Category Archives: Side dishes

Deviled Eggs — Green Tomato, Smoked Salmon, Bacon et. al.

These are topped with leftover pulled pork & pickled green tomatoes.

These are topped with leftover pulled pork & pickled green tomatoes.

As a Southern woman of a certain age, it’s assumed that you can do a few things well. You can write a proper thank you note. You can drink good bourbon straight. And you can make a solid deviled egg.

I recently found out that one of my most quintessentially Southern lady friends doesn’t know how to do #3, so we remedied that last night.

The great thing about deviled eggs is you can make any flavor as long as you have a tasty base to start with. Mayo helps with that, but mustard goes a long way, as does pickle juice, the secret to All Good Things. Also important: axe the sweet relish most people use. That tip isn’t grandma-sanctioned, but it will give you a better “blank” slate to start with.

18 organic eggs
3 tbsp Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp pickle juice
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
paprika or cayenne

  1. Boil, cool and peel your eggs. (If you haven’t tried the hot-start method, see below. They’ll peel much easier.)
  2. Slice them in half and put all the yolks in one bowl. (And you don’t have to slice them vertically; Husk does them horizontally, and they are the devil masters.)
  3. Mash the eggs with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Taste and season.
  4. Separate yolk mix into 4 bowls (see below).
  5. For each ingredient, dice a 1/2 cup of your topping of choice and stir it into one bowl.
  6. Fill a Ziploc bag with the mix and cut a corner off. Pipe some filling into each egg.
  7. Top each egg with a 1-inch piece of the ingredient used in the filling. Chill until face-stuffing time.
The smoked trout variety at Husk. Can I get a swoon from all my fellow fatgirls.

The smoked trout variety at Husk. Can I get a swoon from all my fellow fatgirls.

Toppings:

With 18 eggs, you can make a bunch of kinds, but 4 different toppings works well for 18 eggs. Choose from any of the below, or use whatever you’ve got in the fridge — as long as the ingredient isn’t too sweet, anything is good stuff in an egg.

Witness:

  • Smoked salmon or trout
  • Pickled anything – green tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, etc.
  • Bacon
  • Ham (country or regular, shaved)
  • Prosciutto
  • Pulled pork
  • Olives
  • Raw tuna (topped with a dollop of wasabi)
  • Pimento cheese (what up, Marge)
  • Truffle oil

Hot-start boiling:

The fresher the egg, the harder it will be to peel when hard-boiled. This method makes them easier to de-shell without totally destroying them.

  1. Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water.
  2. Lower the heat to the barest simmer.
  3. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes.
  4. Shock them in ice water and let them chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Peel under cool running water.
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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Party food, Side dishes, Snacks, Southern food

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

If the name of this side dish wasn’t enough to get your attention, the following were overheard at Akin Thanksgiving re: these potatoes:

“I want to stick my face in that.”

“I would like to be alone with the potatoes.”

“I can’t say what I want to do with these potatoes in front of my Mom.”

This recipe was originally a Michael Symon jam, but we’ve increased the ratio of butter to potato because Duh.

brown butter mashed potatoes

Rice that sh*t or The Chef will come after you.

9 large russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
1 1/4 sticks of butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup crème fraîche

  1. Bring potatoes to a boil in salted water. Simmer for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Whisk the butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes to turn it a golden brown, caramel color.
  3. Put the potatoes back in the pot and cook them on high for 1 minute. (This will help them suck up all the fatty goodness.)
  4. Mash your potatoes or pass them through a ricer.
    Note: A ricer, or food mill, is a schmancy chef thing that makes your potatoes smooth as silk. While that texture is nice, it’s by no means necessary. But do not say that to a Chef. You will get punched in the face.
  5. Add the milk and crème fraîche and stir well. Season with salt (it won’t need much) and white pepper.

You can make these a few days in advance because sheer amount of lard inside will keep them well preserved. See: Any fat Southern woman.

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Filed under Comfort food, Potatoes, Side dishes, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving

Antipasto Pasta Salad

foodnetworktv.com

As Morg and I chatted today about a blog she reads called Sarcastic Cooking (which is awesome despite the fact they clearly stole my name), I realized how much I’ve been denying this blog in the name of work. Let’s abruptly put a stop to that shall we?

