Rediscovering the Joy of Cooking

October 29, 2009

Cheesy Creamed Corn

Filed under: lamb, side dish, vegetables — Emily @ 7:48 pm

My husband is a huge fan of lamb. For our first night spent in Michigan with my parents, we had a delicious lamb dish along with some really great and easy side dishes.

Cheesy Creamed Corn

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups chopped scallions (roughly 6 scallions)

12 ears corn (cut from cob)

2/3 cups cream

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 large garlic clove

6 ounces queso fresca

1/2 cup cilantro

Cook together the butter and scallions for several minutes. Combine the scallions with the corn, cream, cornstarch and garlic clove in a large bowl. Top with queso fresca and cilantro.

Source: Food and Wine Magazine


October 15, 2009

Garlic Pilaf

Filed under: rice, side dish, Uncategorized, vegetarian — Emily @ 8:02 am

This is a great side dish that is quick to throw together and goes with most entrees.  I am notorious for putting all my effort into the main dish and neglecting sides. While this takes a few extra minutes, most of the time is down time, so you can put everything together and then focus on the main dish. It is definitely worth it! I recently had this with one of our favorite easy and quick dishes, Laughing Cow Chicken–which I will share soon!

Baked Garlic Rice Pilaf

2 Tbsp. butter

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 cup long-grain white rice

2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Squeeze of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Have ready a covered casserole dish.

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time.

Source: Annie’s Eats

September 28, 2009

Sour Cream Rice

Filed under: mexican, rice, side dish — Emily @ 8:30 am

I am often guilty of spending too much time focusing on the main dish that I tend to neglect the sides. I never make side dishes with more than 1 or 2 ingredients. However, this is a side dish that I generally have all the ingredients on hand and it is easy to throw together. This rice was so delicious with the creamy salsa chicken that I made. I will definitely be making this one again.

Sour Cream Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

In the pot with the cooked rice, mix the sour cream, green chile peppers, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Source: Carrie’s Sweet Life

September 15, 2009

Beer Baked Beans

Filed under: bacon, make ahead, pork, side dish — Emily @ 8:30 am

These are some of the greatest baked beans I have ever tasted. The beer adds such a great flavor! And they are really easy to throw together. A perfect addition to a barbecue or pot luck. They are easily reheated as well so they can be made ahead.

Beer Baked Beans

6 bacon slices

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

3/4 cup dark beer (this *makes* the dish–don’t leave it out!)

1/4 cup molasses

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4-6 teaspoons chipotles

6 15-16 oz. cans beans (Great Northern or cannellini beans)

Cook bacon to your liking and drain off fat. Cut bacon into pieces and set aside. Cook onion in a little of the bacon grease until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the cooked bacon and onion) in an ovenproof dish and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Source: Epicurious

September 7, 2009

Basic Risotto

Filed under: main dish, side dish, vegetarian — Emily @ 8:35 am

A few months ago I had the privilege of seeing Giada De Laurentiis speak at UCLA at the L.A Times Festival of Books. She was just as cute and bubbly in person as she is on TV! She brought her daughter and husband up on stage as well—what a cute family! I went home and opened up her cookbook that had been sitting on my shelf for a long time. I decided to try this risotto recipe and this led to a week-long kick of making tons of different types of risotto! While risotto does require you to be attentive and stand by the stove for awhile, it is very easy and really versatile. You can add just about anything to it! This is a basic risotto recipe which serves as a building block. I added thawed frozen peas and dried shiitake mushrooms.

Basic Risotto

Serves 6 (as a side dish)

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup finely chopped onion (from 1 onion)

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and the salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Add-in Ideas:

prosciutto, vegetables such as peas, seafood such as shrimp, or herbs and other seasonings such as saffron. Don’t cook these items with the rice or they will overcook with the long cooking time. Instead, cook them separately and add them in at the end.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

And here are a few pictures of Giada at her talk. She even walked past me and said hello before she went on stage. The moderator for the event was Barbara Fairchild, who is the editor of Bon Appetit Magazine—and was also a friend of Julia Childs.

September 4, 2009

Asparagus with Hollandaise

Filed under: sauce, side dish, vegetables — Emily @ 8:25 am

Hollandaise sauce was one of the “top secret” recipes that Julia Child’s sent to her American friends. It is a quintessential French sauce. Traditionally, it must be made at the last minute.  However, utilizing the blender, this Hollandaise may be made up to an hour in advance, which gives you plenty of time to polish your pearls before your guests arrive! This sauce will also be great with broccoli or brussel sprouts

Asparagus with Hollandaise

Serves 6 to 8

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pinches of cayenne pepper

3 pounds fresh asparagus

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and cayenne in the jar of a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. With the blender on, slowly pour the hot butter into the blender and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is thick. (You can leave it in the blender at room temperature for up to 1 hour. If it is made in advance, add 1 tablespoon of hot tap water and blend for a few seconds before serving.)

Remove the tough bottoms of the asparagus stalks (thick asparagus have much more flavor than the thin asparagus). Peel the stems halfway up the stalk if the asparagus is thick. Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on their thickness, until cooked through but still al dente. Remove to a platter with tongs or a wire skimmer and sprinkle with salt.

Pour the hollandaise sauce over the warm asparagus and serve.

Source: Ina Garten

September 3, 2009

Herbed New Potatoes

Filed under: potatoes, side dish — Emily @ 8:00 am

This is a great dish to serve along with the sole meuniere!It is so easy to make these potatoes and does not involve peeling or boiling them, which is always nice. Just pop them in a pot and go about preparing the rest of your dinner.

Herbed New Potatoes

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 1/2 pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh green herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the whole potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss well. Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Don’t overcook! Toss with the herbs, and serve hot.

Source: Ina Garten

August 12, 2009

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas

Filed under: side dish, vegetarian — Emily @ 7:55 pm

Misc food pictures 056

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas

6 side-dish servings

5 3/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Cover and set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and finely chop. Cover the broth and keep warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and garlic, saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice. Add the wine; cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes. Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Giada de Laurentiis

November 2, 2008

Red Potatoes and Green Beans with Pesto

Filed under: side dish, vegetables — Emily @ 7:51 pm

This is a delicious twist to regular potatoes or green beans—and very quick to whip up with things that you may already have on hand.

Red Potatoes and Green Beans with Pesto

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
1/2 container (about 1/2 cup) pesto
1/4 cup goat cheese, optional
handful of thin red onion slices
salt and pepper

Place the quartered potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and season with salt. Simmer until potatoes are nearly tender when pierced with a skewer, about 12 minutes.

Add the green beans to the pot and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Drain the vegetables and toss with pesto (and goat cheese, if using). Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with sliced red onion.

Source: Chez Cherie

October 31, 2008

Extra Moist Cornbread

Filed under: bread, side dish — Emily @ 1:27 am

My friend Elise sent me this recipe and it is delicious! I usually serve it with chili or my favorite Taco Soup!

Extra Moist Cornbread


3 – 7oz packages of corn bread mix (If you use Jiffy, eliminate the sugar in the recipe)

1 lg. sweet onion chopped (can omit if desired)

2 cups shredded Colby/Monterey Jack cheese

2 large. beaten eggs

2 ½ cup whole or butter milk

½ cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

1-15oz can cream-style corn

6 oz. chopped jalapeno (optional, I chose not to use it this time)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch pan or cast-iron skillet. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

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