Vegetables and Sides

All posts in the Vegetables and Sides category

A Trip to Mexico Followed by Thai-Glazed Corn

Published November 4, 2014 by jenmatteson

I know I went back on my word of posting once a week, but I have a very good excuse. Our best friends got married in Mexico, so Nate and I were gone celebrating for 10 days! That didn’t leave a lot of time for cooking and blogging leading up to and after, but we’re back on track now! I was too busy balling my eyes out, and my husband was too busy sweating up a storm (ruining their pictures) to take any of our own pictures of the actual ceremony. But what we did do is spend one wonderful day with alone with the bride and groom, and it was absolutely fabulous! Here’s a quick pic of the four of us on a cliff off Isla Mujeres after sampling some of the local tequila, of course ūüėČ

Fun with Besties in Isla Mujeres

We have so many awesome memories from Mexico with the Fishers and Co., from their beautiful wedding, spending great times with their family and friends, sailing, swim up bar, water aerobics and trivia, Isla Mujeres and getting completely poured on, cards in the lobby bar, deep sea fishing, all the way to getting put on official probation by the hotel Assistant Manager. I am so thankful to be included in such a special event and will remember that vacation forever! I’ll share more pictures of our awesome trip once we have them uploaded.

Because¬†there’s no real good transition from trip to Mexico to Thai glazed corn on the cob, I’ll just jump right in…

I¬†feel like we didn’t eat our share of corn this year, but can you ever have enough? Probably not when it’s fresh from the farm! I grew up eating corn on the cob in probably one of the most traditional ways – boiled with butter and salt. As I got older, I enjoyed it grilled in the husk with salt and pepper. This glaze really takes corn to a whole new level.

Thai-Glazed Corn

The glaze is slightly sweet, but the fish sauce adds¬†a salty element. Grilling for just a little longer after brushing on the glaze caramelizes the sugars and makes every single kernel pop! I think this glaze would be great on almost everything – chicken, pork, shrimp, fish! It’d even be a great wing glaze!

We’re pretty much at the end of the prime corn season,¬†but if you’ve still got some fresh ears, I highly recommend trying out this recipe.

Thai-Glazed Corn

Thai-Glazed Corn

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. Asian fish sauce
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 ears of corn, shucked
chopped cilantro, for garnish
lime wedges, for serving

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Cook over moderate heat until the glaze is syrupy, about 10 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to medium heat and grill corn until charred and tender, 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Brush cobs with glaze during the last 5 minutes. Cut each corn cob into thirds (or don’t, because you’ll likely want an entire ear to yourself), transfer to platter and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

Roasted-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Published January 9, 2014 by jenmatteson

Final day of ‘mashed potato’ week, and¬†these were my personal favorite.¬† I love the smell of roasted garlic, not to mention the taste.¬† When you’re roasting¬†a head of garlic in the oven, your nose will know exactly when its done; you’ll get a strong aroma of garlic, but not raw pungent garlic; sweet, savory, roasted garlic.¬† Trust me, it’s good.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I didn’t use the Ninja on these potatoes, but a good ol’ fashion potato masher.¬† I love getting a mix of mash and potato chunks in each bite, add in the roasted garlic with a dash of hot sauce, and I’m in heaven.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

5 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. mashed roasted garlic
2 tsp hot sauce
salt and white pepper
1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes and return to the pot.  Cook over low heat, gently tossing until the potatoes are dry.

2. Add the butter, cream and roasted garlic to the potatoes and mash over low heat until creamy and heated through.  Add the hot sauce and season to taste with salt and white pepper.  Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with parsley.

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Mustard

Published January 8, 2014 by jenmatteson

Day 3 of mashed potato week, and I did the unthinkable.¬† What makes everything better?¬† That’s right!¬† Bacon.¬† Did the title of the post give it away?¬† It’s okay, I wanted you to get it right anyway.

