Tag Archives: Side Dishes

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.


  • 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)


  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: 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.


  • 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




  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: Wild Rice, Fruit and Pecan Stuffing

Sides usually offer up a lot of calories, and if they don’t, they lack on flavor. Not this recipe. To cut down on the calories, it only adds dried fruit and pecans to get a nice burst of flavor.

You can experiment with what dried fruits to use, but I’m posting what I used on my first attempt.


  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sauteeing the Rice and Trinity

    Sauteeing the Rice and Trinity

  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice-brown rice mix
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and bell pepper (trinity), stirring occasionally until softened (about 8 minutes).
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  4. Wild Rice, Fruit and Pecan Stuffing

    Wild Rice, Fruit and Pecan Stuffing

  5. Add rice, stirring to toast, for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and 1 1/2 cups water. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (about another 20 to 40 minutes).
  8. Meanwhile, spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast 5 to 7 minutes (until fragrant). Once toasted, remove from oven and set aside.
  9. Now, discard bay leaf from rice and stir in pecans and dried fruit. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  10. Season stuffing to taste and fold in dried fruit and pecans.

No butter, no fat (maybe a minute amount from the broth), but a lot of flavor.

This dish goes well with anything and you can really use it as a stuffing if you’re cooking a turkey or other bird that can be stuffed.

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Sides


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