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


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

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 30, 2008

Autumn Squash with Chili Flavors

Filed under: side dish, vegetables, vegetarian — Emily @ 6:37 am

Another great recipe from the cooking school that I go to, Chez Cherie, in La Canada, California. We have an excellent Farmer’s Market here in Studio City on Sundays from 8AM-1PM. I found some great looking butternut squash for $1 each so I snapped one up and decided to try the recipe out again. I’ve never really worked with butternut squash before but this is a great recipe—especially if you are hesitant to try squash. The general consensus for cutting up butternut squash: Make sure you use a large, sharp knife. Cut the squash around the “equator”—in the middle, where the round part starts turning into the long part. The bottom part will have seeds which you will need to scoop out–the top part won’t. Cut off the skin with a large vegetable peeler or a knife (I prefer a knife). Sorry for the blurry picture–my camera was not cooperating with me!

Autumn Squash with Chili Flavors

4 cups butternut squash, acorn squash or pumpkin cubes (or a combination)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
pinch of chipotle powder
drizzle of olive oil
1 can kidney or black beans (we used black beans), drained and rinsed
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (Jack or Mexican blend)


Preheat oven to 400.

Place the squash cubes and red onion on a baking sheet, and season with salt, pepper and chipotle powder.

Drizzle with olive oil and roast until squash is tender, about 18-20 minutes.

Toss with drained beans, chiles, corn and cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste.

**Can also reheat with chicken stock to make a soup or puree.

Source: Chez Cherie

August 13, 2008

Healthier Sloppy Joes and Mashed Cauliflower

Filed under: beef, side dish, vegetables, Weight Watchers — Emily @ 4:06 am

I saw this on a friend’s blog and decided to try it out! I’m always looking for healthy, easy recipes. The other thing I really like about the cauliflower recipe is that it had a ton of flavor without sacrificing the nutritional value. I always thought that eating broccoli drenched in a fatty cheese sauce kind of defeated the purpose! I adapted a little bit, but they both turned out great. Aaron told me that these were the best sloppy joes he’s ever had. Well, great!

Healthier Sloppy Joes


1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 4% fat)

1/2 cup onion, small-diced

2 cloves garlic (I used Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes–love these things)

Pam spray

1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. cayenne (if you want a little heat)

1/2 cup no salt added tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

salt and pepper to taste

Heat in a medium sized skillet over medium heat and add the Pam spray. Add onions and cook until translucent.

Add extra lean ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon.

Add herbs, spices and garlic and cook until meat is browned.

Add tomato products, water, brown sugar and ketchup. Simmer until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.

Serve on whole wheat buns.

Mashed Cauliflower


1 bag (16 oz.) frozen cauliflower

2 Tbsp. fat free or low-fat cream cheese

2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup skim milk

salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Put cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cook for approximately 6 minutes (or until heated through).

Add remaining ingredients and put in microwave for another 2 minutes.

Using a blender, process cauliflower until it reaches the desired consistency (best if not pureed too much!)

Source: Adapted from Culinary Infatuations by Ally

July 16, 2008

String Beans with Shallots

Filed under: side dish, vegetables — Emily @ 3:50 am

This is my go-to green bean recipe. Fast, easy and delicious! Always a winner—I’ve been making it for years.

(Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten)

1 pound French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon good olive oil

3 large shallots, large-diced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only (if using regular string beans, blanch for about 3 minutes until they’re crisp-tender). Drain immediately and immerse in bowl of ice water.

Heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot and saute the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.

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