Bacon and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Of all the mashed potatoes I’m sharing this week, these are my second favorite.¬† My favorite is tomorrow’s post, so come back to see what it is!¬† I’ll admit, the mustard part sounded a little unusual, but it really just add a deep richness to the flavor, without actually tasting like mustard.¬† The bacon really¬†cuts through the acidity of the mustard and vinegar, balancing out the overall flavor.¬† These would be a fantastic addition to any backyard barbeque, and a no-brainer side for anything smoked.

Bacon and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Mustard

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, finely diced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt and simmer over moderate heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes.

2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain.  Pour off all but 2 tbsp of fat in the skillet.  Return pan to heat and add onion.  Cook over moderate heat until just starting to brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add vinegar and mustard and cook, stirring continuously until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

3. In the same saucepan the potatoes cooked in, melt butter in milk over moderate heat.  Remove from heat and press the potatoes through a ricer into the saucepan and mix well.  Fold in the mayonnaise, bacon, onion mixture and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mashed Potatoes with Jalapeno and Cheddar

Published January 7, 2014 by jenmatteson

Day 2 of mashed potato week!  Yesterday I shared a basic rich and creamy mashed potato recipe with a surprise ingredient Рmayonnaise.  These jalapeno and cheddar mashed are very similar, just adding more flavor.

Mashed Potatoes with Jalapeno and Cheddar

The first time I made the rich and creamy mashed potatoes for my family’s Christmas dinner, I was at my parent’s house.¬† I brought a lot of ingredients and some equipment I knew they didn’t have.¬† On my list of the things to bring (in my mind) was my potato ricer.¬† Guess what I forgot?¬† My potato ricer.¬† Not that I don’t like a chunky mashed potato, but the very name of the recipe indicates that it wasn’t chunky.¬† I planned to just use their hand mixer, when I spotted their Ninja.¬† If you’ve never used one before, they are fantastic.¬† Not as pricey as a Vitamix, but it works wonders!¬† I fell in love with my parents’, and then Momma Marsha gifted me one last year.¬† It’s the best!¬† Anyway, I used their Ninja to blend the potatoes, and they turned out fantastic!

When I made the jalapeno and cheddar version of mashed potatoes, I used my Ninja again.¬† It’s so much easier than the potato ricer – my arm always gets tired when you’re doing large batches ūüė¶¬† As you know, I’m not a cheese fanatic, so I didn’t try these, but they sound fantastic with the jalapeno and cheddar combination.¬† Of course, I had to use my official taste tester, the hubs, and he said they were good.¬† That’s as best of a description I can really give, because that’s all he said, but I’m guessing he really liked them as he’s taken them two days in a row for lunch.

Mashed Potatoes with Jalapeno and Cheddar

Mashed Potatoes with Jalapeno and Cheddar

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 lb shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 large seeded jalapeno, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt and simmer over moderate heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes.

2. In the same saucepan, melt butter in milk over moderate heat.  Stir in white cheddar until melted.  Remove from heat and press the potatoes through a ricer into the saucepan and mix well.  Fold in the mayonnaise and jalapeno and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meatless Monday: Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Published January 6, 2014 by jenmatteson

This week is mashed potato week!¬† Not officially, just here on Becoming Pigzilla.¬† I really wanted to get these recipes out before the holidays, but we were really ‘potatoed-out’ after all the whipped sweet potatoes I shared before Thanksgiving.¬† But don’t worry, you don’t need to be celebrating a holiday, or even entertaining company¬†to make any of these mashed potatoes.¬† They are each a little different and would be a fun addition to you weekday menu.

Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with my grandmother about mashed potatoes.¬† She asked me if I had ever used mayonnaise in my potatoes, which I said, “absolutely not, that sounds weird.”¬† I don’t remember who she said did it, but I do remember her telling me they were fantastic.¬† After thinking about it, I supposed it couldn’t be all that bad, and it would add some rich creaminess to the potatoes.¬† Funny enough, the next week, I was loyally reading my Food and Wine magazine, and came across a series of mashed potato recipes made with mayonnaise.¬† If my grandmother and Food and Wine were telling me to use mayonnaise in mashed potatoes, then I must try it.

