Tag Archives: Side Dish

Savory Butternut Squash Crumble

Savory Butternut Squash Crumble 5638

Welcome to another day in the life of what I should probably just call a Texan New Yorker Thanksgiving Countdown! Today I’m sharing another dish that you could easily serve at your Thanksgiving dinner in about two and a half weeks (yikes!!). And, may I just say, I really think you should serve this one.

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Savory Butternut Squash Crumble 5622

This recipe is a savory crumble, or crisp (whichever you prefer to call it), and while making crumbles a savory side dish option is quite common in areas of Europe, I hadn’t ever heard of or experienced this on my side of the Atlantic. Would it be uncouth to say I’m feeling slightly resentful?

Savory butternut squash crumble 5628

Savory crumbles are a culinary revelation for me! WHY haven’t I tasted one of these before?! Now this one in particular features butternut squash, thus making it perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish, but I’m very eager to brainstorm and play around with the idea and see what other veggies could be accommodated in savory crumble form.

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I was so in love, every time I ate some. You just have to try this one. It’s simply tops. And leftovers reheat beautifully. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Pumpkin Pie Fudge}

Source: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz


2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs olive oil
4 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into ¾-inch cubes
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup peeled and thinly sliced shallots
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

¾ cup fresh or dried bread crumbs
½ cup coarse-ground yellow cornmeal or polenta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs minced fresh sage leaves
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
4 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 large egg

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Set aside.
To make the squash FILLING, heat 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the squash and half the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until the squash pieces begin to brown on several sides.
Add half the shallots and cook another few minutes, until they’re softened. Add ½ cup stock and cook about 30 seconds, stirring, to reduce the stock a bit and heat everything through. Scrape the squash mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Wipe the pan clean and heat the remaining 1 tbs butter and olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Cook the rest of the squash and thyme the same way, seasoning it with salt and pepper, and adding the remaining shallots and ½ cup stock, stirring. Scrape the cooked squash mixture into the baking dish, stir in the parsley, then press the mixture into a relatively even layer. Cover the dish snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, until the squash is pretty soft, but not mushy when you poke it with a sharp paring knife.
While the squash bakes, make the TOPPING. Combine the bread crumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan, sage, sugar, salt and black pepper in your food processor. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is completely incorporated. Add the egg and pulse a few more times until the mixture just starts clumping together in bits.
Remove the squash from the oven, remove the aluminum foil, and cover evenly with the bread crumb topping. Decrease the oven temperature to 350 F and return the dish to the oven. Bake about 20 minutes, until the topping is golden brown, then serve.

Rosemary-Mustard Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Rosemary-Mustard Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges 5560

Happy November, everyone! I’ve been cooking up a storm with butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, planning to share many ideas for your Thanksgiving table this year. Lots of side dishes, a few desserts, salads and appetizers, aaaaannnnddddd…. I’m very excited to be bringing you a whole roast turkey! It’s coming – next week!

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If you’ll allow, a short sermon on sweet potatoes: I love them. I love their taste, their nutrition profile, and their versatility and ability to swing both sweet and savory. But when they are used in dessert, I want them to taste sweet (which they have no problem doing). When they are used in a savory dish, I do not want to enhance their natural sweetness. They don’t need any help in that department! So I tend to avoid recipes that feature sweet potatoes as a savory element and then add brown sugar (or bananas – seriously!). I highly, highly prefer my savory sweet potatoes to be seasoned with sharp, savory, salty, and even bitter flavors. Like rosemary. And mustard. And fine, yes, there’s a tiiiiny bit of honey in this recipe – so sue me! I promise, it does not overwhelm. 🙂

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What I bring you today could be *very* comfortable as a side dish at a Thanksgiving spread; or, pin the recipe for a night when you need an easy but nutritious and unbelievably good accompaniment to a burger or roast chicken or something. Did I mention this dish is amazing? Yeah, it kind of is. I hope y’all enjoy it, at Thanksgiving, or another time!

