Loaded Potaffles

potato waffles

Loaded Potaffles

A couple of Sunday’s ago, I was flipping through the relish booklet that comes in my Sunday newspaper. In the recipes section, this word popped out at me. Potaffle. What the heck is a potaffle? It’s an ingenious way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, without it being obvious, that they’re leftovers. And, they’re waffles! That automatically makes them a fun food! Since Thanksgiving was just a few days away, I knew I’d have some leftover mashed potatoes. I was going to make potaffles!

Ingredient list!

making potaffles

ingredients

You’ll need leftover, cold, mashed potatoes, of course! Some flour, an egg, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and chives (they are loaded after all) will make these awesome!

Get out your waffle iron and get it ready.

waffle iron

potaffle station

Get a large bowl out. Crack the egg into it and whisk it up.

beaten egg

beaten egg

Whisk in the sour cream, too.

sour cream

add sour cream

Add the shredded cheddar cheese and minced chives.

cheese & chives

add the cheese and chives

Fold in the flour. I used whole wheat.

add flour

fold in the flour

And finally, fold in the mashed potatoes.

adding the mash potatoes

add the mashed potatoes

Mix until it’s well combined.

mashed mix

mix i t up

Spray your waffle iron with some nonstick cooking spray and drop a pile of potato mix in the center of each waffle space.

makin potaffles

1/4 cup full

Close it up and let the waffle iron work it’s magic!

magic happens here

magic happens here

My iron took a couple of minutes for each batch. They were cooked through when the little green light came on. Look – magic!

loaded potaffles

cooked potaffles

Tip: To keep them all nice, crisp and warm while you cook the rest. Heat your oven to 250º, then, put the cooked potaffles on a sheet pan and keep them in the oven till dinner (or lunch) is ready!

ready to keep warmed in the oven

ready to keep warmed in the oven

Isn’t this an easy recipe? If you don’t have a waffle iron, just cook them in a skillet. Spray the pan with oil and fry the patties over a medium heat, flipping when one side is golden brown.

Garnish them with more sour cream and chives! Delicious!

Loaded Potaffles

Loaded Potaffles

Loaded Potaffles
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14 - 16
 
An ingenious and delicious way to use leftover mashed potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 Tablespoons chives, minced
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 cups cold mashed potatoes
Instructions
  1. Heat your waffle iron. Preheat oven to 250º.
  2. Combine the beaten egg, sour cream, cheddar cheese and minced chives in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the flour. Fold in the cold mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  4. Coat heated waffle maker with nonstick spray oil. Place ¼ cup scoop of potato mixture onto the center of the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
  5. Repeat with remaining potaffle mixture.
  6. Remove cooked waffles to a cookie sheet and keep warm in the heated heated oven.
  7. Serve with additional sour cream and chives, if desired.
  8. Recipe adapted from: realfoodbydad.com/potaffle

 

loaded potaffle

Loaded Potaffle

Asparagus & Leek Frittata

Spring has sprung!

Asparagus spears

Simply gorgeous.

 

Except for those of you who are looking out your window at snow. You have my sympathies. Even if you are still in winters cold grip, I bet you are seeing fresh asparagus in your markets. Asparagus means that spring has arrived! At least where they are growing. Tender delicious stalks poking their heads out of ground. Just waiting for me to come along and gobble them up! I’ve been doing that at the rate of several pound a week. I’m a bit of a freak for asparagus. I always save some to make into a frittata. Frittatas are the best answer to leftovers. If you’re wondering what to do with those tiny bits of leftover veggies hogging up valuable fridge space, make a frittata!

Asparagus frittata

Picture perfect.

So, here we go!

Gather your ingredients. I use a leek in this recipe because I wanted a milder onion flavor.

Asparagus frittata ingred

Some yummy stuff right here!

 

Grate the cheese and set it aside.

cheese shreds

Shredded gouda

I used Gouda, but use what you have. Swiss, cheddar, or jack cheeses work just great! Then, slice up the leeks.

sliced leeks

Slice up the leeks.

 

Preheat your oven to 450º. Cut or snap the bottoms off of the asparagus.

trim asparagus ends

Trim the bottoms off.

