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What's New...

... and what are your plans for Valentine's Day?!

Topper (Linda)
aka ThyroGeek
February 4, 2011

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I supposed everyone has a different opinion as to what a side dish is. For me it's anything that goes on the plate along with the main part of the meal, which, for me, is the meat. So at any rate here's a collection of side dishes. Some I've tried, some I haven't - Let me know which ones that you like!

Topper (Linda)
aka ThyroGeek

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Table of Contents

Pasta
    Penne Pasta With Sharp Cheddar Cream Sauce
    Fettuccine Romanoff
    Noodles With Wild Mushrooms
Potatoes

    Blue Cheese Potatoes Delmonico
    Danish Potatoes
    Bacon And Cheddar Whipped Potatoes
    Caesar Potato Salad
    Cream Cheese And Herb Mashed Potatoes
    Rosemary And Garlic Hash Brown Potatoes
    Herb-Roasted New Potatoes
    New Potatoes With Ham
Rice
    Piedmont-Style Rice
Vegetables
  
Braised Kale With Ham
    Grilled Corn With Roasted Red Pepper Butter
Salads
   Salmagundi Salad
  Shrimp Provencale Salad
    Green Bean Salad
    Broccoli Salad
    Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Yogurt Dressing
    Tasty Barley Salad
Gravy
    Country-Style Sausage Gravy
    Tomato Gravy
Sauces 
   
Quick Dill Sauce

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Pasta

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Italian Sausage, Peppers And Onions Fettuccine   Serves 4

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 lb. Italian-style link sausage
2 medium Onions, sliced
1 large Green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup Red wine
1 1/2 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 lb Fettuccine, dry

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the sausages and cook fully. Remove them from the pan. Add the onions and peppers. Cook until just soft. Add the tomatoes, wine, basil and garlic. Simmer for 30 minutes. Slice the cooked sausage into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to the sauce. Cook the fettuccine to desired doneness. Drain. Place in bowls and top with the warm sauce.

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Baked Pasta With Fontina   Serves 4

2 tsp. Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 medium Onion, diced
1 Eggplant, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1/4 cup Chicken broth
6 ounces Penne pasta (dry)
1 Tomato, chopped
1 cup Fontina, grated

Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the garlic and onion. Cook for 4 minutes over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook until soft. Add the tomato paste and broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook until tender (about 7-10 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. Add the pasta to a casserole dish. Cover with the eggplant & onion sauce. Top with the chopped tomato and Fontina. Cover. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

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Penne Pasta With Sharp Cheddar Cream Sauce   Serves 4

4 cups Penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. Flour
3 cups Milk
1 1/2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper

Cook the pasta and set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the milk and slowly heat. Whisk in the cheese. Add the Worcestershire and cayenne. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Toss with the pasta. Serve warm.

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Fettuccine Romanoff   Serves 8
Serve this pasta side dish with chicken or pork.

1/2 lb. Fettuccine
1 pint Sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Chives, snipped
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Freshly ground pepper

Cook the pasta until just soft. Mix together the sour cream, garlic, chives, salt, pepper and 1/2 of the cheese. Drain the pasta. Toss in the melted butter. Stir in the sour cream mixture. Serve garnished with the remaining cheese.

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Noodles With Wild Mushrooms   Serves 4
This simple side dish goes well with pork or chicken.

1 lb. of Noodles (fresh or frozen)
12 ounces Mushrooms (Portobello, shiitake or porcini), diced
8 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Beef broth
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and sauté until just soft. Add the broths and parsley. Cook the noodles in a separate pot. Drain and toss with the mushroom sauce. Reheat if necessary. Check the seasonings. Serve warm.

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Potatoes

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Blue Cheese Potatoes Delmonico   Serves 4
The classic potato casserole takes on new dimensions by adding blue cheese.

8 medium Potatoes
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Milk
1 cup Cream
1/2 cup Blue cheese crumbles
1/3 cup Breadcrumbs

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Boil the potatoes. Allow to cool slightly and dice. Place in a casserole dish. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the milk and cream. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Whisk in the cheese until blended. Pour over the potatoes. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake for 25 minutes.

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Danish Potatoes   Serves 3-4

3/4 lb. Small red potatoes, peeled
1/3 cup Sugar
3 ounces Butter, melted
2 tsp. Parsley, chopped

Boil the potatoes until just soft. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Place the sugar in a heavy skillet over low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar browns (5-7 minutes). Stir in the melted butter. Add the cooked potatoes and shake until well coated. Serve immediately garnished with the pan sauce and parsley.

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Bacon And Cheddar Whipped Potatoes   Serves 4

4 strips Bacon, cooked, drained, and diced
1 1/4 cup Cheddar, mild, grated
4 large Potatoes, peeled and cut
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 cup (or more) Milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in water until soft. Drain. Place in a mixer bowl. Add the butter and cheese while the potatoes are still hot. Add a little milk and start the mixer on low. Increase the speed and add milk as needed until the potatoes are light and fluffy. Add the bacon and blend in well. Check seasonings. Serve warm.

