Category Archives: Side Dish

Vegetable “Ceviche”

Guys I have been digging the heck out of vegetables recently. Don’t get me wrong, I love veggies of all kinds, and even tried to make them the center of the plate at least a few times a week. But, I’ve really concentrated the past month on making them more of mainstay in our diet than red meat and even chicken or pork, and I’m loving it.

This bad boy from Food & Wine magazine was PERFECT. I love the ceviche style preparation and the colors and flavors were out of this world. Seriously, look at this…

Ceviche

This is great for end-of-summer/back-to-school parties as I think kids and adults will dig it, plus the vegetarians will love you! David, who is from the East Coast/Canada is our in-house fish expert, had been wanting to make me his “fish fry” for some time. It’s basically fish (we used Tilapia) coated in Saltine cracker crumbs, salt and pepper, dredged in egg and fried in olive oil. It was light, delicious and a nice balance to the intense flavors of the Vegetable “Ceviche.” I’m definitely making this again before the summer runs out. I can’t believe summer is almost over but you know what that means? COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Squee!

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Let’s Talk Tikka

Mind blowing is the only phrase I can think of for this Tikka Masala recipe from Bon Appetit. My husband and I love Indian food but don’t typically make it at home (as you can tell from this blog), but after making this it will go on heavy rotation in our house.

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This was a bit of lengthy recipe with a bunch of steps but the end result was well worth it. We loved the deep, rich and spicy flavors the marinade and sauce provided. We also made the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Saut√©ed Spinach. I loved the surprising addition of mustard seeds in the spinach, YUM! The only thing I didn’t make in their fabulous Indian food smorgasbord was the onion naan. Seriously, HEB store bought works just fine. :)

David was taking the leftovers for lunch and when he was about to leave them behind, I almost didn’t say anything so I could have them all to myself. Haha, that’s so wrong. If you are up for a unique dish for a crowd, this line-up is definitely an excellent choice. Make this now!

Here Fishy, Fishy

It must be all of this cursed indulgence the holidays provide, but as I was menu planning last week I wanted something light, healthy and delicious. So, I laser-focused on salmon and lots and lots of vegetables. Food & Wine, I love you. I tried three amazing dishes this week and as I’m sitting here typing this we are eating the last of this AMAZING Crunchy Cabbage Icebox Salad.

 

Crunchy Cabbage Icebox Salad (Photo by Jenn Louis)

Let’s start with the beginning of the week. I made this delectable Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tarragon and Citrus and Cumin-Braised Swiss Chard for dinner. Ooooh, this was SO GOOD. I love slow roasting salmon since it tends to bring out its sweeter side and the blend of tarragon and citrus juices on top were perfect. To be honest, I chose the swiss chard dish because I really wanted a nice healthy green but hadn’t given it too much thought. Umm yeah, yowza. This was so amazing. For a side dish? Really? I could eat this every day!

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tarragon and Citrus (Photo by Floyd Cardoz)

So I saved some salmon for the next night’s meal which was the infamous icebox salad. Poodles, you need to make this for your next dinner party. First of all, it’s stunning in the bowl, second it’s so satisfying with its crunch and mixture of textures, three it’s quite healthy, and four, if you do like I did and add salmon you will be sending me thank you cards. ūüėȬ†Definitely give all three of these a try as soon as you can or in the New Year, when those resolutions kick in…cue dry heave.

Girl Power!

You might be saying to yourself, “self, doth my eyes deceive me or is this really a new Cooking Inside the Lines post?” Yes it is, and I also made you sound like a Shakespearean actor, ha! I know, I know. I’ve been really bad about posting but I have managed to try some fantastic recipes recently, even in the midst of planning a wedding and running my own pie business. I still can’t believe I get to marry the man of my dreams next month. I am just dripping with happiness that I get to be Mrs. Emily Kealey! ¬†Sorry, I digress.

Food and Wine magazine has this excellent little slideshow featuring recipes from top female chefs, and I have the pleasure of telling you that the three I tried were all rock stars. Go ladies, do your thang! I liked these so much, that I’m trying three more from this round-up this week to see how they turn out. Scout’s honor, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, give these three beauties a try. Here they are with my thoughts:

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore – Deep , rich, spicy flavors. A beautiful dish from Chef Barbara Lynch. We loved this “deconstructed” version of a chicken cacciatore, and I love me some chicken cacciatore so I’ve tried many at home. See, you don’t have to pick from the litter, just make this one!