Line a baking sheet with foil. I used non-stick foil. That stuff is the best! Lay the spears out on the sheet in a single layer. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roll them around so that they get all coated. 

spears on tray

lined up all neatly

Smooth them out into a single layer again and place in the hot oven. Roast them for 8 to 10 minutes. You want them to soften, but not be mushy. When done, pull them out and let cool.

Roasted asparagus

Such a pretty green!

 

While they are roasting, Break 8 eggs into a medium bowl.

eggs in bowl

All cracked up.

Whisk them up and add in the half & half, 3/4 cup of cheese and some salt & pepper. Whisk it, whisk it good.

frittata eggs

The egg mix.

 

Reduce the oven temp to 350º. Get out a 10 inch, oven proof, nonstick skillet. Or, use your trusty cast iron skillet.

Reserve 5 or 6 whole spears to place onto the top of the frittata. Chop the rest into one inch pieces.

chop asparagus

Chop the spears up.

 

Heat some olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook stirring, for 3 minutes.

leeks in skillet.

Add the leeks to skillet.

Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Leeks & garlic

Careful and don’t brown it, like me.

Then, add in the chopped asparagus.

Adding asparagus

Pile it in.

Pour the egg – cheese mixture over the veggies in the skillet. Gently, stir it around to evenly spread the vegetables around.

Adding egg mix

Pour in the eggs.

 

Cook until the eggs are set around the edges of the pan, about 5 to 8 minutes. The insides will start to thicken up, too. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on it and put those saved spears in a pretty pattern over the top.

Asparagus and leek frittata

Be artistic!

 

Bake the frittata for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve!

Asparagus and leek frittata

6 spears would have been better than my 5.

 

I like to have this with just some plain, old, sliced up tomatoes and biscuits. Leftovers make a great breakfast, too.

Asparagus and leek frittata slice

Yum!

Asparagus & Leek Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree or side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A delicious salute to spring. This frittata showcases asparagus and adds in some leeks and tasty cheese for a quick and easy dish.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough ends. Reserve 5 or 6 whole spears for topping.
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil - divided
  • 1 teaspoons salt - divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - divided
  • 1 tablespoon diced garlic
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts, cleaned. Sliced in half lengthwise and into ½ inch pieces
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spread out the asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the asparagus about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Reserve 5 or 6 whole stalks for the top.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch oven proof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the diced garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Return the cut up asparagus to the skillet.
  6. Whisk the eggs, half & half, ¾ cup Gouda cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Pour over the ingredients in the skillet. Gently stir to evenly distribute the vegetables. Cook until the eggs are set around the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup Gouda cheese over the top. Place the reserved roasted asparagus spears around the surface of the frittata in a decorative manner.
  8. Bake the frittata for 15 to 20 minutes, or until eggs are set and the top is golden. Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

Tomato Cheese Grits

That’s right! I said grits!

tomatoey cheese grits

Great Grits!

Coarsely ground white corn meal. You either love them or hate them. I am in the lovers group but don’t mind the haters. It just means more for me. I’m not here to make you eat grits. Nope, nuh uh. I’m just here to offer a super easy, great grits recipe to those who already love them. Now, if you are a hater and you still feel the need to give this recipe a try,  then do it!. Broaden your horizons. Live the dream. Embrace the southerner you were meant to be.

p.s. don’t tell anyone, but polenta is just yellow grits. shushhhh.

Onward! Gather the necessities.

Ingredients for tomato cheese grits

Ingredients for tomato cheese grits

Pour the 4 cups of vegetable broth into a 2 quart stock pot. Set it on the stove and bring to a boil.

veggie broth

Heat the broth

While that’s heating, grab the tomatoes, core them and chop them up.

half inch dice on tomatoes

Diced tomatoes

Once the broth reaches a boil, stir in the quick cooking grits and the diced tomatoes. Throw in some salt, too.

add grits and tomatoes

stir in the tomatoes and grits

Stir it up real good and return to a boil. Then, lower the heat to simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes. Just until the grits are tender.

While that’s happening, get out your cheese a grate it up. You’ll need 1 & 1/2 cups of it.

grated cheese

Grate up a bunch o’ cheddar.

When the grits reach the tender stage, remove the pot from the heat and add in the butter and cheese. Mix it up real good. You want that melted cheese to be in every bite.

cheesy grits

Add in the cheese and butter.

Now, comes the hard part. You need to let it rest for 5 minutes. I know, I know, it’s hard. Your patience will be rewarded.