Rosemary-mustard Sweet potato wedges 5577

{One Year Ago: Chicken Shawarma}
{Two Years Ago: Chipotle Pumpkin Chowder}

Source: slightly adapted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony

3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs honey
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
A few pinches of fresh cracked black pepper
Leaves from 1 fresh rosemary sprig, chopped
1 ½ lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, mustard seeds, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, you’ll get about 6 to 8 wedges per potato.
Add the sweet potato wedges to the bowl and toss them with the olive oil-honey mixture until well coated.
Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out into an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any remaining mixture from the bowl and drizzle it onto the potatoes.
Bake until tender and a paring knife inserted into the flesh comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Flip them once during cooking.
Remove from the oven and use a flat spatula to remove them to a platter. Serve immediately.

Almond-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli #SundaySupper

Almond-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli 5744

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week’s theme is Lighten Up the Holidays! I thought it very appropriate that this theme should occur two days after Halloween, when some of you are probably starting to overload on Halloween candy.

Brussels and broccoli 5663

Now, I’m fully aware, and I fully agree that the autumn/winter holiday season is a time for splurging, and you may have groaned a little when you read the theme. However, as someone who has taken to eating much healthier all around the past few months, I think it’s great to have a few dishes in your arsenal of tricks that aren’t so heavy, but are still completely delicious.

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Sometimes you need a lighter note to balance out all the richness. And this recipe delivers in a huge way. Tender-crisp vegetables, coated in a healthy-but-slightly-rich almond crumb, charred just enough… this little unassuming side dish is so yummy.

almond-roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli 5739

I think it would be very much at home at your Thanksgiving table in a few weeks, or possibly for a holiday dinner party later in the season. A wonderful contrast and complement to the gravy-laden turkey and rich potatoes and cheesy green bean casserole. I happily ate this dish reheated for about three days after serving it for dinner. So good!

Almond-roasted Brussels sprouts and Broccoli 5753

And be sure you check out the rest of the fantastic, lighter holiday fare from my Sunday Supper cohorts!

{One Year Ago: Nacho-Topped Chili}
{Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Ice Cream, Apple Cider Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, Apple Jalapeno Cheddar Scones}

Source: In My Kitchen by Ted Allen

1/3 cup sliced almonds
Kosher salt
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets and trimmed to roughly the size of the Brussels sprouts halves
2 tbs olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Preheat your oven to 450 F.
Put the almonds in a mini or regular food processor and pulse several times; you want them crumbly and chunky – do not make nut butter!
In a large pot, bring some water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook 2 minutes more. Or, if you need to do this in batches, cook the Brussels sprouts for a total of 4 minutes and the broccoli a total of 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables with a spider or other large slotted spoon, or drain in a colander. Plunge into an ice bath or run under very cold water for about 30 seconds. Drain well.
Heat a large, cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil and then the vegetables, nudging the sprouts cut side down to encourage browning. Toss in the almonds. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the veggies are tender and golden brown with a bit of char on the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add ½ tsp kosher salt and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve in the skillet.


Appetizer or starter

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Austin-Style Black Beans #SundaySupper

Austin-Style Black Beans 5283

Welcome to a Budget Friendly edition of Sunday Supper! Up front, I have to confess something. I don’t really ever budget when it comes to our food costs. Now I’m certainly not buying things like caviar and lobster every week, and I’m very cognizant of what is and isn’t on a special sale that week, but I don’t enter the grocery store with a number in mind that I can’t or shouldn’t exceed. I’m a firm believer in the principle of pay more for your food and less for your healthcare. So I’ll cut back in almost every other area of life, but not food.

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True story to illustrate my point: several years ago I noticed that my everyday boots had a not-so-insignificant hole in the sole. Fortunately they were thick soles, so the situation wasn’t as dire as it sounds, but still – that’s not great. I ventured into a shopping mall with the express purpose of buying a new pair of shoes. Two hours later I walked back to my car, without any new shoes, but carrying in hand a bag of goodies, including a bottle of $11 gourmet barbecue sauce, from Williams-Sonoma. Yeah. You can see where my priorities lie.