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore (Photo by Marcus Nilsson)

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding – When I saw the pairing of these two dishes I thought, “hmm not sure if they fit together, but they both sound so delicious, let’s just see.” Well, they don’t pair really. I would like to serve the Sweet Corn Pudding with some kind of ham smothered in some kind of gravy. The scallops were just delicious with the basil and anchovies, and I think I would have liked it better if they were nestled on top of a turnip or parsnip puree. They are just so elegant that the pudding kind of threw us off. Either way, both were delicious, and quick to boot.

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding (Photo by Anna Williams)

Hanger Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa – Hands down our favorite of the group. They had us at herb-nut salsa and Chef Naomi Pomeroy is one of my favorites. This was quick, delicious, crunchy, savory, herbalicious and packed a super flavor punch. if I’m in a pinch and want something I know is going to be the bomb, this is it.

Hangar Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa (Photo by Petrina Tinslay)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Chef

I adore Richard Blais and don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy he won Top Chef All-Stars, and yes I might have had something in my eye when he won…sniffle! However, Chef Tre Wilcox is now Top Chef (besides me…hahhhahahahaha, I made a funny) in this house with his Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs. ¬†Bless. Wow this was phenomenal and has earned a spot as an Emily and David favorite. Yep, I don’t need to say much else do I?

The recipe is a little bit of work with a long recipe list but it works. I think if you served this at a dinner party you might get fist bumps and hugs. The sauce on this is sweet, tangy with just a hint of spice. And with it smothered all over the chicken thighs with their awesome rub..bless.

Spice-Rubbed Chicken Thighs...from Heaven (Photo by Fredrika Stjärne)

David made this killer side of Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto from Bon Appetit. This complemented the chicken dish quite well with both using chive and parsley. YUMMY David! So we didn’t have to wait, we roasted the potatoes at the 325 degree temperature that the chicken recipe called for but just for a bit longer. Easy, breezy lambs!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto (Photo by Ditte Isager)

 

 

 

I’d Like To Thank The Academy…

Last night we had a BIG Oscar party in our house and I was a little nervous since it was the first big shindig in our casa, well that and I chose to make a flotilla of food. I simply adore our gentle friends and one thing I know about our group is we love to eat. With that in mind I was going to make darn sure everyone had enough to nibble on during the three hour show. 

The Obligatory Picture of Colin Firth

Epicurious assembled menu plans based on the Best Picture nominees and the one that stood out to us was the Inception option. It’s very French inspired since part of the movie takes place in Paris – the scene with the city folding on top of itself is still incredible every time I see it.¬† Although I liked the recipes they suggested,¬†I decided to stick wtih French fare but do it my way. And the award goes to….¬†

¬†To get real nerdy about it I made an “Execution Plan” to ensure everything was done by 6:00 p.m. so we could watch arrivals and snarkily judge away.¬†

  • 2:00 p.m. Prep and mis en place
  • 3:00 p.m. Make compote for Brie, while compote cooks, make pots de creme, refrigerate
  • 3:30 p.m. Make soup
  • 4:00 p.m.¬† Make green beans, assemble and bake Brie rounds
  • 5:00 p.m. Make sandwiches
  • 5:40 p.m. Fire steaks, let¬†rest and slice, make fries
  • 6:00 p.m. Guests arrive

Everything pretty much went according to plan and let me tell you, the soup, green beans, sandwiches and brie rounds with that stellar compote were delicious. For the steak frites I kept it very simple. David (the super poodle) ran to the store and bought a Weber charcoal grill so he could grill them properly. Little salt and pepper on the steaks, grill and you are done.  I took  frozen fries and mixed with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme leaves and baked until crispy. Thanks to my lovely and talented niece Alex who is a bomb chef for coming up with that tasty concoction.  

