Blend till smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • 3 pounds baby yellow potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup plus ½ cup shredded pepper cheese

Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer till soft. Drain and put through a food mill or potato ricer. Transfer the mashed potatoes back to the saucepan. Add the cilantro sauce and mix well. Add one cup shredded cheese and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with ½ cup cheese. Bake in oven covered for 30 minutes, take the aluminum foil off and bake for another 15 minutes or till the top is golden brown. Serve hot.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garam Masala and Cilantro

November 14, 2016

These Brussels sprouts are very similar to the ones I have made in the past. I just changed up the spices a bit. I added garam masala to the mix. Cilantro finished the process and made this dish absolutely delicious!

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the sprouts onto a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, till the sprouts are golden brown. Take out and keep aside.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pancetta, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ cup half and half
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cilantro

Heat a pan with the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook on medium heat till the fat is rendered. Add the walnuts and garam masala. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. Add half and half and the roasted sprouts. Mix well and add salt if necessary. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Brown Rice with Arugula and Green Onions

November 8, 2016
  • 2 cups wild arugula
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup water

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend till a smooth sauce is formed. Take out and keep aside.

  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

Heat a medium saucepan with the oil and butter. Add the rice and salt and sauté on medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add the arugula sauce and the water and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium with lid almost covered, cook for 20 minutes or till the liquid has cooked off the surface. Cover with lid and lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes or till the rice is cooked through. Mix well and serve warm.