Tag Archives: Sides

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Hot Pepper Honey

I found the most wonderful hot pepper-infused honey at beekind in San Francisco.   I used it Sunday night on roasted baby rainbow carrots.  It was absolutely delicious.  Enjoy!

1-2 bunches baby carrots, rainbow-colored if possible
Olive oil
Coarsely ground sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
2-3 tsp. hot pepper honey
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Peel baby carrots but leave whole (you can leave some of the tops on, if you want). Toss carrots with enough olive oil to coat, and spread single-layer in a 9x13x2-inch glass or enameled baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Place carrots in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes, shaking pan 2-3 times to turn different sides of the carrots down on the pan. The carrots are done when they are soft with crispy, caramelized edges.  Dribble with honey and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Spider Cornbread

At our local farmer’s market they sell maple cream, maple syrup that has been heated and churned until it is the consistency of frosting.  This time of year, I start to crave it smeared on another New World staple, warm cornbread.  Originally, corn bread was made without flour, and the recipe I grew up with follows this tradition.  Early american cooks also put a premium on finer white cornmeal, but yellow works too.  I usually make two batches of this, as my kids scarf one pan down within minutes.   I slice any leftovers into individual servings and wrap with foil.  They rewarm beautifully in the oven this way.  Try splitting and filling each piece  with pb&j before throwing them into to reheat.  Makes for a great breakfast.  Enjoy!

2 T. butter
1.5 c. white cornmeal
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten

Place butter in a 10” cast iron skillet and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 450°F to preheat. (Alternatively, you can use a glass 8×8” pan and 425°F.)

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add buttermilk and eggs. Remove warmed pan with butter (now melted) from oven and tilt to grease the bottom and sides. Pour remaining butter into batter and quickly mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.*

*Note: You may also use cast iron corn stick molds, but you will need to use additional butter to grease them prior to preheating. Melt the 2 T. butter called for in the recipe in the microwave and add to the batter as above.
Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes.

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Roasted Portabellas With Spinach and Feta

These stuffed mushrooms are hearty enough to serve as a meatless entree, but I often use them as a side dish.  Omit some of the butter, if you want, but be sure to pull them out of the oven before the topping dries out. Enjoy!

3 T. butter (or less)
4 Portabella mushrooms, cleaned
Salt and pepper
16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
½ c. crumbled feta
¼ c. pine nuts, toasted
3 T. finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place butter in a small dish and melt in the microwave. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Using the edge of a spoon, scrape out the dark brown gills on the underside of each mushroom and place, upside down (like a small bowl) into a greased shallow baking pan. Brush the “bowl” of each mushroom with a little melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Turn oven down to 325°F.

Meanwhile, place the thawed spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring to remove as much moisture as possible. Place spinach in a mixing bowl.  Using your fingers or two forks, pull the spinach into soft shreds.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix gently to combine.

Mound equal portions of the topping onto each of the par-roasted mushrooms, pressing gently to fit.  Drizzle melted butter over the top. (Mushrooms may be made to this point up to a day ahead. Cover with saran wrap and store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.

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Red Peppers Stuffed With Rice and Veggies

The filling for these peppers is savory and nutty, both hearty and surprisingly delicate.  The mushrooms add meatiness, so the dish can be used as a satisfying vegetarian entree or as a side for roasted meat.  Use a high-quality aged (sharp) cheddar and shred it finely to distribute its flavor.  Also, go easy on the salt.  The broth and the cheese may be salty and it is hard to predict how much additional seasoning you’ll need.  You may make these peppers up to a day ahead, and they reheat well in both the oven and microwave.  (The peppers become softer, which some people prefer.)  This recipe makes 4 large or 5 small stuffed bell peppers. Enjoy!

¾ c. brown rice
Scant 1.5 c. chicken or vegetable broth

Olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

16 oz. white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme

3 oz finely shredded aged cheddar cheese (about 1 c.)
2/3 c. sliced almonds, toasted
2 T. minced chives (opt)

4 large or 5 small red bell peppers
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a small saucepan, cook brown rice in broth according to package directions.  Uncover and set aside.

Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with olive oil and set over medium-high heat. Once pan is warm, add onion, carrot and celery and season lightly. Saute until tender and beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute, stirring constantly, 30 seconds longer. Remove vegetables from skillet and place in a large bowl.

In the same skillet, again heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and season lightly. Saute until beginning to brown. Crumble dried thyme into mushrooms and saute, stirring, until fragrant. Remove from heat to cool.

Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan (or similar dish) with cooking spray. Wash peppers and pat dry. Using a pairing knife, cut off the top of each pepper and carefully remove the seeds and supporting membranes. If needed, cut a sliver off the bottom, leaving the cavity intact, so each pepper will stand up. Season the inside of each pepper with a small pinch of salt.

Add lukewarm mushrooms to vegetables in large bowl. Add lukewarm rice. Gently stir in shredded cheese, toasted sliced almonds, and chives, if using. Once ingredients are well- mixed, taste and adjust seasoning.

Fill peppers with rice mixture. (Note: Any extra can be placed in a buttered ramekin and either baked or microwaved to reheat.) Place peppers in prepared pan. (Peppers may be made up to one day ahead at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.) Bake for 35 minutes or until peppers are crisp-soft and filling is heated through.  Serve immediately.

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Roasted Grape Tomates

These are super-simple. They are wonderful tossed with pasta, spooned over polenta, or piled on bruschetta.   They are also lovely next to a simple piece of  chicken or fish.  Best of all, perhaps, is the fact that roasting renders even Winter tomatoes sweet and mellow–  Organic grape tomatoes work best.

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. + some, finely ground sea salt
3 T. olive oil
16 oz. organic grape tomatoes, washed and dried

Preheat oven to 450° F. Using the back of a fork, mash minced garlic with ½ tsp. salt until a paste forms. In a small bowl, stir paste into olive oil and let sit at least 10 minutes.

In a 9x13x2” pan, toss oil and garlic with tomatoes until tomatoes are coated. Spread into a single layer and sprinkle with a little more salt. Roast 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes have burst and begun to caramelize. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Braised Red Cabbage

Not sure where this recipe came from.  It is not mine (though I wish I could take credit).  Everyone I’ve served it to (and I’ve served it a lot) loves it.  Perfect for this time of year.  Enjoy. 

¼ c. butter
1 2-lb red cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 14 cups)
½ tsp. (or more) of salt
3 T. dry red wine (or hard apple cider)
1 T. red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)

Melt butter in heavy large pot (I use a dutch oven) over medium heat. Add sliced cabbage and ½ tsp. salt. Stir and toss continuously until cabbage begins to wilt, about 7 minutes. Add red wine and saute until liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar; stir constantly until cabbage is tender and turns a bright fuchsia color, about 13 minutes longer. (Note: I start tasting for doneness after 7 minutes or so.) Taste and adjust seasonings.

Note: May be prepared up to one day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm, stirring over medium heat, before serving.

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Roasted Cauliflower

One of my favorite mid-morning meals, the cauliflower gently caramelizes, turning soft-sweet and crispy-edged, and the onions get sweet and luscious and practically melt in your mouth. The key here is seasoning– it needs nice amount of salt.  Sometimes before serving, I sprinkle a tablespoon of finely grated sharp cheese on each bowl.

  • Head cauliflower, cut into 1″ bites
  • Large red onion, cut into wide wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Toss together in 9×13″ pan and spread to a single layer. Roast at 375^F for 35 minutes or so, stirring half-way through.  Serves 1-2.

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