Cheesy Tomato Grits

Tomato Cheese Grits

Now, pour it into a dish and serve!

Here’s a bonus for you! If you add in a whole, 4 oz can of diced green chiles when you add in the tomatoes & grits, you’ll have Chile Cheese Tomato Grits. Just as yummy!

Tomato Cheese Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: southern American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 generously
 
A super easy side dish that makes great use out of grits, a southerner's pantry staple.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quick cooking grits
  • 2 large tomatoes – ½ inch dice
  • 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a 2 qt pan, bring the broth to a boil. While it's heating, dice the tomatoes.
  2. When the broth reaches a boil, mix in the diced tomatoes, the teaspoon of salt and the grits.
  3. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes. As it cooks, shred the cheese.
  4. When the grits are tender, remove from heat and add in the tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes, then plate and serve.
  5. Bonus version: For chile cheese grits, when you are adding the tomatoes and grits, also add in one whole 4 oz can of diced green chiles. Finish recipe as written.

 

Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin

 

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Something simple. Something easy. Something – so delicious. A gratin. Fling a bunch of stuff in a casserole dish and top it with cheese or breadcrumbs. Bake. Now, you have a gratin. You can be extra special and use both cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake. Now,  you have a show stopping gratin. I like show stopping. You’ll like it, too.

This one uses tomatoes, basil and goat cheese. Why? Because they had been in my fridge a little too long and I needed to make room for fresh vegetables from the co-op. Saturdays are always a surprise dinner day. We never know what’s going to be left over from the week or what needs to be used up right now. I don’t know about you, but things hide in my fridge. You know it’s in there, but you can’t find it. Later, much later, dang! There it is! Harumph. Sneaky veg. Well, these tomatoes were hiding under a bag of spinach. I found them, though. Along with that little knob of ginger that I never use up. The tomatoes, I’ll use. The ginger? Well, let’s just say the chickens enjoyed it.

Our ingredients.

gratin ingred

For the tomato goat cheese gratin

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices.

sliced maters

Slice the tomatoes

You don’t have to get out the ruler. Just guess. Look! I used my ceramic Yoshi blade. That thing is great for making really thin slices of tomatoes. I use it for nothing else. I am a Yoshi blade snob.

Then, chop up the basil. You can roll it up and make a lovely chiffonade, or you can be like me and scrunch the leaves up and hack away. Whatever gets the job done.

chopped basil

chop up the basil

Get out a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish and give it a coat of spray oil. Use half the tomatoes and make a layer in the bottom, overlapping the sides if necessary.  Sprinkle half the diced garlic over them.

garlic and tomatoes

garlic and tomatoes

Use half the basil – after you save some for the garnish – and spread out that over the ‘maters.

basil and tomatoes

Add the basil over the tomatoes.

Now, do that again and make the second layer. Then, get out the olive oil and drizzle it over the top. Add some salt and pepper, cause you know you’ll want it.

tomatoes basil and oil

Top with olive oil and salt & pepper.

Now, you could go ahead and grab a fork and gobble this down right now because it;s just that good –

tomato salad

Tomato salad!

But DON’T! You’d miss the creamy goat cheese and crunch topping! Instead, plop that dish into the oven for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, get a half cup of panko bread crumbs out. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper over it and add in a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix it up real good.

panko salt pepper and olive oil

panko, salt & pepper, and olive oil

panko, salt & pepper, and olive oil combined

All mixed up  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that 10 minutes has passed, get the hot dish out of the oven. It’s cheese time! Pinch off little pieces of the goat cheese and drop them all over the top of the dish.

goat cheese and tomatoes

add the goat cheese

Cover it evenly. Share the cheese. I know those look like hunks of cauliflower and I imagine that would work too, but stick with the cheese. You’ll thank me later. Then, sprinkle all the seasoned panko crumbs on top.

panko topping

Really crumby.

Now, pop that dish back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the top is all nice a browned.

Tomato Gratin

Golden Goodness!

Don’t forget to finish it off with that basil you saved!

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

All you need is a fork!

Let’s get a better look at this, shall we?

Tomato and goat cheese gratin

Extreme close up!

