Breads, Sides & Salads

Home/Recipes/Breads, Sides & Salads

Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus

This year's crop of asparagus fresh from the fields in California are  in the market now and ready to add a healthy bite of spring to a full array of dishes. These popular green spears bring pleasing flavor, silky texture and a powerhouse of nutrition to any meal. From Asia, a Szechuan-style stir fry combines chopped asparagus spears with spicy flavorful ginger, garlic, toasted sesame seeds and red chili flakes for a fresh burst of exotic taste sensations. You can enjoy with beef, lamb, pork, chicken or fish; ir add tofu for a vegetarian entrée. Sweet and Spicy Szechuan Asparagus 2 lbs. asparagus ends discarded 1/4 c  soy sauce, low [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:19-04:00March 29th, 2010|Breads, Sides & Salads, Recipes, xyz misc|0 Comments

Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Lemon Mayo

A perfect match for the first sunset of spring — grilled asparagus and chilled chardonnay. With the arrival of spring came a box of fresh Asparagus from the California Asparagus Commission along with warm weather.  I turned on the grill, prepped the spears and cooked them about 5 to 7 minutes until done. While the asparagus cooked, I thinned some mayonnaise with fresh lemon juice and seasoned that with cayenne pepper and chilled a bottle of Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay (2007). I also added the smoky flavor of merken, a seasoning I picked up when in Santiago, Chile last month.. but have left that out of this recipe. Grilled Asparagus [...]

Brown Rice: Calico (Wild and Brown) Rice Recipe

"Yes," I responded quickly when a publicist for Uncle Ben’s Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice asked if I'd like some  brown rice for testing. With all the food that arrives in my home for testing, it sat in my closet until I was asked to bring a side dish to a dinner party to accompany game. My first inclination was to brown and wild rice with mushrooms. I adapted this recipe from my "Weekend Kitchen" cookbook. Calico (Wild and Brown) Rice 1 T olive oil 10-ounces sliced baby portabello mushrooms 1 T  Madeira or Sherry wine 1 c brown rice 1/2 c (about 3 ounces) wild rice (picked over, rinsed [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:19-04:00March 20th, 2010|Breads, Sides & Salads, Recipes, xyz misc|3 Comments

Salad of Warm Bijou Goat Cheese with Red Wine Endive Compote

This Salad of Warm Bijou Goat Cheese with Red Wine Endive Compote appeared on Bart Vandaele's menu at the Belga Cafe, Washington, DC. To Make Red Wine Endive Compote: Melt 1 ½ T unsalted butter in large saucepan, add and sweat  5 medium, thinly sliced red onions and 3 Belgian endives, julienned until slightly translucent. Add 3/4 c red wine vinegar and cook until most of the liquid reduced by about half and is glazed on the onions and endive. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside; allow to cool. Slice 4 Vermont Butter & Cheese Company Bijou, aged goat cheese medallions, in [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:21-04:00March 10th, 2010|Breads, Sides & Salads, Recipes, xyz misc|0 Comments

Tabasco Sauce: Muffuletta

With Mardi Gras on mid-February, here's a recipe for muffuletta straight from the Big Easy (AKA New Orleans) and the makers of Tabasco brand pepper sauce. Muffuletta, a classic New Orleans party food since the early 1900’s, is said to have been invented by a grocer in the New Orleans French Quarter. Although there is longstanding discrepancy among New Orleanians about who makes the best Muffuletta, this version is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Muffuletta Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 t Tabasco sauce and 1 crushed garlic clove in small bowl to make the garlic aioli; stir until well blended. Combine 1 cup finely [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:23-04:00February 10th, 2010|Breads, Sides & Salads, Recipes, xyz misc|0 Comments

Pace Picante: Sweet & Spicy Barbecued Brisket

Just in time for your Super Bowl XLIV party. Sweet & Spicy Barbecued Brisket Season 1 trimmed beef brisket (about 5 pounds) with 1 T garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Place into a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Stir 2 cups Pace Picante sauce, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and spread over the beef. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, bake the beef, covered, at 300°F. for 4 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Slice or shred the beef and serve on sandwich buns with the sauce. Makes 10 servings - from Pace Picante