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Middle Eastern-Style Potato Salad   Serves 4

8 medium Red potatoes
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. Green onions, chopped
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until just tender. Allow to cool slightly. Dice into medium pieces. Toss well with remaining ingredients. Chill. Serve cold.

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Caesar Potato Salad   Serves 4

2 lb. Red potatoes
1 cup Caesar dressing
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until just soft. Cool and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Toss in the dressing. Toss in the cheese. Check the seasonings. Serve chilled.

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Cream Cheese And Herb Mashed Potatoes   Serves 4
Cream cheese adds richness to the humble mashed potato.

4 large Potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup Milk
4 ounces Cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. Chives, snipped
1 1/2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain, and add the rest of the ingredients. Mash to the desired consistency. Check the seasonings. Serve warm.

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Rosemary And Garlic Hash Brown Potatoes   Serves 4
Serve this side dish with pork or chicken.

2 large Potatoes, grated
2 1/2 Tbsp. Oil
1 small Onion, minced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. Rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Mix together the potatoes, onion, garlic and rosemary. Check the seasonings. Add the mixture to the pan. Press down with a spatula. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid. Flip the mixture and brown the other side (uncovered) for 15 minutes longer. Serve warm.

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Herb-Roasted New Potatoes   Serves 3-4
Serve this side dish with beef, chicken, or pork.

1 lb. New red potatoes
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 tsp. Granulated garlic
1 1/2 tsp. rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. Thyme
1 1/2 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400.Toss together all ingredients. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until soft.

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New Potatoes With Ham   Serves 4-6

4 cups Water
4 cups Chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. New red potatoes
1/3 cup Ham, diced
3 Tbsp. Butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped

Peel the potatoes if desired. Add the water, broth, potatoes and ham to a soup pot. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain. Toss in the butter, parsley and seasoning. Serve warm.

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Punched Potatoes   Serves 4
This recipe from the Mediterranean could almost be described as a cross between a baked and smashed potato

4 medium Russet baking potatoes
3 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 tsp. Garlic, minced Salt and pepper to taste
White wine vinegar (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 375. Bake the potatoes until soft (30-50 minutes, depending on the size). Slowly heat the oil. Remove from the heat and add the garlic. Allow to steep at least 10 minutes. Place the potato on a cutting board. Cover with a clean towel. Using a meat tenderizing mallet carefully punch the potato. Use a spatula to transfer to a plate. Pour the garlic oil and vinegar (if used) over the potato. Check the seasoning.

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Rice

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Piedmont-Style Rice   Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium Onion, diced
1 tsp. Garlic
1/4 cup Mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup Prosciutto ham, diced
1 1/2 cup Rice
4 cups Chicken broth
Parmesan, grated

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until just soft. Add the prosciutto and rice. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (or until the rice is tender). Garnish with the cheese.

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Fried Rice   Serves 4
Add diced roasted pork or small cooked shrimp to this basic recipe for a full-flavored side dish or satisfying entree.

2 Tbsp. Oil
3 1/2 cups Rice, cooked and chilled
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1/4 cup Scallions, thin sliced
1 Egg, lightly whipped

Heat a non-stick skillet or wok. Add oil and heat over medium high flame until just smoking. Carefully add the rice (watch for pops!). Stir in soy and scallions and stir while cooking for about five minutes. Add whipped egg and stir until egg has set.

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Wild Rice Dressing   Serves 4
Although this dressing is tasty with any form of poultry, it is especially good with Cornish Hens.

1/2 cup Rice
1/4 cup Wild rice
2 1/4 cups Chicken broth
1/4 cup Onions, diced
1/4 lb. Mushrooms, diced
2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. Thyme
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Place 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan. Add the regular rice, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook until tender (about 20 minutes). Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth to a separate saucepan. Add the wild rice and cook until tender (the grains will begin to burst). Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and mushrooms. Cook until just soft. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a casserole dish. Toss together all ingredients and add to the dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Lentil Pilaf   Serves 4

2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 small Onion, diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
2 cups Rice, long grain
2/3 cup Lentils, dried
2 1/2 cups Chicken broth
1/4 tsp. Thyme
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
1/4 cup Pine nuts, toasted

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until just soft. Add the rice and lentils. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the broth, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in the toasted pine nuts. Serve warm.

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Vegetables

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Braised Kale With Ham   Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp. Oi1
1 medium Onion, diced
1 lb. Kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
1 cup Beef broth
1 cup Chicken broth
1 cup Water
1 cup Ham, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the chopped kale and cook (stirring frequently) for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a
boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes (or until the greens are very tender). Serve warm as a side dish or a hearty soup.

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Grilled Corn With Roasted Red Pepper Butter   Serves 4
The flavor of the nutty corn goes well with the slightly sweet roasted peppers.

4 ears Corn, husk on
8 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 cup Roasted red bell peppers (jar or canned)

Place the butter and peppers in the food processor. Blend well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Carefully peel back the husk of the corn and remove as much silk as possible. Return the husk and soak in cold water for 20 minutes. Place directly on the grill over hot coals (close the hood). Cook for 25-35 minutes. Remove the husk and brush with the seasoned butter.

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Black-Eyed Peas, Pilaf-Style   Serves 6-8
According to legend this is the perfect dish to serve on New Year's Day to insure good fortune for the upcoming year.

