Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category

Yam Puree with Chipotle

November 10th, 2015 1 Comment

.   My friend Annette made this up years ago, served it at a potluck, and little did she know that I would promptly take her idea and run with it for the next fifteen years.  It’s simple, delicious, and the perfect combination of sweet-spicy-tangy-creamy and has been successful in converting people and to discard their “I hate yams” stance. It could be an interesting twist on aThanksgiving favorite—still a little sweet from the natural sugars of the sweet potatoes, both creamy and

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Za’atar Carrots

October 6th, 2015 3 Comments

  Za’atar is a delicious and versatile condiment originating in the fertile crescent of the Middle East.  It generally is made from oregano, sesame seeds and salt, and variations may include other herbs like sumac, savory, cumin, coriander, fennel or caraway.  Like so many regional condiments or sauces, families would have their own versions and protect these inherited recipes.   I love the tanginess of sumac so I definitely wanted a version with this dark red ‘berry’. The furry berries on the right are from bushes growing

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Picadillo Stuffed Peppers

September 29th, 2015 No Comments

  Picadillo is a traditional Spanish and Latin American dish that one could call a ‘hash’.  Ground meat, olives, dried fruit, and veggies sautéed together and served with rice or in tacos.  How handy is that?  A way to use your regional ingredients in a delicious one-dish wonder with rice, or as a filling for tacos or savory pastry empanadas.  The word Picadillo comes from the Spanish word ‘picar’ which can mean to grind, chop, sting or peck.   Though the hash is generally made with meat

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Lemongrass Pork Patties

September 22nd, 2015 1 Comment

    How do you learn about a culture?  Travel to the region and wander around indulging in street food. Street-vendor food in Mexico like the carne asada tacos in Hermosillo and churros in Tepic shaped some of my greatest food memories ever and have influenced my food choices my whole life.  Street food is always what people miss about their home countries, and after tasting these lemongrass wonders I would almost make the monumental effort to overcome my fear of flying over an ocean to experience real

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Herbed Fruit

September 15th, 2015 No Comments

  Is ‘herb’ a verb? It is now.     I was recently asked to provide some desserts for a party in late September, a request I usually decline because I’m not baking-inclined, but they wanted the entire event to be gluten free so my empathetic streak took over.  A chocolate chile cake was of course on my menu but then I stumbled upon gluten free angelfood cake recipes online, and on chow.com found the idea of combining strawberries mixed with fresh herbs as a topping.  What

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Black Bean Salad

September 8th, 2015 No Comments

  First a little blast of color from local edible flowers.     These are a pile of late summer flowers grown by my friends at Canoe Creek Produce that I used as garnish on salads and an appetizer for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.  I see runner bean flowers, calendula petals, bachelor buttons, snapdragons, and I’m not sure what else.  They were so stunning I had to share them with you.       And even more stunning color brought to

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Tomato Dill Salad

August 18th, 2015 2 Comments

    Purple lisianthus from the Canoe Creek Produce at the Farmer’s Market.  I hear they’re difficult to grow because they are slow to germinate, but it is so worth the wait.  I’ve found myself sitting and just staring at them over the last week and a half that they’ve lived on the table.           In these August days we’re so free with how we use fresh produce here in the midwest, vegetables are mounded into salads because they

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Summer Relish

July 28th, 2015 2 Comments

  It’s amazing to eat produce when it is still warm from the sun.   These ingredients of summer that I’m finding in my garden or the Farmer’s Market—cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, onion—there is just nothing like fresh and connected to the vine or the soil sometime in the last 24 hours.   photo by David Cavagnaro   It’s been a busy summer of catering with back-to-back and mid-week events crammed into the first two months of summer, but this is the flip-side payback

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Yellow Pepper Pesto

July 14th, 2015 No Comments

  Colorful tasty vegetables or herbs ground into a paste…’pesto’ is a loosely used term.  The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ meaning to pound or crush.  Texture has such an impact on the way we perceive and taste a dish, and crushing or pureeing helps create a silky coating that adheres well to sauce-vehicles like pastas and vegetables.     This is a light and lovely spread that could be served over fish, noodles, vegetables, or chicken and has the extra bonus of being

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Avocado Strawberry Salad

June 4th, 2015 No Comments

    NOLA a.k.a. the Rebirth City. I’m traveling with friends this week to New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, visiting friends and eating delectable dinners everywhere we go.  Not much time for words so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.         A sweet morning on the porch while we visited my friend Beatriz who owns the Fairchild House B&B on Prytania in the Lower Garden District.     It was recommended we take the ferry across to Algiers and

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