I’m giggling at the thought of the Pots de Creme because the flavor was amazing but I didn’t have enough glasses to properly make individual servings, so I decided to¬†place the whole shebang in¬†a large ramekin. Yeah, don’t do that. We had to put it in the freezer so it would set up, but a few minutes on the table and it was like ice cream. Of course, no one cared and it was gone by the end of the night but I highly suggest not being an idiot like moi and scratch the idea if you can’t do¬†it individually.¬†

The Oscars were OK this year, a little zzzzzzzzzz at times and it wasn’t as exciting as¬†in years past but I am so happy for The King’s Speech! It’s an excellent, heart warming story and if you haven’t seen it yet, GO.¬†

Here’s our spread and more posts to come this week…I hope. :)¬†

Grilled Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Avocado-Lime Salsa

I was looking forward to these tacos all week and after a pretty hectic day with no lunch to speak of, I got home and was starving! These were just what I needed, well that and a glass or 20 of wine (kidding, kidding). The salsa was amazing and instead of adding in hot sauce I put in a Serrano chili. I also served with some Monterrey Jack cheese because well, I needed some cheese.

What I always appreciate about Cooking Light is their Menu Suggestions section in the back of the magazine which are short recipes and sides to serve with a few select dishes to round out a meal. This one had a GREAT side to serve with the tacos, Smoky Refried Beans (recipe below) and I think this may turn into my refried bean staple – yes, we all need one – from now on.
For vegetarians, I could see the refried beans being spread on the tacos and served with the salsa and cabbage to make sure you have crunch. You could remove the bacon and in its place put it a little cumin or chili powder to give the beans a smoky flavor? I pulled that out of thin air!
Smoky Refried Beans
Cook 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserve drippings. Crumble bacon, set aside. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed pinto beans; mash with potato masher to desired consistency. Cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with bacon and 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro.

Spiced Lamb and Vegetable Kebabs with Cilantro Mint Sauce

I love a good sauce of any kind and the cilantro mint sauce in this Cooking Light dish is divine. The magazine claimed this would take 40 minutes total to get this on the table and lo and behold it did. This was very simple to put together and the only difference was that since I don’t have a grill (sigh), I broiled the skewers in the oven until done. I also like the idea of a protein other than the standard beef or chicken for a weeknight meal and the lamb dipped in the sauce, “oh my goodness!” is all I can say.

I thankfully had a lot of sauce so I sliced up some fresh cucumbers and drizzled it on top and then served the skewers on top of the Currant-and-Almond Pilaf from Everyday Food which gave a satisfying crunch to the dish and rounded out the meal.
This dish rocked and I would highly recommend it for simple and different kind of weeknight meal.

Where’s the Beef? Black Bean Tacos…

No beef for you! Instead you get really tasty, mashed black beans that have been sprinkled with a little bit of cumin. Place some pepper jack cheese on a tortilla, and then place it flat on a hot skillet with some extra virgin olive oil. Place the bean mixture on top, fold and crisp on both sides. Voila! Yummy vegetarian tacos in no time.
I followed Crispy Black Bean Tacos recipe from Bon Appetit except I did not have corn tortillas or feta but it was still yummy the way I made them, especially if you serve with some low-fat sour cream and homemade guacamole. I also made the Mexican Pineapple Salad to round out the meal. And now back to our regularly scheduled beef programming…

Open-Face Crab Burgers with Red Pepper Dressing and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Bell Pepper

Looking at the title I was obviously in a red bell pepper mood eh? I have to say I have been looking forward to these two recipes all week from the May Bon Appetit and they did not disappoint.

First, the Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Red Bell Pepper had some interesting flavor combinations of roasted sweet potatoes, cilantro, shallots, jalapeno, rice wine vinegar, green onions and obviously red bell pepper. I did not have a fresh red bell pepper on hand so used a roasted red pepper from the jar. The recipe doesn’t call for it but I kind of mashed this all together when it was still warm and the flavor was excellent and sooooo easy to make.
The Open-Face Crab Burgers with Red Pepper Dressing were just as easy to make. You will see in the recipe the sauce mimics what goes into the actual burger so you can easily set out two bowls and dump the same ingredient into each bowl as you go. While they melded in the fridge I made the salad and simply grilled and served.
 Give them a try, I think you will looooove these two!