I made this recipe a month or so ago to take to the lake, and as any meat-laced pasta salad is sure to be, it was a winner. This is a recipe from Giada de Laurentis, who, I’d like to reiterate, cannot possibly be eating the food she cooks on TV. She should look like Paula Deen with all the butter and sugar that goes into everything, yet she’s one bikini and dye-job away from being a Playmate. I do not buy it, Giada. Just know that.

Anyway, a pasta salad recipe that uses salami and olives is a slam dunk with me in any capacity; however I have modified this recipe slightly because our Italian sister went ape crazy with the oil. Seriously, I had to strain the pasta salad after I made it because it was swimming in extra virgin. But fear not – proportions have been corrected accordingly, so whip up with confidence.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (add more later if too dry)
1 lemon, juiced

Antipasto Salad:
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
  2. In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Add lemon juice to taste for acidity purposes. Serve.

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Filed under Comfort food, Italian food, Pasta, Side dishes

Akin Family Oyster Dressing ~ Groundhog’s Day 2K12

So despite my moral dilemma of yesterday, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull this one out of The Vault. (As it turns out, my threshold for withholding secret recipes is quite shallow, which is probably to be expected from a person who has a blog about recipes on the Interwebs.)

foodnetworkasia.com

Anyway, perhaps the groundhog will take a page from my book – you know, bringing things to light and such – and ignore his stupid shadow so we can get on with Real Spring instead of this faux Fall we’ve been having.

Annnnnd, rambling is now over. As I mentioned previously, this recipe has been a long time coming. My cousin Melissia had to watch my Aunt Sylvia make it three times to come up with the recipe because it had never even been written down. So it’s old school traditional is what I’m saying.

I’m also saying it is delectable, so even if you have to tinker with it a little bit to get it right, your efforts will be rewarded.

1 pan cornbread
4-6 biscuits
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 raw eggs
2-3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can oysters
1 tsp+ poultry seasoning
1 tsp+ sage
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook celery and onion in broth until tender.
  3. Crumble breads and mix all ingredients together. Taste and season accordingly. (This is where the extra sage or poultry seasoning comes in.)
  4. Pour into 9×13 pan.
  5. Bake for at least 40 minutes (longer if all of the excess moisture hasn’t evaporated).

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Filed under Christmas, Comfort food, Seafood, Side dishes, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving

Peg’s Jalapeno Cornbread

dorkbyte.com

This cornbread is the counterpart of yesterday’s veggie soup. Since The Chef and I have spent all day trying to decide which variety of soup/gumbo/stew we will be making for New Year’s Day, this was a no-brainer side dish.

Jalapeno cornbread is a great for soups because it will work for sopping but also has enough of a spicy kick to cut through the dense corn-bready-ness (word. total word.).
——-
Peg says the cornmeal in this recipe must be Aunt Jemima Buttermilk and not Martha Stewart. (Which is why I linked that Jemima example to Wal-Mart instead of K-Mart. Your lucrative deal with a giant discount store holds no water with us, Martha!)
—–
Claire also reminds us that you have to heat up the tins before adding the batter so the bottoms of the muffins are crunchified. Word to you. And your mother.
——–
2 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp veggie oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 can creamed corn
chopped jalapenos (as many as you want)
———–
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix together all ingredients. The batter should be easy to stir and smooth but not runny. If it’s too thick, add more buttermilk.
  3. Take muffin pan and put 1/2 cap of veggie oil in each tin. Put in the oven at 425 until smokey. (This is the non-negotiable step that makes the bread crunchy all the way around.)
  4. Take out, add mix and cook at 425 for approx. 45 min.

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Filed under Bread, Comfort food, Side dishes

Vegetable Garlic Herb Lentils

With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals.  Lentils are my latest thing.  I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best.  It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style.  The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too!  I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination.  Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Beans, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Side dishes, Veggies

Crawfish Cornbread Stuffing

So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way.  I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving.  I still never want to eat again.   Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year.  Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays!  Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts

Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10

4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
  4. At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.

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Filed under Bread, Cajun food, Comfort food, Meat, Party food, Shellfish, Side dishes, Southern food, Special Occasion, Thanksgiving