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Posts Tagged ‘Easy Side Dish’

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It’s been ages since I last posted and a lot has happened in that time. My eldest child, who left for the west coast of America last year to go to university, changed her mind and transferred colleges. My youngest has hit her teen-years like a lioness on the hunt: I’ve been hanging onto her by the tail ever since. My sweet husband continues to do his thing. And I, for my sins, have gotten involved in a side hustle {that’s American speak for side business} that has me up to my eyeballs.

But it’s all good. The new school year has started. Everyone and everything is humming along nicely and I still have my home life in sight…though not always like it used to be. On days like today, when I’ve been working, I’m thankful for the many family-tested-and-approved {the latter being the most important!} recipes I have to hand. These are the ones, like tonight’s supper of lazy roast chicken and pan seared mushrooms, that are super easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Pan seared mushrooms remind me of my mother-in-law. She loved them. Like boiled potatoes, pan seared Brussels Sprouts in soy-sauce glaze, and boiled ham, they were a regular feature at her dining table. Now, they are at mine. I wonder, someday, will they be at my daughters’ table?

Food memories are strong. They’re not just about the dish…they’re about the food and the people and the place and the occasions around them. They can whisk us back to our childhood…or to take us back to a few lovely moments gathered round the table of a woman you whole heartedly admired.

But I digress…these lovely pan seared mushrooms smell amazing. They are good enough to serve at a dinner party. You might even make them as an appetizer for a cocktail get together, with a side of crusty bread to sop up the buttery juices. They would also be perfect on top of a perfectly seared steak, served along a juicy chicken breast, nestled into an omelet or popped into a sandwich bap.

~XoK

Pan Seared Mushrooms

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter

12 ounces button mushrooms

fresh ground pepper/sea salt to taste

Directions

1. Rinse, dry, and chop mushrooms.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter begins to bubble.

3. Add mushrooms to the skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until bottom side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss mushrooms, and continue to cook, reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about 3-5 minutes more.

4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and give the mushrooms a good stir.

5. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Storing mushrooms in the fridge is easy…do nothing to them. I repeat…do nothing to them. Simply remove them from your carry bag and pop them into the fridge. If they come in a shrink wrap package, do not open the plastic…I know…strange for me to say so given how much I detest plastic. But, truly, leave them alone and they will last a week.

** Wash or brush clean? I’ve always rinsed and quickly dried any mushrooms I’ve ever used and done so without problem. To be honest, I couldn’t be bothered brushing each one or peeling each one either. Yes, some people peel their mushrooms!

*** To stem or not to stem? If the mushrooms you purchased have woody stems, discard them just prior to use. Otherwise, keep them and use completely.

**** According to Ireland’s Bord Bia, mushrooms are grown in Ireland in the following counties: Monaghan, Meath, Wexford, Mayo, Kildare, Cavan and Tipperary. Bord Bia’s website also says that mushrooms are a good source of fibre, low in fat, they contain more vegetable protein per 100g than almost any vegetable, and they are richer than most vegetable in some vitamins such as B1 and niacin. Mushrooms also contain certain important minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, iron and copper, and are low in salt.

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Oven Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

I don’t remember eating Brussels sprouts as a child. In fact, it wasn’t until I lived in Ireland, where my mother-in-law served them sautéed in soy sauce, that I first tried them. It was love at first bite!

Now I roast Brussels sprouts all the time. Good enough to be eaten straight from the oven like a snack…these are equally delicious at room temperature. What’s more, despite their diminutive size, Brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, they can trigger the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes, they have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, and they may protect against cancer. One thing to note, if you’re taking a blood thinner like Warfarin, research has shown Brussels sprouts may lessen the drug’s effectiveness due to the Vitamin K in them.

The secret to getting a good carmelisation on the sprouts is roasting them in a single flat layer, making sure they don’t overlap.

And, finally, you can turn these lovely little super foods into an awesome vegetarian meal by tossing  them with arugula and lentils or bulgur wheat.

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

2lb/906g Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved length-wise

4 tablespoons olive oil

zest of a small lemon, plus 1 tablespoon of the juice

salt and pepper to taste

freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF and set oven rack into the middle of the oven.

2. Place dry Brussels sprouts on a large baking tray.

3. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and grate the lemon zest over the tray {that way you get all the lovely oil from the lemon too} and mix with your hands until the Brussels sprouts are coated.

4. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes ~ the sprouts will begin to caramelize in places. Toss the sprouts and add freshly grated Parmesan to taste.

5. Continue roasting for another 15 minutes until the sprouts are tender.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* To read more about the health benefits of Brussels sprouts, visit Dr. Andrew Weil’s website here.

** A Mayo Clinic online article about Warfarin and foods to avoid may be read here.

*** And, if by chance Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables give you wind {gas}, you may find this article, also from Dr. Andrew Weil’s website, helpful!

 

 

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Yellow and red cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic and olive oil served on a dark grey dish

This recipe started out as a traditional oven roasted tomato dish…one I’ve made a million times. But then, something wonderful and unexpected happened.

The afternoon light began to fade: there was no way to get the tomatoes roasted in time to be photographed, so I wrapped them up and left them on the counter overnight.

yellow and red tomatoes with garlic, basil and olive oil in a baking dish

The next morning, after removing the cling film {plastic wrap}, a cheeky red tomato beckoned me with its lusciousness. Unable to resist, I popped it into my mouth and that’s when I knew…THERE WAS NO WAY THEY WERE GOING INTO THE OVEN!

The tomatoes were sweet and salty and garlicky. I could not stop eating them. In a flash,  I imagined the many ways they could be used {bruschetta, pasta, couscous, salad, grilled chicken, omelet}: so many ways! Then the kids came into the kitchen and they started to nibble on them too. I’ve since made this dish {can it be called a dish?} several times and just poured them into a jar and left them in the fridge. They’ve never lasted long!

Aren’t you thankful when something wonderful and unexpected happens? What dish have you accidentally created…do tell!

Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes

One jar

Ingredients

1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, red and yellow, washed, stems removed, the larger ones cut in half

2 large leaves of basil, rinsed, dried, and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

olive oil

dried Italian herbs, to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place the cherry tomatoes in a flat glass or ceramic baking dish that leaves a little room all around {but not too much room}.

2. Add the garlic, basil, and Italian herbs.

3. Add a few good lugs of olive oil. {this isn’t an exact recipe…I know…you don’t want the ingredients swimming in oil, but you do want a nice thin pool in the bottom of the dish}

4. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

5. Wrap the baking dish with cling film {plastic wrap} and leave on the counter overnight to marinate.

6. The next day, unwrap and pout everything into a glass container, with a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Weck jars…so cute!

** Just used these tomatoes in our omelets this morning. One word: delicious!

*** Eating tomatoes is a good thing: here’s 10 reasons from webmd.com, why we should all be eating tomatoes.

**** Growing basil is a doddle: here’s a post on how to do it from thekitchn.com.

***** If you like tomatoes, this Tomato and Almond Tart from Yotam Ottolenghi is out of this world good.

 

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