Austin Style Black beans 5290

Eventually I did replace the shoes, but I didn’t on that particular day because I was being mindful of our overall budget, and well, I wanted the barbecue sauce more. So this week’s theme was a little bit out of my wheelhouse!

In the end, I decided I couldn’t go wrong with dried beans. They are extremely cheap, and once cooked they stretch to either feed a small army, or let a few people eat for a week, easy. These were delicious – full of flavor, incredibly filling, high in protein, and you will not feel like you are “eating cheap”, if that makes sense. They work wonderfully as a side dish, but I ate a more substantial-sized bowl for lunch today, and was a perfectly happy camper.

Austin style black beans 5276

I hope y’all enjoy them! And definitely check out the rest of the Sunday Supper gang for some fantastic ideas on budget friendly, yet delicious recipes!

{Two Years Ago: Poutine, Blue Cheese Hazelnut Biscuits}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain

1 lb. dried black beans, rinsed, picked over and rocks discarded
1 tbs canola or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped, plus a nice spoonful of adobo sauce
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional – this will make it non-vegan)

Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with water, covering them by about 1 inch. Soak at room temperature overnight. Drain the beans well, then transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and heat to medium-high. Add the oil, then the onion. Saute the onion and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Lower the heat to medium, then add the beans, chipotle plus adobo sauce, and ¼ cup cilantro. Cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for 1 ½ hours. Adjust the heat around as necessary and stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom. You want to keep things at a gently rolling simmer.
After 1 ½ hours, add the remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, lime juice and salt to taste. Cook uncovered 30 minutes more, or until the beans are tender. Taste again for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with Cotija if you desire, noting that it will no longer be vegan if you do so.
Note: you may need to go longer than the stated 2 hours cook time, just keep tasting and see. Mine went an extra 30 minutes purely because I got distracted cooking the rest of our dinner that night, and they were not overcooked at all.

Scrumptious Mains (Breakfast and Dinner)

Satisfying Sides

Sweet Treats

Sips, Spreads, and Snacks

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.
To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Mango Peanut Slaw #SundaySupper

Mango Peanut Slaw 057

Happy Sunday Supper everyone! Today’s theme is Summer BBQ Party – a wonderful theme since I think we can all agree that summer bbq parties (or summer cook-outs, whichever nomenclature you prefer) are one of the most fun things ever. Growing up, such parties were a fixture on the calendar. Sometimes my parents were hosting, sometimes we were guests, but it seemed like there was one on the schedule almost every weekend of the summer. And they’re such a blast.

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I chose to make this delicious side dish for three reasons: 1) coleslaw of some kind is a summer bbq staple everywhere; 2) seeing as this is Asian-flavored, it’s a little bit outside the box for your typical American summer bbq, which appealed to me; and 3) it uses mangos, which are beautifully in season in my area right now, and I’m trying to use up all the summer produce I can, while I still can.

mango peanut slaw 045

But I’m actually trying to use all that summer produce in some savory dishes for once. I usually bake desserts or sweet breakfast goods with it, which is always delicious, of course. But this summer I wanted to challenge myself to find more savory uses for this luscious summer produce. Not that there won’t also be sweets on the blog this summer. I mean, please…

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So y’all enjoy this delicious, spicy, summer-bbq-worthy slaw, and do not forget to check out all the loveliness from my Sunday Supper gang! Enjoy!

Mango Peanut slaw 070

Source: adapted from Man Made Meals by Steven Raichlen

2 generous tbs sambal chile paste, or to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 tbs sugar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
1 small (about 1 lb.) head green cabbage
1 ripe mango
18 slender green beans (hericots verts)
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts, salted or unsalted

First make the dressing: in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sambal, garlic, sugar, black pepper, and fish sauce. Set aside.
Split the cabbage into quarters, and core each section. Thinly slice it with a sharp knife, or I prefer a mandoline slicer. Peel and pit the mango, then slice it into thin strips. To the bowl with the dressing, add the cabbage, mango, green beans, and cilantro. Toss well to combine. Garnish with the peanuts and serve.



Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

I’m continuing Carrot Week with a nod to my blog’s tagline (Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater). Believe it or not, carrots were not on the banned list for my childhood self’s palate. I actually enjoyed snacking on raw carrot sticks, what with its satisfying crunch and neutral-ish flavor that didn’t offend me. Cook those same carrots, though, and now we have a problem.

Whiskey glazed carrots

Man, I hated cooked carrots as a kid. My mom made them on occasion, and I complained bitterly each and every time. So when I devised Carrot Week for the blog, it only seemed fair to revisit a side dish of cooked carrots. In all honesty, cooked carrots are a dish to which I haven’t paid much attention in the past decade or so; I tend to still prefer them raw and dipped in ranch dressing. So I was curious as to what my now-adventurous adult palate would think. I glazed them with butter, brown sugar, and whiskey, and I made sure not to over- or undercook them. And they turned out quite delicious, I’m happy to report.

whiskey glazed carrots

Maybe I might have even not balked at these as a child. See, Mom, when you made cooked carrots, you should have glazed them with a bunch of whiskey – then I would’ve liked them! Or, at the very least, I would have fallen asleep and shut up about it….

I hope y’all can enjoy these, child and adult alike. I had a thought that they would make a perfect side dish for an Easter or Passover dinner spread…. See what you think!

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond

¼ cup unsalted butter
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
6 tbs whiskey
6 tbs brown sugar
Kosher salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Melt 2 tbs butter in a 10” skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Add the carrots and stir to brown them, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the carrots to a plate with a slotted spoon. If using a gas stove, turn off the heat. Pour the whiskey into the skillet. Let it bubble up and cook for about 3 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tbs butter. When it’s melted, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the carrots back into the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and pepper to taste, and I’d advise adding more black pepper than you usually do to cut the sweetness in this dish.
Continue cooking until the carrots are to your desired softness. Sprinkle some fresh thyme around and serve immediately.

Frijoles Borrachos

Frijoles Borrachos

Happy Friday!! Today we are wrapping up Christmas Gift Week, a week where I have showcased some of the food/cooking related stuff I was given for Christmas this year! Once again, thanks to my lovely family for the sweet gifts – I love them all!

frijoles borrachos

Today we are showcasing another cookbook; this one I received from Matt’s parents: The Latin Road Home by Jose Garces. Of course y’all know Chef Garces; he’s a Latin-born restaurant chef that rose to common knowledge status when he competed on and won Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef several years ago. This book he released a few years ago is quite excellent.

frijoles borrachos (Mexican drunken beans)

The book walks you through Latin food of several different countries, with each country being a different section and each section divided by region or city. Garces gives detailed recipes, plus essays on the food culture of each country and region/city, peppered with personal anecdotes. He takes us through Ecuador, Spain, Cuba (which includes a chapter on Miami), Mexico, and Peru. I suppose it’s predictable that the first recipe I made came from the Mexico chapter, but never fear, I am quite looking forward to exploring the other sections as well.

Frijoles Borrachos

Frijoles Borrachos is a classic Mexican dish, which is translated as “drunken beans.” It’s freakin’ delicious. Even reheating the leftovers in the microwave makes your kitchen smell intoxicating. The dish will feed a small army, and your army will love it. Try it soon!

And now we will of course recap my week of enjoying my wonderful Christmas gifts!

First up, my parents gave me a square doughnut pan, so I made these decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts. Wowsers.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts






Secondly, I made these utterly insane Bacon and Hazelnut Buttermilk Caramels for my friends, using my brand new candy thermometer from my sis and a new cookbook from my mom. There were no words for the caramels. You just have to try them.

