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Recipe: Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly

Not a fan of Brussels sprouts? Then here’s the perfect gateway drug into liking these abhorred veggies. Trust me, they’re good and I’ve been able to turn Brussels sprouts haters into at least likers, if not lovers.

They have to be good, right? They’re fried. I would recommend serving Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly with a nice pork dish or chicken dish.

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly

Fry the Brussels sprouts in sunflower oil until they are nice and crispy.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. of fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 TBSP pepper jelly
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups oil for frying (I used sunflower)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the halved Brussels sprouts in a colander. Dry with a paper towel, then toss with paprika, white pepper, black pepper and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven until temp reaches at least 400F (the temp will drop when you add the Brussels sprouts). NOTE: 425F is the smoke temp for sunflower so be sure not to exceed 425F. If using a different oil, be sure to check the smoke temp for your oil.
  3. Once oil is heated, set Brussels sprouts and 1/2 TBSP of pepper jelly in the oil. Flipping often to cook on all sides. You may have to work in batches.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove Brussels sprouts from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Once all Brussels sprouts have been fried, toss with remaining pepper jelly in a medium bowl then serve while still warm.

I highly recommend using sunflower oil for this recipe. It’s rich in polyunsaturated fat so not as unhealthy as other oils available.

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Pepper Jelly is a very simple recipe with minimal ingredients. The pepper jelly does a lot of the work when it comes to flavor since it’s sweet, acidic and spicy. Try this recipe on someone who claims not to like Brussels sprouts and turn them into a believer.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese


Full disclosure: this Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese is a Spring dish, but I had a craving so I made it. And I’m not waiting until the earth thaws out to share it.

This recipe combines the pasta, pesto with sweet peas and goat cheese for a dish that’s sweet, pungent and has a light acidity. It’s a great side dish for chicken or fish. Or, you can do like I did, and just eat a big bowl of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated romano (or parmesan) cheese
  • 3 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 pound thawed green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese

Need a quick side dish? Try Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese.


Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta, but reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. In a food processor, process the garlic, basil and pine nuts until very fine.
  4. Add the olive oil and cheese and process to combine.
  5. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Process until all ingredients are smooth.
  6. Spoon the pea pesto into a large bowl then add pasta and toss to coat.
  7. If needed, add pasta water, gradually, to loosen the sauce.
  8. When pasta is thoroughly coated in sauce, crumble in the goat cheese and toss again.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve as a side or as a main course.

The pea pesto will make the pasta look like it’s been hit with green radiation since it’s so bright. That said, this is a delicious pasta dish if you’re looking to trade out alfredo or marinara sauce.

To make this recipe even healthier, I used whole wheat fusilli. Bring some Fusilli Pasta with Sweet Pea Pesto and Goat Cheese to you’re next dinner and you won’t be disappointed.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Perfect Guacamole

Perfect Guacamole

Perfect Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my all-time favorite things to make. It’s simple, fresh and nutritious. Over time, I’ve perfected my recipe, that’s why I feel confident in calling it Perfect Guacamole.

I think it goes best with tortilla chips, but it also makes a great sandwich spread or topping for most dishes. The only way to eat guacamole is fresh, I don’t know how people do the bagged stuff. Be sure and save the pits and put them in the bowl with the guacamole — it helps the avocados maintain their color.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados; peeled, halved and cored (save the pits)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño; cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP sea salt
  • 1 TBSP cracked black pepper

Avocados

Avocados


Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, season the avocados with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, lime juice and olive oil.
  2. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the avocado and seasonings.
  3. Add in onion, jalapeño and cilantro then stir to mix well.
  4. Serve or store. If storing, place the pits in the guacamole (to preserve color) and cover with plastic wrap.

This is virtually a fail-proof recipe — no cooking, not much measuring and not much hassle. So if you mess it up, I feel kind of sorry for you.

Beware: the bowl probably won’t last long so you may want to make more. Just multiply the ingredients appropriately. This recipe should be about right for four people.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Boudin Cornbread Dressing

Boudin Cornbread Dressing

Boudin Cornbread Dressing

I’ve been making this dressing recipe for years and it’s always been a hit. However, in the past, I made it without meat. This year, I added boudin and it made it even better.

That said, a meatless version is just as solid of a holiday side. Sometimes I add in some jalapeños, too.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cornbread, crumbled
  • 10 slices of bread of your choice, dried and cubed
  • 2 boudin links, casing removed
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

    Boudin Cornbread Dressing

    Boudin Cornbread Dressing

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread and bread cubes.
  3. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, saute boudin, celery, onion and peppers until vegetables are tender. Combine with bread mixture.
  4. Add seasoning, egg and chicken broth.
  5. Spoon dressing into a lightly greased 3-quart baking dish. Bake, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes.
  6. Cut and serve.