Oh my! Oh my, oh my, oh my! That looks wonderful! It is, really! So good. Try it! Soooonnn.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious layered tomato gratin topped off with creamy goat cheese and crunchy panko bread crumbs.
Ingredients
  • 3 large tomatoes or 4 smaller ones
  • 4 oz. weight - goat cheese
  • ⅔ oz. weight - basil, approx ½ cup chopped. Divided.
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, divided.
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Spray a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Reserve some basil for garnish.
  3. Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. You don't have to measure, just guess.
  4. Using half the tomatoes, place a layer of them in the casserole dish, overlapping the sides, if necessary. Next, evenly spread a layer, using half of the chopped basil. Sprinkle half the garlic over that. For the next layer, repeat with tomatoes, basil and the rest of the garlic. Over the top, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake casserole for 10 minutes. While it's baking, to your panko crumbs, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. After 10 minutes of baking time has passed, remove casserole from oven. Pinch off pieces of goat cheese and drop over the top, as evenly as possible. Top the casserole with the seasoned panko bread crumb mix. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the crumb topping is nice and golden. Garnish with the reserved basil.
  7. Serve!

And now, the recipe.

Mac and Pimento Cheese

 

Mac and Pimento Cheese

mac and pimento cheese close up

Yummy

 

I’m pretty sure that every southern woman worth her salt, has a pimento cheese recipe or two or three. We like to shake it up and add in some unexpected ingredients. Some horseradish in this one or some cream cheese in that one. Well, I really shook up my pimento cheese recipe. I added macaroni to it. Why not? It seemed like a natural thing to do. Mac & cheese is a perfect combination. Pimento cheese is a perfect combination of peppers and cheese. Why not combine all three? So, I did and it’s done and it tastes great. It’s a natural combination.  Like chocolate and peanut butter, milk and cookies, potato chips and ketchup. OK, maybe not the potato chips and ketchup. That’s just some freaky thing my sister did. But, macaroni and pimento cheese is a good combination. Give it a try.

The cast for this evenings dish.

m & c ingredients

Getting it together.

Cook the box of macaroni according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.

cooked macaroni

Use your noodle!

Shred the cheese, saving ¾ cup to top the casserole. Open and drain the can of pimentos. Pat them dry and open them to lay flat. Give them rough chop.

chopping pimentos

Chopping the pimentos

Save out two thin strips so that you can decorate the casserole dish, nice and purty.

While the pasta is cooking, put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot.

melting butter

Mmmm, melty.

Melt it over medium heat. Then, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and let that cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I used whole wheat flour, so mine is browner than if I used white flour.

making a roux

Bubbly flour

Pour in the milk and add the salt, pepper and dry mustard and stir to combine.

adding in spices

Add in the spices

Whisk while cooking until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise.

Adding the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Add the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Fold in the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour it all out into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle with ¾ cup of that shredded cheddar. Then, artfully arrange those pimento strips.

ready to cook

Ready for the oven

Bake. Eat. Enjoy.

ready to eat

Let’s eat!

Recipe time!

Mac and Pimento Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A new twist to a creamy, cheesy favorite, mac & cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1 - 16 oz box of macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons AP flour. I used whole white wheat.
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups milk. I used Almond milk
  • 1 – can of pimento peppers 4 to 7 ounce size.
  • 2 – 8 oz packages of cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Prepare macaroni noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with spray oil.
  3. Drain and pat dry the pimentos. Give them a rough chop. Reserve two long strips for garnish, if desired.
  4. Shred cheese and reserve ¾ cup to top casserole before baking.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Pour in the milk and add the salt, ground pepper and dry mustard. Raise heat to medium high and continue whisking until it thickens, around 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise. Whisk until the cheese is mostly melted and the ingredients are fully combined. Fold in the cooked macaroni and mix well.
  6. Pour the cheesy macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and arrange the two pimento strips on the center of the dish.
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese top and melted and started to brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

 

Another Holiday side dish. Scalloped potatoes and kale


scallop potato and kale gratin

scalloped potatoes and kale

 

Kale. A leafy, green, stalky, thing. I generally do not like leafy, green, stalky, things. I can narrow that down – I do not like greens. I can grow collards, mustard greens, turnip greens and cook them up just fine. Just don’t expect me to eat them. Nope, not gonna happen.

