Category Archives: Side Dish

Carrot Soup Smooth and Creamy

Carrot soup might not get you all excited as far as side dishes go. This recipe however, delivers a creamy and slightly silky blend that goes well with any meat dish typically served with mashed potatoes.

4 and 1/2 cups of sliced carrots
1 cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter, cut into pats
1 large white potato, peeled and cut into cubes
Two 14-1/2 ounce cans of chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups of whipping cream

Grab your Dutch oven and saute the onion and the butter until glassy and just tender. Add the sliced carrots, the potato cubes, the broth and the ginger. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Set off of the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the soup in small amounts to a food processor or a blender. Process or blend until silky smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the Dutch oven. Return the heat to low. Stir in cream. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 – 20 minutes until well heated.

Serve bowls of this tasty soup on those winter and fall grilling nights instead of mashed potatoes. You will be well rewarded by the happiness of friends and family.

Fondue of Butterscotch

Set the Fondue pot out with a huge platter of pear, plum and apple slices. Small biscuits and fudge brownies that can survive a fork skewering are great candidates for this sweet after dinner treat.

2 ounces of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons of Lyle’s Golden Syrup
No Lyle’s? Try 3 Tabs light corn syrup to 1 Tabs molasses
14 oz can of evaporated milk
6 teaspoons of cornflour
4 tablespoons of lightly crushed unsalted peanuts
Sliced and cut into bite sizes – apples, pears, plums

Place the butter, the golden syrup and the sugar into a saucepan. Heat on low to medium until mixture begins to bubble. Keep an eye on it stirring a few times. Slowly bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

Add the evaporated milk and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the crushed peanuts.

In a mixing bowl place two Tablespoons of cold water. Add the cornflour and blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the sauce pan. Heat for a few minutes until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly.

When mixture is starts to thicken use a spatula to add it to the fondue pot. Serve with hard cubed or sliced fruit pieces. Sit back and enjoy your friends and family enjoying your fondue.

Mixed Veggies with that Wood Smoked flavor

I cannot believe how much I love food cooked in a smoker bag. Chop and toss a medley of veggies in your smoker bag and have one unique flavor for veggies separate from the meat on the grill.

1 cup of mushrooms
1/2 to 1 cup cup minced onions or leave in chop into ring edges
1 cup sliced zucchini. Slice diagonally for greater surface exposure
1 cup of sliced red or bell peppers. Chopped into 1/2 or 2 inch pieces
1 cup of small potato pieces. Grill for 20 minutes or boil until halfway cooked through
2 Tablespoons garlic salt

Toss all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl with to evenly coat each piece with a bit of garlic salt.

Place the medley in a smoker bag and seal. Cook on a hot grill for about 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender. If potatoes are added without pre-cooking add about 5 more minutes.

Jennifer Honeycutt sells smoker bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. Google it!

Smoke Bag recipe for Corn on the Cob

One cannot complain about the addition of a tasty corn on the cob when added to a plate heaping with grilled chops. Especially if that corn on the cob wafts up with a distinct flavorful aroma of smoked wood.

4 ears of corn
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Prep ears of corn by dehusking and washing. Soak the ears for 20 minutes in cold water. Remove from water and pat dry.

Rub the butter or margarine over the corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the corn in a Smoker Bag, seal it and cook on a hot grill for about 40 minutes.

Smoker Bag Trick for Potatoes

You might not think that potatoes and other veggies benefit from a smooth smoke flavor. You might be wrong.

4 medium potatoes
2 Tablespoons garlic salt

Slice each potato into 1 inch cubes, I leave the skin on. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the garlic salt. Place the potatoes in a Smoker Bag. The best Smoker Bags for grill or oven are imported from Finland. Jennifer Honeycutt tells me that that you can buy these bags direct in the U.S. from her company found at Hot Diggity Cajun. See her comment below.

Cook on a hot grill or in a covered grill over medium hot coals for 20 to 40 minutes.

Crispy Curry Chicken Wings with Cucumber Sauce

A flavorful blend of soy sauce and chutney rises from a crisp wing crust. The cool cucumber sauce adorned with coriander is the perfect complement.

2 pounds chicken wings
4 Tablespoons curry powder
4 Tablespoons Major Grey’s chutney, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1 six inch cucumber, chopped fine and seeds removed
1/3 cup minced fresh coriander
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Chop off the wing tips. Cut the wings at the joint. In a large bowl combine curry powder, 2 Tablespoons of the chutney, lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Add the wings and toss to coat evenly. Allow the wings to marinate covered and refrigerated for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. Toss the wings occasionally.

In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of chutney and the soy sauce. Remove excess marinade and place the wings skin side up on a hot grill. Grill evenly for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the underside is done. Turn and baste with the sauce. Complete the cooking of the skin side checking if they are cooked through and skin is crispy not charred.

In a serving bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, minced coriander, lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve the cucumber sauce along side the wings and watch them disappear.

Green Beans Casserole

There are so many variations on this popular casserole, however Mom and you will love this one.

1 – 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 – 1/2 cups of milk
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 teaspoons of ranch style dressing mix (my fav; Hidden Valley)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 – 1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 – 1/4 pounds of fresh green beans, cooked or steamed until crisp but tender
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs

Make a rue based on the traditional white sauce recipe. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the dressing mix and the white pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Apply non-stick cooking spray to a medium skillet. Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes or until glassy. Remove half of the onion mixture and set it aside.

Add mushrooms to the remaining onion and garlic mixture in the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Combine mushroom mixture, green beans and white sauce in a 1 – 1/2 quart casserole. Combine bread crumbs with the rest of the onions (set aside) and sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered until hot, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Shrimp and Red Onion Quesadilla

Makes 8 appetizers

3 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Pepper, freshly ground
Sea salt, coarsely ground
2 ten inch flour tortillas
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced on the vertical
1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat your grill to medium-hot and place the grate about 4 inches above the coals. Brush one side of the tortilla with olive oil. Place the tortilla with the olive side down on to a plate.

Place shrimp in a bowl and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the interior meat just turns white, about two to three minutes per side. Remove from grill and slice into one inch pieces.

Top the tortilla with cheese. Add red onion, slices of the Romas, shrimp pieces and the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the other tortilla and clamping both tortillas, carefully slide onto the grill. Brush the top surface with olive oil.

When the lower tortilla browns on the side touching the grate, flip over and grill the other side. Cut into 8 slices and serve to your happy friends and family.

Cheesy Tuna Mac

Makes 4 servings

They call Macaroni and Cheddar comfort food. Some folks think of it as kiddie food. Well deep down no matter the level of food snob, you know you love it!

1 pkg. (14 ounces) Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained, flaked
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Prepare your trusty Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese dinner following the basic instruction. Add the vegetables during the last three minutes of cooking time.

Stir in tuna and mustard; cook until heated through, stirring gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Attributed to a Kraft Mac & Cheese package, found while cleaning out a back-pack from a recent fishing trip.

Blue Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Excellent as a dip or topping for crackers and toasted french bread.

1/2 Cup butter, room temperature
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese also at room temperature
1 – 4 ounce package of crumbled blue cheese
2 Tablespoons roasted red pepper, drained, chopped into fine pieces
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire

Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl suitable for dipping. Beat with a hand mixer at medium speed. Fold over into the bowl to mix evenly.
Cover and refrigerate. Serve this mix slightly chilled with crackers for spreadinf or vegetable strips for dipping

Attributed to: a pacakage of Land O’ Lakes butter