Bacon and Hazelnut Buttermilk Caramels






And thirdly, I used some homemade blackberry jam from my mother-in-law to make, for the first time ever, homemade toaster pastries (Pop Tarts – and yes, I’m calling them toaster pastries because Pop Tart is a brand name and a trademarked term). These Blackberry Jam Toaster Pastries were amazing. There is absolutely no comparison between homemade and store bought in this instance.

blackberry jam toaster pastries






Oh, and I also threw in a bonus post this week – I did a guest post for my friend Shaina, who’s visiting New Orleans this week. I made her some Creole Meatball Po’Boys and they were outstanding! Get the recipe at her site, and check out the rest of her awesome blog!

Creole Meatball Po'Boys






{One year ago: Maple Glazed Baby Back Ribs}

Source: slightly adapted from The Latin Road Home by Jose Garces

4 cups dried pinto beans
4 thick-cut slices bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
12 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz.) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
2 (12 oz.) bottles of Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo
1 quart chicken stock
1 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and black pepper

Soak the beans in a large mixing bowl in cool water covered by 2 inches overnight.
Drain and rinse the soaked beans. Combine them in a large saucepan or Dutch oven with enough water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook about 90 minutes. The beans should be not quite tender, still a bit dry on the inside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until just crispy at the edges. Stir in the onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and beer and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Shut off the heat on the skillet and pour its contents into the stockpot with the beans. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Simmer until the beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes more.
Just before serving, fold in the plum tomatoes and cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heads up, you’ll likely need a lot of salt as this is quite the large pot of beans.

Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

I was first introduced to the wondrous, magical combination of potatoes and duck fat a few years ago. It was Christmas Eve, and Matt and I were enjoying a romantic dinner at Butter, Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant. We split the duck fat potatoes as a side dish – the first time for either of us to try such a thing – and both of us had a *food moment*.

roasting fingerling potatoes

I knew I’d be making them at home. I actually made these last spring, for a celebratory anniversary dinner, but summer crept up before I knew it, and I didn’t share them all summer because, well, they just seem kind of heavy and not so warm-weather friendly. They are actually not so heavy as they sound, but they are a fairly rich dish.

fingerling potatoes, roasted

Since fall is quickly approaching, I figured now was a great time for posting this recipe. It’s very seasonally appropriate, utterly delicious, and would be a fantastic addition to a holiday table spread or a fall dinner party. That will certainly be the case in my house in the coming months, and I hope these become a staple for you as well.

duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes

Just one recipe note: duck fat is becoming more widely available these days, and most regular grocery stores carry it. Whole Foods carries it all the time without a doubt, so if you have one local to you, check there. If you’re striking out all around, you can order some online here. Enjoy!

Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

{One year ago: Fried Summer Squash with a Horseradish Dipper}

Source: In My Kitchen by Ted Allen

1 ½ lbs. fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
3 tbs duck fat, melted
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 450 F.
In a mixing bowl, toss the fingerlings, duck fat, salt and pepper to coat thoroughly. Spread in an even layer on a lightly greased baking sheet and roast until the cut sides of the potatoes are golden and crispy, 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and mix in the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Serve hot.

Mexico City Street Corn

Mexico City Street Corn

Happy Hump Day, everyone! Let’s continue celebrating summer produce this week with one of my faves, corn! I’ve always loved corn, whether on the cob or off. Growing up, when my parents complained to me that I never ate any vegetables willingly, my retort was always that I did too, I eat corn! Only to find out that corn technically isn’t a vegetable…

Mexican street corn fixins'

Ah, well – no matter. I’m blogging corn and taking you to Mexico! I haven’t been so I wouldn’t know (yet!!) but apparently grilled corn on the cob is a very popular and common street food in Mexico City. They offer the grilled corn to you after it’s been slathered in mayonnaise, rolled in Cotija cheese and cilantro, and then you squeeze lime on it. If you’ve never tried it, that preparation might sound weird. But it’s so good that I feel obligated to apologize to you. Because after you try corn this way, it’s difficult to eat it any other way. So, sorry about that…

It is hands down, my favorite way to have corn on the cob, so I just had to blog it! I make it every summer; and I think it should go on your yearly summer menu too.

