...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

on The SiDe**

...so we can all come up with wanting to make some kind of chicken, or steak, or perhaps even fish...but the real question is what do you serve with it...what are your options and how do you get out of a rut of baked potatoes, or rice, or anything else that doesn't sound exciting...well i've given you the ins and outs of making risotto or succatash or cous cous, so.... what else do i have, i have a few things up my sleeve. how about green beans almondeen (with a twist) or a hot potato salad....maybe creamed onion trio, warm mushroom salad (i do love my mushrooms...extra protein and lots of flavor- i am in!!!)...just for a start!

Green Beans

You can do these beans a few ways:
In a hot pan saute with
3T olive oil 
add raw green beans
1/2 pkg. grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
1 shallot, sliced
(you can pre-cook them if you don't like them aldente, 
but i like them a little crisp and i like them to get a little brown from the pan)
while those are cooking make a quick vinaigrette,
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 T. olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 srpigs fresh oregano, chopped
and lots of fresh ground pepper
1/4 c. toasted almonds
(i like the sliced ones with the skin on, or crushed whole ones!)
Mix the vinaigrette together minus the almonds and pour it in the pan when the green beans and tomatoes are to the texture you like
then add almonds to finish!

so you know that you can take out whatever part of these green beans you don't like this is just my version...so make it work for you...but on we go-

so start the beans just like above, but leave out the tomatoes and shallots, 
and add in water chestnuts and red peppers (diced)
For the vinaigrette use:
2 T. Soy sauce
2 T hoisin sauce
1 t. sambal (thai chile paste)
zest and juice of 1 lime
4 T toasted sesame oil
2 green onion, chopped
7 leaves basil, chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
then toss it all together,  
you can use almonds again, 
or i prefer cashews!

OK there are 2 ways to make green beans, i'm sure i could think of many more...but i have so much more to share- next stop, potato salad!!~
Potato Salad

I love hot German potato salad..so we will start there and then go to other places!!!

I like to start with yukon gold potatoes, i just love the flavor, 
but you can use Idahos or red potatoes if you like- 
if you wanna get REALLY funky get the rainbow colored fingerling potatoes 
(white, red, purple)....really whatever you want! 

so for any version of my potato salads you will start in the same place;
1) wash your poatoes
2) fill your pot with how much potatoes you want
(i leave the skin on)
3)cover with water
4) add salt, more than you think
5) put over high heat, bring to a boil, then turn down just a little 
and boil until potatoes are tender, it is really important not to over cook them.
(take one out, stab it with a fork if you can stab it and pull it out with no problem, they are done)
it is normally about 45 minutes for a full pot. 
You can do this a day or 2 in advance if you like...you will just have to reheat them, or you can use potatoes from another meal....
 After the potatoes are cooked drain water, and carefully slice them.

All dressings below are based on 7 sliced yukon golds (reds are about the same unless you used the baby ones, then it will be about 14), which is equal to 5 russet potatoes, and 1 bag of fingerlings.

German Dressing
   2 c. cider vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. mustard powder
1/2 c. canola oil
1 lg. white onion, sliced
1/2 # bacon, chopped up
 salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking bacon and onion in a saute pan, when bacon is browned (but not quite crispy) deglaze with vinegar, add sugar, and mustard, than add oil and season.
Then toss with potatoes while still hot!

Goat Cheese Dressing
10 oz. goat cheese
4 springs fresh thyme (just leaves)
1/2 c. Sherry vinegar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 olive oil
1 c. Parmesan cheese (shaved)
2 T honey
1 T dijon mustard
1/2 pkg. grape tomatoes, 1/2ed
1/2 red onion, diced

in a saute pan:
sweat onions and tomatoes, deglaze with vinegar, add honey, mustard, thyme, and oil- 
(TURN OFF HEAT) then stir in sour cream and drop in bits of goat cheese.
then toss with potatoes and parm...finish with cracked fresh black pepper....and enjoy!

Italian Dressing
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 c capers
1 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c chopped basil
1/4 c sliced olives (whatever kind you like best)
1/2 diced red onion
4 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
1/2 c. olive oil

sweat onions, add capers, olives, tomatoes, roasted garlic, and ricotta cheese- then stir in oil....toss with the potatoes, and basil...season with salt and pepper and VIOLA there you have it!

ok the rest of the sides with have to wait till tonight...
i got a little long winded and i need to leave for work! 

stay tuned...
and if you like what you are reading, follow me! :o)

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