Turns out, they were both right.¬† I made these mashed potatoes for the Pigzilla family Christmas dinner, and everyone seemed to love them.¬† I especially thought they were so luxurious and velvety – they really live up to their name of “rich and creamy”.¬† I know it sounds weird, but just try it out.¬†What I did was add a little mayonnaise at a time after all the other ingredients were mixed in.¬† Taste as you go, and you’ll be able to notice the difference.¬† Don’t go overboard with the mayonnaise though, otherwise the flavor will become too overpowering and the consistency can become kind of questionable.¬† These potatoes were the perfect vessel for a classic brown gravy.¬† They are also a fantastic base for two of the other mashed potato recipes I’m sharing this week, bacon and mustard mashed potatoes and cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes.¬† Stay tuned!

Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Rich and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:

4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt and simmer over moderate heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain potatoes.

2. In the same saucepan, melt butter in milk over moderate heat.  Remove from heat and press the potatoes through a ricer into the saucepan and mix well.  Fold in the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce

Published January 4, 2014 by jenmatteson

I mentioned a few posts back that I lead a cooking-dinner party for a group of women a  few weeks ago.  I led the girls in cooking a meal, starting with these zucchini fritters.  I fell in love with these fritters the first time I test made them.  The ladies really liked them; so much so, they sorta forgot we had the rest of the meal to make and took a break to feast on these babies.

Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce

I even made these as an appetizer for my family’s Christmas dinner – and even my picky family, including my mom, liked them!¬† Not only are they good, but they are a great way to get your serving of vegetables in.¬† Plus, I have another way to use up the copious amounts zucchini that grows in my garden each summer.¬† YAY!

Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce

The fritters are simply seasoned with salt and pepper, and served along side a soy dipping sauce.¬† While I liked the soy dipping sauce, I thought they fritters were great on their own as well!¬† They are pretty hot when they come out of the pan, and cool off quickly, so I wouldn’t suggest these for a party, maybe a seated dinner would be best as they aren’t quite as good¬†when they’re room temperature.

Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce

Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce

Source: Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the soy dipping sauce:
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 ¬Ĺ tsp sugar
crushed red pepper

For the fritters:
3 ¬Ĺ lb zucchini, grated
¬Ĺ tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
¬ľ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tbsp cornstarch
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Make soy dipping sauce: Mix vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and red pepper in small bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.

2. Make fritters: Place zucchini in colander set in the sink and toss with ¬Ĺ tsp salt.¬† Let stand 10 minutes, and then wring zucchini dry in kitchen towel.¬† Place zucchini in large bowl and mix in egg, flour, chives and cornstarch; season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat.¬† Working in two batches, drop ¬ľ cupfuls of zucchini mixture into skillet, flattening slightly; cook until golden brown and crisp; about 3 minutes per side.¬† Transfer fritters to a paper-towel lined plate; season with salt.¬† Serve with soy dipping sauce.

DO AHEAD: Fritters can be made 30 minutes ahead and kept warm in 200‚Āį oven.

Harissa-Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Published October 24, 2013 by jenmatteson

This is my third and final whipped sweet potato recipe of the week.  And I have to say, I saved the best for last!

Harissa Whipped Sweet Potatoes

These whipped sweet potatoes are the same as the original, with the addition of harissa.¬† What’s harissa, you ask?¬† Great question.¬† Harissa¬†is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredient is roasted red peppers, with Serrano peppers, and other hot peppers, depending on the region it’s from.¬† With the addition of some herbs and spices, like garlic, caraway, coriander seed and chili powder, this seemingly simple sauce has a deep complex taste (Harissa can be found at Whole Foods and other specialty stores – don’t count on finding at your local grocer, I couldn’t).¬† Paired with the sweetness from the potato, this is a match made in heaven.¬† Give it a whirl for a new take on sweet potatoes!

Harissa Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Harissa- Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

6 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened or melted
1/2 cup sour cream (plain non-fat Greek yogurt would be great)
1/4 cup harissa
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork and bake on baking sheet for about one hour, until very tender.  Let cool slightly.

2. Peel sweet potatoes, chop roughly and transfer to food processor.  Add butter, sour cream and harissa and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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