Category Archives: Sides

Cubanelles

Cubanelles

Generally known as Cubanelles, some people refer to them Italian green peppers and my mother called them “frying peppers.” They’re easy to prepare and are good as a side dish, with fried eggs, and cold or room temperature in an antipasto or in a sandwich.

Cut the stem end off the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Slice them in half or quarters lengthwise.
Heat the oil and add the two crushed garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the garlic starts to brown.
Discard the garlic and place the sliced peppers in the pan. Weigh them down to flatten them. You can use a dish and tomato can (or whatever weight you like) and fry for a few minutes on each side.
When they’re done, place them in a container layered with the sliced garlic clove. Add a little extra oil if it’s to dry.  It’s good to let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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Roasted Marrow Bone

Roasted Marrow Bone

Roasted Marrow BoneThis is a one ingredient recipe. You put the beef bone in the oven, heat and eat. The femur is the largest bone in the steer, and it has the best marrow to bone ratio. My butcher ties a few sprigs of fresh oregano on the bone to make a better presentation in his display case. Even salt and pepper aren’t really necessary, but it can’t hurt.
Roasted Marrow BoneSince marrow is mostly fat use a high heat for a short time, so it doesn’t all melt away. Place the bones in an oven proof dry pan in a 450-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve with good bread. If you love steak, you’ll love a roasted marrow bone.Roasted Marrow Bone
 

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Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

I know people who said they didn’t like eggplant until they tried it done like this. Grilled eggplant can be served room temperature or chilled as a part of an antipasto, side dish or on a sandwich.

Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium to large eggplants
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt, black, and red pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Trim the stem ends off the eggplants and slice lengthwise, about ¼-inch thick. Grilled EggplantLay the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle salt on both sides. Wait 15 minutes and blot up moisture.

Prepare the marinade:

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant
Heat the oil in a small pan, add salt, black and red pepper and lightly sauté the chopped garlic. Add the herbs, lemon zest/juice, and the garlic/oil mixture to a blender, food processor or if you need the exercise use a mortar and pestle.
Grilled Eggplant

While you heat your grill (charcoal, gas, or a grill pan), use a brush to lightly coat each eggplant slice with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the eggplant slices on the grill oil side down and add oil, salt, and pepper to the top side of the eggplant. After you get nice grill marks on one side, turn and grill the other side. They cook fast so watch them.Grilled Eggplant

Prepare a large serving platter with some of the marinade on the bottom. Layer the eggplant slices as they are done and spoon some of the marinade on each layer. Leave them for an hour at room temperature to marinate, then cover and refrigerate.

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Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

This is a big recipe. You can serve half of it hot, and the next day serve the remainder as a salad.

Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 2 broccoli heads (about 1 ½ lbs.)
  • Olive oil for frying and drizzling
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 6 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste or 5 anchovies
  • 1 large lemon cut into 8 thin rounds and 1 tbsp.  juice
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Trim the broccoli into small florets with some stem remaining. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for 5  minutes, drain and set aside.
Bring about 5 tbsps. of oil to medium heat in a frying pan and add the peppers. Fry for 10 minutes, add the garlic and anchovy paste. Blend and cook for 5 more minutes. If you’re using whole anchovies, cook until they break down.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers

Heat a well-oiled grill pan. Toss the blanched broccoli with 3 tbsps. oil. Once the pan is hot, grill the broccoli, turning so there are grill marks on both sides.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Grill the lemon slices for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to get a nice char. Chop the slices and add to a bowl with the parsley, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsps. olive oil.
Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the pepper mixture and the lemon/parsley mixture and toss.Grill Pan Lemon Broccoli and Peppers
Arrange in a serving platter and serve hot or if you prefer, chill and serve as a salad.

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Mushroom Dutch Baby

Mushroom Dutch Baby

Here’s something a little different – a Dutch baby.  I don’t know how it got its name but it’s basically a sort of airy pancake that’s served with various sweet or savory toppings. For sweets you can top it with powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, apple sauce, etc. I made a mushroom Dutch baby based on a recipe that I got from the New York Times. I made some changes to the original replacing bacon, butter, thyme, and cheddar with pancetta, olive oil, oregano, and fontina as noted in the ingredient list below.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
  • ¼ lb. sliced pancetta (or bacon)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. oregano (or thyme)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil divided (or butter)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. grated fontina (or cheddar)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 450o.
Sauté the pancetta in one tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and oregano and cook for approx. 20 minutes adding the garlic for the last 5 minutes.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

For the Dutch baby – In a blender add the eggs, flour, milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cornstarch, salt. (This is the basic Dutch baby batter recipe for the various toppings. You can use butter instead of oil.)Mushroom Dutch Baby
Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Wipe it out and add 1 tablespoon of oil while it’s still warm. Pour in the Dutch baby batter, place in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until it’s lightly browned and puffy. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.Mushroom Dutch Baby
When done spread the melted cheese around the top, then add the mushrooms and sprinkle the scallions and parsley over it. Slice and serve.Mushroom Dutch Baby

 

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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

The last time I had fried green tomatoes in a restaurant was over two years ago in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They’re not too common in New York restaurants so we have to make our own. It’s really very simple recipe but the hard part is finding firm, unripe green tomatoes. 

