Genius Grilled Potatoes with Roasted Garlic-Herb Dressing

I might be in love with Bobby Flay. I have never tried a recipe of his that I didn’t fall in love with. (Except the ones that include cilantro, but that’s only because I hate the taste of it. Usually I just replace with another herb and still get stellar results.)

Why the word “genius” in the title of this post? Because of the two-step cooking process. See, Bobby realizes that if you just throw raw potatoes on the grill, the outside will burn before the inside is done cooking. So you will have a charred potato that is still raw in the middle. Bobby’s solution? Par-boil those babies before throwing them on the grill. That way, most of the cooking is done in a pot on the stove and the potatoes are grilled for only a few minutes to get some gorgeous grill marks and crust on the outside.

Finally, I just want to say, that my stick blender is amazing- with it, the dressing comes together in less than 10 seconds.

Attention: there are a lot of steps in this recipe and you will have too many dishes to do. My suggestion: pour yourself a glass of white wine, put on some music, and take the extra time. All those steps are vital to the final dish and you will be very happy that you didn’t take shortcuts.

By the way, the dressing recipes makes twice the amount you need for the potatoes. Go ahead and make all of it. Use it on your sandwich, as a dip for your fries, as a marinade for chicken. It’s versatile and it’s delicious.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Indian Style Green Beans

A quick and easy one today. This green bean recipes comes courtesy of my mom. My favorite way to eat green beans has always been stir-fried with garlic, then steamed for a few minutes with soy sauce and rice vinegar.  But even that gets boring after awhile and this recipe is a a great savior in that regard.  The spices play in the background, never overwhelming your taste buds like some other Indian dishes can. A squeeze of lemon adds brightness and it’s so much fun to listen to those mustard seeds pop in the hot oil!

The only point where mom and I disagree is texture. I like my beans crisp, fresh, crunchy, just warmed through. A satisfying snap when you bite into each one. Mom prefers a soft, limp bean that barely needs chewing. I tend to think they’re soggy and mushy, but I’m not gonna knock it because the flavors are that good. They will seduce you no matter how long you steam them.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Scallion Pancakes and Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

Oh man, these were so good. I honestly didn’t even think I could attempt making scallion pancakes myself. But it wasn’t that difficult. Sure, there is some fussing with the dough. And the instructions given for rolling it out didn’t make any sense. But I got past that and made my own interpretation. And I wrote it out for you below so you don’t have to be as confused as I was. And I included pictures of every step so it actually made sense. Warning: there are a lot of steps but it’s pretty easy to follow along.  At least I hope it is.

These even tasted better than the scallion pancakes from my favorite Chinese take out place. I think it’s because I didn’t douse mine in oil and MSG. And the dipping sauce is SO GOOD and makes the perfect complement. Light, flaky dough with a salty sauce that has a bit of a zip. Next time I make them (and there will be a next time) I’ll try to roll them out extra thin. They seemed a little doughy.  But I’m not complaining; they were gone within minutes of coming off the pan. Oh, that’s another thing I love about these pancakes — they are pan fried. No need to turn on the oven. Read on for my crazy explanation of how to make these pancakes.

Click here for step-by-step photos and the recipe…

Easy Red Cabbage Slaw

If you want to talk about a tasty and easy side dish, this is it. 6 ingredients and minimal prep time. You just need to let it hang out in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to a week. If you let it sit a day or more, the cabbage actually becomes lightly and pleasantly pickled. It’s nice to serve with spicy meals since the acidic bite helps calm some of the heat.

I know a lot of people like to shred or grate cabbage to make slaw, but I’ve noticed that releases a lot of moisture that tends to pool at the bottom of the bowl. I prefer to thinly slice the cabbage and then cut down any pieces that are too long. It’s still pretty easy to eat, but I don’t get that problem of liquid coming off the slaw.  The recipe calls for the addition of carrots, but it’s just as good without them.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

rosemary roasted potatoes

I had to share this super easy side dish! I made these potatoes when I needed a side for steak with rosemary butter. I figured I could echo the rosemary flavors in the potatoes and it came together really quickly. The potatoes cooked in the oven and became tender, and then I put them under the broiler to get them nice, crispy, and browned.

You always want to use a waxy potato for roasting, like Yukon Gold, fingerling, or red potatoes. They hold up much better during cooking than white or Russet potatoes, which are really starchy and break apart easily. You could even try this dish with baby potatoes cut in half — just increase the quantity.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Quick Pickled Radish and Onions

quick pickled radish and onions

I’ve recently developed a love for pickling things. It’s so easy! You just make a brine and throw your veggie right in. Let it sit overnight and presto! Pickles! I’ve never bothered with canning or jarring things – it seems too complicated and you have to buy all this specialized equipment that I just don’t have any space to store. My pickles won’t last for years in jars, but that’s OK because I make small batches and eat them up very quickly. The great thing is you can pickle in any glass or ceramic container covered in plastic wrap.

This recipe uses ume plum vinegar, which is a beautiful garnet colored Japanese vinegar. It’s used to pickle umeboshi plums and the red color comes from shiso leaves. It’s acidic, as vinegar should be, but it’s also very salty. That’s why this pickling brine doesn’t call for any salt itself. If you can’t get your hands on ume plum vinegar, a good substitute would be an equal amount of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sea salt.

The pickled radishes and onions are crunchy, sour, salty, and sweet. They could be good as a side to a hot and spicy dish, but I like them as a snack on their own. They only require a couple of hours to pickle and they last for about a week in the fridge. Taste them after about 8-10 hours.  If they are starting to get very sour, remove them from the brine before they become too sour.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here….

Simple Cucumber Salad

Sometimes it’s tough incorporating vegetables into dinner. You’ve spent all this time preparing and marinating a meat dish and the veggies are just an afterthought. It’s times like those that I make this cucumber salad. Not that cucumbers are the most nutritious vegetable. Sometimes we’ll chop up some cherry tomatoes or slice some red onions into here. But it’s a quick way to add a cool and crunchy side to dinner. Or a quick snack.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Balsamic Roasted Green Beans

I love green beans. I usually make them the same way every time (sautéed with garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and hot sauce), but I thought I would try something different this time. Roasting with balsamic vinegar and honey gives them a sweet and mellow flavor. The onions and walnuts are a great complement to the beans. I would prefer them crunchier since that texture is one of the reasons I love green beans so much, but I know I wouldn’t be able to get the same deep flavor as I got in this recipe without roasting them.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This black bean and corn salad is a great side dish to include with a Southwestern or Mexican meal. It’s hearty, healthy and quick to prepare. The leftovers are delicious and it keeps well in the fridge. It’s also gorgeous with all those colors. Next time I make it, I’ll be sure to use a red bell pepper for even more color. I only had a yellow one this time so it blended in with the yellow corn. I served this alongside a chipotle-lime chicken dish. The use of cumin adds a smoky undertone and the lime juice really brightens the other flavors.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…

Green Pea Risotto with White Wine and Parsley

I love risotto. It’s one of those dishes that people think is fancy and complicated, but it’s really not. Sure, it takes some time, but it’s not rocket science. I chose this recipe because I had all the ingredients on hand. Risotto is so versatile that you can add anything you have in your fridge — asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, shrimp, the list goes on.

Read the recipe and the rest of the post here…