Posts tagged side-dish
Friday, November 21, 2008

cream braised brussels sprouts

Braised Brussel Sprouts in Cream

I must first apologize for the ugly picture above. No matter how hard I tried, these sprouts refused to look sexy for me, and instead you get this washed out, glib picture. I’m sorry for that, I really truly am. But as disgusting as this picture looks, that’s how good these sprouts are. Better even, they’re stunning, operatic, grand. Sure, they may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, braised in cream this is a royal dish. One that is perfect on its own, or as as side to some hearty roasted meat. Or maybe even, say turkey?

Everyone is probably counting the days down to Thanksgiving, I know I am. Menus have been planned, dishes have been discussed, shopping lists drawn. And yet, in my emails with friends from here and there, I keep hearing the same sentiment - I just need more sides. Well, if more sides is what you need, here, use this one. Because, let’s face it, the green beans have been overused to the point of delirium. They could use a break from all this pressure to perform on the foodiest of all the food holidays. Here, give Brussels sprouts a go.

the glorious brussels sprouts leeks

Disliked by many a child, I am almost positive that he (or she) will gobble this up in minutes. And maybe even ask you for seconds. I think that the trick here is cream, which in my opinion, makes most things better and elevates them to a status fit for a feast and not just an everyday side. Lemon juice, too, makes it sparkle even more so. And seeing as this is really easy to make (I know, here I go with this easy stuff again!), you won’t even feel taxed adding one more side to your Thanksgiving menu. And it’ll look that much more impressive!

my newfound favorite vegetable -- the humble leek!

Honestly, whatever yield I give you below, I am lying through my teeth. This was devoured in one sitting by three people and quite honestly, we would all have gone for seconds. Or, in my case, I probably would have had three helpings if that were an option. This recipe, which was adapted from Molly, is a true stunner and one to be made over and over this cold wintry season.

In case this is not an appealing side dish for you – I’ve compiled a few Thanksgiving dishes that should be pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. And will post it tomorrow!

Continue reading cream braised brussels sprouts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

olive oil mashed potatoes

olive oil mashed potatoes

I think I should let you in on a small secret – make me mashed potatoes and I’ll be instantly won over. I know – I sound like I’m setting the bar low here. But in all seriousness, I am truly in love with well-prepared mashed potatoes. You know the kind – perfectly salted, hearty, filling, richly-flavored and undeniably seductive. Potatoes? Seductive? I’m certain some of you are rolling your eyes at me.

not just garnish

Except I think that the potato is kind of like the little black dress – indispensable, perfect for just about any occasion and with limitless possibilities on variations and accessories. I could rattle off at least a dozen mashed potato recipes, each with its own unique flavor, because as ubiquitous as the spud is, its every day appeal is precisely what gives it the versatility it possesses.

olive oil mashed potatoes

So why am I giving you what seems to be the most basic recipe? Why am I even omitting garlic? The trick to these mashed potatoes, in this particular case, is olive oil. The best you have in the house. The best you can afford. Because how sublime your mashed potatoes will taste will depend exclusively on the quality of the olive oil used. It should also be noted that this is a vegan recipe and is perfect for those with lactose intolerance. Or, if you keep kosher, this works well with any poultry or meat dish you are cooking alongside.

And just as it’s sometimes best to keep your little black dress free or any bold accessories – this is one recipe that wins because of its understatement.

Continue reading olive oil mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

creamer potatoes with garlic and dill

raising a glass

I feel a bit of a cheat just posting these pictures and not including a recipe? I mean, really, who do I think I am, disappearing for weeks on end, and the resurfacing just to show you a couple of pretty food pictures only to vanish into cyber-darkness leaving no recipe for digestion? I know, I’m playing with fire here, even with trying to be coy, but I swear, the whirlwind of 2008 has taken me quite by surprise.

For one, our new toy is beautiful and stunning and we can’t get enough of it, except. Oh, well, there’s that feature it offers iPhoto, which has me all up in arms. For all the great, amazing things Apple offers, surely it can include its free photo editor to be better than this? I mean, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss Picasa on my old pc! Shame on me, right?

potatoes with dill and garlic and butter lovely, fresh, chopped dill
steak!! broiled salmon

Except, I have been reading Deb and Luisa’s complaints on Flickr and I’m glad I’m not the only one angry with the product. It simply doesn’t edit well, and it’s not because I didn’t take the time to learn its features! I suppose I am long-overdue for Elements anyway – it’s way cheaper the the full-blast Photoshop!

Halfway into the month, 1/24th of the way done with 2008. Where does the time go?

I hope that your 2008 so far has been nothing short of bliss. Me? I’m just trying to eke out some time to simply cook. Cook without taking a single picture. Cook just so we can have a home-made meal. With my job now being a great deal more demanding now, it’s a new, wonderful challenge.

A special thanks to all of you who made suggestions on how to make SassyRadish better in 2008. I, and my intrepid web designer friend, are working on making this site a whole lot better this year. Even if I don’t post more often, I am at least hoping to up the functionality of the site!