When choosing a bread to complement the cornbread, it’s probably best to use white, but wheat will work. Just make sure it’s pretty dry. If you don’t have time to dry the slices, just toast them until well done.

In place of boudin, you can also use sausage in patty form. Just make sure it’s cooked fairly thoroughly while it’s in the skillet.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Bacon Cheddar Biscuit Dough

Bacon Cheddar Biscuit Dough

Biscuits from scratch can seem like a fairly daunting task. But don’t worry, this Bacon Cheddar Biscuit recipe is simple and you can go from step 1 to a finished batch in 45 minutes (cooking time included).

Rather than making plain biscuits, I added some bacon and cheddar to make this extra tasty. Feel free to add more cheese or more bacon if you so desire.

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 TBSP cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • Frying Bacon

    Frying Bacon

  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, fry bacon until just crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Discard or reserve all of bacon grease except for 1 tablespoon and set the skillet aside.
  3. Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

    Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

  4. Whisk all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a grater to shred butter and toss in with dry ingredients. Using a fork, cut the butter into the flour until pea-sized crumbs form.
  5. Stir in the bacon, cheese, chives and milk. Using a fork, mix until no dry flour remains.
  6. Sprinkle some flour on a clean counter and dump the dough on it. Sprinkle some more flour on top and using your hands, pat the dough into a circle about 1/2- to 1-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or other round item (such as a jar or glass) to cut out biscuit shapes. Transfer cut dough to the skillet. Reform remaining dough and cut more biscuits until no dough remains.
  7. Bake the biscuits for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Let biscuits cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

These biscuits go great with most meals. They’re especially an awesome way to make a breakfast biscuit sandwich.

No matter how you consume them, you can store them in a sealed container for several days. If you have any left over, that is.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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Recipe: Duck Fat Potatoes with Caraway and White Onion

Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Potatoes and duck fat are a culinary match made in heaven. Some would argue (and they would be right) that the best thing to cook potatoes in is duck fat. The potato really takes in the flavor of the duck fat and the duck fat brings out the crispiness and earthiness of cooked potatoes.

Since I recently made Duck Confit, I was lucky enough to have rendered duck fat on hand. If you aren’t so lucky, you can order duck fat from specialty food stores or online.

Ingredients

  • 4 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 TBSP rendered duck fat (plus extra for greasing the baking sheet)
  • 2 lb. red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small white onion
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Brush a foil-lined baking sheet with duck fat.
  3. Duck-Fat Potato Galette

    Duck-Fat Potato Galette

  4. Toast the caraway seeds in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Use a pestle or other blunt object to crush the seeds. Set aside in a large bowl.
  5. In the same bowl, add duck fat, 2 TBSP butter, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat with duck fat and seasoning.
  6. Arrange a quarter of the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet. Place 1/3 of the onions over the potatoes. Repeat layering two more times, finishing with potatoes on top.
  7. Bake approximately 45 minutes until potatoes are tender. Brush top layer of potatoes with remaining butter and bake 5-10 minutes longer (until top layer is golden-brown).
  8. Remove from oven, season and serve on a platter.

This is a close to a perfect potato dish you can find. Forget baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and potato salad. This galette is what you need to serve this holiday season.

Splurge on the duck fat. You and your guests deserve it.

Finally, I was lucky enough to have some duck skin on hand. I broiled it to make duck skin cracklins and added them to this recipe. They really sent it over the top, but it’s still great without them.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Cookin', Sides

 

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Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Walnuts

Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Walnuts

Sweet Potatoes and Toasted Walnuts

Sweet potatoes go very well with the main dishes served at most holiday functions. Rather than mashing the sweet potatoes or giving them the casserole treatment, try this dish of Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Walnuts.

The kicker is the sauce. It’s sweet, tangy and slightly acidic and blends well with the nuttiness of the sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 TBSP cane sugar vinegar (or any other sweet vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp Creole mustard (or dijon if you can’t find Creole)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • Sauce for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

    Sauce for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and back until toasted (about 6-8 minutes). Remove from oven to cool. Increase oven temperature to 400F.
  3. Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into wedges then toss in 1 TBSP of olive oil. Place them in a greased baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Walnuts

    Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Walnuts

  5. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, tossing occasionally, until tender.
  6. When sweet potatoes are done, let cool then transfer to a serving platter or dish.
  7. Whisk together remaining oil with maple syrup, Creole mustard and sugar cane vinegar. Drizzle over sweet potatoes and garnish with walnuts.

Creole mustard and cane sugar vinegar may be hard to find depending on where you’re located. Just use the substitutions mentioned in the ingredients list if you don’t have access to the ingredients I used.

You can even use these wedges as a bed for sliced turkey or ham this holiday season. The sauce alone will ensure you go back for seconds.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides

 

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