1 lb. Black-eyed peas, dry
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium Onion, diced
1/2 cup Celery, diced
1 medium Green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
4 cups Chicken broth
1/2 cup White wine
Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until just soft. Add the  peas and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender (40-60 minutes).

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Ranch Beans   Serves 4

2 Tbsp. Oil
1 medium Onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic
1 medium Green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp. Jalapeno, diced
1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 can Pinto beans (with liquid)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook until just soft. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve warm.

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Stuffed Tomatoes   Serves 4

4 firm tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. onion, minced
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 small egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup green pepper, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
1/4 cup cabbage, minced

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut tops from tomatoes (keep tops) and remove pulp, leaving a shell 1/4-inch thick. Chop the pulp of tomatoes. Cook onion in olive oil until tender and combine with remaining ingredients on list, plus the chopped tomato pulp. Fill tomato shells with the mixture. Replace the tops and place in a greased baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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German-Style Hot Slaw   Serves 2-3

1/4 lb. Bacon, diced
2 Tbsp. Sugar
4 Tbsp. Cider vinegar
2 cups Cabbage, shredded
1 small Onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the bacon in a large, heavy skillet. Whisk in the sugar and vinegar. Stir in the cabbage and onions. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer until the cabbage is tender (about 20 minutes). Serve warm.

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Salads

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Salmagundi Salad   Serves 2

1 small head Romaine lettuce, shredded
2 cups Chicken, cooked, diced
3/4 cup Ham, diced
3 Hard-boiled eggs, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
2 medium Tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. Anchovies, minced (optional)
Vinaigrette

Place the lettuce on two plates. Arrange the remaining ingredients in strips or small mounds on the lettuce. Serve with your favorite vinaigrette.

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Shrimp Provencale Salad  

6 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds Shrimp, cooked, peeled and de-veined
1/2 cup Black olives
1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes
Mixed salad greens
Parmesan, grated

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon, salt and pepper. Toss in the cooked shrimp, olives and tomatoes. Arrange the greens on 4 plates. Top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish with Parmesan.

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Green Bean Salad   Serves 3-4

1 lb. Green beans, fresh
2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 tsp. Tarragon, fresh, chopped
1/2 cup Red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper to taste

String and snap the beans into one-inch pieces. Add to boiling water and cook for seven minutes (or until just tender). Rinse with cold water, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, and tarragon in a separate bowl. Add to the beans. Toss in the red pepper and mix well. Check the seasonings. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

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Broccoli Salad
This salad is great for those hot summer nights when you barbeque outside and just can't bring yourself to turn on the stove inside. It's quick and easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. It even tastes great the second day.

4 cups broccoli florets (small pieces)
1/2 lb. of bacon
1/2 cup apple, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)

Cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels and then crumble. Toss together the apple, onion, raisins, sunflower seeds and bacon. Add to the broccoli in a large bowl. Mix in the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add the sugar. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Yogurt Dressing
This salad takes me no more than 10 minutes to prepare.

10 ounces asparagus tips and tender stems
1 tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. green onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. non-fat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated (fresh is best)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
10 lettuce leaves

In a medium bowl, combine the asparagus, tomatoes, onions. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cheese and mustard. Add to the vegetable mixture and toss until well coated. To serve, line salad plates with romaine lettuce leaves and spoon salad on top.

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Tasty Barley Salad    Serves 10

1 1/2 cups pearl barley
4 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried apricots (plump and moist), sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 Tbsp. honey
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pinch nutmeg

Rinse the barley in a fine sieve. Bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the barley and return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pour oil into a small skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onion and saute' until golden brown. In a serving dish, combine the cooked barley and onion, apricots, almonds, cranberries, and parsley. Toss. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, honey, lemon juice cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and nutmeg. Pour over the barley mixture and toss well to combine.  Serve at room temperature.

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Three Bean Salad   Serves 6

1 can Red kidney beans, drained
1 can Green beans, cut, drained
1 can Yellow wax beans, cut, drained
1/3 cup Onion, small dice
1/3 cup Green pepper, small dice
1/3 cup Red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Celery seed
1/2 tsp. Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together the beans, onion, and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, celery seed, and garlic. Pour over the bean mixture and mix well. Check the seasonings. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Serve cold.

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Gravy

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Country-Style Sausage Gravy   Serves 4
Serve this hearty gravy over biscuits.

1 lb. Ground breakfast sausage
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 1/2 cups Water
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the crumbled sausage in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle on the flour. Cook for three minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the milk and water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring often. Serve warm over hot biscuits.

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Tomato Gravy   Makes about 2 cups

3 Tbsp. Bacon grease (or butter)
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 cup Chicken broth
1 cup Tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the bacon grease (or butter) and the flour in a skillet. Cook for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. Slowly whisk in the broth. Slowly whisk in the tomato puree. Check the seasoning. Simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring. Serve warm.

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Sauces

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Quick Dill Sauce   Makes 1 cup
Serve this fast sauce with smoked salmon or fried fish.

1 cup Sour cream
2 tsp. Dill
Fresh ground pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. Use immediately or refrigerate.

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