Updated: now with the dill potatoes recipe!! See below

Continue reading creamer potatoes with garlic and dill.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

roasted acorn squash with a wine reduction sauce

roasted acorn squash stuffed with spiced couscous in a wine reduction sauce

It never ceases to shock me that KS and I will disagree on food likes and dislikes. I naturally assume that we’re so well-suited that it’s simply impossible for me to like, nay love tomatoes, and for him to be tolerant of them. As a child, I would eat ripe tomatoes like one would eat apples, biting into them hungrily and devouring them with but a sprinkling of salt. KS looks at tomatoes as good and sometimes delicious even (when we find a good heirloom variety in season), but he would hardly trip over himself running to the market to find the best tomatoes available. Same with deep, dark chocolate desserts. I look at molten chocolate cake and I can’t help myself (kind of like last night at the New York Chapter MS Society Dinner of Champions where I devoured a cake in no time). A spoonful of it in my mouth is one of the closest heaven-on-earth moments I’ve experience. KS, on the other hand, can have a bite and push the plate over to me. How can one be so calm and composed about chocolate I will never, ever know. I suppose there’s always more of it left for me!

roasted acorn squash stuffed with spiced couscous in a wine reduction sauce

And so when we went to the market and I picked up a butternut squash, impatiently imagining all the amazing things I could do with it, KS gave me a bored look and pointed to the acorn squash. I shot the look right back and pointed to the butternut. He – to the acorn. And thus we repeated the process a few times, until I gave in and picked up the acorn squash, making him promise me that our next squash will be a butternut one. Compromise, after all, is one of the magical things that makes cohabitation possible.

that cute yellow spot made me smile couscous spiced with prunes, walnuts, cinnamon, cumin and sambar powder

After our pact to practice equal opportunity squash treatment, this little, cute acorn squash came home with us and lived on our counter for a few days while I devised a plan for its demise. I didn’t want to just roast it. And we’ve already steamed our fair share of acorn squash (we put our steamer to some good use). I would look at the squash, tilting my head from side to side, thinking, “What am I going to do with you?” And this idea came to mind, plus we had some leftover couscous that I didn’t want to go to waste. All in all, I love the idea of stuffed squash – it’s easy, delicious and it looks gorgeous on a plate. And while acorn squash is tasty and almost meaty-tasting when you roast it, I cannot wait to make the butternut this week. Maybe I’ll get KS to switch sides of this squash disparity and join the butternuts. I am always so hopeful.

Continue reading roasted acorn squash with a wine reduction sauce.

Friday, December 15, 2006

warm canneloni beans with olive oil

white bean salad

I get all confused when winter rolls around. Do I get excited over wearing sweaters, or do I sit around all mopey that we get three hours of daylight? Do I start making a list of all the stews and soups I can make or start a countdown to the springtime equinox? Being a creature of all things comfort-related, sweaters and food finally win out. Sure, I mope a little about how it’s cold and dark outside, but I mope while shoving a forkful of food into my mouth.

Last Friday, I invited a friend for dinner, but given my current job-seeking status, I spent the day running about without so much as having given a fleeting thought as to what I was going to feed my hungry, weekend-ready guest. I got home with only an hour to spare and had to think on my feet – fast. I had very little in my cupboards, and even less in the fridge. A can of cannelloni beans caught my eye. And thus a simple dish was born.

Whenever I am at an Italian restaurant, I always look for warmed cannelloni beans in the appetizer section. I find it filling, comforting and delicious. So I wanted to make warm cannelloni beans, but spruced up a bit. You know, for the holidays. I added tomatoes, basil, onion, and some other ingredients and it turned out incredibly well!

the italian flavor triumvirate

I am telling you, people, this recipe is so simple and so good that you will make it over and over again. Unless you hate beans. In which case, you’d probably never even try to make it in the first place. My guest had seconds. And thirds. And then complained that I didn’t make enough. Which was true, I was craving more of it myself.

If you plan ahead, unlike me, you can soak the beans and cook them, instead of resorting to canned ones. If, however, you’re like most people, you can hardly plan your next few hours, never mind dinner.

Continue reading warm canneloni beans with olive oil.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

spiced glazed carrots

P1010317

With Thanksgiving less than a month away, I though of pulling a few of the last year’s recipes to set the mood. This time is my favorite time of year, filled with great comfort foods: warm, full of spices, filling.

When the temperatures begin to drop, my craving for root vegetables grow. Roasted beets or turnips find their way into my meals. Having grown up in Russia, where plenty of root vegetables are consumed year-round, I never had to develop a taste for them. In fact, I never had to hear my mother say “Eat your vegetables!” to me – it was more like “Eat your meat!” In America, I learned, in school, that liking beets was a very uncool thing. It painted me as a borscht-belt immigrant with her weird foods. Chicken nuggets were in, root veggies were out!

Surprisingly, carrots were not as uncool as their other earthly cousins. Carrots, smothered with dip, were acceptable. My first encounter with a crudite left a sad impression as carrots sticks lay side by side with celery and tomatoes, all dried up and bent out of shape. The irony was that I hated cooked carrots.

As a little girl, I had to eat a lot of tzimmes, a traditional Jewish dish with cooked carrots, honey, raisins and cinnamon. It sounds good to me now, but back when I was a tiny, wee thing, I dreaded the dish like the plague. As I got older, I grew to love cooked carrots and even crave tzimmes now. But that recipe will be saved for another day. Perhaps when Passover hits and I need to contribute to the Jewish cooking ideas. The spiced, glazed carrots I made for Thanksgiving last year, my favorite holiday, were a hit with everyone at the table. Even the self-proclaimed vegetable haters.

Not only did they taste good, but they looked quite pretty with their green tops decorating the platter!

Continue reading spiced glazed carrots.