Tag Archives: Side Dish

Creamed Kale with Crispy Breadcrumbs

Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsYou may not be able to tell from the bevy of desserts I post every week, but I am a huge proponent of eating your greens. Almost every meal I make for myself involves a huge bed of arugula. Yes, for real.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsThat said, on Thanksgiving, there are so many sides that leafy greens can get lost in the mix or left out entirely. To that, I counter this: Creamed Kale with Crispy Breadcrumbs. It’s the sort of “eat your greens” situation that is absolutely welcome sidled up to cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, and Fluffy Dinner Rolls.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsThis is a vegetable side dish that stretches the meaning of the word “vegetable.” Yes, there is kale in there—a lot of it—but it’s coated in a sauce of butter, heavy cream, milk, cream cheese and parmesan, and topped with buttery breadcrumbs. Dietetic, this is not. On Thanksgiving, though, who cares? If there were ever a day for eating a creamy, cheesy, crispy-topped side and calling it a serving of vegetables, this is the one.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsIf you’re wondering why I used kale here instead of going for classic creamed spinach, the answer is simple: kale’s texture holds up. Even after the blanching, shocking, sautéing, saucing, and baking, it still has texture. It contrasts perfectly with the crispy breadcrumbs instead of getting lost in the cheesy sauce. And it’s pretty. And I just *like* kale.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsNow, I know that adding one more thing to your Thanksgiving menu is never something to be taken lightly. Time and energy are at a premium at the holidays! Luckily, Creamed Kale with Crispy Breadcrumbs is perfect for making ahead. You can stir together the creamed kale part of the equation a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to serve, top it off with the breadcrumb mixture and bake until brown, bubbly, and so creamy and wonderful that even I—a person who has written repeatedly about loathing cream sauce—can’t resist.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsLooking for something a little lighter? Try my Caramelized Brussels Sprouts!

Creamed Kale with Crispy Breadcrumbs
makes 6-8 servings

Creamed Kale:
2 lbs lacinato kale (curly kale works too)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 ounces full-fat brick-style cream cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Breadcrumb Topping:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or other plain breadcrumbs)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (~1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Bring a large (6 quart) pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Wash and dry kale. Remove and discard the ribs. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice kale into 1/2-inch ribbons.

Fill a large bowl with ice water.

When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt it liberally. Add kale and let cook about 1 minute (until bright green). Remove kale and plunge it directly into the ice water. This method is called blanching & shocking.

Line a sheet pan (or a few plates) with paper towels. Once kale is cool (a few minutes), remove it from the water and place on paper towel-lined pan. Blot with more paper towels to remove excess water.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used the same one I used for the kale) over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Sauté onion 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in kale, followed by nutmeg, salt & pepper. Stir in heavy cream, milk, and cream cheese. Turn heat up to medium-high and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until cream cheese has melted and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Grease an 8-inch casserole dish. Fill with creamed kale.

Make breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and melted butter. Add Parmesan. Scatter mixture over the top of the kale. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Serve warm. This is best the day it is made, but may be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Breadcrumbs will soften over time, but may be re-crisped in the oven.

To make ahead: after transferring creamed kale to a casserole dish, press plastic wrap to the surface and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, make breadcrumb mixture and scatter it over the top. Bake at 400F until bubbly and golden, about 30 minutes.Creamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy BreadcrumbsCreamed Kale with Crispy Breadcrumbs

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Caramelized Brussels SproutsI don’t spend much time writing about vegetables, seeing as this is a baking blog and all.Caramelized Brussels SproutsBut the truth is that I eat a lot of vegetables. A lot. Gotta balance out all the baked goods somehow, you know?

Let’s not discuss how many times I’ve had pie and salad for lunch over the last three weeks. #bakerproblemsCaramelized Brussels SproutsThese Caramelized Brussels Sprouts are one of my fall/winter favorites. They’re basically your standard roasted brussels sprouts with the volume turned up. Plus, they’re super easy to make and have this sweet-salty-herby-spicy thing going on that makes them totally irresistible. Like, good luck getting them from the pan to the table without eating half the batch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Caramelized Brussels SproutsI make Caramelized Brussels Sprouts for regular weeknights all the time, but they’re also great for dinner parties and holidays. I made them for Christmas dinner last year and they were a huge hit with my whole family! I can’t help but think they’d make a great Thanksgiving side dish, too.Caramelized Brussels SproutsCaramelized Brussels Sprouts are very simple to make. Start by trimming the brussels sprouts and removing any banged-up outer leaves. There’s no need to slice them in half—minimal prep is the name of the game!Caramelized Brussels SproutsPut the sprouts on a baking sheet and toss ‘em with fresh rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, a little sugar, and olive oil.Caramelized Brussels SproutsRoast the brussels sprouts for 40 minutes, giving the pan a good shake every 15 minutes. The resulting sprouts will have deeply browned (but not burnt!), crispy exteriors and buttery-soft centers.Caramelized Brussels SproutsRemember that “sweet-salty-herby-spicy” thing? Well, add “crispy-buttery.”Caramelized Brussels SproutsAnd maybe “-things-dreams-are-made-of.”
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
makes 6-8 servings

2 pounds whole raw Brussels sprouts, trimmed & kept whole
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, based on your preference
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, based on your preference

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine all ingredients on a dry rimmed baking sheet and toss together with clean hands. Spread coated brussels sprouts into one layer.