Funny thing about belonging to a produce co-op, you never know what’s going to be offered. Sometimes, it’s a bonanza for me. Hello, organic shiitake mushrooms! Other times it’s a Buh? Moment. Like kiwiberries. What are those? Well, they’re tiny, kiwi like, berries. I was shocked, I tell you. Kiwis that are a berry! My world has exploded with new and wondrous produce. Then, along came kale. And the kale cheerleaders. “You must try it. Makes delicious chips.” What is it with kale chips? Do they give you super powers? Do you get to belong to a super secret kale club? With a handshake? Try it, they said. You’ll like it, they said. So I did. Try it, that is. No secret hand shake. Dang. No chips were made either. Maybe, they do give you super powers. What is did, was find a recipe and make it my own. Now, you can make it your own, too.

The kale line up.

kale. potatoes, cheese

scalloped potatoes and kale ingredients

Rinse and shake dry the kale. Fold it in half, holding in one hand. With the other hand, pull that stem off. Nobody wants that stuff. Yuk. Now, tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Stuff them all in a larger stock pot. Add in 1/2 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Cook until the kale wilts, about 8 minutes. Drain and let cool.

cooked kale

draining the cooked kale

When cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water out. Fluff and set aside.

Peel and slice the potatoes into thin slices. You’ll want between 4 and 5 cups of sliced potatoes.

potato and kale gratin ingredients

fluffy kale, sliced potatoes, shredded cheese, butter and garlic

A mandoline comes in handy here. I got mine at a thrift store. Amazon has some good ones, too.

Preheat your oven to 425º. Spray or grease a 2qt casserole dish. Spread half the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish.

potato layer

potato layer

Next, add all the kale in a layer. Top that with half the shredded cheese, all the garlic and half the butter cubes.

kale and cheese layer

kale, cheese garlic and butter

Arrange the last of the potatoes on top. Then, add the remaining cheese and butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover it all with a cup of milk.

scalloped kale

final layer, adding the milk

I used almond milk. Give the dish a gentle shake to settle it.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese has browned. Get a plate and eat that sucker up!

Scalloped kale with potatoes

Yum!

Scalloped potatoes and kale
Author: 
Recipe type: casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh kale or 1- 10 ounce package of frozen, thawed and squeezed dry.
  • 6 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thin, about 4 to 5 cups.
  • 1 teaspoon of finely diced garlic
  • 1½ cups of grated Organic Valley Baby Swiss cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk, almond milk works for this
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. If you are using fresh kale, rinse thoroughly and shake dry. Pull kale leaves from stems and rip into smaller pieces. Put kale into a large stock pot with ½ cup of water. Cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes or until kale wilts. Drain and let cool. When cool, squeeze dry. Fluff and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425º. Spray or grease a 2qt casserole dish. Layer half the potatoes in the bottom of the dish. Spread all of the kale as the next layer. Sprinkle on half the cheese and all the garlic. Dot with half the butter. Arrange the last of the potatoes on top. Then, add the remaining cheese and butter. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour the milk evenly over the top and gently shake to settle.
  3. Bake 45 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and the cheese is browned.

 

Easy side dishes to wow your Thanksgiving dinner guests! Mashed Cauliflower.

First up, a flavorful smashed cauliflower dish that will make plain, old, mashed potatoes jealous. Plus, it has the bonus of being able to travel, if you need a take & bake dish! This is by far, our favorite side dish.

Gather the cast. Cut the cauliflower into roughly 2 inch chunks. Leave the core on, it will cook just fine. If a small leaf sneaks in there, cook it, too. Rinse it off and add to a large stock pot. Add in a 1/2 cup of water and sprinkle with some salt. You want the cauliflower to steam cook. Get it to boiling over high heat and then cover, reduce heat and steam for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Drain and return to pot.

Put the pot back on the still warm burner. Add in the cubed cream cheese, scallion, shredded cheddar and sour cream. Stir to melt the cheese. Grab a potato masher and mash the dickens out of it. Add salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. No butter, no milk, no kidding!

Spoon the cauliflower mixture into a greased 2qt casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Now, you can either cover the dish and refrigerate until needed, or put this in a 350º oven and bake for 20 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the cheese has browned. Remove and garnish with the reserved scallions. How easy was that? Now, go wow your guests. smashed cauliflower

Cauli Smash

Serves: 6 Prep time: 5 min Total cook time: 30 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 ounces low fat cream cheese – cubed
  • 2 ounces or 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese – divided
  • 1 scallion diced, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oven to 350º. Grease a 2 qt casserole dish.

