Side Dishes

Gameday Chili

I could care less about this years Superbowl.  As soon as I publish this I’m going to have to Google who’s even playing.  I usually get pretty excited about it, not for the game itself, but for the excuse to have a party and make some of my favorite foods (and sometimes the commercials).  Here’s one of my many chili recipes that’s sure to spice up what might otherwise be a boring Sunday evening.

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Love it or hate it, there is no denying that chili, or chili con carne, is one of the first great American dishes.  Now that’s not to say that it was actually a good dish back in the day, more of a pioneer version of a military MRE (meal ready-to-eat). Dried, and formed into a brick, chili was an easy meal to rehydrate and cook out on the trails.  We’ve come a long way since then, chili competitions, Bobby Flay “Throwdowns”, chili in a sense provided a gateway for the amateur chef to make his or her mark on the scene. Continue reading

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Categories: Main Courses, Side Dishes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Boil’em, Mash’em, Stick’em in a Stew

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Boil’em, mash’em, stick’em in a stew, potatoes Plantains!

A staple of the Caribbean diet, plantains are a close cousin to the banana.  They mature in a similar way, the more yellow they get, the sweeter and softer they become.  Green plantains are tough, and are usually boiled and mashed, or fried into chips.  I recently decided to fry up some green plantains, here’s their story. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Man Flu” Soup

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So gracias to a co-worker of mine I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.  Yes, that means man flu.  The number one symptom of man flu is whining and thinking your going to die, when it’s really just a puny little cold.  Guilty as charged.  Nothing makes you feel a bit better when your a bit down than some nice spicy soup (winning the lottery aside).  I made a couple of pots of this the past few days and I’m starting to feel right as rain.  It really should be called “I threw whatever I had in my fridge soup”, but I thought this title was more fitting.  Anyway, here it goes. Continue reading

Categories: Main Courses, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Black Bean Soup, by Request

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This is my first post as per request of a friend in South America.  I don’t remember exactly what I had made back in those days, but I remember that I had to buy the beans dry and then cook them.  It was always a long process, and since I didn’t exactly have a trusted bean vendor per say, sometimes I got beans that came out a bit dry (old beans). Continue reading

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Cheesy Jalapeño Biscuits

I stayed away from baking for a long time.  I always found that there was less room for improvisation than in just cooking.  A little of this, dash of that, and you might just end up with a brick or a door stop.  You also need a reliable oven, which I did not have in any of my last few apartments. I’m past that now, here’s my first non-pizza baking post, chew on these!

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Categories: Baked Goods, Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Key to a Great Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving is only a few days away.  I’ve seen so many fantastic posts from fellow bloggers gearing up for this weeks foodie fest.  I didn’t cook Thanksgiving for the past couple of years, though I did contribute a couple pans of green bean casserole, so I don’t have any great wisdom to bestow on anybody except for this one offering.  If you’re going to make a green bean casserole this year, fry your own onions!  It can be done ahead of time and makes a massive difference.  I also made a spicy casserole last year, adding fried jalapeños into the mix, amazing.  Here’s a quick guide of how to make some fried onions (or jalapeños): Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Island Spiced Potatoes

I’ve been on a Caribbean food kick for the past few weeks.  This dish is similar to “The Hash” I make for breakfast.  They’re great on their own or served with these meatballs.  This will serve 4. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

5 Minute Spicy Hummus

Anytime I have friends around and need a quick snack I’ll throw together this hummus.  It’s fast, easy, and can have quite a kick.  I actually can make this in less 5 minutes, but that’s eyeballing all of the ingredients instead of measuring.  This is not your traditional Mediterranean style hummus.  I am not a fan of tahini, and I prefer to make this without it.  The beauty of hummus is that you can play around with ingredients until you’ve found exactly what you like best.  It’s pretty hard to screw up, and if you do it can probably be fixed. Here’s how to do it: Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pumpkin & Onion “Bhajis”

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With all of this pumpkin that I still have in the fridge I’ve been playing around with random ideas in the kitchen.  One of the more successful things I made was a take on Indian onion bhajis.  The first batch I made without flour, and they were a bit soft for my liking.  This is the second attempt and they came out perfect.  They’re very easy to make, the key is getting as much liquid out of the pumpkin as possible. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coleslaw (That doesn’t taste like $#!%)

I usually find coleslaw to be disgusting, a mayonnaise-doused sloppy salad that creates an illusion of having something healthy at a bbq restaurant.  No thanks.  This is a very simple mayonnaise-free coleslaw that is great with Caribbean food or bbq.  It has a touch of sweetness, a bit of twang, and you can adjust the level of heat. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Simple Coconut Rice

This is a really easy rice dish that goes well with a lot of types of cuisine.  I’ve been eating this lately with Caribbean and Indian food. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chardonnay & Onion Soup

When I used to live in wine country I always had some leftover red and white lying around somewhere.  One day, after picking up a lot of onions at the farmers market, I decided to make onion soup.  I had run out of vegetable stock but I had plenty of wine that needed to be used.  My chardonnay onion soup was born.  You can use other varietals if you so choose, that was what I happened to have that particular afternoon. This is very simple, makes a great starter course, and should take less than 20 minutes.  Recipe yields 4 bowls of soup. Continue reading

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup w/ Coconut Milk & Pan Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It’s harvest time and Pumpkins are everywhere!  I found this nine-pounder on sale at the market today, so I figured why not make some soup. Continue reading

Categories: Main Courses, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saturday Morning Skillet Potatoes a.k.a. “The Hash”

An old friend and I used to get together to make brunch.  My dish was always “the hash”.  I would try and push it further every time by adding more chilies and meats until it was almost unrecognizable.  I’ve since realized I don’t want to have a coronary and have toned it down quite a bit.  This is a much “healthier” version of the hash I used to make, but it’s still fantastic.  I take my time making this so expect 30-40 minutes of cooking time.  This can be reduced by pre-cooking the potatoes (boiling or nuking), but I prefer to do it this way. Continue reading

Categories: Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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