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients:
  • 3 or 4 large unripe tomatoes cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup corn meal
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun Spice Mix
  • Salt and black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
Fried Green TomatoesPut the flour in one dish, the beaten egg and milk in a bowl and the corn meal/breadcrumbs/Cajun seasoning, salt and black pepper in another dish.
Fried Green TomatoesPut  a half inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. After patting them dry, dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs, letting any excess coating drip off. Fry them in batches and don’t let them touch in the pan.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each other side. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Fried Green Tomatoes

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Marmite Roast Potatoes

 

A while back I did a post on umami and at the time, I had never tasted Marmite and didn’t include it. Their advertising slogan is “Love it or hate it,” and I wondered which way I’d go. I tried it in a recipe that I adapted from Karen William’s Marmite Roast Potatoes on Delish – a British cooking site. Maybe I don’t love it yet, but it works for me.

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MARMITE ROAST POTATOES“Vegans, Love It or Hate It, You’re Going to Need It”


 

MARMITE ROAST POTATOES“New ways with Marmite: top cooking tips”


 

Marmite Roast Potatoes

MARMITE ROAST POTATOESIngredients:
  • 2 lb white potatoes
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Marmite
  • 1 tbsp. bourbon
  • Thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400o.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the peeled and cut into 2 inch potatoes and boil for 10 mins. Drain, shake well to rough-up the edges and leave them in the pot, covered, for 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small pot and whisk in the marmite and bourbon until blended.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

Put the potatoes into a baking tray and pour the marmite over them. Turn potatoes to coat. Cook for 20 minutes, turn the potatoes, and cook for another 20 minutes.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

Sprinkle with black pepper, thyme leaves and serve.MARMITE ROAST POTATOES

MARMITE ROAST POTATOESMARMITE ROAST POTATOESBased on Melissa Clark’s suggestion. I tried Marmite on a scrambled egg sandwich.  Very good but if you try it, don’t add any additional salt.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

This is a fast-cooking recipe so have all the ingredients prepared and ready to add to the pan. In place of, or in addition to the peas and carrots use what ever vegetables you like – broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus. Instead of shrimp try this with a boneless pork chop cut into small pieces. Someday I think I’ll make it with pancetta for a Chinese-Italian fusion.
Shrimp Fried Rice
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz shrimp (small shrimp or large cut small)
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil divided
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ¾ cup peas & carrots
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups cooked rice (cold)
  • 1 tbsp. each soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
Preheat a large fry pan or wok to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Sauté the shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes until they start to color. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.Shrimp Fried Rice
Add the onion, peas and carrots and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Slide the onion, peas, and carrots to the side (if you pan isn’t big enough, temporally remove the vegetables) and pour the beaten egg onto the other side. Cook the egg, break it up mix it with the vegetables.Shrimp Fried Rice

 

Shrimp Fried Rice
Add the rice and mix thoroughly with the egg and vegetables. Then add the shrimp. Pour in one tablespoon each of the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and oyster sauce. Stir and fry until everything is combined.  Add chopped green onions and serve.Shrimp Fried Rice

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Grilled Broccoli

Grilled Broccoli

 

I got this grilled broccoli recipe from Julia and Bridget on America’s Test Kitchen. They came up with it for an outdoor grill, but it works just as well indoors. We live in an apartment building in Manhattan so no outdoor grill for us but a grill pan over two burners on a gas stove does the job.
Grilled Broccoli
Ingredients:
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1  lemon cut in half
Pre-heat the over to 375o.
Wash the broccoli and trim its stems. Put it in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with minced garlic, juice of ½ lemon and olive oil. Toss the broccoli until it’s thoroughly coated. Grilled Broccoli

Place the broccoli on a large sheet of aluminum foil, fold the sides up and add a ½ cup of water. Completely wrap the broccoli in the foil and tightly seal the edges. Reseal it in another piece of foil. Grilled Broccoli
Place it in the oven  for 30 minutes.

Place the ½ lemon cut side down on the grill alongside the broccoli on a grill and cook until the broccoli begins to sear. Grilled Broccoli

Place it in a serving dish and squeeze the grilled lemon half over it and serve. Grilled Broccoli

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Basilicata Frittata

Basilicata Frittata

I had some leftover fresh horse radish from the Basilicata Style Pasta, so I used it for a frittata.
Basilicata Frittata
Ingredients:
  • About 12 oz./2 cups of potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 oz. grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 3 oz. grated fresh horseradish or more to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enough olive oil for frying
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the cheese, horse radish, parsley, and seasoning. Mix in the mashed potatoes and blend until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Don’t worry about a few little lumps. If you made the mashed potatoes fresh, make sure they cool off before you mix them so they don’t cook the eggs.

Basilicata Frittata

Basilicata Frittata

Heat the oil in an oven proof 10 inch pan, pour in the egg mixture and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once the eggs begin to set, place the pan under your broiler for another 5 minutes to cook and brown the top of the frittata.Basilicata Frittata
 

Basilicata Frittata

Slice and serve either hot or at room temperature.

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