Mexico City Street Corn

One quick recipe note: use a mini food processor to grate the cheese. Just crumbling it leaves it in chunks a little too large, and it doesn’t adhere to the corn evenly.

Source: Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes

4 ears fresh corn, with husks
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
1 ¼ cups finely grated Cotija cheese (see recipe note)
½ cup finely minced fresh cilantro
¼ cup good quality mayonnaise
Ancho chile powder, for sprinkling
2 limes, cut into wedges

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Peel back the husks from the corn but leave them attached at the end. Twist to make handles. Strip away the silk.
Brush the corn with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange the corn on the grill so the husks are dangling over the side to prevent burning. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over, 15 to 20 minutes.
Spread the cheese and cilantro on a plate in two separate columns, or use two plates. When the corn is done grilling, slather the cobs with mayonnaise. A grill brush works best for this. Once they are slathered, roll them first in the cheese, then in the cilantro until evenly coated. If the cheese and cilantro mix together on the plate, that’s okay. Sprinkle liberally with chile powder and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the corn. You’ll need lots of napkins.

Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette


Welcome to Part Seven of my Favorite Food Bloggers Series!

Shawnda and Jason are the couple behind the wonderful blog Confections of a Foodie Bride. Shawnda lives in Texas (so of COURSE I love her!) with her technically savvy husband Jason and their darling toddler. They manage the blog jointly, which I think is so cool! She does the cooking and photography and writing, while he works out the technical aspects and plays the role of official taste tester.


Shawnda’s food is so unique and mouth-watering. She really goes after the big, bold flavors. And, she is a girl after my own heart in that she makes lots of scrumptious Tex-Mex, and that she is a self-confessed queso addict. Maybe we’ll meet at a Queso Addicts Anonymous meeting someday. I kid.


She is also, like me, a margarita fiend. Her blog boasts a dizzying array of beautifully photographed, colorful margarita recipes, and I want to try them all. This section of her blog just speaks to me so much. Margaritas are probably my favorite type of cocktail, and tequila shots are most definitely my favorite kind of shot.


I also just adore her burgers – she is so creative at coming up with inventive twists on the classic standby. I’ve spoken to her cooking and mixology abilities, but never fear, Shawnda also bakes quite a bit too. I’m definitely inspired to try her Shiner Bock hamburger buns. Not only is she immensely talented at all things cooking, baking, and drink-making, she is also an excellent photographer. And a generous one at that – check out her page for some tips and tricks to help your own picture taking mad skills.


Initially, the plan was, without doubt, to make one of Shawnda’s margaritas for this feature. But, I was suffering a migraine while I was cooking up these recipes, and alcohol was not my friend, to say the least. So I chose a delicious side dish instead. This was so fantastic. Roasting the asparagus just gave it the best texture and an almost sweet flavor. And then you throw bacon on top and it’s almost too much. Matt and I eat a LOT of asparagus every spring, and this might be my favorite preparation thus far. Thank you for the fantastic recipe, and for your wonderful blog, Jason and Shawnda!


Other drool-worthy recipes from Shawnda I considered making: Pineapple Margaritas; Homemade Moon Pies

Read the rest of this series!   Part One    Part Two    Part Three
Part Four    Part Five    Part Six    Part Eight    Part Nine    Part Ten

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 large bundle of asparagus, woody ends snapped off
Olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced
3/4 cup chopped shallot (~1 1/2 medium shallots)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Drizzle the asparagus with just a little olive oil – just enough to keep it from sticking to the foil – and bake on the lined baking sheet for ~15 minutes (thinner stalks a few minutes shorter, extra thick stalks longer).
Preheat a small skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the chopped bacon to a crisp in a medium pan.
Transfer bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving behind as much fat in the pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and saute the shallots until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the white wine vinegar, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the mustard and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the dressing seems a little strong, add another teaspoon of olive oil.
Pour dressing and bacon over asparagus, lightly toss, and serve.