Julia vs Julia

Most foodies have likely heard of Julie & Julia by now; a recent film with Meryl Steep depicting the immortal Julia Child and Amy Adams playing Julie Powell, a woman on a quest to cook her way through Child's best dishes. I admit I'm a Julia Child fan. (There is even a famous photo in our household of yours truly as a baby, in the arms of the one and only Ms. Child.) With the movie so popular and so much press about Julia recirculating, I came across an article juxtaposing two 'great' tarragon chicken recipes... one from Julia Child and one from Meryl Streep. It's real Julia vs. screen [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:20:27-04:00December 1st, 2009|Breads, Sides & Salads, Entrees, Foodie Interviews, Recipes, xyz misc|Comments Off on Julia vs Julia

$25,000 Sandwich Contest

Sorry for the late notice, There is little more than a a few weeks left to enter. I wanted to let every sandwich lover out there know about a pretty fun contest being sponsored by Mezzetta’s (amazing company that is known for their olives, peppers and specialty italian foods). Mezzetta's Make That Sandwich contest is looking for the best sandwich inspiration you can provide and will reward a winner with $25k and a trip to Napa! To enter online, log on to and look for the Contest entry icon. Fill in the entry form, including your original recipe, and follow the on screen directions to submit. Online entries must [...]

Brigitte Nguyen won $50K for her Chinese Chicken Burgers with Rainbow Sesame Slaw

This past weekend in San Antonio (TX) 28-year-old Brigitte Nguyen won first prize of $50K in the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest for her Chinese Chicken Burgers with Rainbow Sesame Slaw. And, the $50K wasn't the only exciting thing to happen to Bridget this month.  Her beau (now fiancé) Michael Prather asked her to marry him by spelling out "Will you marry me?" on a Scrabble board. Micheal (who was in tears at the press conference) had told her to follow her dreams — which is exactly what's she now doing. Bridget was recently also in a Food Network competition When asked how she'd spend her prize money, Bridget responded, [...]

Recipes for Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes

As a food writer, companies always email me with details of new products, which is how I learned about Melissa's Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. Melissa’s has always carried different types of baby potatoes, but  the Dutch Yellow Potatoes stood apart from the rest and became our best selling specialty potato, emailed Robert Schueller, publicity director for Melissa's public relations. I had to try these potatoes that he described as  tasting “buttery” and moist. The day I received them, I was brain-dead from intense contract negotiations so I tootled around the web looking for cooking ideas to spark my creativity. I tripped over Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks site with a recipe [...]

By |2017-09-01T16:49:45-04:00March 26th, 2009|Breads, Sides & Salads, Entrees, Recipes|7 Comments

Heirloom’s Macaroni and Cheese (New Haven’s Sneak Peak Week)

In the past couple of weeks, I've posted a few TidBites about Sneak Peak Week in New Haven (a preview to the summer's International Festival of Arts & Ideas) and mentioned the restaurant tours. I've been remiss at not yet detailing what the tours are about. They are fun, informative and delicious. For each tour, three restaurants are lined up to share tastes of their cuisine. A group of no more than 30 people travel from one restaurant to the other where the chef dialogues with participants, sharing info on the restaurant and menu items, while doing a cooking demonstration for the group. Participants then get to sample what the [...]

Food Network’s Robin Miller Morphs Recipes on the Main Stage

"Morphing means to take a recipe (or part of a recipe) that you're already making, double it, and transform the extras into an entirely different meal," explained Robin Miller. She morphed one chicken dish into three others, with recipes from her cookbook "Robin Miller Quick Fix Meals" (The Taunton Press, 2007) on the main stage in the Grand Tasting Village at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this past weekend. MAIN RECIPE: Roasted Chicken with Smokey Apricot Sauce Serves 4 TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes Walk away time: 35 minutes Cooking spray 10 (5-ounce) skinless chicken breast halves (with bone) Salt and ground black pepper 1 [...]