Cut cauliflower into 2 inch chunks. Rinse off. Put into a large stock pot with 1/2 cup of water and add a sprinkle of salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce to medium. Steam for 10 minutes or until fork tender, stirring halfway through cooking time. Drain and return to pot. Place pot on still warm burner and add the cubed cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sour cream, diced scallion and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Using a potato masher, give it all a rough smash. If you want it really creamy, you can put it in a blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon cauliflower mash into the greased casserole dish. Sprinkle top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has browned. Remove and top with reserved scallions.

A savory salad

Cornbread Salad

What can I say? The recipe title had me hooked. One word – cornbread. As a girl raised in the south, that was one half of a meal. The other half was beans. And I was happy. I love cornbread.

I also love tinkering with recipes. You know,  just a tweak here and there until you have perfection. Or, at least a dish that the whole family will eat.

After I got done tweaking this recipe, about the only thing that stayed the same was the title. After all, it was cornbread, I can’t improve on that!
Here’s the starting line up.

First off, make yourself a pan of cornbread. You only need a 8 x 8 pans worth, so a box of the mix is perfect. Or, you can go nutso like me, and make a 9 x 13 pan.

I use this masa cornbread  The smell of the dry masa roasting in the oven is enough to send me into a drooling stupor.

This is an easily do-ahead step. It’s a good use for left over cornbread. If there is such a beast. It’s best to start with a cool pan of cornbread so you don’t burn your fingers while cutting it up.

Open your can of black-eye peas and drain them. Set them aside while you make the dressing.

Combine the mayo with the sweet relish and pickle juice. Add enough juice to get a pourable dressing.

Now, bust out the cutting board, you’ve got some chopping to do.

Preheat your oven to 400 º. Cut your cornbread into 1 inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, stirring at the halfway mark to ensure even browning. Remove from oven when times up, or when they are toasty brown.

Now for the cold veggies. Give the romaine a rough chop. Core your tomatoes and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. I just happened to have two black krim tomatoes and one pink lady, fresh from my garden. Yum!

Give your pepper a 1/4 inch dice. Here’s where I wish I’d used a yellow pepper. The contrast in colors would have been pretty. Then, halve your leek and slice into thin half moons. If you don’t have a leek, scallions work just fine.

Gather all your chopped, diced and cubed ingredients, cause it’s assembly time! Get out a large bowl. Start with a layer of cornbread cubes to the bottom. Then, add the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, leeks and black-eyed peas.

Use approximately 1/2 of your ingredients for each layer. Drizzle on a layer of dressing.

Repeat with remaining ingredients, and dressing, finishing with a few cornbread cubes on top.

Cornbread Salad

Serves 8.  Chill 1 hour before serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 box cornbread mix prepared or whatever gives you an 8 x 8 pan full             For the salad:
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 tomatoes cored and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, your choice of colors, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1 leek, the white and light green parts only or 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 Can of black-eyed peas 15-ish ounces, drained and rinsed                        For the dressing:
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice

Preheat oven to 400º.

Cut cooled cornbread into 1 inch cubes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400º. Turn cubes at the halfway mark to ensure even browning.

Remove from oven when toasty brown and cool completely.

Drain and rinse the black-eyes peas.

Mix the dressing ingredients to make a pourable dressing.

Chop all vegetables.

In a large serving bowl, place a layer of cornbread cubes. Top with half the vegetables and a layer of dressing. Repeat layers, ending with dressing and top with the prettiest cornbread cubes.

Chill one hour before serving.

Enjoy!

Quinoa can be your friend, too!

I’ll admit it. When I first started hearing about quinoa, I ignored it. Bird food! Who needs it! Bah! (hangs head in shame) I was wrong. I needed it. Me. My local food warehouse had it on sale, really, really cheap and there was this one recipe I wanted to try, so I bought a bag. Then another and another and now, I’m addicted. I love the stuff. In salads, casseroles, in breads, even in my smoothies! The Incas called it the mother of all grains.  Who can argue with that! Since the United Nations has decreed 2013 to be International Year of Quinoa, we’d better get busy! This patty is a nice easy recipe to get you introduced to quinoa.

Quinoa Patties with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

First, assemble your ingredients.

Add some flour, shredded cheese and an egg to that picture. They were being camera shy. What I usually do for the quinoa, is boil up a batch and then measure out what I need for a recipe. The rest gets stuck in the fridge to be used on salads or in veggie wraps.

Get yourself a large mixing bowl and add your chopped or spooned out ingredients. My produce co-op offered those chopped shallots and I bought some to test out. I thought they were pretty good. Sometimes, we just can’t find fresh shallots at our grocery stores. You don’t have to use shallots. A regular yellow or sweet onion is just fine.Oh look, the camera shy ingredients showed up! Just in time, too. Grab yourself a big spoon and mix it all up.Now, you need either a 1/4 measuring cup or a cookie dough scooper. Actually, you can use whatever you have that will plop a 1/4 of mix into the frying pan. I have the scooper. Just like this one. 1/4 cup scoop  Get out a large non-stick fry pan. Give it a couple of swirls of olive oil. Drop 3 or 4 patties in the pan, smoothing out their shape with a spatula. You don’t want to crowd the patties in the pan. You’ll need flipping room. Fry them on one side for 2 to 3  minutes over a medium heat.

I fry three at a time in my 12 inch skillet. Flip them over and fry the other side.

Look at all the golden brown yumminess. Yumminess is a perfectly good word. Feel free to use it yourself. Drain the patties on paper towels and keep warm while frying up the rest. Serve up with a dollop of avocado dressing or use your favorite toppings.

 

Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

Assemble the dressing ingredients (even the ones not pictured. oops). You’ll need to get out your blender or food processor.Scoop and chop the avocado. Place all your measured out ingredients in the blender jar. Squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle on the dill and add the olive oil.Looks so good already. Put your lid on and give it a whirl. Blend until smooth.Pour into a container, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Recipes!

Quinoa Patties with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup grated swiss cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, rough chop
  • 1 lime, zested and half of the juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil for frying

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except olive oil, in a large bowl. Mix until fully combined.

Over a medium setting, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick fry pan.

Using a 1/4 cup scoop or measure, place quinoa mix into the frying pan. Use a spatula to help keep the patties shape.

Fry 2 to 3 minutes until golden, then gently flip and fry the other side. Add additional oil as needed. Drain patties on paper towels and keep warm as you fry the others. Makes 8 patties.

Serve with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons grated sweet onions
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.


Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


Yield: 1 3/4 cups

Need a little spice in your life? Jerk Vegetable Patties.

Jerk spice that is! Time to show our love for carrots. They’re chock full of vitamin A, with a side order of vitamin K for good measure.

We’re going to make some Jerk spice vegetable patties.

First, grate yourself a pile of carrots. Get out a large skillet and add the evoo. Drop in your carrots and chopped onion – I used a leek. I love their mild flavor – and saute until tender.

When soft, add in your peas, minced garlic, jerk seasoning and salt.

Combine until well blended. Remove pan from heat. Fold in the bread crumbs.

In a large bowl, combine the carrot, pea, bread crumb mixture with the egg, milk mixture. Blend well. Get out your 1/4 cup scoop or measure and get to making those patties!

Swirl a tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet. Drop 1/4 scoopfuls of the jerk mix into the pan. Pat down the tops to help keep the patty shape. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes, then flip over.

Some of those pesky peas will run helter skelter but pay them no mind. We didn’t need them anyhow. Serve the patties with a generous dollop of mango salsa. Enjoy!


Need a little spice in your life? Jerk Vegetable Patties.
Author: 
Recipe type: Salsa
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Spicy jerk vegetable patties with a cool, refreshing mango salsa.
Ingredients
  • Vegetable Patties:
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped green onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. jerk seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • ½ cup milk ( I used Almond Milk)
  • For the MANGO SALSA:
  • 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled, cut into ¼-in.-dice
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ finely diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ lime - juiced
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add carrots and onion, sauté, stirring often, until softened. Add the peas, garlic, jerk seasoning and salt. Cook, stirring, 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer mixture to large bowl, and fold in breadcrumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg white and milk. Stir into carrot mixture. Mixture should be wet.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet. Using a ¼ cup scoop, drop patties into skillet and cook about 5 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer patties to plate; keep warm. Repeat, adding more oil to pan if necessary. Serve with Mango salsa.
  4. For the Mango Salsa: In medium bowl, combine all salsa ingredients. Chill until ready to use.