Roast 40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. Brussels Sprouts are ready when the exteriors are deeply browned (but not burnt) and the centers are tender. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts are best the day they are made, but may be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.Caramelized Brussels SproutsCaramelized Brussels SproutsCaramelized Brussels Sprouts

Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex Rice

Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex RiceNew York City is an amazing place to live. Beyond the incredible architecture, the millions of bright and driven people, and the general “OMG I live here” of it all, there’s the fact that you can get a bagel with cream cheese a literally any hour. I know you’re jealous.

As I’ve lamented many times though, New York is lacking in one area: there is not one true Tex-Mex restaurant that is worth a damn. Not one. Sure, you can get decent tacos all over the city and I am particularly fond of the mushroom enchiladas at Alma, but those alone simply won’t cut it. And don’t even get me started on the salsa situation.

Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex RiceI’ve already put a few salsa recipes on here, along with guacamole, Enchiladas Suizas, and this week’s Caramelized Mushroom Tostada recipe, but my recipe index has been lacking in terms of Tex-Mex sides…until today.

Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex RiceThese Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex Rice are staples of mine. They’re spectacular by themselves or with a side salad, but they really sing when they’re next to an enchilada or two. The recipes are delightfully easy and come together in about 40 minutes total. I know that making sides can be less than appealing after you’ve already put together a main course, but when they taste this much like home, they’re worth the effort.Chorizo Refried Beans & Tex-Mex Rice

Chorizo Refried Beans
makes 4-6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces raw chorizo, removed from casings
1 large white onion, diced small
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/3 cup chicken stock
Kosher or sea salt to taste, optional
1-2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chorizo, breaking it up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Remove meat to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving fat. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in beans and cumin. Add chicken stock and return heat to medium-high heat. Let stock simmer 5-7 minutes, until slightly reduced. Remove pan from heat. Use a potato masher or two forks to mash ingredients together. Fold in browned chorizo.

Remove beans to a serving dish and top with shredded cheese. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

Tex-Mex Rice
recipe from Homesick Texan
makes 4-6 servings

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced small
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime

Place rice, chicken stock, and butter in a small pot (one that has a lid). Bring uncovered pot to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook 15-20 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Let sit 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

In a large skillet, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and salt. Remove pan from heat. Stir in cooked rice until everything is evenly coated. Fold in chopped cilantro and lime juice.

Serve rice immediately. Leftover rice will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli

Updated 05/16/2019: This post was edited to add better photos, to make the make blanching & shocking the broccoli mandatory, and to reduce the olive oil. It’s still my favorite side dish. You should double it.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliLet’s take a sugar break. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the real food side of things, and I’ve honestly overdone it with all the treats lately. But who can blame me? There were Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream to be had! I don’t care to admit how many I ate in three days…

It was seven. I ate seven cupcakes in three days 😁 Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliSo, let’s eat some broccoli. Really good, crunchy broccoli coated in a salty, spicy, garlicky marinade. 

This recipe is a riff on a side dish that an old boyfriend’s dad used to make all the time. We had dinner with his parents every Sunday, and while everything they served was good (I still dream about the arroz con pollo), the marinated broccoli was always my favorite. And while that boyfriend didn’t last, my obsession with this side dish has continued for years.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliYes, I get psyched up over vegetables. His dad also made the best peach pie I’ve ever had, but that’s a story for another day. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated BroccoliThis broccoli is super easy and so good it’s ridiculous. There’s hardly any cooking involved. All you have to do is warm up some olive oil with garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, and then pour it over a ton of broccoli florets that have barely been cooked.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli Toss it all together, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for an hour or two at room temperature. That’s it–barely even a recipe. The broccoli softens just slightly and it soaks in all the salty, spicy goodness from the marinade. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliThis recipe makes a lot. Like 8-10 servings a lot. But that means your vegetable side is done for at least two days, depending on how many you are feeding. Also, like soup and stew, the longer this sits, the better it will be. It’s great on day one, but the leftovers are *amazing.* The broccoli pictured only sat for two hours, and it was good, but when I went back for more later that night it was truly fantastic. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliMarinated broccoli is great with chicken, pork, fish, beef, tofu, mac and cheese…it literally goes well with any main you can imagine. I’ve been known to eat a giant pile of it with a hunk of bread and some cheese and call it dinner.

This is the kind of side dish that will make you want to eat your vegetables. I made some for my nine year-old friend last week and she went back for seconds. Of broccoli. Her main dish that night was pizza, so that’s practically a miracle.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli is a great side for weeknight dinners, and is great in packed lunches. I’ve served it at casual dinner parties and am planning to bring it to picnics in Prospect Park all summer long! Add this to your list of easy side dishes–it’ll be a favorite in no time! Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli

Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli
makes 8-10 servings*

8 cups broccoli florets (about 5-6 crowns)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
10-12 cloves (about 1 head) fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
1-1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season well with salt. Add broccoli and let come back to a boil for one minute. Strain broccoli and plunge into a large bowl of ice water.

Once cool, strain broccoli well (I like to set it on paper towels) and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place olive oil, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat just until the oil starts to bubble and the garlic begins to sizzle. Do not let garlic brown. Remove pot from heat. Pour oil mixture over the broccoli, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to scrape any remaining spices from the bottom of the pot into the bowl. Use a large spoon to coat the broccoli in the oil mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit 1-2 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally. It may also be marinated overnight in the refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Use a slotted spoon to serve. Broccoli is best served at room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers in marinade for up to four days, bringing them back to room temperature before serving.

Notes:

  • This recipe halves and doubles easily, should you like to make a smaller or greater amount.
  • Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli